I had two appointments at Columbia Counselling and Psychological Services today, in the morning with my therapist and in the afternoon with my psychiatrist (Whee! A one-two punch of mental health and wellness!)

While I was waiting a tallish man emerged from the corridor containing the therapists offices with the biggest grin I've ever seen. Now that's therapy! I always feel good after a session, but I never feel out-right giddy. Maybe today's session cured him and he's 100% self-actualized.

Then, as he was waiting for the elevator, he tried talking to a girl walking through the waiting room. She gave him barely a nod of acknowledgement, then sat down and ignored him. The smile faded and he twitched a bit. The elevator arrived and he got on, with his head hanging just a little bit. Guess he'll be back next week...

My therapist and psychiatrist were quite late for their respective session, so I spent, all told, about 45 minutes sitting in the waiting room. I didn't like the magazines, so I watched the people there. I noticed there were a lot of attractive women waiting for therapy. The thought occurred: how good an idea is it to date someone you meet in the waiting room at a therapist's office? On the one hand, you know right off the bean that you're dating someone who has problems. On the other hand, you're dating someone who realizes they have problems, acknowledges them, and is trying to fix them. Huh. Plus, obviously, you're in the therapists office too, with your own cornucopia of psychoses. Beggars can't be choosey. This is purely speculative, of course. It takes extraordinary circumstances for me to talk to strangers in a non-socializing setting, and I sat in silence the whole time.

I got home and, being in a therapy-type mood, took a personality disorders test. It turns out, according to The Internet, that I'm avoidant, but have heavy secondary elements of paranoia, dependance, and schizotypalism. Plus I'm at least moderate in every one of the other 6 personality disorders they test. I'm like the personality disorder sampler platter! Only it's the kind with an extra tray of carrot sticks, where carrot sticks represent avoidant tendencies. The carrot sticks of avoision. Who needs professional mental health experts when you have Some Guy on the Internet with Too Much Time on His Hands?


The thought occurred: how good an idea is it to date someone you meet in the waiting room at a therapist's office?

Probably a better idea than dating some random person who isn't upfront and reasonable about having problems. Of course, when you break up it'll suck for the therapist who has to listen to you both bitch about each other, but other than that I imagine it would be peachy.

Besides, come on. You know that's an arrogant thing to say.

Okay, okay, I just went and took that test.

High: Histrionic, Narcissistic, Avoidant, and Dependent (that's fun, I'm both avoidant and dependent).
Medium: Schizotypal, Borderline, and Obsessive-Compulsive.
Low: Paranoid, Schizoid, and Antisocial.

I would have expected slightly different results, I think. After reading the descriptions of the disorders I'm surprised that borderline and obsessive-compulsive didn't turn out higher, and that histrionic didn't turn out lower.

Was your party platter what you were expecting to find?

Let me defend myself on the arrogance charge. The question was purely speculative, and not related to any real-life possibility of my getting a date with someone.

The question could perhaps be read as though dates were a thing that I regularly plucked off of trees, and the query a question as to whether the fruit of this particular tree looked ripe. Allow me to disabuse you of this notion. Acquiring a date, for me, is like the hunting of the mythical snark. The question should be read as a wistful "Is this the sort of place a snark is likely to show up?" Sadly, for me, the elusive date/snark has been just beyond my grasp for nearly 4 years now.

Mmm, I feel like, reading the descriptions, I'm not nearly so paranoid or schizotypal as they make me seem (High in both). I also feel like, while I have elements of dependence, it's not really High, which is what they gave me. I can accept Very High for avoidant. I got Moderate for Schizoid, which surprises me; Avoidant and Schizoid seem to have so many common elements, you wouldn't think there'd be a Very High/Moderate split like that. I feel like I'm somewhat of both, but more Avoidant than Schizoid, so the test feels right in that sense. I'm moderately anti-social by the test; I feel I should be low, but I worry that I' m more anti-social than I realize, so I'll let that slide. I was Moderate for Borderline, which seems about right. I have some of the mood swings/poor self image, but not the self-destructive/suicidal/angry aspects. The test says I'm moderately Histrionic, which I don't buy at all. Very Low would be my assessment. Same for Narcissistic. Moderately Obsessive-Compulsive seems about right. It really bugs me when things aren't neat and orderly, but at the same time I'm generally too lazy to do anything about it.

Overall, pretty hit-or-miss, but some of that is just quibbling about degrees.

And, of course, insert here all necessary disclaimers about how this is just a stupid internet test and I don't actually buy any of it.

Besides the obvious This Is Not Actual Psychological Evaluation, I suspect that the lack of weighting for answers is really playing havoc with the accuracy of the results. The fact that there's no way to distinguish between "eh, yeah, kind of" and "oh, absolutely" (or even, "yes, with this major caveat") made a lot of my answers less than helpful. On others I would have loved to be able to say I just didn't know -- for instance, do others feel you are cold and distant? Haven't got a clue. And wouldn't knowing that I have no idea what other people think be useful if you're trying to figure out whether I'm narcissistic, or avoidant?

I wonder: if you answer yes to "other people think you're cold and distant", do they mark you down for Schizoid or Paranoid?

Out of curiosity, I went and took it a second time. I figured that my ambivalent answers would fluctuate somewhat while my certain answers would stay the same. Apparently that was more or less the case, because my results were identical except for Histrionic and Narcissistic which dropped from High to Medium. I'm not at all surprised. I knew it all along. I'm brilliant that way. Me me me me me. No, I'm not narcissistic, why do you ask?


As for Schizoid/Avoidant, it seemed like they were describing them as something of a binary pair; similar behavior but very different motivation. It seems set up to pin you as primarily one rather than both -- do you avoid interaction out of fear and intimidation, or out of disinterest?

I'm a little unclear on their definition of Histrionic in general, and how it's being applied to either of us specifically. Their "more on this" link for that disorder, quite frankly, makes it look like a load of crap category to begin with -- like a catchall for perversion, basically. As for their main description as attention-seeking and manipulative, I seriously wonder how likely it is that people who are predominantly avoidant can also fit into that category to any degree. Are you with me on this?

As for obsessive-compulsive, I wonder if I'm confusing obsessive-compulsive personality disorder with obsessive-compulsive behavior. Perhaps there's a nuance of meaning that makes them not quite the same thing. I do seem to have a problem with certain individual compulsive behaviors (like spending 30 minutes scratching at pimples while thinking, "Dianna, stop scratching at those, you know you've been trying to stop that."), but those habits don't translate into neat-freak-ness or overall perfectionism (which is what they seem to be getting at with their description of obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Hahaha... it's obsessive-compulsive story time. I've just recalled a card game that I was playing with a group of people, wherein someone kept deliberately making the play and discard piles messy. Each time it happened my sister and I would exchange frustrated glances and immediately reach to tidy them. Messy on one turn, neat the next, made messy again immediately, straightened within 15 seconds. We just kept going on and on like that. It was UNO, I think, and it took the entire length of a 500-point game for the joke to get old. That's old to the person doing the messing-up, of course, since Katie and I started going crazy about it immediately.

I have a few OCD quirks, though I know some people who exhibit a lot more of that sort of behavior than I do (though none who reach the level of actual clinical Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). My big thing: Eating. There are rules for eating.

Rule 1: It is never permissible to mix foods. Ever. You may not take a bite with two things in it. You may not allow one food to spill into another food. If one food gets into another, you must painstakingly pick it out and ensure that every element of the other food item is removed.

(Note, here, that when I say "Food" I mean "distinct dish." If you have a side dish of, say "steamed peas and carrots," you can eat the peas and carrots together. You need not seperate them out. But if you allow ONE PEA to get into the mashed potatoes, the Fist of God will strike you down.)

Rule 2: Related to Rule 1. You must finish one food item ENTIRELY before beginning the next food item. You may not eat one molecule of mashed potato until every last pea has been consumed. This means picking out and eating any peas that role into the potatoes, and carefully wiping them of any potato detritus before you eat them. Once that is done, you may proceed to eat the potatoes.

Rule 3: There is an elaborate and ceremonial order in which you must eat the food on the plate. You begin with any salads. Proceed to a soup, if there is one. Then bread. Then vegetable-based side dishes (in order of preference from least liked to most liked, with the side-constraint rule that starchy vegetables come last). Then grain-based side-dishes. Finally, only after all else has been eaten, may you begin eating the main dish.

And, of course, you can drink at any time during all of this, and mix drinking in with meals. After all, I'm not crazy.

Also: I don't force my eating rules on others. I believe in the free expression of eating ideas. You can eat your food in any manner you please. After all, it's not my business if you're going to Hell.

I used to eat like that. Except it was in the opposite order - main course first (since it was usually a meat, and I love that) and then most favorite to least favorite side dishes. When I was a kid, that came out to a lot of time sitting at the table being forced to finish the now-cold brusselles sprouts or the like. I missed a lot of games of kickball with my friends due to stubbornness.

Now when I eat I sometimes mix up the meat and starch, but I still eat veggies separate, though in between bites of the main course. Just two days ago, I cut up my seasoned chicken breast and mixed it in with the mashed potatoes.


I'm lead to understand Uncle Bill is something of an idiosyncratic eater, as well. Similar rules about eating one food item at a time. Plus, he dislikes the same foods I dislike (Onions, to a lesser degree bell peppers). Maybe there's some trait in the Sharpe genes that causes obsessive-Compulsive eating.

I don't know about the gene thing. My favorite thing is to combine flavors in order to amplify them, for example: a burger (or grill cheese in my case) with the deliciously salty falvor of french fries. On Thanksgiving the meal is made ten times more wonderful when you pour gravy over everything and eat mashed potatoes with the cranberry sauce and greenbean casserole. now THAT is mmmmm

Well, It's (theoretically) a trait; it could be that I inherited it and you didn't.

Anyone else care to take the Psychological Disorder Test Challenge?

I sat across from Uncle Bill at Thanksgiving this year. I don't recall him specifically quarantining his food, but I may not have noticed. I know he absolutely despises Parmesan Cheese. And he wasn't too keen on trying the sweet potatoes. Plus he would only eat his cranberry sauce by itself, while my dad mixed it in with everything.

PS - I agree with Brette - Thanksgiving is the ultimate mixing holiday.

I took the Test - I had moderates in Schizotypal, Schizoid, and Narcissism. I was low in everything else.

I took the test, I was low in everything and I didn't answer no to all the questions. *shrugs*

Great, I'm the craziest person here. I didn't even get a Low in anything!

Ted: Obviously you've been around him more than I have, but I recall having an excited conversation with him on the topic of food rules a few years back. I also remember the parmesan cheese thing. He was vehement about that.

Yah, I remember dad talking about going out to dinner with uncle Bill and not being able to put parmesian cheese on his pasta because it bugged him so much. Silly uncle Bill. But I can totally understand aversions to stuff. For instace, I got food poisoning this week and just prior to it I had rejoiced in my discovery of light hawaiian punch. Well w/ out getting too vivid, I no longer feel the need to finish the rest of my nearly full 2 liter bottle of light hawaiian punch. I am however regretful of the wasted $1.50 I paid for it. :-P

P.S. I am terrible at english rules and couldn't for the life of me remember if the "u" in "uncle Bill" is supposed to be capitalized. On the bright side, if Kelsey reads this she will get a good laugh at my grammar incompetance.

Brette: Also, lets not forget your refusal to ever eat Mongolian Barbeque again because you got sick WITH A COLD the evening after you ate at Stir Fresh.

Uh huh thats my story and I'm stickin to it! It's really NOT because I hate mongolian BBQ and think it tastes like ass.....*wink*wink*

Oh, pshaw! That's just silly. Mongolian Barbeque is functionally equivalent to any Chinese noodle dish. The only difference is that you pick what goes into it and how it's flavored. Besides, you've had it all of... once?

I liked mongolian bbq the one time I had it when I lived in CA - Brette just doesn't know what's good for her.

And to that I respond with an attitude filled "whatever!" I have had it more that once and each time it sucked more than the last.

Ok I'd like to now diverge onto the topic of finals: Fuck them! I've been studying econ for two days straight and I haven't even started on my beef key terms. I really want school to die...painfully...

Aw, Econ's not so bad. What're you having trouble with?

I can't help you with Beef, though.

(For those who don't know and are curious, Brette's taking a course at Cal Poly SLO on Beef Production as part of her Animal Sciences major).

well it's not so much that is it difficult, it's more that there is SOOO much stuff we went over in this section and his tests are ridiculously detailed. PLUS I'm retaking one of the earlier tests because I didn't do so hot on it so there's that added material. *shrug* I shall perservere :-P

Econ is easy. I thought we had this discussion:

Guns or Butter?

...I totally forgot about that. Guns vs. butter was even one of our keyterms and I had no idea what it was or where to find it...oh well I took the test today and I think it went well. Now I'm esconced in my beef notes. I have to know about 30 different breeds (and just in case you were wondering, no they don't all look different, they all look just about the same >.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on December 1, 2005 4:09 PM.

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