Thursday, July 01, 2010

Analyse Me

I share many conversations with CyberKev about personality disorders - those that we have, those that we're trying to avoid, and those that we aspire to. After due consideration, I've decided I probably do have a personality disorder, but I don't know what it might be called. Please help, Wise Readers.

When I find a new thing I'm interested in, I become obsessed with it. For example, board gaming. I acquired 300 games in 3 years, played many more than that, started a web site about it, travelled inter-state to pursue the hobby.

Then board-gaming went out (not completely, but look at the posts on this blog), and was replaced by anime (which didn't last long), Mafia Wars on Facebook (about 6 months, way too long) and now learning French. Interestingly, learning French takes about as much time as Mafia Wars did and is more useful in the short, medium and long terms. Before board games there was stamp collecting, Neverwinter Nights (18 months), and I forget what else. I'm very old, I've had a lot of obsessions.

The characteristics of these obsessions are that I spend horrendous amounts of time researching the topic, I spend unnecessary amounts of money on it, I tend to become moderately expert, and often I drop it suddenly. Of course board gaming can't be dropped suddenly, as that's how I met all of my friends and I still have a room full of games, but there's no doubt it has waned. Neverwinter Nights, Mafia Wars and stamp collecting were all dumped overnight. I still have the stamp collection, and I might get back to it one day.

Am I the only victim of Serial Obsession Syndrome? No, I'm not, I found another person who blogs about it. However, I do think it's a mystery to my wives, all 3 of whom have suffered through these obsessions. If only there was a name for it, I could explain it up front :-). My beautiful Dr Scrabblette is very tolerant, though, and the learning French obsession is at least compatible with her interests. (Also, she can't criticise, she has 6 degrees.)

I did an on-line personality test which suggested I might be Narcissistic or Paranoid, but since both of them require me to care what other people think, they're obviously not right. I've done many many OCD tests, to try to make my little sister happy, but I've failed every one. Not enough Asperger's, not enough anything. Am I Normal? Tell me!

On the other hand, I'm not sure I trust you guys. You board game geeks are generally pretty weird.