Trials and Tribulations
Posted on November 20th, 2008
Today was the hearing concerning my SSI/SSD application. This involved a long car trip, as the trial was held in another city.

The trial itself was an informal hearing in which the judge, a 3rd party psychiatrist, a 3rd party job placement specialist, myself, my lawyer and my mother covered the matter at hand, which was my various problems.

It was short and to the point. One of the things that came up was highschool; the psychiatrist noted (on record) that the school was aware of my past history and did not do anything to accommodate it (which they are obligated by law to do) and in fact used it to get rid of me at their first opportunity. Sure, nothing beyond the remark will happen; it's been cold too long, but it's rather nice that I can ensure publicly that their shit still stinks this may years later.

After the trial we learned that the psychiatrist was actually one of the people that taught my current psychiatrist. This is not a conflict of interest, though it kinda sounds like it should be.

The lawyer mentioned something amusing. I can come off as perfectly normal. However, the more people talk with me the more it's obvious that I'm not that normal. The records from my psychiatrist indicate this clearly. He using a rating system to approximate how functional a person is (not the best practice, but it works). When he first saw me, the number was just a little lower than normal. With each visit, the number dropped.

The 3rd party psychiatrist's diagnosis of my condition was schizotypal. This has also been my self-diagnosis for some time (as I've studied psychology), so I was not really surprised by it. My official diagnosis was bipolar I + ADHD. It's in the same family of disorders as the much maligned schizophrenia, however it's not the same disorder. To ignore the fancy terms, symptoms and other details and put the difference into plain English: schizotypals are able to function well in the correct environments; schizophrenics aren't functional in any environment. Schizo- family disorders follow bloodlines, and it flows from both my parent's lines.

An amusing sidenote was that the records showed that I have a high IQ. I've known that for a very long time -- I was tested in many ways back when we were still diagnosing the bipolar, including IQ. It's 127, with an emphasis on language. For the curious, that's below Mensa's required score. This is actually a common trait of schizotypals; I guess this is where the fine line between genius and insanity lies.

The end result of the trial is that my application was approved by virtue of the mental disorder alone. This "won" the case so to speak.

It also means I'm now legally disabled.

The attorney remarked that when ever he wins a case, he treats himself to a nut cookie from the Starbucks across the way from the courthouse. Our reply was that won, lose or draw we were hitting the family restaurant on the way home.

On the way back to our end of town we drank the drinks we'd brought with us as it had been 6 hours since lunch. In my case I downed a 1 liter bottle of caffeine free grape soda.

The net result was that only my dad had room for the meal; both mom and myself took our orders home and ate them a few hours later.

So the event we've been gearing up for all month long is finally over.

It's been a long day; I'm going to visit a pink puffball's home planet for 8 hours or so.

Here's your moment of Zen.

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