L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 235, August 24, 2003
The Dominoes Fell
A New Psychiatric Diagnostic Category; Politician Syndrome; DSM-IV 333.333
Special to TLE
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) is the means by which mental health disorders are classified in the United States. This standardized approach is used by mental health professionals, insurance companies and the legal system. Clinicians use the manual to assist in diagnosis by reading the general description and checking off the different criteria. Those mildly impacted by a syndrome will meet the minimum number of criteria, the seriously impaired will meet all of the qualitative and behavioral conditions. Prognosis usually depends on the severity of the disorder. Differential diagnosis is made by ruling out other diagnoses with similar symptomatology.
DSM-IVnew category 333.333 Politician Syndrome
DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Politician Syndrome
Although it is unusual to add to an existing DSM instead of waiting for the new addition, extenuating circumstances make this imperative. The current increase in incidence of this syndrome and the apparent contagion factor make the availability of clear diagnostic criteria essential. Treatment options are limited owing to the gullibility (DSM-IV Foxnewsitis 666.66) factor of the general population. Current Strategies include Exposure Methods eg 12 Step Programs such as Politicians Publicus seen daily on Fox TV, where public breast beating and baring, ranting and raving apparently bore even hard core politicians into submission. Other treatment options include therapy from Ann Coulter or promotion to Bush's closet... err, make that Cabinet. Early diagnosis is essential to prevent the rapid disintegration from human being into full blown Politician.
While there seems to be a genetic or familial component to this disorder for some individuals, sexual transmission may be involved for others. Close contact with Corporations raises that risk in predisposed individuals. Environmental factors such as over-exposure to fictional super heroes, drama news stations and reality TV may be implicated in other instances. Appearing in 2 ** movies is a known risk factor.
A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction as manifested by at least 3 of the following:
1. Marked impairment in the use of multiple verbal behaviors such as wild exaggeration, rapid shifts of previously stated opinions to the point of repeated reversal, overuse of words or phrases such as "read my lips," consistent misuse of words, despite opportunities to learn correct usage or pronunciation; eg Nukular, for nuclear. Excessively impressionistic speech patterns, little concrete detail. Significant use of spin, distraction and deletion. Sees no difficulty with phrases such as "collateral damage" "military intelligence" "friendly fire" "compassionate conservative".
2. Grandiosity and self-importance. Exaggerates achievements and talents; eg., created the internet, liberated another country etc. Theatrical, self-dramatization, and exaggerated expression of emotion, Dresses up in costumes of others for self-glorification.
3. Is pre-occupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance to the point of believing in Total Global Dominance. Messianic tendencies. Applies equally to both genders.
4. Has a sense of entitlement which he/she believes is supported by the world in general. Sometimes becomes delusional eg believes the world will donate any resources willingly even to the point of extinction eg forests, animals, ozone layer.
5. Interpersonally exploitativetakes advantage of others to achieve his/her own ends.
6. Requires excessive admiration and needs to be the center of attention.
7. Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriately sexually seductive or provocative behavior. Speech patterns may be immature and aggressive eg Bring 'em on
8. Quotes religious texts ad nauseum to make moral judgments and frequently claims direct communication with God. Sees no problem in selective hallucinations.
9. Absence of a sense of humor.
B. Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities as indicated by at least 2 of the following:
1. Obsession with shaking hands with total strangers, kissing babies, exaggerated eye contact, intent gaze and bizarre promises.
2. Obsession with raising large sums of money Sees future in terms of the "war chest"..
3. Obsession with polls which involve asking self-serving, obscure or irrelevant questions of only those who will answer in a predictable way.
4. Oppositional Defiant characteristics shown by excessive arguing, ridiculing of those who appear to have different positions, need to diminish and demonize others. Often labels entire groups of individuals as "the enemy" on the basis of very little information.
5. An inability to empathize or identify with the feelings of individuals
6. Delusional and distorted thinking patterns eg Believing that a Corporation is the same as a person.
7. Relationships which are often of a bondage nature. The Pimp or Donor (occasionally an individual but more usually a corporation) provides large sums of money with attached chains. Shows no insight and sees no problem with this behavior. Projects negative thoughts about own behavior onto others eg demonizes the sex industry but fails to recognize that is an honest transaction.
8. Total belief in ones own virtue and strengths regardless of evidence to the contrary,
9. A family history. The risk seems to increase with the number of afflicted relatives. Where both parents carry the gene there are even fewer treatment options. Genetic counseling should be offered emphasizing the risks of continuing this gene pool. Limited ability without supportive counseling to link dynasty with dinosaur.
10. Frequent checking in the mirror suggesting over-involvement with personal appearance. This is most often to check the length of the nose. Unusual fear of nasal growth, sometimes phobic, sometimes excessive use of surgical intervention.
11. Ability to compromisevalues, standards, beliefs, conscience and anything non-infected people consider sacred.
* Dramatic or Grandiose Personality
Differential Diagnoses. As several diagnoses have some of the same symptoms it is important to differentiate from the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
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