As a doctor* I am often asked: Are my uncontrollable fantasies normal and is day time television injurious to the eyes? The answers to these questions are not straightforward. With regard to the first, the most sensible and medically-approved practice is for the clinician to inquire further into the precise nature of the urge involved and this often requires a face-to-face meeting with the patient. This - in and of itself - makes successful treatment extremely rare. However, should you be able to make such an appointment [latest figures suggest 99.9% of the population will be unable to do so], you should be prepared for some probing questions and [if you are female and the doctor is male] to remove several items of clothing. Here we offer only a general guide to the condition.
*Our usual Doctor is unavailable due to industrial action in support of a wholly justified but unresolved 200% pay demand. The Dorset authorities have offered "a derisory" 4%. Our Antiques Correspondent has been filling in with - as yet - no obvious consequences or significant loss of service.
For example, fantasising about an ice-cream on a hot day is within the limits of "normal" behaviour and can be managed through various forms of aversion therapy up to and including ECT. Imagining The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss naked in the shower is not "normal" and will require more intensive treatment, for example Cognitive Behavoural Therapy, a partial lobotomy and/or chemical castration. Between these extreme outliers lie many less easily categorised urges which only an experienced professional can properly assess [see above]. Self diagnosis, like self-identification as a pineapple can do more harm than good.
The second question is more easily addressed: it is.
NEXT TIME: Is my constant craving for Nuttall's Mintoes natural and can I get them on the NHS?
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