30 October 2010

DAC Epidemic

Seems there is a never-ending stream of news stories about new and various health disorders of all kinds, physical and mental. I ran across one a while back that I've realized is quite widespread among a certain segment of the population and I wanted to bring it to everyone's attention because this one I think we can actually do something about.

DAC is rather unusual. It's an acquired syndrome, and like other mental conditions is not physically painful to the person who suffers from it. But it is detrimental all the same, because over time it changes and warps the sufferer's perspective and ability to deal with others on an equal level. Those who are afflicted with this unfortunate condition usually acquire it through no conscious choice, of course. Normally it results from repeated exposure to those who display similar behavior, especially authority figures.

DAC is insidious because it also hurts others: those with whom the DAC sufferer interacts and treats in abnormal, patronizing, and sometimes even pejorative ways. DAC sufferers are usually not aware of the damage they do, but it happens all the same. I've seen it myself, and it's all the more sad because DAC is totally preventable and can be eradicated so easily.

Oh, I just realized I didn't identify DAC fully. DAC stands for Disparaging Acronym Compulsion. It's found most often among conservative Evangelical, Catholic, and Mormon groups, and its most common example is relentless use of the dismissive acronyms SSA and SGA. I've written elsewhere about why these are bad.

My heart goes out to those who suffer from DAC. Just having DAC is no sin, though acting on it certainly is. I realize that many people with this condition will not be able to free themselves of it in this life as long as religious authorities perpetuate DAC. Some will be able to control their behavior despite having DAC, and I salute them for their heroic struggle, because DAC can be a powerful urge. But with regular reminders and doses of truth, it can be controlled. Certain geographical areas are more susceptible to it, like Utah Valley and Mesa Arizona, and ultimately more drastic public measures may be necessary there to curb the spread of DAC and its dolorous effects.

But for now, the best we can do for DAC sufferers is to be compassionate, understand that their situation's not entirely of their own making, try to help them be strong and overcome DAC's sad, relentless urge to euphemize.

1 comment:

BLB said...

LMAO, but novel way to make your point, BTW.