Post 26 — On A Lighter Note: Explosive Abbreviations

This is a post I submitted to a parenting site that bills itself as a publication of serious, thought-provoking material. I like the site (that I began reading many years ago in magazine format), but today find it top-heavy with no-holds-barred hyper-emotion, tearful confession, and lots of downright misery. If a 14-year-old girl morphed into an educated, intelligent mother, she would be this site. My own life is hyper-realist and overemotional enough: I’m not really drawn to article-after-article of the same. I’m guilty, as we all are, of using a blog as a conduit for personal agony, but I can’t read entire issues, ad infinitum, of women’s wailing misery. Yikes.

That said, the site put out a call for ‘humour’, so I submitted this [admittedly] dry piece. It was rejected, and I forgot about it. I came across it in my Word documents and decided to throw it onto my blog. Please let me know if it elicits a chuckle or even a smirk. Certainly contact me if you explode with laughter!

Explosive Abbreviations

So it turns out I’m a terrorist.

I only just discovered today, so I’m still settling into the idea. I don’t look any different from yesterday, and I’m not doing anything new. And if you looked at my computer hard drive you wouldn’t find anything particularly anti-social or violent.

Mind you, a few years ago we renovated, and for some months I watched a lot of YouTube videos that included nails, screws, metal enclosures, and electric drills. And, come to think of it, many of my original blog illustrations depict certain domestic turbulence…so perhaps I’m wrong and they’re right?

They say I’ve produced an IED.

I’m a news hound, so I know that an IED is an Improvised Explosive Device; a type of homemade bomb designed to be made cheaply, easily, and to do as much harm as possible.

Whoops! That’s not the International News section I’m reading; it’s from the Health section! And that’s NOT an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), but Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) from the newest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

This new IED has been added to the other alphabet soup of Symptoms Made Into Brain Pathologies (SMIBP) for behavior in kids. You probably already know Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), which brilliantly describes the behavior of a kid who — you guessed it — opposes and defies people a lot. Clever use of jargon…

The psychiatrists who write each edition of the DSM suffer from Acute Addiction to the Creation of Disorders from Symptomatic Behaviour (AACDSB) and Insubstantive Abbreviation Syndrome (IAS). They use jargon in the place of evidence.

The vast majority of health issues located above the chin aren’t understood at all by anyone – not by the psychiatrists who do not actually study the brain at all (otherwise known as Emperors Without Clothes, or EWC); not by the pharma manufacturers who profit from chemical cocktails (individually known by their NYSE and NASDAQ stock abbreviations); and not by us Parent Dupes (PD). In fact, neurology is the only field of expertise getting near actual, evidence-based knowledge about mental health, but we’re all steered, like cattle, into the offices of psychiatrists!

I shouldn’t be surprised. Most health care professionals come locked and loaded with a string of abbreviations after their names. One time I took the time to Google a medical professional’s credentials because they looked so obscure: some of the abbreviations refer to one-day seminars! Maybe enough is enough with the multi-abbreviations?

Now, I’ve seen a few films of the Bourne Identity movie franchise. If I suffered from Paranoid Personality Disorder (PPD) I might imagine secret links between psychiatry, the global pharmaceutical industry, and the Military-Industrial Complex that resulted in my child and a bomb sharing an identical abbreviation. I may listen for footsteps the next time I’m in an underground parking lot.

So, since the publication of the DSM-5, my explosive child is newly an explosive IED. Previously, he might have been considered to be symptomatic for Conduct Disorder (CD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and/or ODD. I’m happier with my IED because it’s not just an Alpha-BitsTM cereal of behavior symptoms but something more solid, dynamic, and multifunctional.

I hope my little IED doesn’t grow up to build IEDs, but if he did I would hire a lawyer who would be trained to place the blame for his IED squarely on his IED. And since I’m a woman who has built an IED and is raising an IED, maybe my additional activities make me more employable than before. I’ll add my IED to my LinkedIn profile.

Finally, I’d like parents to know that I am shopping three new children’s books to agents and publishers: First is my Junior DSM-5: A Child’s Garden of Disorders. I think it would be fun for middle-graders to diagnose each other at sleepovers or in the gym changing room, and also to get a “heads-up”, so to speak, on a lifetime of diagnoses. After all, lots of diagnoses do come with free, brightly packaged pharmaceuticals, and that’s always fun. I know I enjoy watching the animated, non-threatening, cartoon drug ads that run on every major American network and turn dangerous chemicals into brightly coloured balloons and flowers.

Next will be my beginner reader picture books: The Little IED That Could; and A is for Antidepressant: A Kid’s PharmAlphabet. I hope you’ll pick them up for your kids when they’re published. I fear the alphabet book may suffer sluggish sales due to common side effects such as slowed thought and dampened emotions; but the IED book is guaranteed to fly off the shelves.




4 thoughts on “Post 26 — On A Lighter Note: Explosive Abbreviations

  1. Evie

    By all means, start at least one of those books. (Then finish it, after you write the middle part.) If there’s enough home truth in it, it should catch on among adults.

  2. Liz Sydney Post author

    Evie, So happy to have you visit my blog. On that kid’s book: I should have titled it, ‘A is for AntiDep and Z is for Zoloft’. I must have missed my meds that day 😀


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