They're Modifying The "Bible Of Psychiatry": Five Houston-Specific Disorders They Should Consider

The DSM, the so-called "Bible of Psychiatry," is getting a re-do. More mental disorders will be included, as the Washington Post says:

Children who throw too many tantrums could be diagnosed with "temper dysregulation with dysphoria." Teenagers who are particularly eccentric might be candidates for treatment for "psychosis risk syndrome." Men who are just way too interested in sex face being labeled as suffering from "hypersexual disorder."

The proposed additions (and subtractions, we suppose) are sure to generate long and loud debate before final decisions are made.

We can only hope that the proposed changes include some Houston-specific disorders that need to be addressed ASAP.

1. Starbuckaphilia
Experts define this as "a condition where sufferers know no sane limits to where they put a Starbucks." This can result in such extreme cases as what the medical literature refers to as "The Black Hole of West Gray & Shepherd," where three Starbucks are located within pissing distance of each other.

Symptoms include an inability to consider getting out of a car, crossing the street, or walking half a block to get a cup of overpriced coffee.

2. Low Musical Self Esteem
A chronic Houston syndrome, sufferers constantly bleat about the lack of "a music scene" here. Symptoms include uncontrollable mumbling about Austin and the words "even Dallas" during Tourette-like episodes. A parallel condition exhibits itself through periodic whining that Houston has a great music scene, but it is simply underappreciated. These episodes include declamations of long lists of bands and performers you've never heard of, plus that one act that got a recording contract that one time. (Note: This syndrome affects only white people.)

3. Commissioners Court Agoraphobia
Once they get in, they never come out. The four commissioners, who preside over huge fiefdoms mostly out of the public eye, are ostensibly up for re-election every four years. But when you're able to hand out construction contracts like they are, you're essentially in for life. Or indictment. Well, probably more "conviction" than "indictment," to be honest.

At any rate, victims who contract the symptoms of being elected to commissioners court rarely ever recover. No cure is known.

4. Ike/Ostrich Delusion
A disorder that is specific to a very small population: Those who build weekend mansions on the West End of Galveston. These can include lawyers, doctors and real estate developers. Experts think it is the high pressure inherent in those jobs that cause otherwise level-headed people to build homes one inch above sea level, behind the world's most fragile dunes, and not worry about hurricanes.

Sufferers also include taxpayers who foot the bill for helping these people recover from their inevitable episodes.

5. Drayton Derangment Syndrome
Sufferers of this persist in a belief, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Astros owner Drayton McLane somehow has the ability to bring a World Series title to Houston. DDS is a pernicious disorder; case studies show that exposure to the Biggo-Bagwell virus at an impressionable age makes it especially acute. And for Houstonians, "an impressionable age" is anywhere from seven to 77.

Symptoms include an unhealthy willingness to believe in second-rate, over-the-hill free agents and to keep purchasing high-priced tickets for a low-rent product. A similar disorder affects Texans fans, of course, but since that team has never been good psychiatrists have no theories to offer on what causes it.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly