What Syndrome Have You Got?

Saturday, 02 April 2011 02:15

June 2007 (not published) 

What Syndrome Have You Got? 

 Nobuo Kurokawa has discovered a medical syndrome which afflicts 60 percent of older Japanese women – Retired Husband Syndrome (RHS). The symptoms include depression, rashes, ulcers, asthma, and high blood pressure. Meanwhile in Australia some 27 percent of children were found to be doing paid work even during school term. A psychologist, who shall be nameless, thought that this was good because paid work was an excellent cure for children suffering from Slothful Child Syndrome. Every day, it seems, a psychiatrist or psychologist discovers some previously unknown syndrome which affects a surprising number of people. 

These psychiatrists and psychologists take their diagnoses very seriously. They seem to be unaware of the number of jokes and witty remarks based on the notion of a syndrome which are in circulation. When the Australian cricketer Shane Warne retired from first class cricket there were many speculations about how well he would deal with retirement. One commentator said that he feared that Shane would soon be suffering from SDS – Spotlight Deprivation Syndrome. Devotees of magazines like Hello and fans who crowd the pavements in order to see their favourite film stars are said to suffer from CWS – Celebrity Worship Syndrome. 

Those of us who haven’t been trained to spot syndromes of a psychiatric nature think that people aren’t forced to behave in certain ways by some syndrome but that they have reasons have reasons for doing what they do. A married woman who over the years has developed a way of running her home which suits her can be greatly distressed when her recently retired husband that she change all her routine in order to fit in with what he wants. A friend of mine, telling me about the imminent retirement of her husband, said, ‘I married him for life but not for lunch.’ I can’t think of any child I’ve known who didn’t suffer from Slothful Child Syndrome. Children rarely regard tidying their bedroom or helping around the house as being as important and interesting as their parents do.  Perhaps psychiatrists and psychologists who discover syndromes are themselves suffering from SIPE – Self Important Professional Expert syndrome.