It's Normal To Be Crazy

By Lenore Skenazy

April 12, 2012 4 min read

Did you know that nearly half of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness at some point during their lives? So says the National Institute of Mental Health, adding that many of the problems are mild and temporary.

Tell me about it! Here are just a few of the mild, temporary mental illnesses observed in the course of a day:

Hairanoia: The suspicion that everybody is saying they love your new haircut but secretly laughing at it.

Kinsomnia: The inability to fall asleep once one starts thinking about one's family.

Psyintology: To feel wildly conflicting emotions about Tom Cruise. On the one hand, he's a control freak, a cult member and a nut job. On the other hand, my goodness is he gorgeous. And he was so funny in "Tropic Thunder." All is forgiven, Tom! Or is it? No. Yes! No. Yes!

Seasonings affective disorder: Manifested by the need to — bam! — add more flavor, even if everything is plenty flavorful already.

Hippochondria: The conviction that one's hips look a mile wide in the outfit one stupidly chose to wear today.

Post-traumatic dress disorder: Rage and guilt focused on a bride after she has ordered mauve pouf dresses for her bridesmaids and you are one of them.

Delusions of grandes: Compulsive fantasizing about one's next Starbucks, even while sipping a Frappuccino right now.

Schleptomania: Going from store to store even though you don't really know what you want and are maxed out on your credit cards.

Obsessive-complainer disorder: Manifests itself in singsong statements of fatigue, boredom and the wish to do, eat or be something else. (Also see: "whines," "whining," "whiners" and "children.")

ATMnesia: The inability to remember where you put your bank card moments after you have completed a cash machine transaction.

Bistroller disorder: To experience violent fantasies while being stuck behind someone with a double stroller hogging the whole sidewalk, especially if that someone is on her cell.

Clinical cynical syndrome: To reply to any idea proposed by a thoughtful adult with "Yeah, right" and a snort or with "OK, OK already" and an eye roll. Technically known as "adolescence."

Mallucination: Often triggered by Cinnabon inhalation. Mallucinators see Abercrombie shops and Yankee Candle Co. stores while staring into space.

Duhlirium: The inability to stop responding with the word "duh" when someone is trying to explain something.

Dementionate: Compulsively nice behavior — the lending of money, sharing of fries, remembering of birthdays — sparking waves of unworthiness on the part of the recipient.

Peeromania: The barely suppressed desire to set fire to one's office mate or cubicle buddy.

Gyromania: The need for a gyro right now, even though you brought a sandwich to work and are trying to save money.

Passive-agassive: The compulsion to make rude noises. (See: "boys.")

Festive-aggressive: To insist on wearing a party dress, even to the sandbox. (See: "girls.")

Iraqnophobia: The inability to turn on the TV or radio for fear of becoming seriously depressed.

Iranophobia: See above.

Lenore Skenazy is the author of "Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry)" and "Who's the Blonde That Married What's-His-Name? The Ultimate Tip-of-the-Tongue Test of Everything You Know You Know — But Can't Remember Right Now." To find out more about Lenore Skenazy ([email protected]) and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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