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8 Disney Disorders You May Have

Disney fanatics loved our articles about “10 Symptoms of a Disney Obsession” and “15 Things to Help Satisfy Your Disney Craving at Home.” Along the same lines, we have compiled a humorous list of 8 strictly fictional diagnoses about Disney Disorders that only true fanatics would suffer from.

Important disclaimer! Please read this article with your sense of humor activated. This article is meant for entertainment purposes only! I am a counselor in real life, but I am not offering any real therapy through this article. I am not mocking counseling or anyone who has an actual mental health concern.

8. Disney Withdrawal Disorder (DWD)

Symptoms:

  • Secret (or not-so-secret) jealousy of people who are planning a trip or just returned
  • Frequent episodes of crying and depressed mood
  • Looking at the My Disney Experience app to check wait times for your favorite rides when you aren’t actually on a trip

Treatment:

Although abstinence from all future Disney trips is the most effective long-term solution, it is extremely unpleasant and not tolerated by most patients. Consider, instead, engaging in substitute activities to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Some suggestions include spending time with family, exercising, finding new hobbies, taking a class, or engaging in a new business venture.

7. Planning Perfection Syndrome

Symptoms:

  • Excessive time spent on the planning process, marked by one of the following:
  • Spending more time planning your trip than you spend on your primary life responsibilities (work, caring for your home, etc.)
  • Spending more hours planning your trip than you will spend on the trip
  • Revising your itinerary more than 30 times over the course of your planning period
  • Periods of rage which may be induced by people who report that they “didn’t really get to do much” when they went because it was so crowded
  • Informing other park guests (who are complaining about wait times, lack of dining options, etc.) that the reason that they are not having a good time is because they failed to plan properly (“Did you arrive at rope drop this morning? Did you try to reserve that meal 180 days ago?”)

Treatment:

Due to the persistent nature of this syndrome, it is recommended that people afflicted with it use their symptoms to help others plan trips. If done in moderation, this will help the afflicted person be satisfied in a non-destructive way. Trip planning, for yourself or others, should not take up more than 1 hour per day.

6. Obsessive-Compulsive Disney Disorder (OCDD)

Symptoms:

  • Excessive Disney-related purchases, marked by an inability to resist buying anything with Mickey on it
  • Frequent urge to discuss Disney with anyone who will listen
  • Observing “hidden Mickeys” in everyday life

Treatment:

Consume one Dole Whip and call me in the morning. Or, seek out our article, “15 Ways to Satisfy Your Disney Craving at Home”. These suggestions, when practiced in moderation, can help make your OCDD manageable. However, if taken too far they may lead to Disney-Related Internet Scouring Addiction (DRISA). Consult your doctor before attempting to treat your OCDD on your own.

5. Disney-Related Internet Scouring Addiction (DRISA)

Symptoms:

  • Checking the Disney Fanatic website daily to read articles (who can blame you?)
  • “Liking” and commenting on more than 2 articles per day
  • Being an active member of more than 2 Disney fan sites or message boards
  • Spying on Walt Disney World using Google Earth more than once a week

Treatment:

If you have a Candy Crush or Farmville addition, you may be more prone to developing DRISA. In moderation, DRISA is no more harmful than any other over-use of the internet. However, if it begins to interfere with daily life, it is recommended that patients limit their internet usage, in general, to 1 hour per day. Patients are encouraged to engage in alternate activities that involve human interaction and physical activity.

4. Trip Over-Anticipation Syndrome (TOAS)

Symptoms:

  • Rapid heartbeat, the onset of which is associated with thoughts about your Disney trip
  • Keeping an excessively long countdown until your next trip (only 512 days left!), sometimes resulting in the creation of a paper countdown chain that requires several packs of construction paper to create
  • Calling out of work because you were up all night 180 days prior to your trip making ADR’s (advance dining reservations)
  • More than 50% of your spoken words during the day make up a sentence similar to, “I can’t wait for Disney!”

Treatment:

Enlist a trusted family member to only let you count the days within a set time period before your trip (6 months may be reasonable). Limit your logins to My Disney Experience to once per day. Allow yourself 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to obsess about your upcoming trip. During this time, you may think about the trip, mentally review your itinerary, or say “I can’t wait for Disney” as many times as you can. When the time is up, tell yourself that Disney time is over and shift your focus back to your “real life.”

3. Disney Over-Idealization Disorder (DOID)

Symptoms:

  • Starting sentences with the phrase, “If this was Disney….” And then describing how a situation could be much more magical and efficient than it actually is. Example: “If this was Disney, I’d be able to find a trash can within 30 feet.” “If this was Disney, the clerk at the store would be friendly.”
  • Aggressive lashing-out at and general distrust of people who self-identify as “not a Disney person.”

Treatment:

Practice deep breathing and counting exercises so that you can use them in the event that anyone says anything negative about Disney. Consider creating a mantra that you can repeat in your head, such as “This is the real world, this is not Disney.”

2. Dissociative Disney Disorder (DDD)

Symptoms:

  • Blank staring
  • Lack of awareness of your current reality, location, and responsibilities
  • Constant texting to someone who is in Disney World to ask pesky questions like, “Where, exactly, are you standing right now? What are you having for dinner?”
  • Trying to pay with at the grocery store using a Magic Band (When you are escorted out of the store, you demand to speak with guest relations)
  • Imagining you are in Disney during daily mundane tasks to the point where you are in a state of hypnosis

Treatment:

Patients experiencing DDD should enlist trusted family members and friends to gently remind them to attend to their real lives. Finding ways to enjoy your real life is especially helpful. Try keeping a journal to record positive, non-Disney related experiences, experiences. If left untreated, DDD might lead to something even more serious (but seriously more fun)…

1. Dissociative Disney Fugue


“Dissociative Fugue” is a real diagnosis that applies to people who dissociate (remove themselves mentally and/or physically) from their real lives. These individuals may forget who they are and may wander away from their homes, possibly adopting new identities when they arrive in a new location.

Symptoms:

  • You can’t explain how you got there, but you’re at Walt Disney World.
  • Your trip to Walt Disney World was sudden and unplanned.
  • You have no recollection of who you are, so you make up a new identity (and that’s just fine with you).
  • You don’t actually care that you are experiencing a dissociative fugue, because you’re in Disney!

Treatment

Therapy to address stressors in your real life, which may have caused the fugue episode, is the most effective way to treat this disorder. Or, you can opt to stay in Disney and enjoy your new identity.

I hope you enjoyed this strictly fictional set of Disney-related diagnoses. How did you measure up with our symptoms? I think I’d like to go on a “Disney fugue”!



About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.