New mental disorders

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
New mental disorders

New mental disorders

It should be noted that not all of these are fun or easy to play, but at the very least they might help flesh out NPCs and contribute to the creepy feeling of the setting. It should be noted that many of these disorders are fairly common: the mental stresses induced by the Fall caused numerous traumas. In most people they are also controlled using medication, psychotherapy or psychosurgery, but the degree to which they have been permanently cured varies.

One useful approach is to randomly select one for every NPC, even when they are healthy: this is the disorder they are most close to, and they might have a few mild traits from it – the gerontocrat might have a minor adjustment issue she counters by collecting Earth memorabilia, the black market contact is slightly bipolar and either greets the PCs cheerfully or grumpily on different occasions, the AGI is overly concerned about its software health.

This is just a small subset of what can go wrong with the transhuman mind. I have left out disorders already in the core book or disorders too similar to them, like dysthymia and cyclothymia (variants of bipolar disorder). Some disorders like gender identity disorder are fairly trivial to fix by a morph switch and have also been left out, as well as developmental disorders, more biological disorders (e.g. narcolepsy) and many symptoms (e.g. catatonia) of other disorders.

Adjustment Disorder
Normally people adjust to a new situation – having lost a loved one, forced into exile, having had to change body, even the Fall. Adjustment disorders occur when they cannot get over it in a normal way. The sorrow, fear or anger remains, popping up in bad ways. When things occur that remind the character of what they have lost they act out. Victims might feel sadness or hopelessness, with crying spells, trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating. They might engage in fighting, vandalism, reckless behavior, ignoring bills, avoiding family and friends, suicide – all activities that tend to tank their reps.

Developmental Disorders

ADHD
Core book p. 212

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders all deal with inappropriate or abnormal anxiety.

Autophagy
Core book p. 212

General anxiety disorder
Core book p. 213

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Core book p. 214

Panic disorder
The person has sudden attacks of intense fear or anxiety. They cannot be predicted, and often the anxiety of anticipating that an attack could occur is almost as bad as (or can trigger) an attack. There are often physical symptoms such as rapid breathing, heart palpitation, shortness of breath, blurred vision, or nausea. In bad cases agoraphobia may develop: the person become afraid of being in places where it would be hard to get help or escape if a panic attack occurs.
Suggested game effects: panic attacks occur randomly, but more often when the person is tense or stressed. Roll a WILx3 test: if it fails, the character develops a full panic attack, during which they have -20 on all tasks.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Core book p. 214

Simple phobias
After a traumatic event a person begins to associate anxiety or fear with an object or situation. They may avoid it to reduce their stress. Some are to a degree rational, like fear of heights, vacuum or sharp objects, but many are more emotional like fear of seeing blood, animals or disease, and some might be utterly random like fear of jewelry or the number 4. In order to count as a mental disorder rather than a quirk the target needs to be common enough or the avoidance strong enough to make life seriously hard for the person – fear of synthmorphs, quitting a job in order to avoid elevators, a tendency to hide in one’s habitat module out of fear that a spider could show up etc. might work.
Suggested game effects: Sufferers get penalties to tests related to the target of the fear, worse the more intimate and inescapable the contact is.

Social anxiety disorder
The person has a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others – everything from a gaze across the room to being reminded of surveillance. They might blush, sweat, tremble, stammer, and speak rapidly and nervously. They withdraw socially, trying to avoid situations where they will be forced to stand in the gaze of others.
Suggested game effects: Sufferers receive a -10 penalty on SAV-based skills in the perceived presence of others. They need to roll a WIL x 3 roll to do things that will make them the center of attention.

Dissociative Disorders
The main symptom cluster for dissociative disorders include a disruption in consciousness, memory, identity, or perception.

Depersonalization Disorder
The person experiences a feeling of being detached from their environment, mental processes or body: a sense of automation, going through the motions of life but not experiencing it, feeling as though one is in a XP, loss of conviction in their identity, feeling as though one is in a dream or simulation, feeling a disconnection from one's body, possibly out-of-body experience or seeing oneself from a distance. The symptoms get worse in threatening situations, unfamiliar environments or during stress.

Dissociative Amnesia
Persons with dissociative amnesia (alias situation-specific psychogenic amnesia) suffer memory gaps related to traumatic or stressful events which are too extreme to be accounted for by normal forgetting. This might be a single severe trauma, or repeated traumas.
Suggested game effects: the person will be unable to recall anything related to the trauma or events leading up to it. For all practical purposes they are having the edited memories trait in this respect.

Dissociative Fugue
An even more severe dissociative amnesia brought about by severe stress or trauma. The person abruptly travels away from home and their normal social network, unable to remember important aspects of their life, and the partial or complete adoption of a new identity.
Multiple personality disorder
Core book p. 214

Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa
The person has a distorted body image, where they see themselves as overweight despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They reduce their weight by undereating, purging, anorexigen drugs or instructions to medichines to cut body fat. In an era of ready biosculpting anorexia can go to extremes, especially since the health effects can be somewhat reduced. It shades over to “surgical addiction” and body dysmorphia.

Impulse Control Disorders
These disorders deal with difficulty in controlling impulses, despite the negative consequences to the character.

Addiction
Core book p. 211

Atavism
Core book p. 212

Impulse control disorder
Core book p. 213

Intermittent Explosive Disorder
The person suffering IED has frequent and often unpredictable episodes of extreme anger or physical outbursts that are disproportionate to the situation. Between episodes, there is typically no evidence of violence or physical threat.
Suggested effects: Roll WILx3 (or harder, depending on situation) to resist going off a handle whenever there is any provocation, whether real or imagined.

Kleptomania
The person is bad at resisting impulses to steal things, despite the objects not being for personal use or of any monetary value – they are often minor things like paperclips, small blobjects or ectos. They usually feel anxious before the theft and then gratification afterward
Suggested game effects: The person needs to roll a WILx3 roll whenever a theft opportunity arises, with penalties based on current stress levels.

Pathological Gambling
Similar to an addiction, the person cannot resist the impulse to gamble, especially when under stress, feeling sad or anxious. They feel restless or irritable when trying to cut back or quit gambling, and need to gamble larger amounts of money in order to feel the same excitement as first. In order to count as pathological (rather than merely the Addiction Trait) it has to cause serious trouble: the person borrows or steals to fund the gambling, gambles larger and larger amounts in order to win back past losses; they lose jobs, relationships, or educational or career opportunities.
Suggested game effects: The person needs to roll a WILx3 roll whenever a gambling opportunity arises, with penalties based on current stress levels. Being kept from gambling increases stress by 1d10 SV per week.

Pyromania
The person deliberately sets fire to things. Usually there is a build-up of tension before the act, and then relief and gratification afterwards. There is usually no real gain from the fires or the destruction they cause: they are for their own sake, not for vengeance, to express anger, to get insurance money. They can fixate on institutions of fire control like fire stations or firefighters, and often experience fascination when around fires. While XP and VR fire might satisfy a bit, they are not real: the person craves real fire.
Suggested game effects: The person needs to roll a WILx3 roll whenever a fire-setting or fire-watching opportunity arises, with penalties based on current stress levels. Being kept from setting fires increases stress by 1d10 SV per week.

Trichotillomania
Persons suffering from trichotillomania compulsively pull out their own hair, which results in significant hair loss. The behavior tends to be triggered by depression or stress. While it is easy to just remove hair using biosculpting or hairdresser nanoswarms, people with trichotillomania feel gratification by pulling out hairs one by one, often without noticing and sometimes eating the hair. Neohominid uplifts tend to be noticeable sufferers.
Suggested game effects: the habit causes damage to appearance, giving the Unattractive trait.

Mood Disorders
Disturbance in mood: inappropriate, exaggerated, or limited range of feelings

Bipolar disorder
Core book p. 212

Depression
Core book p. 212

Personality Disorders
Personality types and behaviors that markedly deviates from the home culture, leading to considerable personal and social disruption. While normal people have some elements in common with the personality disorders, sufferers have personalities that are extreme enough to cause trouble. These disorders are rarely the result of an individual trauma, although severe stress may cause latent bad sides of a person to come out.

Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial people show a general disregard for the law and the rights of others. They are unconcerned by the feelings of others and lack remorse and feelings of guilt. They can be highly irresponsible, impulsive, aggressive and disregard social norms, obligations and laws. They tend to have very low tolerance to frustration and blame others rather than take responsibility for their own actions.

Avoidant personality disorder
Avoidant people are characterized by social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction. They consider themselves to be to be socially inept or personally unappealing.

Borderline personality disorder
Core book p. 212

Dependent personality disorder
Dependent people see others as more capable to deal with things than themselves. Other people are responsible, competent and able to navigate the complexities of the world, while the dependent people see themselves as inadequate and helpless. They are weak and inept in a big, cold and dangerous world and try to avoid being put into a situation of responsibility. They often play up childlike traits or are self-effacing, docile, obsequious or uncritical, trying to keep attached to strong significant others. They ignore if the other treats them badly or exploits them, doing whatever it takes to get the care and support they need.

Histrionic personality disorder
Histrionic people show excessive emotionality and attention-seeking. This often includes an excessive need for approval and inappropriately seductive behavior. They are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious but with shallow or exaggerated emotions. They are often manipulative and use their skills to become center of attention.

Narcissistic personality disorder
Narcissistic people are self-centered, preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. They tend to have a grandiose sense of self-importance even when it is not warranted, fantasizing about unlimited success, power, love and brilliance. They feel themselves entitled, since they are “special” and unique, often leading to arrogant and exploitative behavior. At the same time they tend to lack empathy and often believe others are envious of them.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Obsessive compulsive personality disorder involves a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. Rules must be followed, minute details and facts scrutinized, checklists and schedules made and implemented. People with the personality disorder tend to think in rigid categories of right and wrong, with sharp boundaries and no shades of grey.
This personality disorder should not to be confused with OCD: in OCD people have unwanted thoughts, while in the personality disorder they think the thoughts are correct.

Paranoid personality disorder
Paranoid personality disorder is characterized by suspiciousness, mistrust of others and constant scanning of the environment for clues that validate their ideas. Paranoids tend to be hypersensitive, easily slighted and have constricted emotional lives. They tend to bear grudges, distort experiences to interpret actions of others as hostile or contemptuous, be combative about their personal rights even when it does not fit the situation, jealousy, excessive self-importance, preoccupation with “conspiratorial” explanations for events in their lives and the world at large.

Schizoid personality disorder
Schizoid people show a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency towards a solitary lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness and sometimes (sexual) apathy, with a simultaneous rich, elaborate and exclusively internal fantasy world. They are often described as aloof and cold, remaining apparently indifferent no matter what happens, but some may pretend to be social while internally remaining disconnected from everyone else. They rarely take pleasure in any activities, lack close friends or confidants because they do not desire or enjoy close relationships, and appear indifferent to praise or criticism.

Schizotypal personality disorder
Schizotypal people have a need for social isolation, anxiety in social situations, odd behavior and thinking, and often unconventional beliefs or behavior. They tend to be socially withdrawn, show inappropriate or constricted emotions, have odd beliefs or magical thinking, and occasionally experience unusual experiences ranging from depersonalisation or bodily illusions to delusions or hallucinations.

Passive-aggressive personality disorder
Passive-aggressive people are obstructionist, passively resisting doing routine social and occupational tasks while complaining of being misunderstood and unappreciated by others. They can be sullen and argumentative, unreasonably criticizes and scorns authority, voices exaggerated and persistent complaints of personal misfortune, expresses envy and resentment toward those apparently more fortunate or alternates between hostile defiance and contrition.

Psychotic Disorders
Psychotic disorders involve a break from reality, for example through disrupted thinking, delusions or hallucinations.

Chronic hallucinatory psychosis
The person suffers from persistent hallucinations. While they can occur in all senses, auditory hallucinations (“voices”) are most common. Often they start by being aware that the hallucinations are unreal, but over time come to accept their reality and then construct delusions explaining them.

Delusional Disorder
The person has one of more non-bizarre delusions, fixed beliefs that are certainly and definitely false, but that could possibly be plausible. This could include feelings of being followed, poisoned, infected, deceived or conspired against, or loved at a distance. Persecutory delusions are most common, but the delusions can also be erotomanic, grandiose, jealous, somatic, and mixtures of the different types. They hold their belief with unusual force, often being humorless and oversensitive about the belief. An attempt to contradict the belief is likely to arouse an inappropriately strong emotional reaction, often with irritability and hostility.
Suggested game effects: decide on the delusion when taking the disorder. The character will then act as if this was true no matter what the evidence is. Being forced into a situation where the delusion is proven false induces 1d10 SV (but does not remove the disorder).

Fugue
Core book p. 213. Corresponds to catatonic symptoms.

Megalomania
Core book p. 213. A possible symptom of paranoid schizophrenia or various personality disorders.

Schizophrenia
Core book p. 214

Shared Psychotic Disorder, “Folle a` Deux”
The person shares delusions with another person (or, more rarely, an entire group). This may occur if one dominant person develops delusions and imposes them on the weaker person, or that a close pair develops them together.

Sexual Disorders and Dysfunctions
These disorders involve impairment in normal sexual functioning, given the culture of the person.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
Deficient or absent sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. The lack of desire must result in significant distress for the individual and is not better accounted for by another disorder or physical diagnosis. A related disorder, Sexual Aversion Disorder, is more like a sexual phobia: when presented with a sexual opportunity, the individual may experience panic attacks or extreme anxiety.

Paraphilias
Sexual arousal to objects, situations, or individuals that are not part of what would normally be regarded as stimulating. In the modern world things are complicated by switchable morphs, and the presence of radically different and fairly tolerant cultures. To count as a mental disorder the person has to be stimulated by something that causes them significant distress or social impairment, typically the suffering or humiliation of oneself or others, children, non-consenting persons or obsessive behavior that impacts their life. Examples include becoming aroused by paedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, more extreme masochism or sadism, mesh scatologia (contacting others to use sexual or foul language), necrophilia, zoosadism, or being in life-threatening situations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paraphilias

Sleep Disorders

Hypersomnia
Excessive sleepiness, not just in the form of sleeping late but an urge to nap repeatedly during the day, often at inappropriate times such as at work, during a meal, or in conversation. These naps usually do not give any relief of the tiredness. After waking up they feel disoriented and lacking in energy.
Suggested game effects: daytime tiredness has similar effects as in insomnia, but less strongly. At random points during the day the character has to succeed with a WILx3 roll to avoid falling asleep.

Insomnia
Core book p. 213

Nightmare and Night Terror Disorder
The person suffers horrifying dreams (nightmares) or wake up in panic without being able to recall anything (night terrors). During a night terror the person might appear awake but is actually hallucinating and unable to recognize anybody. People with nightmare disorder experience nightmares frequently, and may be afraid of going to sleep.
Suggested game effects: each night, the character takes 1d10 “virtual” SV (and temporary traumas) that go away after a short while if they succeed with a WILx3 roll. Otherwise 1 point remains.

Somatoform Disorders
Disorders in this category include those where the symptoms suggest a medical condition but where no medical condition can be found by a physician.

Body Dysmorphia
Core book p. 212

Conversion disorder
The person has neurological symptoms such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, fainting or fits without a neurological cause. The real cause is underlying stress or conflict, which is expressed as a bodily state.
Suggested game effects: decide on the neurological symptom and their penalties when developing the illness. These cannot be removed using augmentation or changes in the morph.

Hypochondria
Core book p. 213

Facetious disorders
Conditions in which a person acts as if he or she has an illness by deliberately producing, feigning, or exaggerating symptoms. The primary aim is to obtain sympathy, nurturance, and attention accompanying the sick role. This is in contrast to malingering, in which the patient wishes to obtain external gains such as disability payments or to avoid an unpleasant situation, such as military duty.

Münchausen syndrome
The person feigns disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves. It is also sometimes known as hospital addiction syndrome. They either feign or exaggerate symptoms, or deliberately induce them. This can shade over into somatoform disorders or self-harm, but unlike hypochondria the patient know they are faking it.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy: The person feigns a medical condition in somebody else such as a child in order to get attention and support.

Münchausen by Mesh: the person feigns a condition – medical, psychiatric, or as victim of accidents or violence - on mesh forums in order to get support.

Mythomania
Pathological lying involves habitual or compulsive lying that is disproportionate to any discernible end. The stories are not entirely improbable and often have some element of truth. They are not due to true delusions, since the liar knows they are untrue. They are not responses to a particular situation, but rather develop over a long time. Typically they present the liar in a favorable light, such as being brave, having visited exotic locations, interacted with famous people.

See also
http://allpsych.com/disorders/disorders_categories.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM-IV_Codes

Extropian

Dry Observer Dry Observer's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Interesting. While I expect some NPCs to be disturbed in Eclipse Phase, I also work on the assumption that a huge percentage of the population is extremely interested in some degree of self-optimization, and that tremendous resources have obviously already been mustered to address this goal -- everything from seed-AI research to cutting-edge morphs to superior nootropics and genetic enhancements to psychosurgery.

Quite a few of my "odd" NPCs have a "disorder" that would be less common and certainly less pronounced and identifiable in our time -- the quirks and dramatic personality changes that can come from even well-thought-out personal optimization.

One example is the role-model quirk. The entity in question uses a particular role model as a baseline ideal towards which she/he/whatever strives. In our time, someone who consciously or unconsciously uses a few tough-talking, overconfident action heroes as their ideal would be an example of this -- a technique frequently used in real life or online, not uncommonly by people who are in no way capable of backing up their tough talk in any form whatsoever.

In Eclipse Phase, this ideal can take any number of forms. Seed AIs and Exhumans are common ideals for many Singularity seekers, while others focus on faction ideals such as personal power, perfection and evolution for the Ultimates, or some variant on the quest for knowledge for Argonauts. Clearly seed AIs and Exhumans are usually seen as a consequence of this impulse getting out of hand, and many bioconservatives view almost any cybertech or biotech enhancements as dubious at best.

Still, at a more pedestrian level, even many transhumans and incipient posthumans take one or more ideal personas or outright ideals and try to use them as their guiding star or stars. Ironically, this impulse is not entirely unwise -- a radically augmented *human* mind is arguably unknown territory even in our time... made worse by the fact that the few known and documented examples of any kind of transcendent intellect are collectively a reminder of the incredible diversity that flowers among extremely intelligent people. Genius, far from following one or a handful of stereotypical paths, seems to have a much more diverse array of goals, interests and unusual quirks than relatively average people. In Eclipse Phase, where most personal augmentations have become common only in the last 20 years or less, transhumans are still adjusting to the impact of off-the-shelf enhancements, much less to the impact of Exhuman-level transformations, or even an advanced morph with a full suite of augments combined with exceptional skills, tech resources and/or psi sleights.

Hence, building a personality around one or more personas (real, fictional, or a mythical version of someone real) or ideals makes a certain amount of sense, and many engaged in personal self-transformation adhere to their idealized self-concept with varying levels of zeal. Remember, however, that very subtle but deep changes can be effected in the Eclipse Phase universe. Simply having a muse that is more or less aware of your surface thoughts and perhaps your basic physiology (through your basic augments' biosensors) and tied directly into your brain gives you an infinitely patient servant who can offer reminders of your self-development preferences, throw out random-but-meaningful quotes from your new philosophy as appropriate, display augmented-reality overlays of relevant information/sensory data that your ideal self would know about or take interest in, and even trigger other augmentations or release nootropics or other drugs as (theoretically) desired. Because your hero/goal would not be afraid in the face of Exsurgent assailants, or would come up with an impossible solution in even the most hopeless situations, or would act with certainty and implausible skill when all else crumbled around them.

Other deliberate extremes are very possible due to a character adapting to a situation and simply remaining in that persona/mindstate at all times. For example, someone who became paranoid about infosecurity or the Exsurgent virus and nanoswarms during the Fall might remain so -- not entirely a bad attitude for certain operatives or security personnel, but not necessarily such a great concern, if perpetually dominant, for many other walks of life.

Ironically, another quirk out there is ability to switch these attitudes on and off -- a capacity that a few AIs managed to get programmed in, but which most manage by deliberately "flipping a switch" on their Muse/subroutines and thus shifting their normal set of alerts, reminders and AR HUDs, their nootropic and other drug and supplement dosages and support programs and augmentations to a completely different set of strategies than the ones they use for other challenges. Some simple physical changes with psychological overtones are involved in more extreme persona shifts -- removing one's weapons and armor, leaving an ultrasecure location, and/or egocasting back into a non-combat (or non-combat *focused*) morph.

Remember, there are places and situations in Eclipse Phase where utterly paranoid behavior is not at all out of line -- and others where an obsession with nanoswarms attacking at any moment -- such as many habitats -- may actually distract from very real options, opportunities and *actual threats.*

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Dry Observer Dry Observer's picture
Re: New mental disorders

A couple more points:

First, augmented-reality roleplaying games will be a common place for many people to develop their alternative or neo-persona. These realities are theoretically a safe place -- not only socially but physically and mentally -- to experiment and take risks... even seemingly tremendous ones. And simply engaging in a realistic simulation of an event, including one in which you can experience pain and personal transformation, can dramatically change what the player thinks is possible, at least for *themselves.* These venues will also be common places for many people to develop their skills, especially since if you egocast yourself in as an infomorph you can move into virtual realities in which time can be accelerated up to 60-fold. There are almost certainly some transhumans in Eclipse Phase who are centuries old, and not all of them live full time as AGIs or infomorphs.

Second, information about and works from past geniuses will probably very common in that era, but to a degree are probably so commonplace in normal education and Mesh infodumps that people don't pay as much attention to them. Hence, perhaps the best example of an individual who was a superlative genius in several fields, Leonardo da Vinci -- painter, sculptor, scientist, inventor, engineer and writer, among other things -- has Notebooks and various works which have been examined and contemplated by a host of would-be transcendent intellects, both as an initial guide and a suggestion of what is possible for even the unenhanced.

Finally, remember that the *average* person in Eclipse Phase is considerably better than the average individual of our area in almost every quantifiable attribute -- physical strength, dexterity and toughness, raw intelligence, observational skills, social skills, etc. People with an above average attribute are equal to what we would consider a conventional genius in our time, and their geniuses are effectively superhuman or operating at the absolute limits of normal human ability. And then there are people notably more able than that -- even without considering anyone's assorted augmentations, which are formidable in themselves.

Hence, what is possible in terms of capacities, technologies, skills and opportunities, despite the desperate overall situation, is very different from where we are today, even in advanced and wealthy nations. Their games, in another words, are frequently anything but games, even for the relatively ordinary.

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Seems to me that trying to imitate a hero or successful person is not a mental disorder unless it goes so far as to impair the life of the imitator. Think of the friend of Apollo mentioned in one of Wright's Golden Transcendence books, who became so obsessed with a false identity that he went bankrupt, eventually dwindling to a tiny, insane piece of software insisting just on the false identity. Merely having your Muse suggest "What would Stephen Hawking do?" is not dangerous.

Might be a symptom of dependent personality disorder or various forms of depersonalisation.

Extropian

Enigma32 Enigma32's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Nitpick:

ADHD, which I know is in the core book, should either be removed or it should have its fellow disorders attached to it - in this case, the ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders). I know there's little evidence to link the two, but both of them are developmental problems and probably are related in some way. Unlike major depression, which you *can* develop while under stress, having gone through a major change, or having some other, untreated problem (speaking from experience), ADHD does not develop when you're under stress. That's something you're born with, just like the ASDs. Now, that's not to say that something couldn't go wrong during resleeving to create the effect of it, but in general, it shouldn't be treated as something that can pop up if you're put under enough stress and your mind breaks, because with ADHD your brain is actually wired backwards (stimulants act as depressants, for instance. It's different from the other neurochemical disorders, which are just the neurotransmitters not producing enough one specific type of chemical, usually dopamine or serotonin.) If you include ADHD, I have to ask where Autism went; genofixing people to remove the "Autism gene(s)" would likely get ADHD in the process, and both of those would be a thing of the past. (~ 2 cents from an ADHD sufferer)

You've got hyposexuality, but don't forget hypersexuality. Other than that, looks like an interesting list.

"If we succeed, we're geniuses for doing it. If we fail, we're stupid for trying it. If we succeed beyond our goal and our dreams, we're insane for reaching so high and getting there."

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Enigma32 wrote:
ADHD, which I know is in the core book, should either be removed or it should have its fellow disorders attached to it - in this case, the ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders). I know there's little evidence to link the two, but both of them are developmental problems and probably are related in some way.

Yes, developmental disorders should have their own section. I always felt ADHD was a bit odd in the mental disorders section since it is not something you just get from seeing an exsurgent horror, but then again, some of the disorders also can be taken on character creation. Personality disorders certainly belong there too.

Of course, many current developmental disorders like Rett syndrome are simply gone in EP except in the most deprived habitats.

Quote:
You've got hyposexuality, but don't forget hypersexuality. Other than that, looks like an interesting list.

Ah, that ought to be in there. After all, it has wonderful roleplaying potential.

I was mostly following the DSM IV list, so some conditions like hypersexuality did not get included in the above posted version. But I'm OK adding them to the version I will put on my website.

Extropian

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Here are a few of my new additions. Happy for comments:

Autism spectrum disorders
Autism involves impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. In its classic form it shows up before three years of age. Asperger syndrome is a milder form (as a spectrum disorder there is a continuum from normal to seriously impaired in autism) where language and cognitive development is not delayed. People with autism have social impairments and lack the intuitions about others neurotypicals tend to have: their “theory of mind” is limited. Making and maintaining friendships is hard, often leading to feelings of loneliness – that are hard or impossible to express. They may show stereotypical or repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping, rocking their bodies or making sounds, arranging objects in stacks or lines, resistance to changes in routine, very focused interests, ritualistic behaviors or self-injury.

Suggested game effects: Characters with autism spectrum disorders have penalties on INT or SAV based skills (from -10 to -30), at least if they involve other people.

Borderline intellectual functioning
While mental retardation (IQ below 85) is practically nonexistent due to genefixing, early detection and in utero nanosupport, some people are born with intelligence so far below the average (IQ 86-100) that they have trouble fitting in. Their ability to think abstractly is rather limited; they tend to prefer concrete thinking. While they can function without assistance beyond their Muses, there are few jobs left that are simple enough for them to do.

[At present, the range of BIF is IQ between 71 and 85, but in Eclipse Phase the average intelligence (and complexity of society) is much higher. About 50% of current humans would have this diagnosis.]

Suggested game effects: this corresponds to characters with COG 5.

Binge eating disorder
The person has episodes of compulsive overeating when they rapidly eat an unusually large amount of food until they are nauseated and uncomfortable. This usually happens when they are depressed or bored, and has little to do with whether they are actually hungry. Afterwards they feel disgusted, depressed and guilty, and often avoid eating together with other people to hide their condition. Thanks to modern metabolic control obesity can be avoided, but there might be malnutrition if the food tends to be junk food.

Bulimina nervosa
The person combines binge eating with a fear of excess calories, leading to episodes of eating followed by purging (by vomiting, excessive exercise or reprogramming medichines) in such a way that health or wellbeing deteriorates.

Hypersexual disorder
The person has problems with an excessive sexual drive that interferes with normal life. They spend extreme amounts of time in sexual activity (masturbation, XP, with actual partners), uses sexual activity in response to low mood or stress, fails at attempts to reduce the behavior, etc. This can be like an addiction, more like the compulsions of OCD, or due to neural damage (e.g. to the medial temporal lobes in Klüver–Bucy syndrome, which also causes docility, overeating and visual agnosia). This disorder is more common among chimpanzee and dolphin uplifts, perhaps due to the peculiarities surrounding their reproduction, atavistic traits, or cultural expectations.

Suggested game effects: Like in impulse control disorders, the character needs to roll WILx3 to resist any sexual opportunity. They also need to do this whenever they have been suffering stress, in order not to immediately seek out gratification.

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
People with circadian rhythm sleep disorders are unable to sleep and wake at the times required for normal work and social needs. They have normal sleep, but their circadian rhythms are out of synch with their environment leading to tiredness, insomnia and various bodily symptoms. This type of disorders were once very common among space colonists due to the lack of 24 hour days, the need for shift work, and jet-lag like effects of moving between habitats with different schedules. They can also be due to natural quirks of the circadian clock systems in the brain, leading to irregular sleep-wake rhythms, or sleep phases moving forwards or backwards. Thanks to medication, augmentation and gene fixing these disorders are now all but unknown outside the Jovian Republic.

Extropian

Enigma32 Enigma32's picture
Re: New mental disorders

"Borderline intellectual functioning
While mental retardation (IQ below 85) is practically nonexistent due to genefixing, early detection and in utero nanosupport, some people are born with intelligence so far below the average (IQ 86-100) that they have trouble fitting in. Their ability to think abstractly is rather limited; they tend to prefer concrete thinking. While they can function without assistance beyond their Muses, there are few jobs left that are simple enough for them to do."

We call these people "flats."

(I did notice your comment about how 50% of current humans fit that mold. I just couldn't resist.)

How about one based off of simulspace/AR? Given the deep, immersing nature of simulspace, I can easily see how some individuals would get the boundaries between objective reality and intersubjective simulspace confused, resulting in situations where you did something that you would do in a game without realizing that, no, this isn't a game. In the same sense, you could have some simulspace addiction.

"If we succeed, we're geniuses for doing it. If we fail, we're stupid for trying it. If we succeed beyond our goal and our dreams, we're insane for reaching so high and getting there."

CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Enigma32 wrote:

How about one based off of simulspace/AR? Given the deep, immersing nature of simulspace, I can easily see how some individuals would get the boundaries between objective reality and intersubjective simulspace confused, resulting in situations where you did something that you would do in a game without realizing that, no, this isn't a game. In the same sense, you could have some simulspace addiction.

That is almost, word for word, what I would consider the Real World Naivete (Core 151) trait to be.

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Enigma32 Enigma32's picture
Re: New mental disorders

See, I was thinking this; it'd be like a person who plays in a game for so long they begin to think that a game tells them how things are supposed to be (my brother does that. He plays war games, therefore, he knows how guns work. That sort of "logic." I live in simulspace most of the time. What do you mean I can't just unplug myself to make all the bad things go away?). Real World Naivete, by contrast, was something that I took to mean you didn't understand how social interactions worked in the real world, rather than having any difficulty distinguishing between the real world and simulspace (which is why the quote under "informorph," in the core, is "What's a "red light district... oh, never mind".) It's not an inability to distinguish between the two - rather, it's an inability to understand certain social keywords and phrases mixed with child-like innocence about certain aspects of what the real world is like. To draw inexact comparisons, Real World Naivete would be something like autism with the social difficulty it imposes, whereas this would be something close to schizophrenia, with the inability to tell the difference between your "hallucinations" (that is, simulspace) and the objective real world.

"If we succeed, we're geniuses for doing it. If we fail, we're stupid for trying it. If we succeed beyond our goal and our dreams, we're insane for reaching so high and getting there."

Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Being unable to tell reality from simulation is almost by definition psychosis (although if simulations are good one might just view it as honest confusion).

If you *feel* as if reality is a simulation, then you got a dissociative disorder.

If you think simulations are real, no matter what evidence you get, then you suffer from delusions.

People get mental disorders based on their culture and what they know. Today delusional paranoids think they have neural implants or nanomachines in their bodies, a few years ago it was thought control beams and before that it was 'air-looms' sending pneumatic signals. Today dyslexia, dyscalculia and ADHD are pretty important conditions, a few generations they would not have mattered to most people since they would have been illiterate farmers anyway. Stalkers fall in love with TV celebrities rather than the girl next door. And so on. In Eclipse Phase I suspect most of these disorders are still around (unless they are easily corrected) but express themselves in EP-ways.

An entirely new disorder would be based on new breakage planes in the transhuman mind that does not exist in the human mind. The enhanced intelligence, the reduced sleep needs, the regulation of emotions: these could lead to new conditions or make conditions that are currently very rare more common. For example, being able to perfectly replay memories might lead to hyperthymesia where people are overwhelmed by their autobiographical memories. COG 40 people might get trapped inside exceedingly complex mental patterns that are self-reinforcing and highly motivating, yet prevent them from doing anything but to pursue the pattern.

Extropian

Dry Observer Dry Observer's picture
Re: New mental disorders

Arenamontanus wrote:
An entirely new disorder would be based on new breakage planes in the transhuman mind that does not exist in the human mind. The enhanced intelligence, the reduced sleep needs, the regulation of emotions: these could lead to new conditions or make conditions that are currently very rare more common. For example, being able to perfectly replay memories might lead to hyperthymesia where people are overwhelmed by their autobiographical memories. COG 40 people might get trapped inside exceedingly complex mental patterns that are self-reinforcing and highly motivating, yet prevent them from doing anything but to pursue the pattern.

I actually use this option -- vulnerability to stimuli and mental/emotional/physical states unavailable to ordinary beings -- as a route for advanced subversion threats such as basilisk hacks and forms of Exsurgent virus exposure.

Mathematical augmentations/traits/sleights permits effects targeted at advanced mathematic gifts (the ability to comprehend and instantly process that assault or that part of it). Grok and Pattern Recognition are potentially even more effective, even without counting an Async's increased vulnerability to Exsurgent infection. Pattern Recognition may be an obvious threat, but a "honey trap" could lure a Grokking character into activating a tool, subroutine, program or untapped ability with disastrous consequences.

Enhanced speed has much the same potential risk in terms of rapidly emerging threats coupled with rapid processing, and most options that provide improved speed have their own intrinsic vulnerabilities. Instinct gives the character, and hence an invading force, the potential to tap prelogical elements of the mind, bypassing rationality and self-control. Neurachem sometimes provides a "wired" character who is easier to destabilize, set off or potentially prone to "spontaneous actions" that are anything but. Augments that provide a short-lived fork of the character to handle additional mental or mesh actions provide a platform for an invading program or a tool to create or trigger effects outside the awareness of the primary consciousness. And so on.

All of these and a host of other potential vulnerabilities are one reason why many wealthy, advanced transhumans who are seemingly fixated on personal development and self-evolution do not always load up on all augmentations indiscriminately. While considerable research has already gone into getting multiple major augments to work together without any overt problems, the more enhancements you involve and the greater their power, the more you see potential risks emerge. Going full Exhuman is one threat, but the simple risk posed by the Exsurgent virus, basilisk hacks and many other high-end psychological tools is another.

These issues are another reason why exceptionally advanced minds often make a point of refusing to intervene personally in every situation around them that affects their interests. Acting directly and with one's full abilities, especially used in personalized ways reflecting one's full creativity, is a perfect way to create the kind of psychological and augmentation profile that would enable certain opponents to craft basilisk hacks, social manipulations and/or various psychomemetic attacks against you. Not to mention giving adversaries an uncomfortably close look at your personal armory of tools and defenses.

Hence, organizations like Firewall definitely do not have any seed AI allies overtly meddling with every plan, problem and predicament. Instead, transhumans -- such as the PCs -- can serve as scouts, agents and one layer of analysis, allowing any transcendant minds involved to keep a safe physical and mental distance.

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