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Criteria for Holiday Spirit (DSM, p. 555)

Posted on December 25, 2007 in Festivals Humor? Irony & Sarcasm

A. A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting 12 days beginning on 25 December with a peak on 1 January.

B. During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only jolly) and have been present to a significant degree:

  • Visual hallucinations (e.g. “visions of sugarplums dancing”)
  • Auditory hallucinations (e.g. “reindeer paws”, “jingle bells”, “angels heard on high”, etc.) Should not be confused with department store music
  • Paranoia (e.g. “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”, etc.)
  • Pressure to keep talking while attending office Christmas parties
  • Pressure to keep eating while attending parties/banquets
  • Pressure to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists.
  • Compulsive risk-tasking as in sleigh rides.
  • Compulsive television watching of family Christmas specials (Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) and bowl games
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas while resident in warm climates without any regard for real life tasks such as shoveling snow, breaking ice, thawing out frozen pets, etc.
  • Religiosity.
  • Unrestrained buying sprees

C. The symptoms do not meet criteria for Bipolar Mania or Schizophrenia.

D. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked lack of impairment in usual social activities or relationships with others. Work functionality may be disturbed by the wearing of absurd hats and red & green clothing.

E. The symptoms may be due to or accentuated by the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication, or other treatments).

If symptoms persist after 6 January, suspect Bipolar Disorder.

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