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IED: The Latest Malady (Where Will This All End?)
IED: The Latest Malady (Where Will This All End?)
Don't Blame Me, Blame My IED
Are you a ragin' jerk, or do you simply have "intermittent explosive disorder"? Ah, choices
- By Mark Morford, San Francisco Gate Columnist
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Everyone you know is deeply messed up. Everyone you know has some sort of disturbing issue, some sort of simmering psychological demongurgle that spins them off the norm and makes them more than a little peculiar and maybe just a little dangerous and that includes when they act totally blissed-out happy and generous all the time, an intensely bizarre temperament which, as we all know, is just terrifically unsettling and should be properly medicated ASAP.
This seems to be the common wisdom, our unstated religion: We are all latent psychotherapy patients. We are all crazy bubbling lasagnas of potential psychotrembling meltdown.
It is very likely, for example, that you or someone you know suffers from "intermittent explosive disorder." Can you feel it in you? Did you already know? No, it is not another term for arbitrary ejaculation during viewings of "CSI: Miami." It is not what happens when you step on an odd-shaped lump while walking through downtown Baghdad. Nor is it what happens to your intestines following the consumption of the entire Taco Bell Big Bell Value Menu. At least, not officially.
No, IED is when you have sudden outbursts of violent anger when you're normally calm and placid and just a little boring. It is screaming road rage, it is suddenly hurling the dog across the room during a relatively mild argument, it is angrily breaking lamps and screaming at the sky and cracking a few ribs in a seething rage as you pay your taxes and then sighing and apologizing for the blood on the carpet and taking a nap.
Sound familiar? You bet it does. Hell, in Bush's America, not to suffer from wicked outbursts of savage karmic pain and mysterious rashes on your brain resulting in the mad desire to shred the drapes with your teeth would be unusual. This much we know.
But that aside, for the past couple of decades, doctors thought IED was relatively scattered. They didn't even really have a clear name for it, until a big new study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health where they asked a large pile of people what happens when they watch too much Bill O'Reilly and eat too much Burger King and listen to the president molest the English language (I'm just guessing) and their brains become mushy and small and stained like a chain-smoker in a New Jersey Denny's.
Sure enough, under such everyday karmic attack, lots of people now report violent outbursts they can't seem to control, outbursts that are entirely out of scale with what sparked the anger in the first place. Isn't that interesting? Isn't that obvious, in a painful, there-they-go-again sort of way?
VoilÃƒÂ>, a new disorder is born. IED is now ready to become a bona fide affliction, suffered not by a miserable few but by upward of an estimated 16 million Americans. Which may or may not mean that raging jerks and violence-prone morons can now point to this study and say, Gosh, sorry about that knife wound, baby, it was my IED talking. It may or may not mean we are deepening into a cultural phase where every behavior and every aberrant thought can be classified as a nicely narcotizable syndrome.
After all, IED, they figure, is merely a result of poor serotonin receptor functioning. It's just wacky wiring, which just so happens to be affecting more and more of the global population. And what do you do with such an affliction? Why, you take Prozac, silly. For, quite possibly, the rest of your life.
But you do not have to believe me. You merely need to glance at the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known to devotees as DSM-IV), the deeply creepy bible of the psychiatric profession, which is roughly a thousand pages long and which lists more sad 'n' disagreeable disorders and conditions and painful permutations of Self than the "Joy of Cooking" lists recipes involving heat.
The DSM, it is like a tumor. It is like a Christian megachurch. It is like a ... a ... something large and invasive and numbing to the soul, and while it has been, I'm sure, hugely helpful and necessary to many, it is churning and growing and seething all the time, swallowing all of humanity in its vortex of new and vaguely quantifiable suffering. To read any part of it is to come away convinced you suffer from at least a dozen happy disorders, most requiring medication or partial lobotomy. It's that kind of joy.
Which is just another way of saying we are aswim in a bizarre and surreal system, one in which shiny good-hearted doctors conduct well-funded studies and then write the descriptions of the resultant disorder they invariably find (and they always, always find something), and then turn around and make a nice payment on their sweet new Mercedes SL with the money they made from the pharmaceutical company that paid them to identify the new disorder for which the pharmco can now invent fun toxic new behavior-modifying drugs to treat. See? Everybody's happy.
I am now enjoying this trend. I mean, what the hell. I am now wondering what sort of conditions and what sort of syndromes can be identified just as easily. Surely, the next major update of the DSM, which hits the country like a hammer in 2011, will include all manner of new conditions, including IED. But perhaps it can also include other common afflictions of the modern world. With open-ended criteria like this, why not?
Let us now suggest: Rumsfeld Hope/Joy Dysplasia, or Oozing Coulter Panic Arrhythmia, or Spasmodic Ben Stiller Recoil. Let us offer up, say, Sudden Leather-Whiffing Swoon Syndrome, or Fingerling Potato Polycystic Neuroplasmia, or Diastrophic Cervical Frat Boy Rejection Clampdown. Then there's always Hyperkinetic Eyeball Flutter Related to Excessive Images of Dead Innocent Iraqis (HEFREIDII).
iPod Erection Syndrome. Sudden Thong Glimpse Moan Disorder. GOP Colon Self-Knotting Disease. Jingoism Synapse Slaughter. Jesus Did Not Say That Repetitive Exclamation Fatigue. Vatican-Induced Blood-Boiling Soul Trauma. Lynne Cheney.
Wow. This is so easy. No wonder the DSM-IV is so damn long. Why not define some of your own? Submit them to the DSM-V, laugh a wide-angled, open-thighed, sighing laugh and watch your own tendency toward IED drop dramatically. Hell, who needs Prozac?
Did you follow the British Medical Journals "April fools Joke" that Laziness is a new disorder effecting 1 in 5?
It is astounding how many journalists ran with the story as being legitimate.
Hey bn7! What a riotous tongue-in-cheek story you posted! Even the journalists are buying into this nonsense! I can't stop laughing at the silliness of all this! As Mr. Morford suggests, perhaps we should start writing the DSM editors with our own silly suggestions! Here's one: DSM Disorder - the ability to see right through this ****!