We all live several lives at once, in the sense that we don’t act exactly the same at work as we do when we’re out with friends. (Or at least, I would hope not). That’s not to say that we are completely different people, but we do have to wear different masks, and act accordingly.
For my job, I have to wear the mask of a clinician. Most people who know me personally never see this side, and I thought it might be fun to share a little snippet of what that “other side” of me is like.
The following is an excerpt from an email that went between 3 staff, myself included, about one of our folks who had recently seen the psychiatrist (for which I had been present). The psychiatrist mentioned after the client had left that instead of her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, perhaps she instead has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). (In accordance with all HIPPA and confidentiality regulations, any identifying info for all parties has been removed):
Staff A: Everything I have learned about BPD does not seem to apply to [client]. I am sincerely baffled by this. Please advise.
Me: [The doctor] said that the symptoms she complains of are sometimes seen in individuals with BPD. In such cases many meds are tried, but since the origin of the illness is not organic, no meds are ever reported as being effective. This pretty sums up exactly what [client] reports.
I agree that there may be some sort of psychosomatic issues going on, and I would venture to guess that it could quite possibly run concurrent with a personality disorder diagnosis. I’m not saying that I firmly believe that [client] herself has BPD, but rather that generally it is possible to have both at the same time, and actually seems quite intuitive to the nature of both illnesses.
Staff B: I think it’s safe to say she demonstrates some traits of a personality disorder (not necessarily BPD). This can even be mentioned on Axis II: “Traits of personality disorder, including ____”.
(Note: If you want to know what any of the fancy words mean, click on it. I have linked to more info.)
Now, it’s not all work and no play between the hours of 8am and 4pm for little Miss Messie Jessie. Here’s an excerpt from an email exchange with one of the “higher ups” about my upcoming jury duty, and possibilities on how I could get out of being chosen for the jury:
Me: Maybe I could wear an old bridesmaid dress, have rat’s nest hair, with super thick eyeliner/mascara that’s all streaked down my face like I was just crying, and carrying a baby doll with it’s head ripped off”.
I think that’s a little more like the Jess you all know and love.