This morning I have discovered S.A.D.D. No, I haven’t invented it, I discovered it. It must have been around for quite a while; but this morning it suddenly became clear to me, what it was: “Senior Attention Deficit Disorder”, short S.A.D.D.
Now, don’t mistake S.A.D.D. for the ordinary garden variety of A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. abbreviations for “Attention Deficit Disorder” or “Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder”. Those are just little boys in need of a spanking. It was so aptly described by the famous German, 19th century child psychologist Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann in his pioneering clinical study on “Jitter Philipp” (see accompanying illustration).
No, S.A.D.D. is serious. It is not about children paying insufficient attention to their homework, au contraire: it is about people not paying sufficient attention to an attention deserving senior!
Onset is typically around age 65 in men after retirement and 55 in women, when the children have left the home. A successful career can be an aggravating factor in men, a dozen children makes things worse for women. S.A.D.D. meets most of the DSM IV criteria for “Major Depressive Episode“. Hypochondriasis may provide secondary gains; for nothing brings the children home faster than the announcement of a serious illness in a parent.
But there is hope! No MAOIs, TCAs, TeCAs, SSRIs or SNRIs are needed Even ECT is unnecessary, although electricity is still required for palliative therapy. No, the prescription is for a blog a week, and more if required. Suddently the patient feels that somebody is listening, even if it is only the monitor screen. Comments are a form of attention and extended blogging can lead to finding peer support groups. Adverse effects are minor; sore fingers and mounting hydro bills among them. But one caveat has to be sounded: excessive blogging in one spouse may lead to S.A.D.D in the other.
Well, now that I have announced my discovery to the world, I can sit back and wait for my call from Stockholm. That should give me the attention I crave!