Psychopathology and diagnosing After Bath Mania?


Today marks the beginning of my winter term with the start of Psychopathology class. After exploring the concept of suffering, we’ll look at 11 key classes of pathology (from depression and anxiety to psychoses and personality disorders). Each Monday I will return to a habit I had last year and post a “Science Monday” where I look at some interesting science related to psychopathology.

On a lighter note, my wife and I may have discovered a new disorder. I put its name and diagnostic symptoms out there to see if any of you may have witnessed this malady.

After-Bath Mania (ABM)

ABM is a condition usually found only in elementary age children. After soaking in a warm bath, they become loud, silly, tempted to engage in many kinds of foolish behavior including, but not limited to: (3 of 6 criteria needed)

  1. Nude gyrating or running about the house
  2. Singing nonsense syllables, inventing raps, or repeating High-school Musical lines
  3. Tackling brother and tickling without mercy
  4. Standing on head or climbing door casing
  5. Answering questions in loud singsong voice
  6. Making sounds from parts of body besides the voice-box

These symptoms do not appear prior to bath (whether at 7 am or 7 pm) but do appear post bath more times than not, cause distress in others (e.g., brother angry, parent’s yelling to stop making that racket and to get ready for school), and subside only after parent loses control or the school bell rings. Symptoms may abate once child becomes self-conscious pre-teen. If these symptoms are found in an adult, they may not be considered a pathology unless individuals other than spouse are in the room.  

What is it about baths that makes my son crazy? Anybody have boys that do this? I thought warm baths would calm someone down and get them ready for bed.

3 Comments

Filed under Psychology

3 responses to “Psychopathology and diagnosing After Bath Mania?

  1. Is it too late to get this into the DSMV?

  2. Bryan Maier

    You are lucky that you have identified the eitiology. My boys do all that stuff all the time – bath or no bath.

  3. Karen

    This post makes me laugh Phil!
    Earthy, unabashed, boyhood nakedness run amok!
    In my experience some children are calmed by physical touch- it soothes- others are overstimulated. So all that washing and scrubbing or perhaps it is the water – they just have to let it out by wild rambunctious activity until someone or something reins them in again.
    Picture boys at the swimming hole….

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