>> Saturday, May 12, 2007

I love the tag line the television channel USA uses: Characters Welcome.

We all have our idiosyncrasies. I have more than a few, which my best friend and my husband like to remind me of...often. But I've discovered there are idiosyncrasies and there are ... well ... idiosyncrasies.

The people I meet in my work at the radiology clinic make me wonder -- seriously wonder -- how they get through the day. I have to have seen hundreds of personality disorders. Some people are chronically anxious, some are hypochondriacs, some think they're allergic to everything.

Some are sure I don't know how to do my job and proceed to tell me just how, some tell me I'm studying the wrong area of their body--regardless of what their doctor ordered or how I explain what I'm looking for and why, some want me to do several scans that their doctor didn't order.

Some people complain endlessly, no matter what you do, you can't do right by them. Some people feel they're entitled to be seen the moment the walk in the door--to hell with the other patients, to hell with the fact that they came at the wrong time or on the wrong day, dammit, they want to be seen!

Some people can't even take directions as simple as, undress from the waist up and put on this gown. Seriously.

It makes me wonder how they deal with an erroneous late fee on their cable statement or a long line at the grocery store. More than once a day I find myself shaking my head wondering, "How the hell do their friends and family live with them?"

Neat way to form some quirky characters for fiction, but man am I glad I don't have to deal with them on a daily basis. Talk about stress...

Do you know people with personality issues that go beyond idiosyncrasies? How do they get by? What problems do they encounter? How do their loved ones cope?


Edie 5:21 AM  

I love the tag "Characters Welcome'. I think it's great. I live in a rural area with a lot of subdivisions. We have one homeless guy who I see walking around with about 7 or so filled laundry bags looped around his neck. Yesterday it was in the 80s, and I saw him walking with all these bags. I really felt sorry for him.

Laurie 8:19 PM  

You probably already know about Narcistic Personality Disorder - it often goes hand in hand with bipolar disorder. My mom has it, and is the most narcistic person I know - although I have one friend who'd give her a run for her money. These people think the world revolves around them, have to be the center of attention, everything YOU or someone else does reflects on THEM - a psychiatric quirk that nearly strangled me in my adolescence. As characters, they're pretty messy - manipulative, liars, cheats, and often hypochodriacs because of wanting the attention. Or, Munchasen by Proxy, which was another of my mom's favourites when I was a kid. How do their loved ones cope? If they're lucky, they escape via distance geographically or emotionally. You can't change a person with this disorder and you can only deal with them in small doses. Like, four hours at a time, maybe. Or two days on a personal visit. After that, you'll fall right back into your old patterns of behaviour with them - whether healthy or unhealthy. Usually, unhealthy! :)

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