Barnstaritis is a disease of the brain directly related to use of barnstars. It will eventually result with the sufferer being a target of other users who may themselves be suffering from "tall poppy syndrome". Barnstaritis is closely related to editcountitis in that they share certain characteristics. Recent groundbreaking research has indicated that 70% of sufferers of editcountitis also suffer from barnstaritis. There are two strains of barnstaritis, barnstaritis A and barnstaritis B.
Barnstaritis A is the desire to show off your barnstar(s) at nearly every possible opportunity ad nauseam, even when these opportunities are inappropriate.
Barnstaritis B is the conscious decision to award barnstars to users whom you have only seen once as a meet and greet present and not for the reasons the barnstar was intended. Diagnosis of this strain is much harder and usually requires the patient to think deeply.
It is important not to tease the editors with barnstars. Medically examine any potential cases to rule out the possibility that the patient in question is actually deserving of an award. ADHD, or Award Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is a related disorder.
Symptoms of barnstaritis A include
- Putting the same barnstars on most or all of your user pages.
- Talking about or referring users to the fact you have barnstars when a dispute arises in order to give you an edge.
- Treating barnstars as status or authority.
- Awarding yourself with barnstars you didn't actually earn.
- Dropping prominent "hints" to visitors of your talk and user pages that you appreciate receiving barnstars and indeed your friendship is dependent upon receipt of a barnstar. See this pitiful example of a banner on a talk page of an individual with barnstaritis: This user is significantly more likely to do what you want if you offer something shiny.
- Creating a sockpuppet account just to give your other account barnstars
- Hiding barnstars around the house
- Becoming unreasonably angry when someone politely suggests you might be suffering from barnstaritis
- Looking at your gallery of barnstars to stop feelings of boredom or depression
- Getting pleased when another Wikipedian has given you more than one barnstar.
Symptoms of barnstaritis B include
- De-glorifying a barnstar by giving it to all your friends to get in their "good books".
- Using barnstars as "friendship making" tools without observing what the barnstar is actually meant for
Some reported cases of barnstaritis are said to show mixed features of both A and B. Some experts have argued that these reports are bogus and merely represent occult cases of barnstaritis A in which widespread gifting of barnstaritis represents a desperate attempt to receive some in return.
If you think you have barnstaritis, it is never too late to fix it; on the contrary, it is quite easy to. Some solutions include:
- Put all barnstars on one page; that way people can look at them but are not forced to.
- Do not use "how many barnstars" as a point of conversation.
- Don't give a fuck.