Symptoms include the inability to sleep due to random story ideas, character interactions, and the sudden onset of lines that need to be written/revised/deleted. Loss of social skills may develop as the brain focuses on the story at hand and ignores conversations going on around it. Housework suffers, as does laundry and the care and feeding of family members. In severe cases, personal hygiene and fashion sense begin to fail.
Short term cures involve massive amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages, take-out and solitude. Some may find speaking with other OBS sufferers brings some relief, although in some, this only exacerbates the symptoms. Exercise caution when approaching a group of highly animated writers until you can assess the situation.
Long term cures require extensive time spent at the keyboard (or with pen and legal pad) emptying the brain's contents onto blank pages. The long term cure may takes days, weeks or even years. Sadly, no cure exists for some. On occasion, trips to warm, sunny spots have proven effective in easing symptoms.
OBS is a recurring illness, rising out of a seemingly cured individual with no warning. Studies show triggers include a current work-in-progress that's progressing well, in addition to writing the words "the end," but as the writer's brain is a fragile structure to begin with, these studies were concluded early due to insufficient stockpiles of chocolate and wine and the inability of the writers involved to go on without those supplies.
Please support the search for a cure by donating chocolate and wine to any writer you know. You may further support the afflicted writers you know by purchasing any of their work that makes it into publication.
Together, we can make a difference.