An egg being squeezed in a clamp

“I never really felt connected to things,” says John M., “And I was always losing things.”

John may be suffering from a new psychological condition that is the subject of heavy controversy.

Proponents point to a large untreated pool who, they claim, suffer from poor self- esteem and diminished quality of life.

Critics, on the other hand, say it’s just one more variation of the same and is nothing more than normal behaviors and feelings we all experience.

The diagnosis? Stress Related Object/Orientation Disorder (STROOD), a condition characterized by often misplacing things, and a sense of disorientation.

STROOD develops as a reaction to chronic stress. Psychologists say that the pressure of modern life can reshape critical pathways in the limbic system that are associated with organization and orientation. The reshaping eventually leads to a form of developed lack of focus and confusion.

Some estimates put STROOD’s prevalence as high as 5%. “It’s awful,” says Mark H., a participant in an early clinical trial. “I was always misplacing things, and not entirely clear where I was. It felt great to learn I wasn’t alone.”

Despite being a chronic condition, STROOD may be treated by Prozac and other SSRIs. And treatment should be aggressive, argue leading psychologists, pointing to diminished quality of life reported on scales from untreated sufferers.

Researchers also argue that statins may also play a role in STROOD treatment. Aggressive control of blood LDL levels can potentially help alleviate the symptoms of chronic stress.

Researchers are recruiting for the STROOD-life enhancement trial, or STROODLE.