Thursday, September 16, 2010

Me and the DSM-IV

My Grad Class Last Night,
or Turns Out I Need Treatment

My new grad professor is terrible. After a few good ones in a row, we're back to terrible. She never completes a sentence, and her thoughts bounce all over the place. She stifles discussion, and she lectures about the exact same thing that's in the book, and then after an hour of a crappy PowerPoints, she says, "You don't really need to see this."

And last night, she was talking about psychological disorders, and as she got to OCD, this interchange happened:
Her: Some of these serious psychological disorders can manifest themselves in different ways, For example, some people wash their hands a lot, some people are obsessed with doorknobs, and some people are extreme vegetarians.

Me: Wait . . . what? What does that mean?

Her: Well, when my son was a small kid, he found out that the meat he liked was the same as the animals he liked, so he decided he did not want to eat them anymore. Well, we did our best to trick him for years, telling him the beef burritos at Taco Bell was beans, etc.

Me: It's always good to deceive a child.

Her: Well, we wanted him to grow big and strong. But it turns out it did not matter. My son, he's your size, John. My other son, who is as skinny as a rail, eats a side of beef a day, but my other son is your size, John.

(The rest of the class knows I'm a vegan and had begun snickering at this point.)

Me: OK, but please explain what you mean when you say that "extreme vegetarianism" is a serious psychological disorder.

Her: Well, it's bad with my son. He takes it to the extreme, things like reading labels(!), avoiding gelatin, not eating eggs, all that stuff.

Me: So what you call a serious psychological disorder, other people might just call "morals."

Her: Oh, are you a vegetarian too?

Me: Yes, I'm a vegan, and I'm also my size.

Her: (Laughing) I can show you a picture of my son.

Me: No, that's ok.

Then class continued on. At the end of class, she called me over, and I thought she was going to apologize for basically telling me I was crazy. And she did sort of apologize . . .

Her: Oh, John. I'm so sorry . . . I thought I had a picture of my son to show you, but I don't Sorry.

Me: That's OK.


At 10:12 AM, Blogger Jason posited...

Once they start reading labels, that's when you know you've lost them.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger matt posited...

What is this world coming to?

At 2:57 PM, Blogger matt posited...

On the other side, maybe the kid did have problems if his parents were successful in tricking him into believing that ground beef in a burrito was actually beans...


Post a Comment

<< Home