A few days back, I was lazily browsing the net – when suddenly I discovered that I have Schizophrenia. No, I did not get a hallucination that my dual monitors suddenly changed into a two headed beast. Nor did I hallucinate about anything else. What happened was that I stumbled upon a page about schizophrenia. To my shock, I had all the symptoms described in that page. Not just me – all the programmers I knew had Schizophrenia as well.
Before continuing, if you don’t know what schizophrenia is, here is a definition from the highest authority(Wikipedia).
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality, most commonly manifesting as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions or disorganized speech and thinking in the context of significant social or occupational dysfunction.
A list of symptoms for schizophrenia is available at the page we talked about. You may want to check it out if you suspect that you have schizophrenia. Or you can read that list here – with my commentary about it. You will be laughing all the way – up to the minute you discover that you have Schizophrenia.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- No I don’t have this. But if I go through this list and finds out I do have schizophrenia, I will begin having this.
- Bizarre behavior
- Does sitting in front of a computer for 15 hours a day count as bizarre behavior? You betcha!
- Irrational statements
- “IE’s ActiveX control ‘XMLHTTP’ and XMLHTTPRequest(W3C Standard) can be used for Ajax Programming“
I don’t think it is irrational – but schizophrenics rarely think their own statements are irrational
- Sleeping excessively or inability to sleep
- Social withdrawal, isolation, and reclusiveness
- The basic traits of a programmer
- Shift in basic personality
- I don’t know whether there was a shift in my personality – I don’t remember a time when I was not into programming
- Unexpected hostility
- Try getting between a programmer and his computer – you will learn the true meaning of hostility.
- Deterioration of social relationships
- What part of “programmer” didn’t you understand?
- Hyperactivity or inactivity — or alternating between the two
- Coding like crazy / waiting to compile. Need I say more?
- Inability to concentrate or to cope with minor problems
- Great – first symptom that is a negative
- Extreme preoccupation with religion or with the occult
- Despite what you might be thinking, Emacs *is* a religion.
- Excessive writing without meaning
- What do you think programming is?
- Once I am on the computer I really don’t care about anything else
- Dropping out of activities — or out of life in general
- Been there, done that
- Decline in academic or athletic interests
- I hated studying – all subjects except computer.
- Forgetting things
- The main reason I love my computer is that it can be used to store information – so that I don’t have to store them in my head.
- Losing possessions
- I rarely lose anything – all the files in my system are indexed – all files are just a ‘locate’ away. Or a beagle search away.
What do you mean “possessions outside the computer”?
- Extreme reactions to criticism
- Have you ever sat in a code review session?
“How dare you call my code inelegant?! Die, fool!”
- Inability to express joy
- Inability to express joy when the unit tests are failing. Or when working with IE(Internet Explorer).
- Inability to cry, or excessive crying
- Excessive crying(or swearing) is another symptom of working with IE
- Inappropriate laughter
- Have you heard geek jokes? We are all about ‘Inappropriate laughter’. For example, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
- Unusual sensitivity to stimuli (noise, light, colours, textures)
- If you are a designer.
- Attempts to escape through frequent moves or hitchhiking trips
- Attempts to escape through the Internet
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Does coffee count?
- I have not fainted while programming yet – but I came very close while reading The Daily WTF
- Strange posturing
- Programmers have only one posture – L with a downward bend – you decide wether its good or bad.
- Refusal to touch persons or objects; wearing gloves, etc.
- If you are a programmer, other persons refuse to touch you. The fact that you have not bathed in the last three days might explain that.
- Shaving head or body hair
- No comments
- Cutting oneself; threats of self-mutilation
- I have threaten to mutilate my computer – with an ax. I was using Windows back then.
- Staring without blinking — or blinking incessantly
- Really – this is too easy.
- Flat, reptile-like gaze
- Yeah – got that too. Try staring at a monitor for 15 hours a day.
- Rigid stubbornness
- “VI is the best editor – and nothing you say will change my mind”
- Sensitivity and irritability when touched by others.
- What?! People are not irritated when touched by others? That’s news to me.
- Peculiar use of words or odd language structures
- Have you heard two programmers talking? There is a reason behind the saying ‘its all geek to me’. You may have heard it as ‘Greek to me’ – but that is the old saying. Its updated – the new saying is ‘its all geek to me’.
Yes – I definitely have Schizophrenia. I have 33 out of 35 symptoms in the list – I would say that’s pretty conclusive. I am for my first hallucination anytime now – it should be interesting.
Update: Portuguese Translation!