Sunday, February 6, 2011

Imaginary Diseases I Think I Have

According to this site, this is a photo of Freud's actual couch.  Looks kind of cozy, actually.
1.  Attention Surfeit Disorder.
Attention Surfeit Disorder is, of course, paying too much attention, and being unable to stop concentrating.  This happens to me a lot.  I'll be driving, and scanning the scene, and something will catch my eye in the rear-view mirror.  I look, I'm interested, I can't turn away.  My attention lingers.  What's happening to that person?  Is she yelling at that guy?  I wonder what's going on.  The most common thing is that I'm concentrating on something in my own mind, and in that case forget it:  I'm in another world.

2.  Alloism.
Alloism is over-involvement with other people and what they are thinking and feeling.  It's being too good at reading the expressions, faces, and emotional cues of other people.  The main problem with alloism is that it wears a person out.  Guy on the subway, woman at the check-out desk, kid giving me a funny look, I don't want to know what y'all are feeling; I got enough problems of my own.

3.  Repression deficiency.
People with repression deficiency can't repress the uncomfortable truths that everyone else seems to just ignore all the time.  Hey, everyone, did you forget that we are all going to die in the not so far away future?  And we're either going to die young, or get old?  And this is going to happen not just to you but to your kids and all the people you love?  When I look at all the healthy repressing people out there, living their lives and not thinking about these things, I'm amazed.  How do they do it?

4.  Antidisposophobia.
Some people can't throw anything away.  I have the opposite problem.  I can't keep anything around.  I hate clutter, and I fear it.  I wrote about this before, how I throw away not just "real life" things but digital things too, and how I even throw away old letters and actual mementos, and how I often get carried away.  I learned today that fear of throwing things away is called "disposophobia" and thus the name "antidisposophobia." Fear of clutter is evidently so much less common than fear of throwing things away that when you Google the former, what comes up is about the latter.  Weird.

5.  Nostalgiaphobia.

6.  Introversion.
Given that I enjoy spending time alone, often in a completely quiet house with no TV and no twitter account, and given that I get kind of worn out being with people, even when I'm very fond of them, I guess you can call me an introvert.  Introversion used to be a personality trait.  But these days I feel like people treat it more like a disease.  Every workplace is all about being a "people person," and everyone seems to get bored and antsy without minute by minute status updates from the people they know.  Even in the library people are determined to be communicating.  Makes me feel like a freak.


Daniel said...

OMG, I have many os the same conditions, except I tend towards clutter, having difficulty throwing things out. Where did you learn of these terrific diagnoses?

Patricia said...

Hi Daniel, maybe we can have a support group? As long as we don't let it become a support group dedicated to self-medicating.

I came up with the diagnoses myself, of course. What is that, Excessive Cleverness Syndrome?

Christopher Grisdale said...

I'm glad that other people over diagnose. I over diagnose, too. I've had countless cancers, parasites, and viruses. Thank god I have socialized medical care because my fears are only alleviated by medicals tests. I once got a family member to push me ahead of the line for a scope, but my symptom disappeared and I canceled. Definitely not something to be proud of. Anyways, it is comforting, in some odd way, that other people have similar trouble.

All those fears stem from my fear of dying, though. I am waiting for the singularity! Sigh... I wish we could conjugate verbs for a "sarcastic case".

Patricia said...

Chris, I'm with you except about the tests, which seem to me to stoke anxiety rather than relieve it.

I get a clean bill of health and all I can think is, Well, one of these days the result will be "sorry, no, you're dying" and that far away fact is enough to plunge me into gloom.

In any case, I share your frustration about the ineffectiveness and cumbersomeness of sarcasm alerts!

Gael Simone von Lackum said...

Anti-Disposophobia: Saw this on your blog - just found out that is the correct diganosis re my mother and a very serious life altering one. The reason we never understood she has it until now (she's 85) is that it's only NEWLY been identified. It has wrecked havoc on her life and all of us in her family. I am both relieved to understand and sorry it had been understood earlier as it's had a devastating affect on myself and sibblings not to mention her (it's gotten worse with the years). By the way, though I grew up in San Francisco, my father's family - the 'von Lackums' are all in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids :) Me: FB Gael 'Simone' von Lackum;