Tag Archives: paranoia

Tiny Observations: Adult Concerns

I remember as a child desperately wanting to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos when it came on, but it conflicted with the evening’s weather report on the local news channel.

And if there was one thing my parents could not miss, it was the weather report.

I didn’t get it as a child and I still don’t.

I mean, yes, I do understand the importance of being ready for hazardous driving conditions in the winter. And, in the event of some kind of outing, I understand obsessing about the rain that threatens to derail the entire family reunion’s three-legged sprint race. On a very base level, I get it.

I guess you would have to know my family to really get how confusing this is for me, though. We so very rarely went anywhere where the weather would make or break the event. We rarely went anywhere at all. We’ve never been an outside family. Day-long beach trips were non-existant, parks weren’t frequented, yard work was rarely done. Yet, the weather had to be watched every night or…I don’t know. Think of something terribly tragic and pretend that that happened to me as a child every time they missed the weather report

~I’ll give you time to think of a tragedy~

Yeah. I know, right? No wonder I’m so messed up

I told you that to tell you this:

I was walking into work this morning and literally everyone was carrying an umbrella. Looking up into the sky, I noticed that it was a tad bit cloudy, but nothing too ominous. Turns out, get out of work around 4:45 and, it’s raining. Do all these people obsessively watch the weather, too? Or are they just prepared for whatever weather turns up and I simply don’t notice their constant umbrella companions?

When will I start to become concerned about adult things? Weather, dinner, the dryness of the newspaper, how thick a toenail has to be before some kind of specialist should be called? We went out to Olive Garden for a work lunch and I had barely anything to contribute to the conversations. First and foremost, I don’t have children or grandchildren or nieces or even a little baby sibling, so there goes any chance of saying anything there. But that’s expected with a bunch of middle-aged women.

It’s the other stuff. It’s their yearly plans-of-action during Black Friday where they do nine straight hours of shopping. It’s the divorces of one person or another, every time acting as if this one is as novel an idea as women wearing pants in the 1930s. Checking the weather, checking the obituaries, worrying over a theme for the new half bath. When will I have more to contribute than, “Hey, speaking of Wal-Mart – did you know that they sell caskets in their online store?”

Is there a certain point that you come to when – BAM – all of a sudden you start concerning yourself with all of this? Is it a doom faced by engaged couples?

Or do you already worry about this stuff, guys?

Am I alone in my lack of want or need to watch the weather report in the evening?

That’s a scary thought

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I Think I Have Cornu Cutaneum

In which you grow a horn, not like a goat, but more like a rhinoceros 

Symptoms:
-itching                         -skin growths

-tenderness                        -warts
-skin discoloration        -horn

Doesn’t it always happen at the worst time? Your big job interview. The crucial first date with that cute girl from the gym. That indictment hearing for massive corporate fraud. You think you’ve got everything under control: the right suit, reservations at a trendy Thai restaurant, falsified expense accounts. Then you look in the mirror on the big day and – boom – you’ve got a horn on your face

Since horns can sometimes grow to several inches in length, they’re pretty hard to cover up. You can try to explain that it’s just a hard, dense, pointy overgrowth of keratin (the same material found in your hair and nails), probably the result of a minor tumor from being in the sun too long, but what does it matter? A horn is a horn

While you can grow a horn anywhere on your body, they tend to grow more often on the face and hands. The tumors that cause these horns are usually benign, but not always. So while the horn is not technically a health risk, it may speak of a bigger problem. The horn is technically dead material, so it can be easily shaved off by a sterile razor blade, but depending on the type of tumor at the base of the horn, further treatment may be required (radiation, chemotherapy, surgery)

To prevent horn growth, stay out of the sun. Use lots of sunscreen. Keep away from radiation. If you notice any strange growths or discoloration of the skin, have them looked at by a dermatologist or a zoologist

The pictures of people with actual horns were horrific, so I chose a more majestic horned creature instead

OH. MAH. GAWD

I have Cornu Cutaneum

Or maybe it’s just one massive zit…

Nope. Definitely Cornu Cutaneum

 

***Disease breakdown and general humor care of Dennis DiClaudio’s The Hypochondriac’s Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have

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I Think I Have Hyperexplexia

Because everything, everywhere, is always shocking

Quiz Yourself:
-Are you easily startled? Most definitely
-Do loud noises cause you to recoil more than they should?
 Loud noises, soft noises, simple touches – I’m a complete mess
-Do your muscles ever clench so tightly that you become all but paralyzed?
Yessir
-What was that noise?
AHHHHHH! Don’t scare me like that!

A sudden loud noise, someone jumping out at you, a polar bear falling through the ceiling and into your living room – all of these things are likely to startle you. And your blood pressure shoots up, you scream, “Ah! A polar bear!” These are all very natural responses to unexpected and irregular stimuli.

But what if your reaction to unexpected and irregular stimuli was a little more…exaggerated? What if every time a door slammed shut, you jumped into the air and jerked your limbs wildly? What if every time the salesman at the clothing store appeared from behind a rack of coats to wish you happy shopping, you screamed bloody murder? What if every time your wife reached out to lovingly touch your shoulder, you froze stiff as a board and tipped over like a falling redwood?

That would be hyperexplexia. And for people who suffer from it, even the smallest of shocks, the lightest of touches will cause an incredibly overblown reaction. In rare cases, the stimulus will cause your muscles to clench up so tightly that you can’t move. You can’t balance yourself. And then comes the slightest breeze and…timber!

Hyperexplexia is a genetic neurological condition, which means that when you hear a door slam, even your DNA gets scared. There is no cure for it, but anti-anxiety and anti-spastic medications may be prescribed to make symptoms more tolerable. And you should probably avoid places like Count Dracula’s Bloody Hellhouse of Horror and Freakatorium

The Witch: A fellow Hyperexplexia sufferer

OH. MAH. GAWD

I have Hyperexplexia

Or maybe…well. Umm. It could be that…erm

You know what? This one is actually plausible. I might really have this.

Fuck.

 

**Disease breakdown and general humor care of Dennis DiClaudio’s The Paranoid’s Pocket Guide to Mental Disorders You Can Just Feel Coming On

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Word of the Day: AMENEUROSIS

ameneurosis: n. the half-forlorn, half-escapist ache of a train whistle calling in the distance at night

Example: I get this intense feeling of ameneurosis every single time I listen to The Sundays’ “Wild Horses.”   

*****

Note to self: It might not be the best idea to take your dog for a walk in the dark after watching two horror/suspence movies about people being abducted and stuck in mazes, traps, and/or rooms where they are systematically killed off one by one.

That being said, I did enjoy watching Cube and (to some extent) Breathing Room. Technically, I should be going to bed right about now, but I think I’m going to go torture and scare the shit out of myself by watching House of 9. Because I hate houses. As if being stuck in a maze of booby-trapped cubes isn’t bad enough, they have to make a movie where people are stuck in a house. Worst nightmare ever

Nightmare I have most nights

Oh well. Beats the hell out of what I dreamt last night

**Edit to Add: What is it about these movie being exactly and hour and a half long? Each one of them is exactly 90 minutes. Paranooooia

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I Think I Have Encephalitis

In which your brain swells up inside your skull

Symptoms

-fever                                –disorientation
headache                    -seizures
loss of appetite         -hearing loss
fatigue                           -hallucinations
lethargy                        -double vision
nausea                          –memory loss
sensitivity to light   –confusion

Have you ever bashed your foot so bad that the skin beneath your ankle grew taut over blood-swelled muscle tissue and you could feel its flesh pressing tightly against the fabric of your shoe? Well, imagine that your foot is your brain and you shoe is your skull. That’s encephalitis

It is an inflammation of the brain. Your brain literally swells up inside your head and it occurs when a virus or bacterial infection in your body spreads to your brain. If you get a bad case of it, the likelihood that you will die is…well, likely. If you do not in fact die, it is possible that you will have lasting brain damage from the pressure of your brain pushing against your skull. And if THAT doesn’t happen, you also have the possibility of getting a neurological disorder (like akinetic mutism). If none of that happens, you will recover. Congratulations

There is really no way of preventing encephalitis except to not contract any of the sicknesses that cause it. Those include but are no limited to the flu, mono, measles, mumps, shingles, whooping cough, herpes simplex, HIV/AIDS, chicken pox, West Nile virus, hepatitis,  hypoglycemia, ebola, Buggy Creek Virus, and Hemagglutinating Virus of Japan…you know, just to name a few. If you manage to do that, you will not contract encephalitis.

OH. MAH. GAWD

I have encephalitis

Or maybe I just drank way too much over the weekend and conveniently forgot to 1) sleep, 2) drink water, 3) eat food, 4) pop some Tylenol, 5) take care of myself at all

….nope. Definitely encephalitis

 

*Disease break-down and general humor care of Dennis Diclaudio’s The Hypochondriac\’s Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have

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I Think I Have Fatal Familial Insomnia

In which you never sleep again

Symptoms:
-insomnia                 -agitation
-dementia                   -hallucinations
-numbness              -skin discoloration
-lack of tears              -phobias
-panic attacks       -incontinence
-loss of speech          -loss of motor skills

Fatal Familial insomnia is a prion disease, related to Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, in which rogue proteins turn your brain into a sponge. However, in this case, the part of your brain that is affected is the thalamus, which controls your ability to sleep. You actually lose the ability to sleep, and since your body cannot function without sleep, it starts to fall apart.

You will definitely die, most likely within a year of the onset of symptoms. On the bright side, since you won’t be sleeping through most of that year, it will feel like eternity.

During the first few months, you will experience some insomnia along with panic attacks and strange phobias, such as being afraid of not being able to fall asleep (actually, that’s not so strange, I guess). Then come the hallucinations: Perhaps you’ll see anthropomorphic mice climbing out of the walls to mock you in their nightcaps and dressing gowns. After that comes total insomnia. One day, you wake up, and that’s the last time you ever do that. Your body begins to wither; your brain becomes so exhausted that you slip into total dementia, wandering around your house in a half-dream state, swatting at buzzing bottle-fly alarm clocks that don’t exist. Then you slip into a coma. And then you die. Luckily, by this point, death is probably welcomed.

There is no cure for this. Even sleeping pills don’t work. Doctors think gene-therepy might work, but until that is available for the public to take advantage of, you are up a creek without a paddle.

Since it’s a disease that is inherited, the only way to prevent getting Fatal Familial insomnia is to try not to be related to any relatives who might have it. Good luck with that.

OH. MAH. GAWD

I have Fatal Familial Insomnia

Or maybe it’s the fact that I got up at 1pm today and I’m trying to force myself to sleep only 11 hours later in order for me to get some decent sleep before having to get up at 7am tomorrow morning for work…

Nope. Definitely Fatal Familial Insomnia

 

**Disease break-down and general humor care of Dennis Diclaudio’s The Hypochondriac\’s Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have

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I Think I Have Capgrass Syndrome

Because for all you know, your mother could secretly be a robot

Quiz yourself:
– Do you believe somebody close to you has been replaced by an imposter? Well, now that you mention it…
– How about an alien? That’s entirely possible
– A robot? Oh. That’s a terrifying thought
– A shape-shifting wizard? You really think they exist?
– Can you really tell the difference? Really? No. No, I couldn’t tell the difference. Oh, my God!

Should you find yourself coming down with Capgrass Syndrome, you might begin to suspect that your spouse is an imposter, someone who looks exactly like your wife or husband but is actually just pretending. Alternately, you might become convinced that your child is an alien shape-shifter just waiting to catch you off-guard so it can suck your memory out through your face. Or it could be your dog. Two words: “robot dog.” Think about it

In many cases, the victim of Capgrass Syndrome may simply accept the imposter’s presence. Other times, the perceived switch causes considerable problems. If you’re seriously convinced that somebody took your loved one and replaced him or her with an automated diesel-powered Simubot 3000, you might decide to crack open that Simubot with a kitchen knife and pull out its clockwork gears. Simubots can be put back together; husbands and wives, as a rule, cannot.

It can be brought on by a stroke, drug overdose, blunt trauma to the head, or other events that interfere with emotional exchange mechanisms in the brain. In some cases, it will go away on its own (the brain establishes new connections, or you decide you like the impostor better). Cognitive behavior therapy might help, but if that fails, a strong dose of anti-psychotic meds or a stint with electroconvulsive therapy might be just the ticket to curing Capgrass Syndrome.

The Slitheens - Alien imposters unmasked

OH. MAH. GAWD.

I have Capgrass Syndrome

Or maybe I’ve just been watching way too much Doctor Who. You must admit, with the amount of alien imposters, robot people, Dalek attacks (they’re never going to fucking die, man), and so on and so forth, it’s hard not to be a little bit paranoid about the creepy monotony of day to day life.

….nope. Definitely Capgrass Syndrome

And the first person we’re taking a knife to is Ann Coulter. Tell me you don’t see the similarities between her and the Slitheen. Back to Raxacoricofallapatorian with you, Ann. Leave us be!

 
**Disease break-down and general humor care of Dennis Diclaudio’s The Paranoid\’s Pocket Guide to Mental Disorders You Can Just Feel Coming On

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