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English disease is a bizarre psychiatric disease suffered by roughly 90% of the population of England. Characterised by egomania, a superiority complex and an inferiority complex, delusions of grandeur, and natiokleptomania (a strong desire to steal other people’s countries), the disease is thought to be genetic. A sufferer of English disease is known as an English Patient.
English disease is an entirely psychiatric disease – there may be little or no outward manifestation, depending on the severity of the disease. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Superiority complex and Inferiority complex - the English Patient's mind is torn by these two conflicting symptoms. English disease instills a deep sense of national pride, and a belief that England is easily the best country in the world; however, it also creates a huge feeling of personal inadequacy in the sufferer. This explain how, while some English Patients can be introverted, with a tendency for great understatement, others can be loud, charismatic and domineering.
- Egomania and delusions of grandeur - these symptoms can sometimes be explained by the superiority complex, but in other cases, they are completely inexplicable. In some cases, an English Patient can develop both an inferiority complex and egomania, leading to great internal conflicts: these English Patients are innately aware and overwhelmingly proud of all of their strengths and achievements, but are reluctant to tell others about them. This leads to a decidedly strange personality.
- Natiokleptomania – as mentioned before, natiokleptomania is a strong, often overpowering desire to steal other people’s countries. This symptom of the disease is rare nowadays, but was very prevalent as little as a hundred years ago. Natiokleptomaniacs are often unaware that they are doing anything wrong - they just have a highly skewed perception of the world's borders.
- Xenophobia - due to their superiority complex and their natiokleptomania, English Patients look upon inhabitants of any other country with great disdain.
Sufferers may have any or all of these symptoms, and any variety of others.
As there has never been instances of person-to-person transmission, it has been concluded that the cause is genetic, and bred into the English nation. It is theorised to be carried by a recessive gene, and can thus can be carried out of the country by English emigrants and passed onto their children undetected. The real casualties of English disease occur when two descendants of English emigrants breed and their recessive genes combine, creating a English patient in a non-English setting.
There is no known cure for English disease: however, many English patients have learnt to live with the disease. Many even embrace their disease, seeing it as a part of what makes them who they are, and a defining part of their identity.
English disease in popular culture
Stranger in a Strange Land
The song "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Iron Maiden, was famously written about English disease, and they lament in this song for those born outside England with English disease. An unrelated song of the same name was written on the same subject by American musician Leon Russell, who was a famous non-English sufferer of English disease.
The English Patient
The English Patient is a 1996 film starring Ralph Fiennes, dealing with the controversial issue of English disease, and sufferers of the disease born outside of England. It focuses on one such sufferer (Ralph Fiennes), born in Austria-Hungary, and his constant battle with the disease. It garnered fantastic reviews when released in the UK, but had little luck in the US. One prestigious English movie critic was quoted as saying "...it's not a States thing, anyway. I mean, what do they know about the disease? They don't have to see people every day suffering from it - they don't have to go home in the evening to a family of English Patients. We invented cinema, don't they know that? Bloody foreigners."
Despite great praise in the UK, it has still been criticised, mainly for painting too rosy a picture of an often debilitating disease.