A Proposal for Inclusion in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
There’s a very specific type of personality disorder that’s yet to be identified. It differs from others in that it is, in reality, an acceptable form of adjustment to modernity. Other disorders are typified by the disorder it introduces, this one is needed for the present order to function, making it unique. Mental disorders are always relative to the state of the culture. In a healthy society, conformist behaviors are a necessity, even virtuous. In an unhealthy society, its obnoxious and offensive. The proposed disorder might be called mediocris hominititis (Normalis Homo Nimis). The description below is from field reports and contain many examples that are present in many, but not all, suffering from MH-NHN.
Classifying this in the next version of the DSM, that is, the DSM-VI, might be a challenge, because it contains elements of delusion, cognitive disruption, fetishistic disorders and dimorphism. All told, it might be easier to bring it under the type A personality disorders. It has a vague relation to Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Most especially, the aspect of SPD typified by
Cognitive and perceptual dysregulation: Odd or unusual thought processes; vague, circumstantial, metaphorical, over-elaborate, or stereotyped thought or speech; odd sensations in various sensory modalities. Unusual beliefs and experiences: Thought content and views of reality that are viewed by others as bizarre or idiosyncratic; unusual experiences of reality
The “others” need not be a universal marker. “bizarre” and terms like this are always relative to the present state of life and cannot be taken, by themselves, as pathological. The key terms are “stereotyped” and “perceptual dysregulation.”
So how can this be identified?
This is the type of person who types “yum” underneath any picture of food someone posts on Facebook. The type that says “thank you for your service” when he meets a military man. Its the type that gets very upset about property values and runs for a position in their homeowners association. He votes in Presidential elections.
The disorder has the dominant symptom of interpreting anything out of the ordinary as a threat. A sufferer might think mashed potatoes is “too spicy.” Its the sort of person the present military requires to function, a mindless conformist. He’s smart enough to do the job, but dumb enough to never ask whether it should be done. What makes this disorder a challenge is that it is so necessary for the present ruling class to function.
This is the disease of the “average” American. He’s a moderate in everything, lest he make enemies. To him, the word “extremist” is the worst of insults, that is, besides “racist.” He gets married at 26 and has, strangely enough, 1.85 kids and has a home in the suburbs. His house is just under 2000 square feet. This he considers the apogee of freedom, which fits into the “perceptual dysregulation” typos. He gets upset when anyone is “too political.” He thinks the government needs to spend more “on education.”
These people are easily frightened. Any crisis that is trumpeted by the media scares them to distraction, but they forget about it when the next crisis rolls around. They believe that the term “success” means making more money, hence the stress on “fetishistic” behaviors. Another example in field reports suggest that a common delusion is the belief that getting bigger homes and more expensive cars are significant markers of success. Another common one is to believe that going to Harvard makes one “smarter” than going to Boston College, also a fetish.
Sufferers go to church not because they care, but its because its what “decent people do.” The great sins are “antisemitism,” racism,” and “cheating on one’s taxes.” They think all religions are the same. They believe in evolution but also believe in God and goes to some church, but the “sign on the door” is not significant. Thus, there is an arbitrariness to this disorder that makes the sufferers unpredictable.
The disorder can get so extreme that these people bet their souls on their personal theological knowledge. They think all “go to heaven” at some point. Their children rebel against this semi-Christianity and toy with atheism just to get their parents angry. It works. The parents rage, though they have a strange inability to explain why.
The typical sufferer might be the man who thinks an action is just because it is legal. The phrase “the rule of law” means something to him because he doesn’t have the wherewithal to question where laws might originate. He thinks there’s an “international community,” though such an object has never been seen by anyone before.
He thinks the major newspapers are the purveyors of truth and have earned their place in the world through “hard work.” He scoffs at anyone who questions the official view of anything – not merely the political. Fetishes such as this abound but they are hard to predict.
They ignore the homeless on the street because they scare him. For men, they seem to act protective for their daughters even though he accidentally lost his virginity at 18. Apparently, she didn’t have a father, a common delusion arising from mediocris hominititis. He doesn’t see the irony. In fact, those suffering from this cannot see irony at all.
The typical sufferer has an office job with a big firm. He’s quite competent and even pleasant. The fetishes take on very specific aspects in American culture, though it is different elsewhere. He makes about $730 a week. He drives a Toyota Camry. He truly believes that the way to get ahead is hard work and therefore, those dominating the society have worked harder than he has. He also, strangely enough, thinks “everyone is equal.” This equality also is an imperceptible object. He takes it on faith.
The typical sufferer is moderately overweight and is often worried about health issues, especially blood pressure.
Musical fetishes are strangely common and uniform. An important symptom is a record collection that contains a large amount of Hootie and the Blowfish. His CD collection almost always contains Van Halen and the afflicted might state that Jimi Hendrix was a “genius,” but doesn’t know why. This is another object he takes on pure faith. Therefore, while some fetishes are unpredictable, the American mediocris hominititis has very specific ones too.
To give another example, the common sufferer is often opposed to illegal immigration but is fast to add that they love legal immigration. They’re viciously against child pornography but are pornography consumers themselves, especially males. His wife was decent looking when they dated but let herself go after marriage. He thinks its his fault. He believes “there’s never a good reason to hit a woman” and thinks he speaks a great moral truth in so doing, often pausing, waiting for accolades. He says things like “marriage is sacred” but is a secular man in general. For Americans, these are common.
Like many with delusional disorders, they have a “magical” view of things. The law is magical to this sort of man. For example, he believes an important change comes over a person when they turn 18. They become an adult, so they’re somehow different. The law has the power to transform people overnight.
Among Americans, reports abound that they are often slow to anger, but saying that “9/11 was an inside job” is a sure way to get their blood boiling. There are many such “trigger phrases” that manifest the illness that might otherwise lay dormant. Obsessions can be found almost always. One is his concern that his penis might be too small. In fact, it’s often preoccupied with it. Thus, the disease has fetishes, delusions and obsessions, making categorization difficult.
Another example is a common refusal to see “class” as an important social category. Unexplained fears are also common. For example, he’s pleasant to non-whites in an exaggerated, artificial way. He secretly fears black males. He tends to scoff at any explanation he can’t follow.
They are almost always under the impression that they live in the most advanced society that ever existed. If pressed, they often point to the internet and smart phones as proof. Thus, the sufferer comes to the conclusion that they are very intelligent personally, and often manifest surface elements of sophistication. They think that, in the “Dark Ages,” people keeled over and died at 45. He reveres the “Bible” when his grandmother is around but only believes the good parts. The Old Testament is to be avoided in general.
In a way, we might envy these people because they have no doubts about life or their world. These people have never suffered from an existential crisis. Such problems are rare among these people. It is very easy to envy these people, so simple and dedicated to what they hear, simultaneously thinking they’re “advanced” at the same time. There’s an innocence about them that might remind one of Downs Syndrome, though without the sweet disposition.
Thus, mediocris hominititis contains elements of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, fetishistic disorders, and all manner of delusional disorders. This is why it might serve to be an important subset of Schizotypal Personality Disorder. Marks of SPD are the following:
The inability to make meaningful friendships as opposed to surface relations only;
The incorrect interpretation of events without foundation;
Thinking, beliefs or mannerisms that have no foundation in reality;
Belief in special powers, such as mental telepathy or superstitions;
Unusual perceptions, such as sensing an absent person’s presence;
Persistent and excessive social anxiety;
Peculiar style of speech, such as vague patterns of speaking, or rambling converse;
Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation;
Inappropriate or constricted affect
The connections here are clear. Therefore, mediocris hominititis may well be categorized as a subtype of SPD, making it a part of the Type A cluster of disorders. While research in MH is only in its infancy as such a subtype, sufficient grant money should accomplish much in fleshing out the problems in the coming years.