Posts tagged ‘Syndrome’

October 28, 2020

Havana Syndrome

Electromagnetic Personnel Interdiction Control

Havana syndrome is a set of medical signs and symptoms experienced by U.S. and Canadian embassy staff in Cuba. Beginning in August 2017, reports surfaced that American and Canadian diplomatic personnel in Cuba had suffered a variety of health problems, dating back to late 2016.

A 2018 study published in the journal Neural Computation identified pulsed radiofrequency/microwave radiation (RF/MW) exposure via the Frey effect as source of injury, and noted that a microwave attack against the U.S. embassy in Moscow had been documented. Other possible causes for the injuries offered include ultrasound via intermodulation distortion caused by malfunctioning or improperly placed Cuban surveillance equipment, cricket noises, mass psychogenic illness, and exposure to neurotoxic pesticides.

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September 5, 2018

Trump Derangement Syndrome


Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a neologism used by its adherents to describe a reaction to United States President Donald Trump by liberals, progressives, and anti-Trump conservatives, who are said to respond to Trump’s statements and political actions irrationally, with little regard to Trump’s actual position or action taken.

The use of the term by some on the right has been called part of a broader GOP strategy to discredit criticisms of Trump’s actions, as a way of ‘reframing’ the discussion by suggesting his political opponents are incapable of accurately perceiving the world. However, according to Kathleen Hall Jamieson of Annenberg Public Policy Center, the term could backfire on Trump supporters because people might interpret it to mean that Trump is the one who is ‘deranged,’ rather than those who criticize him.

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August 11, 2015

Phantom Vibration Syndrome

phantom ring by Douglas B Jones

Phantom vibration syndrome or ‘phantom ringing’ is the mistaken feeling that one’s mobile phone is vibrating or ringing. Other terms for this concept include ringxiety (a portmanteau of ‘ring’ and ‘anxiety’) and ‘fauxcellarm’ (a play on ‘false alarm’). It is a form of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus (such as an image or a sound) wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern where none actually exists. Phantom ringing may be experienced while taking a shower, watching television, or using a noisy device. Humans are particularly sensitive to auditory tones between 1,000 and 6,000 hertz, and basic mobile phone ringers often fall within this range.

In the comic strip ‘Dilbert,’ cartoonist Scott Adams referenced such a sensation in 1996 as ‘phantom-pager syndrome.’ The earliest published use of the term dates to a 2003 article in the ‘New Pittsburgh Courier,’ written by Robert D. Jones. In the conclusion of the article, Jones writes, ‘…should we be concerned about what our mind or body may be trying to tell us by the aggravating imaginary emanations from belts, pockets and even purses? Whether PVS is the result of physical nerve damage, a mental health issue, or both, this growing phenomenon seems to indicate that we may have crossed a line in this ‘always on’ society.’


July 30, 2015

Battered Person Syndrome

Cycle of Abuse

learned helplessness

Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition of a person who has suffered (usually persistent) emotional, physical, or sexual abuse from another person. The condition is the basis for the battered spouse defense that has been used in cases of spouses who have killed their abusers. The condition was first researched extensively by American psychologist Lenore E. Walker, founder of the Domestic Violence Institute, who used psychologist Martin Seligman’s ‘learned helplessness’ theory to explain why abused spouses stayed in destructive relationships.

The syndrome develops in response to a three-stage cycle found in domestic violence situations. First, tension builds in the relationship. Second, the abusive partner releases tension via misconduct while blaming the victim for having caused the event. Third, the abusive partner makes gestures of contrition, but does not find solutions to avoid another phase of tension building and release so the cycle repeats. The repetition of the cycle despite the abuser’s attempts to ‘make nice’ results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing recurrences. However, since the victim is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser’s need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment.

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March 15, 2015

Galápagos Syndrome

big in japan


Galápagos syndrome‘ (‘Garapagosu-ka’) is a term of Japanese origin, which refers to an isolated development branch of a globally available product. The term is a reference to similar phenomena Charles Darwin encountered in the Galápagos Islands, with its isolated flora and fauna, which were key observations in the development of Evolutionary Theory. The term was originally coined to refer to Japanese 3G mobile phones, which had developed a large number of specialized features and dominated Japan, but were unsuccessful abroad. The term arose as part of the dialog about Japan’s position as an island nation, and related anxiety about being isolated from the world at large. A derived term is ‘gara-kei’ (‘Galápagos cellphone’), used to refer to Japanese feature phones, which remain popular despite the emergence of smartphones.

The term has since been used for similar phenomena in other markets, such as the outdated usage of magnetic stripe for credit cards in the US, as everywhere else has moved onto using EMV smart cards. ‘It has been claimed that the indigenous American automotive industry has suffered from the Galapagos Syndrome – its products have evolved separately from the rest of the world.’ ‘The Galapagosization of Japan continues. A shocking two-thirds of the country’s white-collar workers said they didn’t want to work abroad…ever.’

October 26, 2013

Kessler Syndrome

The Kessler syndrome (proposed by the NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978) is a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade—each collision generating space debris which increases the likelihood of further collisions.

One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space exploration, and even the use of satellites, infeasible for many generations. Every satellite, space probe, and manned mission has the potential to create space debris. A cascading Kessler syndrome becomes more likely as satellites in orbit increase in number and old satellites become inoperative.

May 22, 2013

Celebrity Worship Syndrome



Celebrity worship syndrome is an obsessive-addictive disorder in which a person becomes overly involved with the details of a celebrity’s personal life. Psychologists have indicated that though many people obsess over glamorous film, television, sport and pop stars, the only common factor between them is that they are all figures in the public eye. The term Celebrity Worship Syndrome (CWS) is in fact a misnomer. The supposed condition first appeared in an article ‘Do you worship the celebs?’ by James Chapman in a British tabloid newspaper in 2003.

Chapman was basing his article on the journal paper, Maltby et al. (2003). Chapman refers to CWS, but in fact this is a misunderstanding of a term used in the academic article (CWS which stood for Celebrity Worship Scale). Nonetheless Chapman may be generally correct. A syndrome refers to a set of abnormal or unusual set of symptoms indicating the existence of an undesirable condition or quality. Indeed many attitudes and behaviors covered in this research indicate such states.

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February 11, 2013

Tall Poppy Syndrome

Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term primarily used in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and other Anglosphere nations to describe a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.

Australia’s usage of the term has evolved and is not uniformly negative. In Australia, a long history of ‘underdog’ culture and profound respect for humility in contrast to that of Australia’s English feudal heritage results in a different understanding of the concept.

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September 8, 2012

Barbie Syndrome

Body dysmorphic disorder

Barbie syndrome is a term used to describe the desire to have a physical appearance and lifestyle representative of the Barbie doll.

It is most often associated with pre-teen and adolescent females but is applicable to any age group. A person with Barbie syndrome attempts to emulate the doll’s physical appearance, even though the doll has unattainable body proportions.

April 26, 2012

Foreign Accent Syndrome


Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare medically recognised condition which is a speech impediment that usually occurs as a resulting side effect of brain injury, such as a stroke or head trauma. As a result of the speech impediment those suffering from the Foreign Accent Syndrome pronounce their native language with an accent that to the ear of the listeners may be mistaken as foreign or dialectical.

It has many other impacts and effects, including poor memory and concentration span, as well as a feeling of loss of identity, potentially causing those affected to go through a bereavement process. Two cases have been reported of individuals with the condition as a development problem and one associated with severe migraine. Between 1941 and 2009 there have been sixty recorded cases.

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March 5, 2012

Urban Survival Syndrome

bernie goetz

The urban survival syndrome in United States jurisprudence, can be used either as a defense of justification or of excuse. The first case using the defense was the 1994 Fort Worth, Texas murder trial of Daimion Osby. The use of the ‘urban survival syndrome’ as a defense to criminal charges followed the success of the battered woman syndrome defense in State v. Kelly (1984), which was based on the acceptance that the presence of such a syndrome may cause the defendant, a victim of domestic violence, to reasonably believe she was in peril and was therefore justified in using deadly force, given the circumstances.

According to the defense, an individual experiencing the daily life of racial segregation and violence common in many inner cities in the United States causes a subjective state equivalent to that caused by survival in a violent battleground of war. As such it leads to a condition similar to a syndrome already recognized in both psychological and psychiatric practices, that is, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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February 27, 2012

Mean World Syndrome

if it bleeds it leads by timoh meyer

Deviancy amplification spiral

Mean world syndrome‘ is a term coined by professor of communications George Gerbner to describe a phenomenon whereby violence-related content of mass media makes viewers believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. Mean world syndrome is one of the main conclusions of cultivation theory (which states that those who spend more time watching TV are more likely to perceive the real world in ways that reflect the most common messages of the TV world). Gerbner, a pioneer researcher on the effects of television on society, argued that people who watched a large amount of television tended to think of the world as an intimidating and unforgiving place.

The number of opinions, images, and attitudes that viewers tend to make when watching television will have a direct influence on what the viewer perceives the real world as. They will reflect and refer to the most common images or recurrent messages thought to impact on their own real life. Gerbner once said ‘You know, who tells the stories of a culture really governs human behavior,’ he said. ‘It used to be the parent, the school, the church, the community. Now it’s a handful of global conglomerates that have nothing to tell, but a great deal to sell.’ Individuals who watch television infrequently and adolescents who talk to their parents about reality are claimed to have a more accurate view of the real world than those who do not, and they may be able to more accurately assess their vulnerability to violence.