Novel illness name of the week

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News is leaking out about DSM-5, the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the central reference book of mental illnesses for the psychiatric profession, due to be published in May 2013. Journalists who have been delving into the details of its proposed new listings (it is up for comment by the medical community at the moment) are finding rich pickings in jargon-encapsulated official names for new mental conditions. I think my vote for new illness name of the week has to go to disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. This would be the new DSM-5 term for temper tantrums. Is your child (or indeed, your domestic partner) sicker than you thought?

[Note: in the first version of this post I picked oppositional defiant disorder, which is what Little Timmy has if, for six months or more, when you tell him to do something you typically get No! or similar unrewarding negative responses. But this term is in DSM-4, so it's not new.]

You may chuckle as you sit happily reading my words of mockery (see this piece for a much more serious and hostile response to DSM-5), but not so fast: you could be suffering from Internet addiction, which they are also planning to include in DSM-5 (see here for a typical journalistic write-up — well, typical if you're prepared to count the New York Daily News as typical). Yes, that means you! Look at yourself, clicking away on Language Log posts you didn't strictly need to read right now. You're high on blogs again. Get help. There are probably new drugs for it. Highly profitable new drugs.

[I have extreme comments closure disorder, I'm afraid, but I am seeing a doctor about it, so don't pick on me.]

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