Have you ever googled things like ‘how to tell if your boyfriend is a Narcissist’ or ‘Common Signs of Sociopathy’? If you haven’t, you’re in the minority – the forums of the interwebs overflow with people trying to work out what the hell issue their significant other has.
Don’t worry, I can help. As an unqualified mental health therapist, I’m regularly required to diagnose various borderline mental health issues in the uncooperative subject (that is, I’ve never encountered a subject yet who agrees that he HAS a mental health condition).
The difficulty is that the exact symptoms (constant uncontrollable urge to whinge, obsession with relocating living room furniture, disinclination to work, ever) aren’t listed. Instead they go and on about things like ‘does he hear voices?’ and ‘has he ever tortured the family cat?’. How unhelpful is that!
I think we need to redefine the concept of ‘nutcase’. What we actually have is three categories of insanity, which basically cover all of us (yes, there is no such thing as ‘sane’).
- Normal. In a world of loonies, normal is the new nutcase. You’d have to be crazy to be sane, right?
- Slightly off. You can tell when someone is one egg short of a carton, because they spend a lot of time wondering what is wrong with the rest of the world, and why Other People make them unhappy.
- Right out to sea. When a person is swept out on the riptide of madness, they cease to be a land-based mammal, with all the sensitivities that entails. They may become a shark, or a sea-monster, or a mermaid. Whatever it is, they don’t belong in suburbia.
It’s really very easy to tell which of the three categories of nutcase your loved one (or acquaintance, work colleague, etc) falls into. The American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is redundant. Just complete this short quiz and receive an instant diagnosis.
Does the subject do weird stuff? Is it..
- weird but quite common
- so weird he/she has to hide it from other people
- so weird he/she has to hide it from him or herself
- so weird that if the police knew about it they would arrest the person
Do you find this weird stuff..
Do the subject’s friends tend to be:
- not here right now, please leave a message after the beep.
- not to be mentioned ever again because of that thing he did 20 years ago, you know what I’m talking about.
Thinking about the subject’s ability to undertake the tasks of everyday life, does he or she..
- Eat KFC once a week.
- Eat KFC every single day.
- Have sex with KFC
- Eat the KFC delivery person for lunch.
- Do the dishes just before the neighbour comes over for coffee.
- Make you do the dishes, you’re uniquely adapted.
- Let the dog do the dishes, he’s uniquely adapted.
- Hide from the dishes in case they are listening.
- Wear his/her clothes inside out.
- Wear the same thing night and day for a week.
- Wear your things whenever you’re out.
- Why wear a thing, you can create amazing body art with blood and Bunnings.
- Earn money for doing something productive.
- Earn potential money.
- Earn money for doing something that gets a lot of hits on Youtube.
- Earn money for NOT doing something.
- Remember that mum and dad still love him or her, even if they don’t understand his/her passion for manga.
- Remember they do have parents, even though you’re not allowed to mention them or send them Christmas cards.
- What parents? My mother is a virgin I’ll have you know.
All you have to do is add up the numbers of the questions you said ‘yes’ to. Anything up to 15 means your subject is normally insane, upwards of 20 means there are roos in the top paddock, and above 30 means, well, it was nice knowing you.