Navigating the Mental Minefields of the Well-to-Do

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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AID SUFFERER Niarchos Are you a self-satisfied, paranoid, coke-snorting yuppie with a penchant for organic kale, Kashi bars, and unscented Seventh Generation laundry detergent? If so, the STATs think tank at George Mason University says you have UMC Syndrome (Upper Middle Class Syndrome). The afflicted tend to be hyper-educated, internet-savvy residents of hip enclaves in Brooklyn or San Francisco whose aversion to all things synthetic leads them to "freak out" over the housekeeper using "generic products!"

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Those encumbered by the disorder eschew carcinogenic chemicals of any kind—particularly for their babies, fearing (in no particular order) vinyl, pthalate-emitting plastics, masstige rugs from Pottery Barn, and fume-laden Opi nail polish. But, says STATs, that doesn't always stop them from indulging in a few vices—either smoking, downing pinot grigio by the magnum, or snorting coke cut with talcum powder. Tragically, UMC Syndrome is only the latest in a rash of class-specific malaises. After the jump, some of our fav superfluous psychological disorders ...



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