Everyone’s a Psychologist Today

Please don't bother me now. I'm in the middle of an important psychological experiment.

Please don’t bother me now. I’m in the middle of an important psychological experiment.

Remember when you were a kid and you called someone a moron, idiot or imbecile?

Maybe you don’t have to harken back as far to your childhood. Whatever.

That's a sack of horse hockey if ever I heard it, you moron...

That’s a sack of horse hockey if ever I heard it, you moron…Stay tuned for more of my interview with Mother Theresa.

Maybe kids called you those names (or you still get called those names). Whatever.

The point is that we (and by “we” I mean “I”) thought they were just mean names to call kids that made you (and by “you” I mean “me”) angry.

Only the people in the white lab coats with prescription pads in their pockets knew that these were diagnostic categories for the mentally or intellectually deficient.


The terms aren’t used anymore by mental health professionals, at least not in their work.

Here’s the deal-ee-o. In the early 1900s the terms were developed by psychologist Henry H. Goddard.

Score On Standard IQ Test Insulting But Clinically Appropriate Term For You
0 to 25 Idiot
26 to 50 Moron
51-70 Imbecile

Today, it’s a different world. We know more about psychology–probably because we all had to take a class on it in school.Not that many people knew this “back in the good old days,” when we called each other names for the heck of it, right?

And we (by “we” I may or may not mean “I”) think we’re experts on our own psychoses and the mental imbalances of everyone around us.

How many times do we hear the following terms bandied about in everyday conversation?










*Co-dependent Enabler



*Energy Vampire (well, maybe not this one so much)

But you get the picture.

Who made us the expert on us?

I blame self-help books and Psychology Today, the magazine for unprofessionals in the field of psychology. We read these publications and we (again, may or may not be referring to me) think we know more than we do.

If I read this article, maybe I can become an FBI profiler or at least a better judge of character.

If I read this article, maybe I can become an FBI profiler or at least a better judge of character.

For example, many (and by “many,” I mean “way too many”) people have told me I’m obsessive/compulsive. To the legions who believe that, I have two questions:

1. When did being neat, tidy, organized, on time, clean, having to have straight lines straight, needing to keep the Britta water filter filled to the top all the time, and making sure I have at least three extra of everything in my cupboards “just in case” become a disease?

2. What is the difference between obsessive and compulsive?

If I really was obsessive compulsive, I would already know the difference, wouldn’t I? Ha! Gottcha!

Everyone has quirks in their personality.

Quirks don’t equate to full blown diagnosable, medicatable psychological disturbances.

They’re quirks for goodness sake.

Quirks are “peculiar behavioral habits.” Eccentricities. Traits that make you, well, you.

Your quirks may also drive other people (with their own quirks) bonkers.

If you rearrange those pillows again in descending order according to cushiness, I'm going to scream. Actually I am screaming. Stop it!

If you rearrange those pillows again in descending order according to cushiness, I’m going to scream. Actually I am screaming. Stop it! Why can’t you be normal like me?

Sure, some people have real mental distress and need help. A lot of those people went undiagnosed and didn’t get the help they needed before the mental health revolution.

That’s sad.Β But that doesn’t mean I’m depressed. I’m quirky like that–I’m super sensitive and empathetic. Don’t medicate me, appreciate me!

Oh, and, by the way, “obsessions” are reoccurring and intrusive thoughts while “compulsions” are reoccurring and intrusive actions. And just so you know, I had to look that up.

Makes perfect sense...to me.

Makes perfect sense…to me.


What quirks do you have that others elevate to the status of a mental illness?


~ by Lorna's Voice on August 22, 2014.

31 Responses to “Everyone’s a Psychologist Today”

  1. Yes, I see half a tank and I interpret that as “empty.” My mind works in mysterious ways! But my tank is smaller than yours, I can only go 400+ miles on a tank of gas… πŸ˜‰

  2. Compulsive: filling the gas tank-all the time!!! Your car can go 800 miles on a tank of fuel. πŸ™‚

  3. Ah, yes, dyslexia. How could I forget that one? We all have our crosses to bear, don’t we?

  4. How about compulsive without the obsessive and, oh, AADD–which is why I’m not obsessive!? And number dyslexia. And…I forget

  5. πŸ™‚

  6. Happy to oblige! πŸ™‚

  7. Like “happiness,” “normal” seems to defy definiton. And if you’re slightly bonkers, I’m right there with you, Peter! πŸ™‚

  8. It’s an odd world we live in, isn’t it? 😐

  9. lol, that’s what they all say! lol

  10. Well said! Seems the popular way to feel special is to find yourself a disorder!

  11. I’ve always assumed being slightly “bonkers” as we used to say here, is part of being normal. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have the odd quirk, and there’s this chap I keep meeting in the mirror who seems pretty odd between you and me, but then I also believe it is accepting differences in others which is one of those things which keeps us “normal.” A word I am unable to define.

  12. lol!! Thanks for the laugh πŸ˜‰

  13. Thanks, Izzy! I’m with you all the way (especially because you agreed with me!!!). You enjoy your weekend, too! πŸ™‚ ❀

  14. I happy you enjoyed this, Gayle. And, yes, we throw these terms around all the time, knowing that they mean something real. I can forgive us as kids calling each other morons when we didn’t know they were actual diagnostic categories, but we should be more sensitive today and labelize the begeebers out of everyone!

  15. If your IQ was that low, you wouldn’t be able to figure out how to turn on a computer let alone respond to my zany blog. So I’m glad you’re WAY more than a 25! πŸ™‚

  16. And I bet you can’t got into an animal shelter without bringing home a car full of critters to call you own! You’re sweet, Al. πŸ™‚

  17. That’s okay. Just know what happens on this blog, stays on this blog! πŸ˜‰

  18. Yeah, CDO works for moi. πŸ˜‰ Dat’s all I’m ‘fessing up to. lol

  19. I just have this one itsy bitsy little teeny weeny quirk that keeps me from being perfect. When I go shopping for a particular item, let’s say shampoo, if there is a brand with only one item left on the shelf….I will buy that one. Doesn’t matter if it isn’t the brand I like….I just can’t leave that poor little bottle there all alone when all the other brands have their pals around them for company. This is especially true if it is a product that I’m trying for the first time with no favorite…it helps me make my decision. Got to run….late for my CDO meeting….see ya.

  20. LMAO… Awesome – I am a zero to twenty five. Hell I WISH I was 25!!!

  21. This totally entertained me…and by “me” I mean “me.” :~) I think our need to label and pigeon-hole everything has gotten a little out of hand. (Now that’s an interesting wordage…”pigeon-hole”.) Perhaps there should be a diagnostic term for over-labeling… This was fun, Lorna!

  22. I like everything neat and tidy. I don’t like clutter or tons of things everywhere. I don’t like to touch peoples hands. I don’t know where they’ve had them. I might be a little – something – no label that I can think of that fits. BUT …. why do we label? Is it to make the issue acceptable? Of course, not. People think too much about what to call stuff we do. How about it being just YOU … as you said.
    Nice insigtful and fun post Ms. Lorna. Happy Weekend !!!! ❀

  23. “Don’t medicate me, appreciate me!” Hear! Hear!!!!

  24. I have a major typing disorder–the words are in my head but never make it on the screen or page the way they should. Very annoying!

    Glad you enjoyed it, Gerry!

  25. The best way to smile! Thanks for swinging by and commenting. πŸ™‚

  26. We must be twins separated at birth! πŸ˜‰

  27. Fashion dolts! πŸ˜‰

  28. Family and friends might say my penchant for 4″ heels is abnormal. What do they know.

  29. I am with you on the CDO — or ODC if you are into descending order.

  30. smiling out loud

  31. English language and literature disorder,, still trying to get to grips with both..the last CDO or OCD I had it would not play, kept ejecting them. πŸ˜‰ great read as per usual… πŸ˜‰

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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