made up disease
MEDIA & MEDICINE
Any condition created by a Hollywood, Bollywood, indie or other scriptwriter to add dimension to a narrative or fit symptoms in a story line.
Examples, made up diseases
• Goldfield syndrome, a fictional type of amnesia suffered by Drew Barrymore who plays the love interest in 50 First Dates.
• Hibernation sickness, which affected Han Solo, who was “frozen” in carbonite in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (see image). Symptoms of this made up disease included temporary stiffness, muscle weakness, numbness, deafness and blindness
• Methuselah syndrome, a type of progeria suffered by JF Sebastian, a character in the film Blade Runner (1982).
Synonyms Fictional disease, Hollywood disease, Hollywood syndrome, screenwriter disease
The internet has created a monster: anyone with a keyboard can coin a term, which can mean anything the user chooses it to mean. The number of “syndromes” created by non-medical authors–many with a tenuous grasp of spelling is astounding and frustrating, because lexicographers must separate rare kernels of wheat from bushels of chaff. We should allow new coinages only where the condition is unique and a name doesn’t already exist in medical English, medical French, medical German, and so on.
A “condition”–e.g., affluenza– which appears to have a cluster of features in common, but is not a true disorder or syndrome.
A mental disorder in which a person acts as if he or she has a physical or mental disease when, in fact, he or she consciously created their symptoms or inflicted some form of damage upon themselves to cause the condition. Because of the potential for confusion, the adjectives factitious and fictitious are widely preferred for made-up diseases that serve a psychological imperitive.
Synonyms Factitious disorder, fictitious disorder