New Psychological Diagnosis - from Dec.31
Posted by: daw (
) on Sat Jan 1 15:40:29 2005
New Psychological Diagnosis
Posted by: daw ( on Fri Dec 31 12:29:28 2004
Surely there will someday be---if there isn't already---a recognized psychological diagnosis for people who use discussion boards to act out their fantasies of having superhuman intellect, insight and rhetorical skills. The DSM (Diagnostic Manuel of Mental Disorders) will call it "Chat Board Babbling/Abuse Syndrome" or "Delusions of Discussion Board Grandeur Disorder" or something like that. The diagnostic criterion will include:
A. Deep need, unsupported in everyday life, to feel superior to others;
B. Deeply held belief, unsupported in everyday life, that one's opinions on a given discussion board's subject are so insightful and important that it unfair to the masses that said opinions not be shared publically;
C. Deep need, unfulfulled in everyday life, to be thought of as a "hero" or "champion";
D. Deep need, unfulfilled in everyday life, to prevail in debate;
E. Deep need, unfulfilled in everyday life, to feel more clever than others.
F. Deep need, unfulfilled in everyday life, to treat others rudely and disrespectfully.
These criterion will be recognized to manifest themselves in the unrelenting use of discussion boards to "Champion the Truth" by attacking the views---and the motives---of others. These attacks will be seen to be typically characerized by obnoxious, meaningless, valueless posts debating tiny details of a perfectly valid overall theory (Indeed, victims frequently begin posts by acknowledging the value of the overall theory). The victim of the disorder will labor under the psychotic but satisfying belief that it is up to him/her to "knock down" the perceived authority figure on a particular discussion board, and bring the "truth" to the heretofore ignorant, but now-grateful masses.
A particularly disabling and virulent sub-category of the condition will be "Sports Mechanics Chatboard Syndrome" (SMCS), in which the unfortunate victim will cram multiple discussion boards devoted to open discussions of a particular sports skill---like golfing, bowling, fly-casting, tiddly-winks, or, oh, say, hitting a baseball/softball---with technical pettifogging on tiny (frequently frivilous) points, refusing to acknowledge the fundamental fact that the effectiveness of whatever technique is being advanced on a particular site is easily enough proven---or disproven---on the athletic field involved, simply by observing results when athletes make correct use of it. Indeed, those who suffer SMCS will be recognized to be psychologically incapable of resolving the debate by analyzing actual results, for the the debate is the "thing" and actually resolving the question would leave them empty (and, most fearfully to them, quite possibly proven wrong). Terminal SMCS sufferers would rather die than say "I tried it out with students and, you know, it worked."
A complicating factor, of course, is that very, very few sufferers of the condition have been, or ever will be, placed in a position of actually coaching or otherwise supervising athletes, as an unfortunate aspect of the condition is the dearth of real-life people skills such sufferers possess (see the diagnostic criterion).
That being as it may, the delusional goal of the SMCS victim is to extract an admission from the chat board authority figure that the latter is an oaf, a fraud, a false prophet, who must now admit to having been exposed as such by the piercing electronic arguments of the SMCSV (Sports Mechanics Chatboard Syndrome Victim).
SMCSV's sometimes begin with innocuous posts on technical points, essentially disguising themselves as normal, but such posts are "bait" used to trigger "debate".
Extreme sufferers will sometimes even use false posting names, in an attempt to obtain responses to "bait" postings. These extreme victims apparantly psychotically identify themselves with Winston Churchill's observation that the truth is sometimes so important that it must be wrapped in a protective garment of lies.
The sad tragedy of the condition will be recognized to be the fact that the only people who pay any real attention to posts by SMCSV's are other victims, and this only to search for "points" with which to quibble, thereby sustaining the debate. Normal people quickly see posting from SMCSV's for what they are, and go on to search for productive posts.
Indeed, self-testing can be the best defense against SMCS, and thankfully, Early Onset Sports Mechanics Chatboard Syndrome (EOSMCS) can be cured with isolation/computer separation therapy. So, if you find yourself reading such posts with interest, see your doctor (actually your psychiatrist) immediatly. However, if things have progressed to the point that you find yourself actually responding to such posts on the "merits".............Godspeed to you.
Sadly, the condition, in all its subcategories (others include "Political Opinion Discussion Board Syndrome", "Fantasy Football League Chat Board Syndrome", "College Athletics Alumni/Supporter Discussion Board Syndrome") is already epidemic in America. And, though we still know little of the disease, we already know that if it progresses beyond a certain point, it is incurable, condemning the sufferer to a lifetime of posting obnoxious drivel. We can only hope that Science soon recognizes the urgent need for cure. Hopefully, SMCS can be eradicated in our lifetime. Though it is hardly pratical to believe it will be cured in the upcoming year 2005, we can always hope. Where there is hope, there is cure.
Happy New Year.
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