Monday, December 21, 2009

Extreme Christmas Lights Syndrome

An addiction to bright lights in the dark.

In 2004, psychologist John M. Grohol wrote a satirical piece for The Psych Central Report. I ran this last year, and it seems appropriate to excerpt it again:

"It is an age-old question that has haunted people since the first string of lights was strung in the 20th century," Grohol wrote. "Why do some people seem to go a little crazy with the amount of lights and displays they put on their homes and lawns? What makes some people think that this is a good idea? This growing phenomenon has turned into a full-blown behavioral addiction for some."

Indeed it has; one with its very own WebRing. It’s the time of year when afflicted people manifest CLA—Christmas Lights Addiction.

"It is an extreme behavior of an otherwise normal expression of a celebration of the holidays,” Grohol continues. “If you're one of these folks who can't live without their million-light holiday display, seek help. Imagine how much better your gift to the world would be if you donated your electricity costs to a local charity or homeless shelter.

"Leave the holiday lighting spectaculars to Radio City Music Hall or professional displays found in most communities done in formal gardens or the like. Let's try and get back to celebrating Christmas in a way that honors the heart of the tradition without turning it into some sort of glitzy and tacky sideshow of lighting horror.

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Happy New Years to you All!"


Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.

Recovered said...

Now this is at the extreme end of the continuum of medicalisation of human behavior.

There is another syndrome here; the 'Grohol Syndrome' where someone displays addictive and compulsive tendencies to pathologise human behavior. It should be included in DSM V.

And, as a subset of Medical Narcissism one could include Psychological Narcissism.

Or is Dr Grohol simply creating attention getting articles with either fiscal or ego motivation.

Dirk Hanson said...

As I said in the preamble, it is a satire. A spoof, not meant to be taken seriously.

Recovered said...

Yes, I realised that, but I could not help but spoof it back.

Dirk Hanson said...

Then the joke's on me.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

The next step would be for a pharma company to develop a medication for it - the circle would be complete.

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