Inappropriate Affect

As someone who has been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder in the Schizophrenia spectrum, and someone who takes pleasure in sneaking looks at my medical chart when the doctor leaves it open in front of me (seriously, doc?), I know a thing or two about seeing the phrase “inappropriate affect”. Typically, they really mean, flat affect, which is when I can appear to be kind of like I have no mood. Inappropriate affect really means something along the lines of a mood or reaction that doesn’t correspond to what is really called for in a situation. Apparently, cracking jokes during a funeral is inappropriate.

So, there was a small plane that crashed yesterday in Madison, which is the inconsequential (it’s a real word, it even appears in Twilight—just not as many times as chagrin) suburb that is pretty much surrounded by Huntsville. Okay, so better not focus on the horribleness that is Madison, which could take up an entire entry. Two people were killed and I was making jokes about things, but not like truly disrespectful ones. I joke to cope. However, joking during a tragedy, which I guess two people in a crash being killed is a tragedy, even if the crash was in a neighborhood on a day when everyone was home.

Well, my reaction is considered inappropriate, which I guess is fair. However, is it really right to say that my joking to cope with tragedy is worse than television channels having to state at what time shows get re-aired for those people who think that it was a big inconvenience to their daily schedule to have things like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz and The Doctors (I am not kidding about these shows being scheduled against one another) not show up because of some silly little plane crash. Of course, these are probably people from the same stock as the people who make the snide remarks about when meteorologists have to interrupt soaps and talk shows due to the tornado warnings we so frequently have. You know because the value of Oprah’s Book Club and whoever is killing whoever else on General Hospital are soooo much more important than those pesky little people that could be killed by something out of their control. (I do want to know why Ellen never gets re-aired, though…)

If it is a symptom of a psychological problem for me to have a sense of humor in the face of badness, then it must be a symptom of a lack of humanity for people to place some damn tv show in front of the value of someone’s life or loss of said life.

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.