I saw this item a few days ago but am only now getting around to posting it. I have "sluggish cognitive tempo disorder," you see. I've had it for some time, I think. According to my father, I had it most often during the summer months starting at about my 12th birthday, and the triggering mechanism seems to have been Bermuda grass reaching lengths greater than three or four inches. It may release some as-yet-unknown toxin that causes this.
Actually, my father never used the phrase "sluggish cognitive tempo disorder." He used the much shorter phrase "lazy," sometimes combined with "You're not getting paid unless you cut the grass." But I am sure he was wrong, as were the various employers who at times diagnosed me with the same condition, along with my mother (see: Pig sty, this room looks like a) and sundry other authority figures who simply did not understand the burdens under which I was laboring.
Had I been born today, by the time I reached the age at which most of these different diagnoses took place (it apparently was strongest in years that end in "teen," although I still believe malpractice is involved here), I would have received the help I needed. This thanks to the wonderful members of the American Psychiatric Association, who are considering adding sluggish cognitive tempo disorder to the association's updated standard list of emotional and mental issues, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V, or "five." There is no entry, apparently, for wanting to make your group's official handbook title look like a movie sequel.
But at this rate there may be one someday. The DSM is being revised, and SCTD (as we pros call it) is one of the many possible conditions under consideration to be listed as an actual diagnosed mental problem. There are several, and you may be surprised to learn that many of them deal with sex. Apparently there are many things about sex that trouble people and that they have a difficult time figuring out. I am not sure this is a new development. I would describe some of them, but church members read this blog and so I shall be discreet. I will have to consult the DSM-V when it is published to see if that's unhealthy in some way.
Now, counseling and psychotherapy are valuable professions. If I have a problem in life that I can't figure out how to handle, why not talk to someone who's studied human behavior and who can offer me some guidance I might not be able to get on my own or from people who aren't trained? If the problem stems from some kind of neurochemical imbalance, seeing a professional is even more essential, as there may be prescribed medicines or dietary changes that can help.
But silliness like creating a diagnosable disorder out of a lack of desire to move one's sedentary behind from one's chair to do unpleasant tasks undermines the good the profession can do. How can we take seriously a claim about mental health issues when it's being made by people who label constant whining and griping "negativistic personality disorder," or people who blow up and act like jerks as suffering from "intermittent explosive disorder?"
The chair of the revision committee dismisses claims that some of the conditions under consideration are at best frivolous, or at worst moves to increase the number of reasons a practitioner might have to prescribe costly medication. He says that the revised edition will take into account the many different advances in neuroscience and behavioral science when it's published in 2013.
2013? Sounds like somebody else's cognitive tempo is pretty darn sluggish as well.