As the drug companies are running out of real diseases to boost their pharmaceutical sales, they're increasingly inventing new, fictitious diseases in order to scare people into thinking they have some sort of disorder or dysfunction. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is perhaps the best known fictitious disease invented to sell psychotropic drugs, but there are many other made-up diseases such as General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
All this is headed to an obvious conclusion: every quirky or uncomfortable human behavior will soon be labeled a disease, and a medication will be quickly be dispensed to deal with that "disease." Of course, it may take the drug industry years to invent all these diseases, but you can bet they have teams of scientists working on that effort right now.
But why wait? I decided to pitch in and help the drug companies by listing quirky human behaviors that deserve to be called diseases right now! There's hardly a person alive who hasn't exhibited one or more of these behaviors, meaning there's a huge untapped drug market out there for the taking!
So this is my goodwill deed for Big Pharma today: my list of human behaviors that should be diseases, but aren't. So far, at least.
(Note: some of these diseases are considered "real" by organized medicine! See if you can spot them...)
Refrigerator Door Disease (RDD)
This disease is characterized by standing in front of the refrigerator with the door wide open, staring blankly into a collection of fuzzy jars of grape jelly, half-eaten margarine tubs with bread crumbs, and something that used to resemble fresh fruit (but might actually be meatloaf). This disease
strikes only at night, and is accompanied by light sensitivity that makes the refrigerator light seem ten times brighter than normal so that it pierces closed eyelids like the flashlight of God himself.
Language Obfuscation Disorder (LOD)
Striking mostly doctors, surgeons and oncologists, Language Obfuscation Disorder causes its victims to speak in unintelligible medi-babble while imagining their words make perfect sense. People afflicted with this disease literally speak in Greek, substituting normal-sounding English words (like "liver" and "inflamed") with words made of Greek elements ("hepato" and "itis" or just hepatitis
.) Interestingly, two or more victims of LOD seem to be able to understand each other perfectly well, although no one else has any idea what they're saying.
Obsessive Hosiery Dislocation Disorder (OHDD)
OHDD is characterized by a frantic household search for the other sock of any given sock pairs. Victims of this disease, when finding only one sock from a pair, feel the universe has fallen into a state of great imbalance that can only be restored through the recovery of the missing sock. Victims may also become sock-dependent, whereby they repeatedly buy new socks in the hopes that sheer sock volume will make up for the universal imbalance caused by dislocated socks. In advanced stages, this disease causes people to safety-pin their socks together in the wash.
Commerce Anxiety Disorder (CAD)
Characterized by heightened worry over whether your credit card charge will be declined at the cash register, Commerce Anxiety Disorder afflicts primarily people under 35. Victims of CAD frequently experience sweaty palms and heart palpitations at any checkout counter, and they often carry three or four credit cards or debit cards in order to have a backup plan should one piece of plastic fail the transaction.
Repetitive Remote Disorder (RDD)
This devastating disease afflicts mostly males aged 15 - 35 and is characterized by rapid channel surfing of cable television using a remote control device. Victims of RDD can often flip through over 100 channels is less than one minute, spending just slightly over one-half second per channel to evaluate its programming. This near-subliminal exposure to channels of varied television programming can cause long-term damage to the retina and visual recognition system, leaving RDD victims in a permanent zombie-like state where they can no longer recognize anything other than brand logos or sports teams.
Obsessive Wardrobe Change Disorder (OWCD)
This fascinating disease afflicts mostly women and is characterized by the incessant changing of clothing before a planned event (for which the victim
is usually late). OWCD victims have been known to change clothes up to nine times before deciding on something to wear -- which is usually the initial item the victim tried on in the first place. Women with OWCD are often married to men with Repetitive Remote Disorder (RRD), which actually works out nicely because it gives the husband something to do while waiting for the OWCD victim to work out her wardrobe obsession.
Obsessive Disobedience Disorder (ODD)
This disease is characterized by a persistent distrust of authority figures, including schoolteachers, government officials and often law enforcement figures as well. While most normal people have no trouble whatsoever in following orders (even seemingly ridiculous ones) from anyone displaying the symbols of authority, victims of ODD believe they alone have the right to think and make their own decisions. For obvious reasons, ODD people are dangerous to the balance and harmony of society, and they should all be medicated ("treated") as quickly as possible, for their own protection. (Did you guess this one? It's a "real" disorder currently being discussed by those in the psychiatric community!)
Repetitive Pocket Searching Syndrome (RPSS)
This frustrating condition is characterized by repeated searching of one's own pockets following the misplacement of some small item such as car keys. The victim of RPSS frantically and repeatedly searches the pockets of the clothes they are wearing, irrationally hoping that the missing object will somehow appear after the third or fourth search. When this proves futile, the RPSS victim will turn to yesterday's clothes and start searching those pockets. Additionally, pockets of jackets and coats will be desperately searched for the missing item. In extreme cases of RPSS, the person will search the pockets of other peoples' clothing.
Ultraviolet Light Tanning Dependent (UVLTD)
This disease results in an addiction to ultraviolet light, causing victims to repeatedly sunbathe with the same zeal as crack addicts searching for their next fix. UVLTD sufferers feel an obsessive need for sunlight and cannot function without it. Some have even been known to capture sunlight in a syringe and shoot up on the beach. (Did you get this one? According to some in organized medicine, this is a real disease!)
Retarded Gait Disorder (RGD)
Afflicting mostly men, this disease only becomes apparent after a person trips on a crowded sidewalk or curb, then proceeds to act like they actually meant to trip by continuing to walk in retarded-like fashion that somewhat resembles the trip motion itself. It's as if the victim wants the world to think, "I always walk like an idiot. Therefore, I did not trip."
Traffic Light Anticipation Disorder (TLAD)
This condition affects both men and women, usually striking those who drive crappy cars held together by at least six yards of duct tape. Victims of TLAD are mentally incapable of grasping the meaning of red traffic lights. They think red lights indicate the driver should allow their vehicle to slowly creep forward into the intersection, sort of like a green light, but in slow motion. (Author note: I once saw a TLAD person who creeped all the way to the center of the four-way intersection, and then figured, "Heck, I'm half-way, might as well get to the other side at this point..." So he floored it and just continued on.)