6/2/08: They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Haha!

Dear Dick Wolf:

The next installment of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is due in four years – 2012. You’re probably well aware of the current handbook, the DSM-IV. Surely B.D. Wong has a copy in his back pocket. Well, here’s my prediction: the DSM-V will feature an exciting new entry – Law & Order Obsessive Disorder (LOOD). It even rhymes. Well, sort-of.

You think I’m joking, don’t you? Ummm – no.

I was talking to my friend John the other day, and he confessed that he had to do something I’ve been considering for quite a while now – get his cable disconnected. Like me, John would sit down to watch an episode of L&O and the next thing he knew, three hours had passed. Or four, maybe even five. He was addicted. He’d tell himself, “Oh, I can stop after one. Really. I don’t have a problem.” But after a while, it became clear. He needed an intervention.

He’s been sober over a year now, but there are many stories like John’s.  

Take another friend of mine, Lynne. She and her sister used to play “Name that L&O Episode.” You know, like the gameshow but without the tunes. Well, unless you count the opening DUHNT DUHNT, but that’s more of a sound effect, right? If you hired an actual composer for that, my apologies. It’s melodious and brilliant…Anyway, at the beginning of each episode, they’d compete to see who could guess which one it was first. The characters didn’t even have to speak. These women would simply look at the opening scene and within a matter of seconds, they knew. They’d watched so many reruns that these openers were etched into their brains. But still, they couldn’t stop watching. They were addicted.

Obviously we don’t need to delve into my fixation. I think this website speaks for itself.

My point? We have a legitimate mental disorder on our hands here. LOOD. Seriously, just look at some of the other DSM-V contenders:

Internet addiction (IA). This has 3 sub-groups: Excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations, and obsessive email/text-message behavior. Addicts often feel a loss of time, and go through symptoms of withdrawal when there’s no computer around. They get depressed, angry, tense. They feel a constant need for better computer equipment, more software…Experts call this a mental illness. I call it 2008.

Impulsive-compulsive buying disorder (ICBD). This is characterized by a compulsion to buy unneeded things, and can result in impaired social functioning and financial problems…In my world, that’s a typical Saturday.

Obesity.  Yes, come 2012, being overweight might score you a ticket to the funny farm. Obesity, falling under the brain disorder category, would be characterized by compulsive consumption of food and the inability to stop eating despite the desire to do so…I hate to burst the APA’s bubble, but that sounds suspiciously like something those of us with uteruses call PMS.

When you consider these, LOOD doesn’t seem so far-fetched, does it? I’m working on my proposal now. Symptoms, causes, treatment, prognosis. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. After all – you are responsible.

Thank you.

Oh – and if you want to find out if you’re an internet addict, go here.

I plan on taking the test. Right after I check my email, text my brother and post an update on Twitter.

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Published in: on June 2, 2008 at 7:13 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. My God you’re a good writer! Seriously- you need to go all Christine Gambito on everyone and create your own one-woman viral videos! Go to youtube and search for her name- you’ll see what I mean. The only thing you’re missing here is video to show off your personality and abilities! Check this out:

    Keep up the funny work, G!


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