If DSM Existed for Animals..

By admin

Natural Mind Retrievers
Saturday, July 16, 2011

My father is a veterinarian who runs his own practice in Pennsylvania. I’m extremely lucky, because whenever my cat, Awol, has any issues, I call him on the phone for advice or carry her reluctant self in the cat carrier to my dad’s clinic.  Recently, I noticed hairless, white patches with red, inflamed bumps on Awol’s belly and legs.  Worried that her skin was under attack by a nasty infection, I hurried her to my dad’s to see what was going on.  My dad examined her for a few minutes, before announcing that she had a bad case of hyper-grooming. 

 Me: “Hyper-grooming, dad? You mean…, my cat is high maintenance?”
             (Damn it, I knew this already. She refuses to eat anything other than Fancy Feast and demands to be brushed 20 times a day.) 
      Dad: “Well, that’s one way of putting it.”
      Me: “So it’s almost like a form of obsessive compulsive disorder?” 
      Dad: “Yes very much so.” 

The Underbelly Fruits of Awol’s Hypergrooming

      I thought about Awol’s hyper-grooming issues and decided that if she were human, she’d be diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and maybe even trichotillomania, which is the obsessive pulling out of hair.  Then she’d probably be prescribed an antidepressant, which is commonly used for treating OCD, and sent home from the doctor’s office to see if  the medication worked.  Of course, Awol’s a cat, so her concerning behavior, though temporarily categorized as hyper-grooming, would undoubtly fade into a “Cats just being cats” explanation.Still, I couldn’t help but wonder about a world where the DSM, the bible for diagnosing psychiatric illnesses, applied not only to humans, but to animals to.  I brainstormed about old pets, current pets, cartoon animals, animals under my father’s care through the years, zoo animals and even famous creatures.  The following list is what I came up with:

      1) ALL DOGS                                                                         
          DIAGNOSIS: Binge Eating Disorder

      2) ALL CATS                                                                           
          DIAGNOSIS: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

      3) SOME CATS                                                                        
           DIAGNOSIS:Antisocial Personality Disorder

      4) PARROTS                                                                                    
          DIAGNOSIS:Multiple Personality Disoder and

      5) HAMSTERS     
          DIAGNOSIS: Bulimia Nervosa

      6) CATS IN HEAT                                                                      
          DIAGNOSIS: Okay, since the new DSMV, which comes out in 2013, made premenstrual dysphoria disorder its own mental illness for females, I’ll dub the Kits-in-Heat as the mental illness equivalent in cats.
       7) MICE AND OTHER RODENTS                                   
           DIAGNOSIS: Chronic Insomnia  ( None of this benign nocturnal crap.)

       8) IGUANAS, GECKOS                     
           DIAGNOSIS: Catatonic Schizophrenia ( They don’t move)
       9)ZOO LEMURS                                                                           
          DIAGNOSIS: Generalized Anxiety Disorder  (Just look at their eyes)
            DIAGNOSIS: Exhibitionism

      11) DOGS IN HEAT                                                                        
            DIAGNOSIS: Classic Frotteurism  (Beware all Legs)
      12) DUCKS MATING                                                                      
            DIAGNOSIS: Sexual Masochism and Sadism ( Ever see ducks going at it? You. Will. Cringe.)
      13) JAWS
            DIAGNOSIS: Antisocial personality disorder/Sociopath

      14) OLD YELLER
            DIAGNOSIS: Intermittent Explosive Disorder.  Okay, fine. It was a boring, physical diagnosis. Sigh. Rabies.          
      15) EEYORE                                                                                 
            DIAGNOSIS: Major Depression

            DIAGNOSIS: All Sociopaths.  ( To make this clear, none of these animals were just big and hungry.)  
      17) ALL SQUIRRELS                                                                        
             DIAGNOSIS: Kleptomania (It’s really a sin how much they steal from the birds.)
             DIAGNOSIS:  Pyromania
       19)  ROADKILL                                                                              
             DIAGNOSIS: Pathological Gambling

       20)  MOST BIRDS                                                                                   
              DIAGNOSIS: Mania ( Talk about “Flight of Ideas”) 
       21) MOST cats                                                                          
             DIAGNOSIS: Delusional Disorder ( Since most have the fixed, false belief that they rule the universe.)
       22) SPEEDY GONZALES                                                                  
             DIAGNOSIS:  Bipolar Disorder ( his unnatural level of speed would qualify as manic, and you only need one manic phase ( or mania like symptoms) to be called Bipolar.) 
       23) BLUE FROM BLUE’S CLUES                                                        
             DIAGNOSIS: Schizoid ( Due to all that eccentricity and magical thinking)
       24) BRIAN GRIFFIN, THE FAMILY GUY DOG                                               
             DIAGNOSIS: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
        25) UNDERDOG                                                                            
              DIAGNOSIS: Schizophrenia ( Due to always speaking in rhymes. See: Clang Associations)
        26) SCOOBY DOO                                                                        
              DIAGNOSIS: Panic Disorder with Phobia

        27) MISTER ED
              DIAGNOSIS: Shared Psychotic Disorder with owner, Wilber Post                                                                                 
        28) LASSIE                                                                                 
              DIAGNOSIS: OMG, There’s NOTHING wrong with Lassie, and if you were expecting to find something here, you’re messed up!
        29) COCKROACHES
              DIAGNOSIS: Adjustment Disorder w/ mixed disturbance of emotion and conduct ( How can they not when everyone is always trying to kill them?)                                                                           
       30) MANY CATS                                                                            
             DIAGNOSIS: Borderline Personality Disorder. ( See Splitting: One minute they love you, the next they want nothing to do with you.
       31) PUPPIES                                                                              
             DIAGNOSIS: Bipolar Disorder( One minute they’re whimpering, and the next minute they’re nonstop wagging tails and licking faces!)
       32)DONALD DUCK                                                                          
            DIAGNOSIS: Exhibitionism ( He only wore pants while swimming.)
       33)WILE E COYOTE                                                                       
            DIAGNOSIS: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( He had to buy everything at the ACME. Also, Conduct Disorder, since he was intentionally cruel to “other” animals. i.e.: The Roadrunner)
       34)PEPE LE PEW                                                                          
            DIAGNOSIS: Histrionic Personality Disorder ( Due to his overly-seductive and flirtatious mannerisms. Highly attention seeking.)
       35) DUMBO                                                                                   
             DIAGNOSIS: Schizoprenia  (Clearly psychotic for thinking he can fly with his ears. Also, Substance Abuser. Note the Pink Elephants on Parade sequence for reference of substance abuse!)

       36) WISHBONE                                                                               
             DIAGNOSIS: Delusional Disorder (A little dog with a big imagination is a NICE way of saying crazy.)
      37) HAM, THE FIRST APE IN SPACE                                                          
            DIAGNOSIS: Narcissistic Personality Disorder ( Obviously, for thinking a big monkey could fly a spaceship.)
     38) FLIPPER                                                                                       
           DIAGNOSIS: Okay, seriously, there’s nothing wrong with Flipper.  Flipper is Lassie with a fin. 
     39) BABE, THE PIG                                                                              
           DIAGNOSIS: Self-defeating Personality Disorder ( Pigs shouldn’t try to be sheepdogs. It’s self-defeating.)
     40)SPUDS MCKENZIE                                                                        
          DIAGNOSIS: Chronic Substance Abuse

     41) THE ROADRUNNER                                                                          
            DIAGNOSIS: Chronic Vocal Tic Disorder   ( Based on Meep, Meep!)

     42) ALVIN THE CHIPMUNK                                                                      
           DIAGNOSIS:  Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder

     43)MARLEY FROM MARLEY AND ME                                                          
          DIAGNOSIS: Impulse Control Disorder

     44)CHESHIRE CAT                                                                                 
          DIAGNOSIS: Sociopath ( He’s very manipulating and messes with Alice’s head. Also has an evil, serial killer grin)
     45)NEVERMORE, THE RAVEN                                                                                     
          DIAGNOSIS: Dysthymia

     46)CHUCK E CHEESE                                                                              
          DIAGNOSIS: Pedophilia ( think MJ in a Rat Suit)
           DIAGNOSIS: Narcissistic Personality Disorder (  Getting cloned like that and all?  The epitome of it!)   
     48) BIGFOOT                                                                                        
           DIAGNOSIS: Avoidant Personality Disorder ( Based on the fact that it makes headlines when someone sees him.)

     49)THE WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING                                                         
          DIAGNOSIS: Psychopath ( Or from the New DSMV: Antisocial with Psychopathic Type.)
     50) THE BIG, BAD WOLF
           DIAGNOSIS:  Most would say Sociopath, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say wrongly accused and an unfortunate victim of name being destiny.

      The moral of the blog is: If you’re looking to label or looking for a label…, you’ll find one. ;)  

      BTW, I told myself I would stop at 50, even though this is really fun to do. If you have any others to add or disagree with one of my diagnoses, please post below!  

     Best, Dr. Eeks 

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