Sunday, February 13, 2005

Eros & Thanatos 

As novelist John Dufresne once said, love warps the mind a little:
Lovesickness might be more than just a poetic fancy, as it can burden the afflicted with genuine mental trauma, a psychological study warned yesterday . . . .

For many centuries, the manias, depressions and obsessions associated with romantic love were considered a genuine state of mind rather than an affectation, British clinical psychologist and author Dr Frank Tallis said.

However, in the past two centuries lovesickness had fallen out of favour as a proper diagnosis, Dr Tallis said in a report for The Psychologist magazine, the official publication of the British Psychological Society . . . .

"Many people are referred for help who cannot cope with the intensity of love, have been destabilised by falling in love, or who suffer on account of their love being unrequited."

Symptoms can include mania, such as elevated moods and inflated self-esteem, depression, or obsessive compulsive disorder, such as repeatedly checking for emails. The most serious cases could lead to suicide, the article said.
We hope to see lovesickness added to the DSM sooner rather than later. By this time tomorrow, doctors may be coping with a sudden influx of new patients:
An Oregon man who recently moved from Northern California has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting women and children on the Internet for a Valentine's Day mass suicide on the lawn of his parents' home . . . .

So far, sheriff's investigators have identified several individuals who planned to travel to Klamath Falls for the mass suicide. Krein solicited as many as 32 people for the event, authorities said. Investigators at the sheriff's department have subpoenaed chat room conversations and user names from Yahoo and say they are racing the clock to identify as many people as possible before Monday. The chat room was online for several months and Montenaro said he did not know how many people had planned to travel to Oregon to commit suicide.

| | Technorati Links | to Del.icio.us