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  1. - Top - End - #661
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    We'll see how it works. I was quoted $2500 to replace the gasket and $500 to replace the water pump. If the entire thing is replaced it will be $5900 lump sum to put in a new engine.

    What part of the country do you live in, if I may ask? I may be paying more than absolutely necessary because I took it to the dealer. I suppose a less-specialized mechanic might be able to do it for less. But I was concerned when I brought it in that it might be a computer problem and had to be troubleshot by the dealer, not by someone else.

    Would you have done differently? Honest question.
    I live in Canada, but looking quickly only did make it look like those prices were high. In terms of labor I used to work with a buddy at our own company designing custom auto parts. Since we were just starting out and he was a mechanic we did a bit of mechanic work to pay the bills, and again from that point of view the cost seemed high.

    As to the second question, I wouldn't bring it to the dealer since I know a fair number of mechanics who I know won't screw me on it, but that's just me being fortunate in this regard. I always found dealers to be more expensive than a regular shop so I tended to avoid them (unless it was warranty claim obviously) even before I knew people in the independent shops.

    Since the place is already taking the engine apart for you to do the diagnosis, an alternate estimate now may be a bit too late. I would suggest getting them to show you an invoice on the breakdown of costs to see why its so expensive though. Maybe there's some aspect of taking the engine out/replacing the head gasket that is more difficult on your make of car or something.

  2. - Top - End - #662
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Well, I was using that as an example/analogy for the same issue in mental health. It's a lot harder with mental health though, because far more frequently the reaction to "I tried that and it didn't work" is to act like you didn't try hard enough. Or in some cases to outright ignore the problem. Actually, I've had that one happen with physical health too ("Oh so the allergy meds make you irritable? Why is that a problem?").

    That's a big deal to me. If I say "X side effect is unacceptable to me," I expect that to be taken seriously. I may have different weights of quality of life than the doctor has, but I expect treatment to take place according to my weighting of what's important, not someone else's idea. I just feel like the whole system isn't really about helping me be the sort of person I'd like to be, and more about making me compliant and measuring up to someone else's idea of normal.
    I definitely understand and have seen the same effect on the mental area too. I still think that perhaps some sort of documentation as to what you've tried and how that's gone might help. Otherwise, well, they don't know you. They might just lump you with the kind of patient that doesn't want to cooperate.

    I don't think that they really want to make you compliant and measure up to someone else's idea of normal. I think they genuinely are kind of used to doing things X way and when something that looks like it can be done X way comes to them, they have to try that first. Not everyone is comfortable looking for alternate ways to do things. You can usually see this a lot more easily in the physical aspect, but it does apply to the mental aspect. I really do think that some kind of documentation on what you've tried and how it's worked for you might even help give them the necessary insight to better be able to help you.
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  3. - Top - End - #663
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluewind95 View Post
    I definitely understand and have seen the same effect on the mental area too. I still think that perhaps some sort of documentation as to what you've tried and how that's gone might help. Otherwise, well, they don't know you. They might just lump you with the kind of patient that doesn't want to cooperate.

    I don't think that they really want to make you compliant and measure up to someone else's idea of normal. I think they genuinely are kind of used to doing things X way and when something that looks like it can be done X way comes to them, they have to try that first. Not everyone is comfortable looking for alternate ways to do things. You can usually see this a lot more easily in the physical aspect, but it does apply to the mental aspect. I really do think that some kind of documentation on what you've tried and how it's worked for you might even help give them the necessary insight to better be able to help you.
    What documentation can I get, though? The dispute wasn't over whether I'd been seeing or taking certain things, but over their effects on me. If I feel depressed and unable to function after my therapy appointments, there's no documentation that I can present that will prove that. If someone wants to disbelieve me, there's absolutely no paperwork that can show otherwise. Nor can I prove that I made calls to different places that said they couldn't see me, if someone is disinclined to believe that.

    To be clear: I don't think it's an intentional case of "we just want to make people measure up to our idea of normal." But what I've seen happen is more "I'm used to X and not Y. This person is presenting in a mental health practice with Y. Y isn't what I'm used to seeing, so it's a result of the mental illness. Therefore, as part of treating the mental illness, we need to deal with Y." I've seen that happen a lot - for example, I had it with my parents, where mental health professionals would rather believe that I'm paranoid than that an apparently interested loving mother can be quite manipulative and emotionally abusive. Had the same thing happen with the way I dress, even - they're personally disturbed by gothic fashion, so clearly it's a symptom of mental health problems that must be treated.
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  4. - Top - End - #664
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    In many cases, there might just be some sort of journal you can keep. Do you have a friend that can corroborate it? Maybe the friend can write the "yes, I totally saw that too". But yeah, likely it will all have to be informal documentation. Maybe have some form of format? Maybe a schedule-like one?
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  5. - Top - End - #665
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluewind95 View Post
    In many cases, there might just be some sort of journal you can keep. Do you have a friend that can corroborate it? Maybe the friend can write the "yes, I totally saw that too". But yeah, likely it will all have to be informal documentation. Maybe have some form of format? Maybe a schedule-like one?
    I feel like that would just be seen as aggressive or otherwise symptomatic. In my experience waving documentation around that's beyond what most people have available is a very, very bad idea. Gets seen as threatening/uncooperative.

    In any case, I'm not really seeing what []i]benefit[/i] I'd be reaping from this. In my experience, even if I do offer documentation it doesn't count. You get crap like, oh, being blamed for not seeing anyone for months when their own system records that it took them 6 months to get you an appointment. Or people who won't believe you about your own financial situation - what am I supposed to do, bring my pay stubs and bank statements into the office? This type of person that the mental health system has simply will not work with you unless you fit into their boxes. If it wasn't this thing it would be something else.
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2012-11-07 at 07:02 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #666
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    I live in Canada, but looking quickly only did make it look like those prices were high. In terms of labor I used to work with a buddy at our own company designing custom auto parts. Since we were just starting out and he was a mechanic we did a bit of mechanic work to pay the bills, and again from that point of view the cost seemed high.

    As to the second question, I wouldn't bring it to the dealer since I know a fair number of mechanics who I know won't screw me on it, but that's just me being fortunate in this regard. I always found dealers to be more expensive than a regular shop so I tended to avoid them (unless it was warranty claim obviously) even before I knew people in the independent shops.

    Since the place is already taking the engine apart for you to do the diagnosis, an alternate estimate now may be a bit too late. I would suggest getting them to show you an invoice on the breakdown of costs to see why its so expensive though. Maybe there's some aspect of taking the engine out/replacing the head gasket that is more difficult on your make of car or something.
    As it turns out, the engine diagnosis showed that the engine had sustained damage but it was NOT unsalvageable. So the total cost to dissassemble the engine, repair it, replace the gasket and the water pump, then put the whole thing back together, is $4100. I think that's much more reasonable. If it seems high I think it was because I did not understand that the additional cost to disassemble the engine was factored in.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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    -- Eliezer Yudkowski, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality"

  7. - Top - End - #667
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Arguskos,

    I'm glad the advice was helpful:).

    FYI, I have seen this kind of attendance policy before. Here in Fairfax County -- at least in 1985-1989 when I was in school -- the policy was as follows:

    A student is tardy to class if they are not in their seats when the bell rings.

    If the student is more than 20 minutes late, and there is no parental or doctor's note or something similar, this is an unexcused absence.

    If the student has 3 unexcused absences in a class, they receive a zero for the course for the year.

    If the student is tardy four times, the student also receives a zero for the year.

    A draconian policy , perhaps. Perhaps it wasn't enforced the way it was written, but I never tried to find out! :)

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

    -- Eliezer Yudkowski, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality"

  8. - Top - End - #668
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Nor can I prove that I made calls to different places that said they couldn't see me, if someone is disinclined to believe that.
    One thing that I find helpful is to take notes when you're calling someone. I'll put who I called, the date and time at the top, and then I'll make note of who I talked to, what they told me, what I told them, and what came out of the phone call (appointment, who to call next, etc). People are usually more inclined to listen to you (if they weren't in the first place) if you can say "I talked to John last Thursday, and he said that I needed to call you because he didn't have the ability to make the appointment that I needed" (adjust as appropriate, that's just a random example I made up). Not perfect, but it can give you a leg up on getting your side heard.

    [/quote]To be clear: I don't think it's an intentional case of "we just want to make people measure up to our idea of normal." But what I've seen happen is more "I'm used to X and not Y. This person is presenting in a mental health practice with Y. Y isn't what I'm used to seeing, so it's a result of the mental illness. Therefore, as part of treating the mental illness, we need to deal with Y." I've seen that happen a lot - for example, I had it with my parents, where mental health professionals would rather believe that I'm paranoid than that an apparently interested loving mother can be quite manipulative and emotionally abusive. Had the same thing happen with the way I dress, even - they're personally disturbed by gothic fashion, so clearly it's a symptom of mental health problems that must be treated.[/QUOTE]

    You probably know this already and don't particularly want to hear it again, but it sounds like you haven't found the right professional yet.
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  9. - Top - End - #669
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogueboy View Post
    One thing that I find helpful is to take notes when you're calling someone. I'll put who I called, the date and time at the top, and then I'll make note of who I talked to, what they told me, what I told them, and what came out of the phone call (appointment, who to call next, etc). People are usually more inclined to listen to you (if they weren't in the first place) if you can say "I talked to John last Thursday, and he said that I needed to call you because he didn't have the ability to make the appointment that I needed" (adjust as appropriate, that's just a random example I made up). Not perfect, but it can give you a leg up on getting your side heard.
    I think the frustration is just as much that I'm feeling like I have to prove everything that doesn't fit exactly with their plans. I have to prove the phone calls I make, the mood effects of all my treatments for the last 5 years, my financial situation...seriously, by the end of this I'm going to be carrying a briefcase full of notes in to every appointment to try to cover every important detail. And that still doesn't cover everything ("You have too many reports of things not working, you need to stop making up symptoms").

    You probably know this already and don't particularly want to hear it again, but it sounds like you haven't found the right professional yet.
    At last count, I have dealt with at least 11 different mental health professionals. 6 caused varying sorts of increased problems; at least 3 of those still have long-lasting effects on me. 1 actually did something useful. At what point do I get to decide it's not worth it without being blamed for "not taking care of myself"?!!?

    I'm just tired of this. I'm going in and getting hurt repeatedly, but the minute I take any move to protect myself from the "nice doctors" I'm clearly crazy and need to be cured of it. I'm just trying to take care of myself, but apparently that's not allowed. It's like being a kid again - the grown-ups are free to yell and scream and get mad at you for not doing things you can't do and ignore anything you say, but the minute you say or do anything against them you're a rebellious child that needs to be punished.
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  10. - Top - End - #670
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    At last count, I have dealt with at least 11 different mental health professionals. 6 caused varying sorts of increased problems; at least 3 of those still have long-lasting effects on me. 1 actually did something useful. At what point do I get to decide it's not worth it without being blamed for "not taking care of myself"?!!?
    What did these people do when you presented the increased problems to them? And what about the others, I presume they neither helped nor hurt. Would they all refused to do anything else for you when you went back to them? I'll grant its possible that all the mental health professionals in the area are just bad, but I have to imagine that is unlikely. I'd have to imagine there are other people who go to your school who might have similar type issues. Are there any message boards or the like where you could ask how they might deal with it (in terms of which doctors to use). I was thinking a message board since its generally anonymous and people will be more likely to talk about mental health there, rather then in a more public setting where they might be stigmatized because of it.

  11. - Top - End - #671
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    What did these people do when you presented the increased problems to them? And what about the others, I presume they neither helped nor hurt. Would they all refused to do anything else for you when you went back to them? I'll grant its possible that all the mental health professionals in the area are just bad, but I have to imagine that is unlikely. I'd have to imagine there are other people who go to your school who might have similar type issues. Are there any message boards or the like where you could ask how they might deal with it (in terms of which doctors to use). I was thinking a message board since its generally anonymous and people will be more likely to talk about mental health there, rather then in a more public setting where they might be stigmatized because of it.
    The nasty bit about the ones that hurt is that they had everything so pathologized that anything I said was "proof." Stuff like deciding that I hadn't really been abused by my ex, but was reporting it because of my "paranoia." Or one who was clearly disturbed by my being a goth and saw that as a big issue - and of course anything I said otherwise was "denial" and "avoidance". Those were probably the worst two. In both cases (and a couple others), the fact that I disagreed and claimed harm was further proof that I was crazy and needed more treatment.

    It's sort of a vicious cycle. Most mental health professionals, I've found, don't want to believe that abuse exists in the profession. So frequently if you go in and report abuse, what happens is that you get labelled as "difficult" or "paranoid" or otherwise considered to not be credible.
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  12. - Top - End - #672
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    For a fun session, Have your shrink on high grade painkillers.


    That is were that session went!
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I think the frustration is just as much that I'm feeling like I have to prove everything that doesn't fit exactly with their plans. I have to prove the phone calls I make, the mood effects of all my treatments for the last 5 years, my financial situation...seriously, by the end of this I'm going to be carrying a briefcase full of notes in to every appointment to try to cover every important detail. And that still doesn't cover everything ("You have too many reports of things not working, you need to stop making up symptoms").



    At last count, I have dealt with at least 11 different mental health professionals. 6 caused varying sorts of increased problems; at least 3 of those still have long-lasting effects on me. 1 actually did something useful. At what point do I get to decide it's not worth it without being blamed for "not taking care of myself"?!!?
    I wish I knew where that line was. From the sounds of it (both now, and from some of your older posts), you're getting a pretty raw deal on this whole thing. I've only dealt with... (counting...) 5 different professionals (not counting co-leaders in the group I go to - 3 of those). 1 (the first, 10+ years ago) was definitively harmful, and was part of creating the emotional numbing that is my primary concern now. 1 was related to my ridiculously picky eating, and went well. 2 have been not-helpful individual, one of whom I'm now working on shifting away from (appointment with someone new is set for Monday).

    Based on your comments, it seems like you're capable of identifying when someone isn't helping, which is the first issue. The second, of course, being switching to someone who might be more helpful. Obviously, the second piece is the harder, and this entire paragraph is saying absolutely nothing that isn't ridiculously obvious, so I'll just stop.
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  14. - Top - End - #674
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    There's two sides of that coin, actually. In the physical realm, I have some...extremely unusual reactions to certain medications and treatments. Certain standard treatments with antibiotics that work with most people have a history of leaving me with resistant infections. You become a bit more of an expert because you have to be. I've had plenty of doctors go in and tell me they want to do the standard treatment anyway, because "no one has that sort of reaction." Or similar problems with recurring issues being brushed aside as not real, again because according to the books they can't find anything that matches the symptoms described. The nightmare patient? Is often the patient like me that's had a few rounds of "oops we decided we had to do the textbook treatment yet again, and it resulted in a bigger problem yet again."

    It's...sort of the same, really. When you've heard a few rounds of "oh you have X so we should do Y" after you've been trying Y for several years - yeah you sort of stop taking these people seriously. Or when a doctor seems to be ignoring any symptoms that don't fit with what he's decided the problem is (again, seen this with both physical and mental stuff).
    that sounds familiar.. my dad's wife has a rare disease and has set up the local non profit organisation to group other people with it together and inform doctors about it..so yeah..she does a fair deal of self diagnosing too, on account of actually knowing things.
    lame question.. don't you have a family doctor or someone who has followed your medical history and can vouch for the unusual reactions?..I mean..if it's happened before, someone should remember this other than yourself..right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    that sounds familiar.. my dad's wife has a rare disease and has set up the local non profit organisation to group other people with it together and inform doctors about it..so yeah..she does a fair deal of self diagnosing too, on account of actually knowing things.
    lame question.. don't you have a family doctor or someone who has followed your medical history and can vouch for the unusual reactions?..I mean..if it's happened before, someone should remember this other than yourself..right?
    Not since I moved. Even when I show them my medical history, a lot of times I get ignored, especially if it's a reaction that can't be verified by a medical test.
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    When did my family become One of Those Families? -.-

    The worst bit: this whole thing is for my grandparents' anniversary, and my grandfather's 80th birthday. And my sister and I, we think, are the only ones who know how sick our grandfather is. And there's all this fiddle-farting around, lack of communication, plan-breaking, thoughtlessness and drama-queening ruining it.
    Last edited by Serpentine; 2012-11-10 at 03:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    I swear, the next person to tell me to get mental health help, of any sort...I'm tired of going through a system that doesn't care about anything except following their little check-boxes and getting you to fit to their local model of a good girl.
    The mental health industry is dysfunctional and brimming with incompetent fools. Most of the people in the field should have gone into engineering. Far too many try far too often to take an assembly line efficiency approach forgetting everything that they learned earning their degrees, and can't understand how human lives are not as simple as using the right size carriage bolt. It's always the mechanics that have to fix the foul ups the engineers make though, because what works on paper doesn't always work when you get into the real world where lines aren't straight and people make mistakes. The same is true of a lot of doctors and other healthcare providers. Instead of "I don't know what you're talking about" it's "you don't know what you're talking about."

    Well, I know exactly what you're talking about, at least in that regard. For whatever reason I'm mostly immune to the numbing effects of opiates like morphine (just makes my mind cloudy), and always have been. It had no effect when I was a child, and when I had to have another surgery not much later that apparent inefficacy as evidenced by being lucid and capable of expressing pain was brushed off; "You can just hit the button if you start feeling pain again". That went on for a week during recovery because "people don't build resistance that quickly!" Sure, okay, but what if it's neverworked? Sometimes it's like working with programmer who doesn't understand conditionals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    Again, if in the US, even if you're not religious, there are a LOT of church organizations that help people who have hit hard times. These can generally work better than the government programs
    The truth of this is largely dependent upon area. Most of the church organizations that run such operations around here will, for example, kick you out if it happens to come out that you're LGBT or if you've aborted a pregnancy or if they suspect you don't believe in the proper mysticism even if you participate in it. One of them that I know of even refuses to help people who've divorced. Seems likely that others might have other irrelevant prerequisites like having to impale yourself upon the wood of the true cross.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    What documentation can I get, though? The dispute wasn't over whether I'd been seeing or taking certain things, but over their effects on me. If I feel depressed and unable to function after my therapy appointments, there's no documentation that I can present that will prove that. If someone wants to disbelieve me, there's absolutely no paperwork that can show otherwise. Nor can I prove that I made calls to different places that said they couldn't see me, if someone is disinclined to believe that.

    To be clear: I don't think it's an intentional case of "we just want to make people measure up to our idea of normal." But what I've seen happen is more "I'm used to X and not Y. This person is presenting in a mental health practice with Y. Y isn't what I'm used to seeing, so it's a result of the mental illness. Therefore, as part of treating the mental illness, we need to deal with Y." I've seen that happen a lot - for example, I had it with my parents, where mental health professionals would rather believe that I'm paranoid than that an apparently interested loving mother can be quite manipulative and emotionally abusive. Had the same thing happen with the way I dress, even - they're personally disturbed by gothic fashion, so clearly it's a symptom of mental health problems that must be treated.
    Well it's no secret that we're by nature tribal animals who don't like aberrant behaviors or opinions. We're kind of like really smart intelligent ants in that respect, in that we tend to unthinkingly assume anything different must be bad.

    Sometimes some issues are just really hard to discern though. I'm not trying to diagnose anybody here, but just as an example if somebody suffers from borderline personality disorder she's very likely to be very good at manipulating people and probably does it unconsciously and can be very convincing because she ends up believing her own garbage. Diagnosing that particular trait isn't exactly a game of "find the virgin in the maternity ward" for that very reason, and it's my understanding that it's generally discovered when a number of family members are found to be paranoid and/or delusional--regarding the same individual. Again, I'm not trying to make a diagnosis or suggestion, just saying that there are a number of reasons that an otherwise competent psychologist might make a mistake. Like you said, "X is normal, therefore Y is abnormal" is also a common trap that people fall into. Unfortunately psychologists in particular have a nasty habit of assuming incompetence in their patients, though admittedly this is largely reinforced by patients assuming incompetence of their psychologists. It's just a big fat mess. I like red, it doesn't make me a slut any more than black makes you disturbed, but I've still been assumed to be promiscuous by otherwise intelligent people who normally take themselves very seriously.

    If I may, I would suggest that you test this hypothesis by changing your word choice. Obviously I don't and can't know how you phrase things, but I do know that fluffless factual statements like "She does X" leave far too much room for interpretation for somebody who's had to take six classes on Freud's (mostly) incoherent rambling. You've got to express precisely what it is that you feel and why. It can be about as productive as talking to a cigar store Indian otherwise.

    Also a tape recorder can do wonders. Never forget this. Not digital either, they're too easy to doctor. Old school magnetic tape cassette recorder. Ideally one that uses the small cassettes.

    At the risk of sounding like an echo chamber though, it sounds like this individual may not be entirely capable of helping you, to say the least. I do wonder, because as a rule when a number of providers only make issues worse, it's most often because the individual seeing those providers hasn't actually got anything wrong with her. Medicine without illness still yields side effects, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    The nasty bit about the ones that hurt is that they had everything so pathologized that anything I said was "proof."
    The moment a member of a scientific discipline that is not mathematics claims "proof" outside of like, rigid categorical logic is the moment I ask, not always politely, how much they remember from their epistemology classes. But then, that would probably wouldn't be productive.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    It's sort of a vicious cycle. Most mental health professionals, I've found, don't want to believe that abuse exists in the profession. So frequently if you go in and report abuse, what happens is that you get labelled as "difficult" or "paranoid" or otherwise considered to not be credible.
    Hmm. Maybe. I understand that a great many people in academic psychology believe that clinical child psychology is either the world's second or third biggest field for fraudulent activity, but it's certainly not a stretch to suspect that a lot of the same garbage can and does get recycled into adult clinical psychology. Most people in most fields don't like to admit that abuse exists in their profession though. Incompetence, sure; abuse? Heavens, no! That's not an excuse, it's just a fact. People in general are resistant to being told that members of their in-group, people they respect, are hurting people by negligence or by deliberate intent. It's just how people are, going back to the tribal tendencies we still hold.

    I'm sorry if you've already said this and I just missed it, but why are you even seeing this individual though if it doesn't help you to do so?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
    The mental health industry is dysfunctional
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    am I the only one to find this rather funny?
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    As a random aside, what's the proper response to someone who says "Well if you don't like people treating you badly why don't you be less different?" I have some ideas along the lines of "I shouldn't have to form my life around other people's comfort levels," but I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. Partly because it's one of those annoying half-truths.

    I'll have to find the post, but the Gothic Charm School blog has some interesting comments. To wit, there's definitely the idea that those who are uncomfortable with people staring/whispering/glaring should not dress in alternative fashions. At the same time, people dismiss a lot of bullying and other inappropriate behavior because of this principle - it would stop if the victim would be more normal, so they don't need to do anything. How do you explain the line? I'm not looking for the sort of "well they'd just find something else to pick on", because in my experience that's often not true, and misses the point here in any case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
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    Sharp41: I wish I had something really intelligent to say. Life stinks. :hug: This is the kind of situation where people just need to sit by a campfire together and look at the stars without speaking, but that's hard to do online. :(.

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    I appreciate the feelings, though. We grow up to a certain standard of being human, and find out that it's something entirely more predatory and animalistic along the way.

    It's still good to know strangers might appreciate others as more than surplus goods rattling and making noise on internet shelves, and instead see them as relevant pieces of reality.

    Also, btw, I've skimmed through the thread in the last few days... Those engine repairs bills are rather steep. Wouldn't going to a scrapyard and replacing the whole engine with a working one be a more suitable solution?
    Last edited by Tonal Architect; 2012-11-12 at 12:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    As a random aside, what's the proper response to someone who says "Well if you don't like people treating you badly why don't you be less different?" I have some ideas along the lines of "I shouldn't have to form my life around other people's comfort levels," but I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. Partly because it's one of those annoying half-truths.

    I'll have to find the post, but the Gothic Charm School blog has some interesting comments. To wit, there's definitely the idea that those who are uncomfortable with people staring/whispering/glaring should not dress in alternative fashions. At the same time, people dismiss a lot of bullying and other inappropriate behavior because of this principle - it would stop if the victim would be more normal, so they don't need to do anything. How do you explain the line? I'm not looking for the sort of "well they'd just find something else to pick on", because in my experience that's often not true, and misses the point here in any case.
    I can't think of a response that wouldn't be overly mean. People can just be jerks. I think because it's easier than defying their peer group. I myself will sometimes raise an eyebrow if someone is dressed very over the top, but I wouldn't every tease anyone for it.
    I got picked on somewhat in school being as I wasn't the biggest kid around. I guess I coped with making lots of different friends. I was odd in that way as I had friends from a lot of social cliques. I don't know if you'll find any of this helpful, but I hope things get better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MageOfCakes View Post
    I got picked on somewhat in school being as I wasn't the biggest kid around. I guess I coped with making lots of different friends. I was odd in that way as I had friends from a lot of social cliques
    Me too! The way I figure it, I was so far down the school social hierarchy that I fell out the bottom and was free to interact with people outside of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    As a random aside, what's the proper response to someone who says "Well if you don't like people treating you badly why don't you be less different?" I have some ideas along the lines of "I shouldn't have to form my life around other people's comfort levels," but I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. Partly because it's one of those annoying half-truths.

    I'll have to find the post, but the Gothic Charm School blog has some interesting comments. To wit, there's definitely the idea that those who are uncomfortable with people staring/whispering/glaring should not dress in alternative fashions. At the same time, people dismiss a lot of bullying and other inappropriate behavior because of this principle - it would stop if the victim would be more normal, so they don't need to do anything. How do you explain the line? I'm not looking for the sort of "well they'd just find something else to pick on", because in my experience that's often not true, and misses the point here in any case.
    That's victim blaming. Tell them to look it up sometime. A person has the fundamental right not to be mistreated, no matter how different they are. Yes, even if being different is due to a choice, such as their dress, make-up, jewelry, religious signs they choose to display, mode of transport, diet, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    As a random aside, what's the proper response to someone who says "Well if you don't like people treating you badly why don't you be less different?" I have some ideas along the lines of "I shouldn't have to form my life around other people's comfort levels," but I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. Partly because it's one of those annoying half-truths.
    It is victim blaming, but it can also be practical advice. Odds are you're not going to change someone's biases against you just by talking to them. As such, you can either change to avoid conflict, or stop interacting with them entirely. If its random people who treat you badly and you're not going to have any contact with them in the future anyway, odds are nothing you do besides changing will get said people to stop.

    Of course, that is not to say you SHOULD do that. Ignoring the people is probably the best way to not have to compromise your beliefs or whatever when dealing with people who want to treat you badly for whatever reason. Trying to actually reason with people like that is generally no good and will just get you more frustrated in the end.

    In the end you shouldn't have to change to accommodate others. However, its up to each individual to decide what value they place on how they present themselves (or aspects of themselves) compared to the value of not being criticized about said aspects. Some people might choose to change (at least outwardly) to avoid being mistreated by others if they decide they value that more that whatever they're giving up. And this is a perfectly legitimate choice as well.
    Last edited by Chen; 2012-11-12 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    As a random aside, what's the proper response to someone who says "Well if you don't like people treating you badly why don't you be less different?" I have some ideas along the lines of "I shouldn't have to form my life around other people's comfort levels," but I'm not sure exactly how to explain it. Partly because it's one of those annoying half-truths.

    I'll have to find the post, but the Gothic Charm School blog has some interesting comments. To wit, there's definitely the idea that those who are uncomfortable with people staring/whispering/glaring should not dress in alternative fashions. At the same time, people dismiss a lot of bullying and other inappropriate behavior because of this principle - it would stop if the victim would be more normal, so they don't need to do anything. How do you explain the line? I'm not looking for the sort of "well they'd just find something else to pick on", because in my experience that's often not true, and misses the point here in any case.
    I hate that "principle" so much! It's the same principle that was used by the people in authority to do nothing about all the vicious bullying I went through in grade school. They figured that if I didn't want to be bullied perhaps I should dress in the latest fashions (which I hated) and talk about boys and gossip, which I hated even more. My only "sin" was to dress comfortably in less girly clothing and to prefer videogames to gossip. And in the eyes of the ones in authority, this made me "different" and thus an acceptable target of bullying. So they did nothing because I was "different".

    My response now is "I don't think basic respect should be beyond what I should expect from other people". If you're not hurting anyone by being you, it shouldn't be too much to expect others to NOT hurt you for being you. This twisted line of thinking is pretty danged equal to things like racism and other -icms that have no place in society. Would these same people advocate dyeing or bleaching skin color? Or, say, a woman turning into a man just to avoid discrimination? I don't think so! (At least I would hope not!) But what they're asking is the same thing! "Change who you are so that other people don't discriminate you". It's frankly a disgusting line of thought.
    Last edited by bluewind95; 2012-11-12 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MageOfCakes View Post
    I can't think of a response that wouldn't be overly mean. People can just be jerks. I think because it's easier than defying their peer group. I myself will sometimes raise an eyebrow if someone is dressed very over the top, but I wouldn't every tease anyone for it.
    I got picked on somewhat in school being as I wasn't the biggest kid around. I guess I coped with making lots of different friends. I was odd in that way as I had friends from a lot of social cliques. I don't know if you'll find any of this helpful, but I hope things get better.
    Trouble I'm having more is that there's at least some cases where "don't be so weird right now" really is good advice. If I went to a school with uniforms I wouldn't complain about wearing the uniform; same with jobs. Even at a job without a uniform I don't go full-out goth, because it wouldn't be professionally appropriate. And I don't wear strange stuff around my grandparents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    It is victim blaming, but it can also be practical advice. Odds are you're not going to change someone's biases against you just by talking to them. As such, you can either change to avoid conflict, or stop interacting with them entirely. If its random people who treat you badly and you're not going to have any contact with them in the future anyway, odds are nothing you do besides changing will get said people to stop.

    Of course, that is not to say you SHOULD do that. Ignoring the people is probably the best way to not have to compromise your beliefs or whatever when dealing with people who want to treat you badly for whatever reason. Trying to actually reason with people like that is generally no good and will just get you more frustrated in the end.

    In the end you shouldn't have to change to accommodate others. However, its up to each individual to decide what value they place on how they present themselves (or aspects of themselves) compared to the value of not being criticized about said aspects. Some people might choose to change (at least outwardly) to avoid being mistreated by others if they decide they value that more that whatever they're giving up. And this is a perfectly legitimate choice as well.
    Unfortunately most of the issues I've seen were ones where "stop interacting" wasn't an option. It's usually not an issue of choosing to interact with the people, but trying to do normal things like attending classes and go to social events and generally just live your own life. In my case I was dealing with people who felt threatened by having a person who wore black and skulls on a college campus (they were still in the school shooting panic stuff).
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Trouble I'm having more is that there's at least some cases where "don't be so weird right now" really is good advice. If I went to a school with uniforms I wouldn't complain about wearing the uniform; same with jobs. Even at a job without a uniform I don't go full-out goth, because it wouldn't be professionally appropriate. And I don't wear strange stuff around my grandparents.
    Then perhaps you should just take sometime to reflect on what you want and what makes you happy, and why you want it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Unfortunately most of the issues I've seen were ones where "stop interacting" wasn't an option. It's usually not an issue of choosing to interact with the people, but trying to do normal things like attending classes and go to social events and generally just live your own life. In my case I was dealing with people who felt threatened by having a person who wore black and skulls on a college campus (they were still in the school shooting panic stuff).
    Hmm can't really help there. If strangers are actively coming up to you regarding your attire, well I don't really see what you can do except tell them its none of their business and ignore them. If its classmates who you want to try to remain amicable to, then I guess trying to explain you like to dress that way SHOULD be sufficient.

    In terms of public places, its a tad different. In terms of everyday shopping and the like I see no real reason why anyone should dress in any particular way. Note though I suspect private businesses can ask you to leave as long as its not discriminating based on protected classes, of which "looks" is not one. Sure its bigoted and stupid, but if you KNOW how people feel about the look and its going to cause problems, it could be something to consider if you want to avoid said problems.

    Again, as I said it depends on how you value things. Principles are one thing, but depending on where you are in the world, sometimes you need to do things in ways you don't particularly like, just to get the things done. This is a more Machiavellian view on things, but if the system is set-up against you and you need to work with the system NOW, you may not have the time to fix the system in the "right" way, and you may need to do it the quick and dirty way.

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    I've got a big ideological/philosophical problem I need to talk to someone about, but I can't post it here because that would violate forum policy...

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