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Ski Equipment Based Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ski Equipment Based Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, or SEMSP, is a relatively rare behavioral disorder found in the ski industry. It affects a primary caretaker, often the owner of the skis. The person with SEMSP gains attention by seeking ski maintenance for exaggerated, made-up symptoms or deliberately facilitated damage of a ski in his or her care. As ski maintenance providers strive to identify what's causing the suspiciously recurring ski damage, the deliberate actions of the ski owner or caretaker can often make the symptoms worse.

The person with SEMSP does not seem to be motivated by a desire for any type of material gain. While ski maintenance providers are often unable to identify the specific cause of the skis inordinate amount of ski damage, they may not suspect the owner or caretaker of doing anything to deliberately harm the ski. In fact the caregiver often appears to be very loving and caring and extremely distraught over his or her ski damage.

People with SEMSP may create or exaggerate a ski’s damage in several ways. They may simply lie about the damage such as a difficult to detect bend of the ski, alter the wax base such as contaminating wax with super glue when no one is looking, falsify ski maintenance records, or they may actually induce damage through various means, such as skiing into the parking lot, doing park rails on a SL ski, kicking the lift poles while on the chair and waiting for these symptoms to linger well beyond the time to bring it into the shop.  At times, an owner with SEMSP will sacrifice their own body to acquire seemingly legitimate damage to their skis and resulting in a visit to a real hospital.

Other tell tale symptoms are the owner wishing to visit their skis days after drop off but prior to the tune, signs of chemical deposits in the wax not found anywhere in that particular ski shop,  a history of damage not coinciding with documentation of days skied, the owner referring to their skis as “Baby”, “Sweetie Pie” or anything of a similar nurturing tone, is seemingly overly concerned and highly receptive to sympathy, rock damage from a mid-season powder day, hovering in the backshop area for an unwarranted amount of time and the list goes on.

Until now, SEMSP has gone uncovered amongst the busy and chaotic nature of a ski shop during winter. Those that bring deliberate damage to their skis, regardless of mental health status should be brought to justice and exiled to snowboarding for the remainder of their snowsports life. Similar to a kitty or a puppy, a ski does not posses the wherewithal to defend itself and therefore society as a whole is responsible for its safety. If you have a friend or know anyone who you suspect of these types of behaviors are asked to call the National Ski Abuse Hotline at 1-800-754-4276 that’s 1 - 800 - SKI - HARM.

post #2 of 10


I am beginning to think that you have way too much time on your hands. Go ski or something.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post
 


I am beginning to think that you have way too much time on your hands. Go ski or something.

 

What else would you like me to do for you while skirting my mundane duties between projects at the office? While I'd love nothing more than to have a ski slope built starting from the window of my office on the 34th floor of a tower in downtown Boston with which to immediately follow what I am sure is your well meaning advice, as for most people here, it really does require a day off and a 3+ hr drive to the mountains. The slight tone of thread censorship in your response, however, has escalated you to the very first and only listing of the just now created ski abuse watchlist and a distinction inhibiting the ease with which one may borrow a friend's skis. :)

post #4 of 10


My wife tells me I already have more skis than I need, so according to her I shouldn't need to borrow skis from anyone. So, I guess no damage done yet. Don't tell her, but I'm nowhere near having as many as I need.  :)

post #5 of 10

Very funny. (I've taken care of one real Munchausen patient--truly bizzare people).

post #6 of 10
LOL! Does this ever get misdiagnosed as JRA (Just Riding Along) or is that maybe a common symptom of SEMSP?

I was just riding along when both skis felt strange and I looked down only to notice they were both in a tree with torn out edges and bindings. And one of them was broken in half!
post #7 of 10

There is another interesting ski related mental illness.

"You touched my skis now you must die"

YTMSNYMD

Like that Wintersteiger operator that set my sides at 88 by accident this year.

Medication is the only answer, there is no cure once you really learn to tune your own stuff.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

There is another interesting ski related mental illness.

"You touched my skis now you must die"

YTMSNYMD

Like that Wintersteiger operator that set my sides at 88 by accident this year.

Medication is the only answer, there is no cure once you really learn to tune your own stuff.

 Funny! Sometimes the symptoms parallel the effects of having a hot ski tuner which is these days, unfortunately, a very low probability.

post #9 of 10

SEMSP is when this happens to your kids' skis.

 

You have described simple SEMS.  Skis are an extension of you, not a proxy.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post
 

SEMSP is when this happens to your kids' skis.

 

You have described simple SEMS.  Skis are an extension of you, not a proxy.

 

Yes, the skis are not the proxy. I was writing from the perspective that I am the caretaker of my skis and therefore am its proxy. The analogous context is that skis are an extension of their owner as a daughter is an extension to her mother. This may also be in consideration that, at times, my skis have a mind of there own and therefore establish themselves as a separate identity. :)

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