30+ Reasons Why All Programmers Are Schizophrenics

Priority Mental Health

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!

23 thoughts on “30+ Reasons Why All Programmers Are Schizophrenics

  1. Yup, looks like I got it too. Oh well, I guess it could be worse…

    …I could still be doing it all on Windows…

  2. Flat, reptile-like gaze –
    Also the ability to cause this in others by simply mentioning “computer programmer” at a social gathering.

  3. Ah man ! hilarious.. I stuck to this article when i first laughed at ur description for depression. lol

    it really is sad to notice lyf of programmers like us… I loved it after reading a article about lazy programmer are the best @ ilovejackdaniels its called addedbytes now i guess..

  4. Hehe, that was good!

    Most usually they say that the symptoms of autism or asperger’s come close to that of computer geeks and programmers. But schizophrenia? Hahaha..

    ..a voice inside my head tells me that I must finish that coding project. Now!!! 🙂

  5. “Sensitivity and irritability when touched by others.
    What?! People are not irritated when touched by others? That’s news to me.”

    And have you ever tried travelling in a Mumbai local?

    Interesting read, seriously! I know a lot of people like this, then!

  6. “Inability to concentrate or to cope with minor problems” – The one thing programmers cannot have, you need both for bug hunting sessions.

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