4/18/2007

When I am King: Syndrome Syndrome

When I am King...

Everyone's personality disorders will be properly and uniquely labeled.

My wife was talking to someone yesterday that explained how her daughter, at age 4, did not like wearing socks because she has “sensory integration issues”. The mother went on to explain, in a worried voice, that she doesn't know what is going to happen in Kindergarten when she'll have to suck it up and wear her socks day in and day out.

Obviously, the solution here is to provide a medical note to the teacher from her doctor, explaining how the girl's feet cannot be enstockinged because of this terrible mental state from which she suffers, and that she should be excused from any sockish requirements because of her disability.

Some people might think that the girl simply doesn't like wearing socks, but this paints far too simple a picture. There is clearly something wrong with her that needs to be called out with a Medical Classification. I'm thinking she will also need an Aid in the classroom, to help her get by in an academic situation rife with other children that wear socks with ease.

Meanwhile, I recently saw an ad on TV for a new drug that helps combat the symptoms of “Restless Leg Syndrome”. Apparently, the situation where I'm in bed tossing and turning and my legs just want to move finally has a label. And a drug. I was previously misled into thinking that I just had a hard time going to sleep, and that a glass of scotch and a good book were the cure. Now I understand that there is something more insidious, more mentally disturbed, and more treatable is going on. I should rush out and buy the drug. I wonder if it is just dehydrated scotch?

More syndrome classifications are created every day, for everything from different subclasses of Autism to medical terms for “Bully”. Most of these labels are created for children. It's not that kids are the only ones that have issues, but that there's no use figuring out what adults problems are since we're half-dead anyway.

But I believe that our society has not gone far enough in this syndrome labeling system. As a parent, I've come to know many many children (three). I firmly believe that all kids are unique, with original problems and issues all their own. What good is it to group the kids into buckets of classifications that they may uncomfortably share with hundreds or thousands of other children that they don't even know?

Also, the medical classifications are so specific, covering only particular aspects of someone's personality, like Austism or Repetitive Speech Disorder. What if someone is not only ADD, but is also a jerk?

And what happens as the person changes over time? These classifications are static and do not change with the personality they attempt to describe.

No, clearly we need a new system that allows us to express the individuality, issues, hardships, and ultimate triumph of each person. A label that lets everyone else know that, although this person has serious issues, they are overcoming them every single day and they are still here to prove that they are equal to the challenge.

The system of classification will be called “names”. Each person will have a relatively unique name that they can be called, which will denote everything about that person's character. Furthermore, "names" will be flexible enough to change their meaning as the person changes.

So while my name may currently include the meaning “has short hair,” as my hair grows longer the name's meaning would change with me and would denote “needs a hair cut”.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's been a long night and I need to grab a scotch pill and go to sleep.
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