Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A Knowledge is Necessity exclusive.
In a surprise move expected to be announced shortly, the American Psychiatric Association's Task Force responsible for overseeing the revision of the DSM - psychiatry's diagnostic bible - has come up with the new diagnosis of "Asshole."
Unlike other disorders, episodes, types, and specifiers listed in the DSM, the diagnosis of Asshole fails to mention any symptoms. Nor does it offer a description of the illness.
"Let's put it this way," said E Pontius Paella MD, director of the Darwin Awards Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins and member of the working group that came up with the new diagnosis, "you know one when you see one."
The new diagnosis is the result of heated discussion throughout the Task Force's many working groups, in particular the one responsible for updating the bipolar diagnosis. According to bipolar group member S Belinda Humphries MD of the University of Northern South Dakota, speaking strictly off the record: "We were sick of hearing from our bipolar patients about the bad rap they were getting as a result of Assholes who had mistakenly been diagnosed as bipolar."
Leading bipolar patient advocate Phil Toogood was ecstatic over the news. "It's about time," he commented. "Since the dawn of history we've been putting up with their shit. Every time someone does some asshole thing, people automatically assume the jerk must be bipolar. Maybe now the public won't confuse us."
It isn't just bipolars. Reports Charles Manson from his prison cell: "For years, assholes have been giving us sociopaths a bad name."
The illness is considered chronic and untreatable. When asked to give an example, Dr Paella commented, "That's easy. Rush Limbaugh. Say no more." Dr Paella did add that Assholes can go on to lead productive lives. "Look at all those idiot commentators on Fox News," he observed. "See, there is hope."
When advised that not every Asshole can aspire to a position on Fox News, Dr Paella replied: "No problem. They can always become antipsychiatry bloggers."
The new diagnosis of Asshole is expected to become official in 2012, when the American Psychiatric Association is scheduled to publish the fifth edition of the DSM.