“I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell” — a DSM for bloggers
posted by Kaimipono D. Wenger
I’ve been a regular blogger for several years, I think that by now I’ve got a relatively decent feel for some of the many disorders that manifest in the blogosphere. This post attempts to collect and classify a few of the more salient mental blog disorders — a DSM of the blogosphere, so to speak.
Bipolar / manic-depressive. This is the blogger who posts five items and changes his template three times in four hours, then neglects his blog completely for a week and a half. Rinse and repeat.
Schizophrenic. This blogger-commenter maintains multiple personalities in different venues: When commenting at Volokh, he’s a vocal liberal; when commenting at Leiter, he’s a hardline libertarian. (Variation: This diagnosis also applies to someone who is not just a commenter but blogs at various blogs himself, and who displays multiple blogging personalities across them).
Passive Aggressive. “Dan, I doubt you’ll respond to this post, but I think that ____. ” Then, get mad when Dan doesn’t respond.
Tourette’s. This is the blogger who drops unnecessary bursts of profanity into otherwise innocuous posts. No shit, Sherlock.
OCD. I must check my blog. I must moderate comments. I must clean out the spam folder. In ten minutes, I will do this all again.
ADD/ADHD. This blogger writes several posts per day. None of them are more than a few lines long; none of them contain more than half of one coherent . . .
Blog bulimic. Blog blog blog blog blog. Delete delete delete delete delete.
Sociopath. Doesn’t comply with social norms; deceitful; aggressive; lack of remorse — and all those terms really out of the (real) DSM! Clearly, this is the category for comment trolls.
Delusional. Bloggers who exhibit any of the following symptoms: Belief that blogging counts as actual scholarship; belief that blogging makes them sexy or desirable; belief that Glenn Reynolds actually reads their blog; belief that blogging is an acceptable substitute for a social life. Surefire diagnosis: Bloggers observed making repeated, insistent statements that “blogging is not a waste of time.”
This concludes this brief tour through the blogosphere DSM. And as for self-diagnosis . . . well, I’ll take the Fifth on that one. Besides, I didn’t see any category for “all of the above.”
First, this list is not exhaustive. Remember, Wenger’s Law: “The number of blog mental disorders is roughly equivalent to the number of bloggers.”
Second, this information should not be viewed as a diagnosis in anyone’s particular case. (Except for you, Dave Hoffman!) I’m not a psychiatrist, in blog-land or otherwise, and I can’t really diagnose anyone.
But I will say that, if you’ve read this far, you probably need therapy.