New Psych Disorder: EAD!

January 9, 2009 § 9 Comments


465073058_a142a5d37aI’ve discovered a new psych disorder: EAD or Email Apprehension Disorder.

Please don’t confuse EAD with EDD – Email Distress Disorder – they’re completely different, although EAD can be the precursor to EDD.

It was a few years ago that my illness began; it started with my move to a job in a fast-paced technology-centered environment. As a manager, I found my in-box filled by noon with hundreds of semi-informational, non-urgent and often-not-necessary but have-to-be-opened messages. If I took a day off, it took me a full day to read the email I missed, so vacations were as valuable as a saltwater shake on a desert island.  I developed EAD: Email Apprehension Disorder.

Add to this a supervisor who believed that if you had something good to say, don’t say it, and something bad to say, say it by email…and Email Distress Disorder was unavoidable. I postponed reading emails from specific senders: my boss, demanding co-workers, the IT team. My avoidance and anxiety reached their peak after a beau used Hotmail to send me a terse and inexplicable good-bye.

Email and I broke up then, too. I read it – I had to – but there was no love.

This past year, after moving into a new job, and with several new bosses, my symptoms began to recede and I could look at my in-box with only a tiny tremor.

But then I began to submit (you know what I’m talking about); stories, poems, tidbits, sending my heart and privacy though cyberspace to be judged and criticized by strangers.

And so the EAD begins again.

I wonder if it will make the final cut of the DSM-V.

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