Lateness: A disease?

by Cameron Edmond30 Aug 2013

Jim Dunbar, a former City Council worker from Scotland, has had his lifetime of running late classified as a medical condition.

After arriving 20 minutes late to his appointment, a doctor diagnosed Dunbar with chronic lateness, a condition which makes the patient unable to properly gauge how long things take to complete.

Dunbar’s condition has impacted both his social and professional life, with him arriving late to work constantly, costing him a number of jobs.

“I can understand people’s reaction and why they don’t believe me,” Dunbar told The Daily Mail.. “It’s depressing sometimes. I can’t overstate how much it helped to say it was a condition.”

Demonstrating the severity of his condition, Dunbar recounted giving himself 11 hours to get ready for a film he was going to, which he ended up still being late to.

The problem is not irreversible. Psychologists recommend sufferers enforce non-negotiable deadlines on themselves, and monitor how long it takes to do things to help cure themselves, News Ltd found. Planning ahead helps, too.

“I’m not sure you can really call it a condition,” Dr Sheri Jacobson, psychotherapist and director of Harley Therapy Clinic, said. “Repeated lateness is usually a symptom of an underlying condition such as ADHD [Attention-Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder] or depression but it can also just be habit … I think making every day human behaviour into a medical condition is unwise.”