November 12, 2007

Does Fear of Automatic Flushing Toilets Qualify as a Psychiatric Diagnosis?

The New York Times today has an interesting story on young children's fear of automatic flushing toilets. I certainly understand their fears. My daughter Rose was terrified of baths until her dad taught her the word "vortex" to explain the water draining out of the tub.

Buried in the article in this absurd statement:

Jerilyn Ross, president of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, said that a fear of automatic toilets did not, in itself, meet the criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis. “Anxiety in and of itself is normal and healthy,” she said, “but when anxiety is excessive, irrational, and if it interferes with one’s daily life, then it may be an anxiety disorder, which is something that may need to be treated.”

Surely, some psychiatrists must question the tendency to make more and more human eccentricities and idiosyncracies grounds for psychiatric diagnosis.

3 comments:

slouching mom said...

Heh. My son Jack avoided our downstairs toilet for almost a year because of the violent way it overflowed one day...

It was like a geyser. Good thing it had been recently flushed. ;)

Grandma Mary Joan said...

I am sure if it is had happened to any visitor, they would never have used it either.

cerebralmum said...

There was another post in my feedreader today. I like Mama Lisa's suggestion better than the idea of rushing off to the psychiatrist. She just takes post it notes with her and covers the sensor. Then the toilet flushes when you remove the note instead of automatically. Problem solved.