Friday, August 26, 2005

No Right Answers

Sarcasm Girl is going through desensitization treatment for a fear of needles--shots, vaccinations, scratch name 'em, she fears 'em, and for someone with allergies that might someday require use of an Epi-pen, it's not good. So the girl is undertaking a course of EMDR (I have her permission to blog about this, by the way. I'm not revealing dark secrets or anything) in hopes that she can learn to deal. I'm not looking for her to become a blood donor, just to be able to tolerate the odd puncture as medically advisable.

In the process of doing this, the therapist asked her to complete a True/False questionnaire to help assess YG's mental status. These things drive me crazy: there are the obvious "draw out the wackos" questions: "My stuffed animals keep telling me to hurt people" True or False? And the obvious "are you paranoid" questions: "My teachers are out to get me; my parents are out to get me; people start to whisper when I walk into the room" True or False? The "how tied to reality are you?" questions: "Superman is a real person" True or False. There are the hard-to-parse questions: "Teachers are neat people" True or False. Neat like nifty? Neat like compulsively tidy? And finally, there are the questions about which one could truthfully say, "well, yes, sometimes, I guess. But not the way you mean it." But of course, there's no "yes, sometimes, but not the way you mean it" option. There's only True or False.

The girl struggled manfully through the 150-odd questions (several of the "are you paranoid" and "draw out the wackos" questions were repeated in variation several times), kvetching under her breath at the stupidity of the questions. As a side-light, watching the process gave me some insight into her test-taking methodology.


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