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Crazy...Crazy for Feelin'

The world has gone mad. Today I spoke with Hannah's counselor on the phone, and I thought several times during the conversation that my brain was going to melt and boil over, culminating in a gruesome, volcanic explosion out of every facial orifice in my head. This woman is insane. I-N-S-A-N-E. Without boring you with depressing details about how John and I arrived at our current hypothesis that Hannah, along with depression and major emotional issues, also suffers from AD/HD, Inattentive Type, let me entertain you with some of the more unbelievable aspects to our conversation. Someone should get something out of my pains. This conversation has been edited slightly, but the gist of it is 100% true.

Kristen: Hello, Dr. Psycho. I was calling because John and I haven't heard from you since you started seeing Hannah TWO MONTHS AGO, and I had two questions. The first is that I was wondering what we'd need to do to get her tested for AD/HD since so many of her chronic behaviors fall in line with the AD/HD characteristics. And--

Psychounselor: [interrupting] Well, the problem with AD/HD is that the symptoms overlap with symptoms of about EIGHT other disorders. You can't just go down a checklist and assume she has it. You have to understand that depression symptoms often look like AD/HD, too.

Kristen: I know, and AD/HD is often present with depression, especially in teen girls, and these behaviors I'm referring to have been present all Hannah's life, they aren't new. I'm not discounting the emotional problems, but I also think this needs to be explored and--

Psychounselor: [interrupting] Well Hannah's not a quick fix! Be realistic. I've only had, what, four sessions with her? [Actually, it's been SEVEN.] But I guess I can test her for it.

Kristen: Okay, that would be good, because I think some behavioral therapy specifically addressing strategies for Hannah to learn to manage her life would be good and--

Psychounselor: [interrupting] Well you can't discount the medications! Behavioral changes only make a 10% difference in people with AD/HD! The medications cause an 80-85% improvement. So if you're against drugs, you should keep those numbers in mind.

Kristen: Uh, did I say I was against drugs, you interrupt-happy psycho? No - all I said was that in addition to the drugs, if they are deemed to be necessary, I want her to have help with specific methods of changing her behaviors to help her improve, which leads me to my next question (finally!) - in what ways are you working with Hannah to address her own behaviors? I'd like to know so that John and I can work to support those things at home.

Psychounselor: What areas are you wanting to see improvements in?

Kristen: [puff of smoke over my head] Uh, you know, the areas we talked about when we first met with you - responsibility, self-care, accountability, and--

Psychounselor: [interrupting, accusatory tone] Oh! And just who do you think she needs to be accountable TO?

Kristen: [head in flames now] Anyone?! Herself? Her teachers? Her family?

Psychounselor: In what way?

Kristen: [thinking, haven't we had this conversation once already? my head feels really hot] Oh, I don't know, doing her homework and then actually turning it in, not failing her classes when we go more than a week without checking her grades online, interacting voluntarily with the family, having motivation to do anything but sleep, flushing the toilet without being told...you know - any of those would be GREAT!

Psychounselor: A lot of that has to do with character. And you have to understand that with all of Hannah's emotional issues, she has a lot to work through in terms of her views of relationships with women, womanhood, and life in general. If you want a specific suggestion from me, I would suggest you and John try to affirm Hannah more often, because I think she feels like she's not loved unconditionally, and that she has to meet certain criteria in order to be loved. And it must be SO annoying for Hannah to have to live with a smart, beautiful, successful stepmom with a great figure.

Kristen: [explosion complete, only a charred head remaining on my shoulders, but still a strong voice box] WHAT?!?! You don't even KNOW ME! You've met me once, you have no idea about any aspect of my life, including my health, weight/food struggles, or how we have approached all of that with Hannah. Furthermore, it sounds like YOU are the one who has issues with women!

Psychounselor: [interrupting] I really want to work with you and I appreciate you telling me how you feel about Hannah, but I feel a bit of defensiveness from you and I'm not sure why.

Kristen: A "bit" of defensiveness, and YOU'RE NOT SURE WHY??? At our first meeting, you brought up my "cuteness" but I blew it off, and it's come up two or three more times since then, it's completely inappropriate and irrelevant to this conversation!! We call you for feedback on Hannah and we don't get it--

Psychounselor: [interrupting, flustered] When have I not given you feedback?


Psychounselor: [offended] You asked for some things to work on at home, and that's what I told you! Okay, I'm sorry about my inappropriate comments, I'll test Hannah for AD/HD. [in a tone that suggests my entire phone call has been an arm-twisting on my part to get her to test Hannah]

Hannah was visibly frustrated after her session today, and told John her time had been cut short because *I* called the counselor. So, after dinner I asked if it upset her that I had called Dr. Psycho. She said, "Um. No. But were you upset with her?" "What did she say about it?", I replied. Get ready for it. GET READY....

"She said 'Kristen is a very intense person.'"

Good job, psychounselor. Bring the depressed KID into the mix, as if she doesn't have enough issues with the adults in her life already. Classy move, Dr. Psycho. Kudos. I feel the need to contact the American Psychological Association and file a grievance, but I'm sort of afraid she'll kidnap me, lock me in some padded cell, and torture me with repeated messages over loudspeaker about what a nice figured, cute, horrible and unloving stepmom I am.

Yeah, that's me. I might as well be throwing Hannah in the attic and keeping her from trying on the glass slipper. Evil. Evil, I tell you! I don't really care about Hannah at all - I spend all my spare time researching how to help her because my whole plot in life has been to get Dr. Psycho on the phone and be able to say "good figure" in a sentence about a kid's AD/HD symptoms.

Life-long goal: Accomplished.

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