Admittedly, I am a bit of a ‘people person.’ I really hate to miss a good time and do everything in my power to be there whenever a friend is having a soirée. Somehow, it never occurred to me that this was indicative of a deeply-seeded psychological problem. Apparently, I was wrong because, clearly, I suffer from FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. I recently read an article that outlined the diagnosis criteria. The author went on to suggest that people with FOMO fall into one of three distinct categories.
People often comment on my level of activity. I like to do a lot of things. It’s a choice that I make. However, this is not an irrational fear that I might miss something important. The piece further implied that I am incapable of being by myself and grapple with my own ideas and emotions whenever I’m not out having a good time.
Another cause of my mental distress could be that I feel cornered by my personal circumstances from which I am obviously trying to abscond. As if staying home to wash the bathroom floor should keep me from celebrating something (anything!) with my friends.
Wait – There’s more. If the previous explanations haven’t exposed my insecurities, then I am undoubtedly living with trepidation that my friends are going to forget me or – worse – replace me. That must be it! Regardless of decades of friendship, seeing each other through marriages, divorces, losses of jobs, homes, husbands, parents and even children, my friends have an understudy waiting in the wings for the one time I fail to attend an event. Oh, the pressure!
Give me a break.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that is eager to label behaviors. If I were a recluse who isolated myself, I’d be accused of having PDA (Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia). There is an acronym for everything. Because I prefer laughing, making music or dancing the night away with friends to sitting home watching television, I suffer from FOMO.
Who gets to decide what’s normal behavior and which is just a personal preference? Can’t we just have a particular quirk? Why must everything have some sinister, underlying cause?
Now, I am questioning my own sanity. Perhaps I also suffer from acute WAFF (Writes Alot For Fun). Last night, I had symptoms of PAF (Plays A Fiddle). Just last week, I had an attack of VAMEL (Visits Art Museums & Eats Lunch).
It might be time for an intervention. Hopefully, I can address my issues with outpatient treatment and medication. Perhaps I should start a support group for people with FOMO – I imagine it would be very well attended, since no one could stand to miss it! Actually, it sounds like fun. See you there?