Iron Man = Hypomania

Had a rare day 'off' today after getting the house ready to sell, and I went to see Iron Man. That guy is totally hypomanic.

First, he's the millionaire playboy who engages in exaggerated risk-taking, especially sexual, and has an exaggerated sense of self (mania, anyone?) After finding his purpose in life, he's able to work for days, perhaps weeks on end, without anything but coffee (lots, makes me feel better) and a nice trinket from his assistant (who happens to be Gweneth Paltrow) to keep him going, in which time he makes a cool suit of flying armor.

The movie was fun and not too bad. Interestingly, though, he's totally symptomatic. Watching the movie, I wondered about the continuum between disease and benefit. In his case, hypomania was totally profitable and benefited those around him--there was no way that anyone normal would've been able to do what he did, and there was a significant amount of risk-taking involved in innovation. The NY Times, if a search is completed on hypomania, notes that there may be an abnormally high amount of hypomania in the U.S. population since we tend to be risk-takers as the descendants of immigrants. So, this is an example of a disease state--acute mania, treated with an IM injection of haldol and lorazepam--that is on a continuum with arguably one of the most important personality traits known, since the hypomanic folks were the ones who likely talked us onto the boat, invented the lightbulb, the atomic bomb, and PopTarts.

Being nerdy ruins everything. I can't even enjoy a good blockbuster without wondering about diseases. The lady who sold me vases this afternoon has Parkinson's, treated, I'm sure after watching her fill out the receipt, which she insisted on doing by hand. It sucks being a med student.

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