Gregor likes his shrink, most of the time. However, sometimes his shrink just goes too far. When this happens, Gregor gives him a good spanking.
This is a spank day for Gregor’s shrink.
Gregor thinks that shrinks create too many “syndromes” and “obias” for the general good of the population. He’s very sorry that his own shrink partakes in this kind of ritual, which is probably its own syndrome. So, Gregor would like you to know about some of these excesses of the shrink-mind. He would like you to talk to any shrink you can find and make a plea for simplification.
Gregor thinks these syndromes, disorders and phobias are more complicated than a toaster. He wonders if they are reality-based. He wonders why they have been sliced so precisely from the mental pie. Gregor has doubts about the DSM.
Mythomania. This is the term used by shrinks and only shrinks. It really means nothing more than a pathological liar. In other words, a person who lies about everything for no reason at all. Now, we all know someone like that, right? So, why the “mania?” Keep it simple. Call it what it is. Besides, since when is “myth” and “lie” the same thing? Big spank for this one.
Somatoparaphrenia. It’s a delusion in which the sufferer denies ownership of some part of his or her body. Maybe it’s an arm, leg, or a larger part of the body. Could be a combination. The bottom line is that the sufferer believes something like, “This (insert body part) doesn’t belong to me! It isn’t mine!” Gregor has had these same feelings, usually about his head. He just calls it Alien Head Syndrome.
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Micropsia). This is one of Gregor’s favorites, so he chooses to spank lightly. It’s a legacy from the baby-boomer, drug-dropping generation. Hint: Think of Jefferson Airplane and White Rabbit. Yep, that’s it. Time, space, and everything else goes tiny, shrunken and distorted, even without the drugs. Scary? Maybe not. Gregor thinks of this syndrome as a flash-back.
Foreign Accent Syndrome. OK, try to follow this one, eh? You suddenly develop a foreign accent. You have no idea how to speak the foreign language, but you have the perfect accent. Sounds like something out of Hollywood to Gregor. Rare, but it happens. Gregor would like to try this out the next time he travels to Mississippi.
Genital Retraction Syndrome. Gregor doesn’t even like to think about this one. The sufferer believes that his or her genitals are retracting and will soon disappear. Every culture seems to fall prey to this one. There have even been cases of mass hysteria in Asia, Europe and Africa. This one is so prevalent that it appears in the DSM, the holy book for all shrinks. Gregor doesn’t want to say more about this one.
Paris Syndrome. Visit Paris and this might happen to you. It involves delusional states, paranoia, and hallucinations while visiting the City of Lights. Some sufferers come down with a profound sense of losing themselves when confronted by rude waiters. Others sweat profusely, get dizzy, and develop a rapid heart beat. Relief is usually at hand as soon as Paris is behind. Gregor thinks this one is swamp gas since he liked Paris very much.
Stendhal Syndrome. This one is also called “hyperkulturemia,” which is a word only a shrink could invent. Check this out. It only happens when you are viewing beautiful artwork or something equally beautiful. Your heart begins to race, you sweat, you get dizzy, you get confused, you may hallucinate and you might faint. Geez. Stay away from those art galleries, says Gregor.
Jerusalem Syndrome. So, you’re doing just fine. You travel to Jerusalem. Suddenly, you develop obsessive ideas, fall into some psychotic state, develop delusions, perhaps hallucinations. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian, Muslim or Jew. You get it anyway. Visit Jerusalem and freak out. Shrinks like this one so much they have given it three different “types” to sort it all out for the rest of us. Gregor wonders.
Capgras Delusion. Imagine this. You think your spouse, best friend, your sibling or someone else close to you is an imposter. Some shrinks call it a delusion, others a syndrome. When it happens, shrinks agree that the problem runs much deeper than the delusion. Gregor agrees.
Fregoli Delusion. Gregor likes this one. Imagine that you believe a bunch of different people are actually the same person in disguise. Even shrinks will tell you this one is rare. Gregor disagrees. Gregor sees disguised people all around him, along with his alien head and an intense fear of art.
Reduplicative Paramnesia. This one is troublesome. Imagine that your favorite coffee hangout actually exists in two places at the same time. What if it’s your own house? Your own bathroom? Urg. Gregor has heard of quantum entanglement. Is this the same thing on a larger scale? This goodie sometimes happens after a brain injury. Gregor’s self-lobotomy failed. Is there a connection?
Gregor lives here.