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Opening Arguments

Disorder of the day

Oh, come on:

Think twice the next time you play a videogame or surf the Net: ‘Internet-use disorder’ is set to be added to the list of mental illnesses in the worldwide psychiatric manual. Kids are identified as being especially at risk.

The international mental health encyclopedia known as the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-IV) will include Internet-use disorder as a condition “recommended for further study” in its forthcoming May 2013 edition.

Psychologists believe that Internet addiction should be categorized like other addiction disorders as it has similar symptoms, including emotional shutdown, lack of concentration and withdrawal.

But wait. It gets even sillier:

Do you bite your nails? For 30 years, I did. We nail biters can be "pathological groomers" — people for whom normal grooming behaviors, like skin picking or hair pulling, have become virtually uncontrollable.

But psychiatry is changing the way it thinks about pathological grooming, and these changes will be reflected in the American Psychiatric Association's DSM, short for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A new version is coming out early next year, and it puts pathological grooming in the same category as another disorder you've probably heard of: obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

This rethinking gives pathological groomers some new ways to think about those behaviors.

I've thought about it and thought about it, and I do not think I have any mental disorders. But since everyone does, I am clearly delusional, which means that under the ADA my employers have to make special allowances for me. I'll have Mondays and Tuesdays off, please, and two assistants to bring me coffee and snacks.

(Apologies to Joseph Heller)