Male Call: Emotional Sensitivity Delusion Syndrome


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 By James Roberts

Now that Valentine’s Day is forthwith, impending and anon, we thought it might be a good time to check out the American Psychiatric Association’s latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) to see what sort of emotional disorders are about to befall the lovelorn.

Alas, the DSM-5 is woefully behind the times when it comes to actual lovelore so the Male Call Advisory Board was forced to make an on-the-fly addition.

To wit: Emotional Sensitivity Delusion (ESD) − the belief, often found on Internet dating profiles, that one is especially in tune with the harmonies of the universe.

This seems to be particularly prevalent among women who are so done with 50 Shades and have taken to re-reading Jane Austen, are considering adding some cats to their repertoire and yoga adherents who have discovered the benefits of gluten-free quantum energy fields.

The symptoms, which, it should be said, can be found in both women and men, are summarized in DSM-5b as follows:

  • belief that one is especially intuitive, sensing signals and emotional currents that others in the room are not aware of;
  • belief that one is particularly adept at reading body language;
  • (women): belief that men are “totally coming on to her” (especially when others on the scene don’t observe this);
  • (men): belief that various women are sending signals that they are “just waiting for him to be single again”;
  • belief that one has “an excellent built-in BS detector” and has no need to fact-check one’s Facebook re-posts of moronic urban legends and fake news;
  • belief that one’s major personality flaw can be summarized as, “I guess I’m just too honest!”;
  • belief that one has “a big heart;”
  • belief that there is actually a difference between a glass that is half-full and one that is half-empty.

Technically, the last item is not part of ESD syndrome but is part of “Misc. Delusions, N.E.C.” along with the belief that one is able to distinguish “forward fruit aromas of ripe plum and toasted vanilla notes” in wine.*

So before you shed your S.O. or Bae in anticipation of V-Day because you think you’ve decoded their body language, take a step back and remember what the philosopher said: “Wisdom begins with recognizing the borders of your delusions.”

*actual wine description

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  1. I often enjoy the pithy observations of James Roberts who uses his super writing powers to deconstruct sacred oafs. He is a salient truth fairy, delivering common sense instead of quarters to those who have lost their teeth in their fragile grip on reality.


  1. […] Emotional Sensitivity Delusion Syndrome (Feb 2015) […]

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