Psychiatrist and author Caleb James discusses mental disorders afflicting the fey.
As one of the lead authors of the soon to be released DSMF-125 (125th edition of the Dry and Seriously Muddled Conditions Afflicting the Fey), I wanted to take this opportunity to explore five of the most-common psychiatric disorders affecting the fey and/or caused by the fey.
- Changeling Disorder and Changeling Delusional Disorder:
Changeling Disorder and Changeling Delusional Disorder are often confused. In brief, Changeling Disorder involves the actual replacement of a human child by the fey with a soulless replacement i.e. the changeling. This replacement can be created from flesh of the stolen child or by substituting a hobgoblin or young gremlin.
In contrast, Changeling Delusional Disorder, is the false belief that all of your younger siblings, especially those that embarrass you in front of your boyfriend, have been replaced by soulless changelings. Differentiating between the two conditions is best done at the full moon, when hobgoblins and gremlins will reveal their true form (see picture). If the child still looks like your little brother or sister, then they are in fact not a changeling. If you still think they are, you are certifiably insane and will need to go on medication. I know this, because I’m a psychiatrist.
- Pixielation Disorder (PD): First described over two-thousand years ago by artist and court physician, Alan M. Clark, Pixielation Disorder is when one is besieged or swarmed by pixies. This occurs in both humans and fey, and is the result of damaging toadstool circles, or inadvertently treading on a soft spot between the realms of the See and the UnSee. The symptoms of Pixielation Disorder are extreme: rending off the flesh, howling like a banshee, dancing like a spaz in front of the boy of your dreams, hallucinating murderous glass clowns, and running in circles until the victim vomits uncontrollably.
However, once diagnosed Pixielation Disorder is easily treated by leaving savory, high caloric foods for the rampaging pixies. I recommend Swedish meatballs, or General Tso’s Chicken, pepperoni pizza works, as well.
- Brownie Eating Disorder (BED): The tragic rise of Brownie Eating Disorder, which largely affects trolls and ogres (and of course, the unfortunate brownies), can be directly traced to unrealistic portrayals of the Fey as being ethereally beautiful, with the bodies of Calvin Klein underwear models. Brownie Eating Disorder involves the frequent (multiple times per week) and uncontrollable ingestion of entire colonies of brownies, followed by vomiting them back up. This is accompanied by intense feelings of shame and guilt.
While there are no proven cures for Brownie Eating Disorder, some forms of group therapy currently being studied show promise. As for the digested and regurgitated brownies, aside from post-traumatic stress disorder, most of them are good as new after a shower.
- Spriteful Personality Disorder: This is an obnoxious and persistent pattern of maladaptive behavior where the individual only experiences pleasure when pranking others and making them miserable. In particular, fey with this disorder are happiest when their intended victims are drenched after they’ve been pelted senseless with water balloons, are pea green−literally−after food dye has been added to their acne cream, or are covered with welts following the generous application of itching powder into a jockstrap. People with this disorder, have little sense of humor when the tables are turned, and become violent when they are pranked.
Sadly, there is no cure for this disorder and severe cases should be chained up in dark basements.
- Fairy Dust Use Disorder (Formerly Fairy Dust Abuse and Dependence): There has been an alarming increase in the abuse of fairy dust, with all of the well-known and negative consequences−falling in love with the first person or animal you see, and the kissing of enchanted frogs, with the resultant rise in unemployed handsome princes, who’ve become a tremendous drain on fey resources.
Treatment of Fairy Dust Disorders is best accomplished in specialized rehab facilities, where the violent−and frankly icky−withdrawal symptoms (hiccoughs, explosive diarrhea, copious snot production, volcanic zits, and speaking in rhymes) can be safely managed. Relapses are common and peer support organization, such as Dusters Anonymous can offer much needed support.
I hope the above overview of five common fey maladies has been informative and enlightening. If you, or someone you love, has been afflicted by one of these disorders, remember there is always hope, and be sure to seek appropriate treatment.
Dr. Caleb James
The Center for Fairy Development
Professor of Psychiatry, the University of Unsee
Author of HAFFLING