I had to laugh when I read the seemingly scientific paper written by Professor Gary Solomon. It was hilarious, so tongue-in-cheek and so incredibly well delivered. Page after page was so creative, inventive and…… WTF? Was he being serious? I tracked him down at his home in Nevada to compliment him on his prize-winning work of creative fiction.
He put me straight in the first fifteen seconds. “That’s not fiction,” he said. “It’s real. It’s a real medical syndrome.”
I was absolutely stunned. Here was a well-educated, well-known Professor of Psychology saying that Homeowners Associations were actually capable of generating physical illness in some of their residents!
Professor Solomon said he had lived in a community with an HOA and he noticed that some of his neighbors were suffering from various symptoms like obsessive rumination, depression, physical health problems, and paranoia. The symptoms were similar to those often associated with PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Battle fatigue caused by life in an HOA? Seriously, Professor, you’ve got to be kidding?
Nope. He’s not. Dr. Solomon has named the anxiety disorder experienced by homeowners as HOA Syndrome.
Dr. Solomon says the cause of HOA Syndrome is the fear of harassment, and powerlessness in the face of threats of fines, fees and lawsuits. Other symptoms of this anxiety disorder include anxiousness, depression, worrying, sleeping disorder, paranoia, fear of going to one’s own mailbox, hyper-vigilance and stress.
I think I have it.
Neighbors At War: The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association
I think I noticed this in some of my neighbors too–when our board went our of control and doubled out dues with nary a mention of it to the owners until the annual statements went out. I had excessive guilt–that was because I had helped the “resistance” so to speak and they board started going after them–in fact the board sued us!!! Because I felt so responsible, I personally took on the mounting legal fees when my neighbors on fixed incomes could not manage to donate more. It amount to $11,000 dollars and I was truly sick about it… We won, and I eventually got my money back but HOA Syndrome? Yeah, I had it! Thank you for a great post!