Monday, June 2, 2008

You Have a Disorder

I've got a disorder. Everybody's got a disorder. A mild form of at least one, anyway. These days, we have so many disorders that we don't know what to do with them all. People almost need to carry around a second business card so that they can fit it all on – Mr. Joe Smith, BSc, Ph.D., ADh.D., etc!

So, I recommend a new method of classifying disorders so that we can weed out the ones that aren't important. It starts with looking at another phrase that means "important"
"life threatening".

The basic idea is this: classify disorders based on what would happen if there was an isolated group where everybody had that disorder. Would they...

  1. kill each other or something similar?
  2. get along as well as normal humans do?
  3. actually cooperate better as a result of their disorder?
All forms of disorders would fit on this scale somewhere. An example of the first could be OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) because the people would drive each other mad with their own idiosyncrasies. People with Paranoia would also be in this category.

It would be harder to figure between the latter two categories. ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder now includes ADHD) and Schizophrenia would be harder to place. Unless the schizophrenics have the voices in their head tell them to murder the others, they would likely get along quite well. The hyper and easily-distracted people would have a really fun time and wouldn't violently kill each other, but if the cases were extreme enough, they wouldn't exactly be self-sufficient. Perhaps another category should be added, for "cooperative and friendly but not at all useful".

Seeing as it would be rather difficult to predict the outcomes of isolated disordered people, we could actually get volunteers to live in such a place. It would be a kind of retreat, which could actually be really neat because everyone else would be like you.

Additionally, this type of classification could actually be extended to general behavior and attitude, with the seriousness toned down to merely examine happiness. In these cases, it would likely just be speculation, but I've found that doing this in my head helps me to rationalize to determine what I want my morals and behaviour to be
– I just consider whether a world of people all acting like that could work and be happy.