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A New Disorder is Born


Fun

Do spouses of golfers never feel estranged from their loved ones leaving them to go to a golf course every weekend? Do they never worry that a romantic affair may spark on the golf course? Do they never complain that their romantic partner plays too much golf? Or what about the investment banker who grinds 60-80 hour weeks and has no time to be with their family? Why do we stigmatize and pathologize certain activities when other similar activities are unquestioned?

Society is in the habit of legislating what we should and should not have fun doing, even when it comes to love and the bedroom. Not so long ago, homosexuality was diagnosed as a pathology. And sodomy laws were and are an attempt to criminalize sex among men. The variation in what constitutes wholesome enjoyment across cultures shows that certain kinds of fun can be deemed pathological, but that these decisions are inherently tied to the local culture and belief system. Labeling certain activities as addictive and potentially pathological is society’s way of marking what it deems to be unacceptable forms of fun.

We live in strange times. Watching TV for almost 30 hours a week in passive lethargy next to family members who barely talk to each other is considered to be socially acceptable. But if you play an interactive game instead of just watch a passive display for that same amount of time, and if you actually talk with people around the world instead of ignoring the people around you, then you may have the chance of developing a psychological disorder. It is ironic that apathy and laziness will never be questioned as psychological disorders, but a bit of passion can get you in deep trouble. Personally, I think apathy and laziness are far bigger problems.

 
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Posted on January 3, 2006 | Comments (44) | TrackBack (0)


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