Oh, boy. How will we ever identify the world’s cornucopia of mental illnesses when we run out of acronyms?
A ridiculously poignant article out of Australia discusses a theory currently under development regarding women and their anxieties revolving around dating and new relationships. MFDA, which stands for “Modern Female Dating Anxiety,” was first coined by Ryan and Jessica Cassaday, who are “life coaches.” The two penned the ever-popular publication, Stop Wondering If You’ll Ever Meet Him. The pair claim that this epidemic (or worse, the word of the week: pandemic!) is centered around females and exhibits symptoms like sweaty palms, shallow breathing and obsessive behavior.
Uh, newsflash, “life crotches”? It sounds to me like a good, old-fashioned anxiety attack. Why label it otherwise? Why begin blowing it completely out of proportion by calling it a “mood disorder”? Should I start calling PMS “MMLoAD”, or “monthly mental leave of absence disorder”? (Sidenote: MMLoAD is actually pretty entertaining… I think I’m going to start using it. “Honey, could you please do the dishes tonight? I’m suffering from lumbago and mmload this week.”) What about erectile dysfunction? Should we tie that into a more scientific, psychobabble-friendly phrase to sound more intelligent than we really are?
I think it’s really kind of asinine that anything even remotely identifiable as a mass-experienced problem, such as generalized anxiety, has to culminate under a stupid “disorder” name, only to create more drama around the issue itself. Anxiety is anxiety, however you dice it. BPD is BPD. AIDS is AIDS. We don’t need seventeen different diagnosable sub-cultures under each master disorder.
The Cassidays pose these questions to quiz yourself as to whether or not you suffer from MFDA:
* Do you feel apprehensive or uneasy before a date? [Who doesn't?]
* Do you constantly wonder how he feels about you? [This is laughable.]
* Are you uncomfortable with the ambiguous dating process? [Uh, isn't all dating rather ambiguous?]
* Do you feel very close to men you date only once or twice, but barely know? [It's called "Fatal Attraction". Check it out.]
* When you’re getting ready for a date do you experience an increased pulse rate, butterflies or sweaty palms? [Aren't butterflies and excitement part of what makes the dating game relatively fun?]
* Do you worry that you’ll never meet “The One”?
If you answer “yes” to all any of these questions, you must have MFDA. I highly recommend you speak with your physician to find out what drugs can treat this disorder. Really. Because these have to be some really good drugs and I’d like you to share. And by “share”, I mean with me.
I could think of a million things to go along with the letters MFDA… But none of them are as utterly ridiculous as this.