07/18/2007 06:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Diagnosis: Exhaustion?

2007-07-18-chapelle.jpgDave Chapelle, the oft-conflicted comedian who turned down a $50 million contract with Comedy Central and jetted to South Africa instead, checked into the hospital over the weekend for "exhaustion".

While virtually nonexistent in the non-Hollywood patient population, exhaustion seems to be a growing epidemic amongst the celebrity set (see: Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie etc). All of those years of long work hours I thought I was just tired. Maybe I was actually exhausted? What do the admission orders consist of for exhaustion? Do they have special imaging modalities to confirm that diagnosis? And how do they know it was really exhaustion and not simply moderate sleepiness?

But neither nor the pop culture-loving American public are stupid. We can read between the lines, i.e. "exhaustion" is a term coined by the public relations types to mask a whole assortment of other real diagnoses that are much less palatable when reported in the media.

Thus, we have come up with the Top 5 Differential Diagnoses for "Exhaustion" for those who might want to speculate about the real reason behind a hospital admission.

1. Depression - Definitely the most likely and frequently seen in the celeb set

2. Drug addiction/intoxication/overdose - A close second and most likely intimately related to #1

3. Psychotic break - aka Martin Lawrence Syndrome. Also, commonly seen in association of both #1 and #2 and may actually be the last stop on the disease spectrum.

4. Any illness which may reflect poorly on the actor - Actors earn money from the image they project on the screen and when the public finds out that their action hero actually has rheumatoid arthritis or their sex symbol has Hepatitis C (a la Pam Anderson), well, not good.

5. All of the above

To help out the PR flack, we have also decided to provide the Top 5 Alternatives to the "Exhaustion" Euphemism:

1. Unspecified illness - Why even give the public the pleasure of guessing what the celebrity has? Leave them in the dark completely - it sort of adds an air of mystery.

2. Flu-like symptoms - Reliable, undeniable, and actually a lame but legitimate reason for ER visit.

3. Chest pain - There's just so much of it and so many reasons for it.

4. Hyperstimulantemia - This is not a real diagnosis but it might fit the bill in many cases.

5. Mental anguish - Nothing wrong with going the honest route.