Life

All in a day's work

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 5; the fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

0545 hours: The alarm goes off. My sleepy head rises from the depths of the pillows and the doona to hit the snooze button.

0555 hours: Beep…beep…beep…beep. It’s off again. Once again, I hit the snooze button.

0605 hours: BEEP…BEEP…BEEP…BEEP. Snooze button. Hit again.

0615 hours: BEEEEP….BEEEEP….BEEEP…finally, I respond. Waking up. Getting out of bed but not really awake. I stumble to the bathroom.

0630 hours: “What do I wear? I better check the weather report….

0645 hours: “Damn…didn’t pack lunch last night. This is what I get for being lazy! Why don’t I ever learn?? Where’s the bread….

0655 hours: “A ham, cheese and tomato sandwich all ready to go. Now for my COFFEE (my injector of life!) and brekky….

0700 hours: “What’s the news for today? I can’t stand Karl Stefanovic! Why do I even bother watching this trash in the morning…

0715 hours: “Shit….running late!!! Still have to brush my teeth and hair

0720 hours: “House keys? Check. Car keys? Check. Work keys? Check

0725 hours: “Why, why, why? Every. Single. Time. I’m running late and there’s traffic. I really should try and leave by 0715

0800 hours: “Made it. Found a parking spot. Awesome.


0805 hours: I enter my office. And the day begins. “So who am I seeing today? Oh crap. I can’t believe I have client X today! So not looking forward to that. Ah well…better get down to sending out the appintment notes

0830 hours: Appintment notes given to the secretary to hand out to the clients for the day. The bell goes off. The day has officially begun.

0845 hours: In the middle of writing my report on the assessment conducted last week. A student comes over… “Miss, can I see you sometime today?”  Ah yes…I do have a spot free. And the student can make it.

0900 hours: A chat with one of the staff. There is a student giving a lot of trouble (Surprise, surprise!) Can I fix the student? Why, of course! Now let me just get that magic wand of mine….

0915 hours till 1700 hours:
I work with kids or teenagers who suffer from Anxiety. Worried about their performance. Worried about the future. Worried about their parents having separated. Worried about being away from one parent. Worries about what their peers think of them. Worried about what that one boy or girl in their year thinks of them. Worried about a presentation they have to make. Worried about their weight. Worried about the ghosts in their house. Worried about the dark. And I give them strategies to face their fears. To expose them to their anxieties. To manage the separation difficulties.

I work with kids or teenagers who have Depression. Who think that nothing good will ever happen in their lives. Who think that school is not worth attending. Who think their family doesn’t care about them. Who think that no one will miss them if they are gone. Who don’t sleep very well. Or who sleep too much. Who don’t eat very well. Or who eat too much. Who don’t bother going out with their friends any more. Who think they have no friends. Who cry themselves tos sleep at night. Who put on a mask for the rest of us. Who cut themselves. Who withdraw. Who hurt. Deeply. And I listen. And I give them strategies. To challenge their thoughts. To not believe those negative thoughts in their minds. Because there are people that love them. And care for them.

I work with kids or teenagers who have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Who have the need to wash their hands for fear of germs. Who cannot eat food prepared by anyone other than their mother. Who have to count and recount and recount before they start an important task. Who have to organise their clothes in colour. Who freak out if someone mixes up these colours. Who have to walk by stepping over the cracks on the pavements. Who have to pray if they get intrusive thoughts. And I give them strategies. And expose them to their anxiety-provoking thoughts and situations. And not let them engage in their compulsive behaviour(s).

I work with kids or teenagers who suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Who have been physically abused for years. Who have been sexually abused. Who have witnessed domestic violence. Who have been neglected and cannot understand why. Who blame themselves for all of this. Who have witnessed an accident. Where someone died. Who have been molested. And have not told anyone. I work with them by challenging that guilt. Because they are not to blame. I provide them with strategies to ground themselves. I expose them to the situations that they have avoided talking or thinking about. But most importantly, I try to be that one person they can trust. That person who is genuine. And that person, who is there to listen.

I work with kids or teenagers who have anger management issues. Who think that everyone in the world is against them. Who think that nothing is fair. Who explode and swear and get into trouble. Who never rarely ever come on their own accord. And I challenge them. Are things really that unfair? Who said everything in life has to be fair? And I get them to see the consequences of their actions. And I try and give them strategies to calm themselves down.

I work with parents of kids and teenagers with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ODD (Oppostional Defiant Disorder). Who think that their child or teen is the problem. Who complain that their kids never listen to them. Who yell at their kids who are defiant. Who scream at the impulsive child. And I give them parenting strategies. I talk about rewards and consequences. And most importantly, I talk about consistency.   

I work with kids and teenagers that have Asperger’s Syndrome. Who cannot handle change very well. Who can have outbursts within the classroom. Who have difficulties with their peers and initiating social activities. And I teach them social skills. And I work with them to manage their outbursts. And I talk to the teachers about managing these kids. For after all, it’s not their fault.

I work with teenagers who have borderline traits. Who self-harm. Who threaten suicide. Who have difficulty regulating their emotions. Who get close to people and push them away. Who have difficulty trusting. Who engage in risky behaviours. Like drinking too much. Or doing drugs. Or having multiple sexual partners. And I attempt to give them strategies to ground themselves. To manage their emotions. To cease self-harming. But more importantly, I try to be a person they can trust.   

I work with kids and teenagers who are being bullied. Who are having lewd rumours spread about them. Who are having others ignore them. Who are having other gossip about them. Who are being used. And pushed around. Who in fact, fear telling anyone they are being bullied. On MSN. Or Facebook. Or MySpace. Or Bebo. And while I try and give them strategies to be assertive, I am no match for the bullies. Who don’t care about consequences. Who don’t feel guilty for their actions. Who don’t seem to have an ounce of empathy. And I am at a loss.

I assess kids and teenagers with learning difficulties. Who have difficulty reading. Or difficulty with maths. Or writing. I write reports and provide recommendations for their parents and te
achers to assist them. But more importantly, I tell the child or teenager what is going on. That they have a reading disorder and it’s not that they are dumb as their parents imply. That they have a mathematics disorder and it’s not that they are not trying as their parents and teachers imply.

Amidst all this, I listen to staff that are stressed. Or parents that don’t know what to do with their teenager. And I provide strategies. I try to work on reports. And update my notes. I work with a crisis if there is one. Like a child at risk. Or someone threatening suicide. I sometimes have to listen to a parent having a go at me. Because, after all, what would I know about what they were going through when I don’t have kids of my own??? (despite my 6 years of training and 2 years of experience)

1700 hours: I have wrapped things up and I now get to go home.

1730: I actually finally leave for home. 

1815 hours: I am home. After being stuck in traffic. 


1900 hours: Dinner (which I have to prepare). And then down to work on those reports.

It’s all in a day’s work.

And each day, between 0900 hours and 1700 hours, is never, ever the same.

And while it can be stressful as hell, I wouldn’t trade my profession for anything else.

I love being a psychologist. Despite the crisis. Despite the stress. Despite the accusations. Despite the unpredictablilty.

Because I think that I may be making a difference even in one kid or adolescent’s life. And that keeps me going.

All in a day’s work.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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No Comments

  • Reply
    Ravan
    December 5, 2009 at 10:41 am

    u work on PTSD?? man… thats ossum… i did not know…wow…

    u know i deal with many cases of bipolar day in and out…great thing…we should catch up something.

  • Reply
    debosmita
    December 5, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hey, your work profile is simply amazing…my cousin too is a psychologist and works wid criminals’ minds!!! I wonder how do you manage to keep yourself above all these depression, anxiety, disorders etc?

    One of the posts which has been written from true life experience 🙂 like it.. I myself couldn’t participate this time due to horrible work pressure… All the Best

  • Reply
    Sidthegnomenator
    December 5, 2009 at 11:05 am

    PB, I had no idea how much you do! This must be so tiring and rewarding – no wonder you blog so much. You must need it by the end of a typical day.

  • Reply
    eternallymine
    December 5, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Wow! I am exhausted just reading that list, I don’t know how you do it! Amazing!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 5, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    @ Ravan: Yeah some of my client load does include young people with PTSD. So what sort of work do you do given that you work with individuals suffering from bipolar??

    @ Debosmita: Firstly, it’s a shame you’re not participating this time around! Was looking forward to reading your post. Thanks for the lovely comment. I don’t know how your cousin deals with criminals…don’t think I could ever do that! I guess the way I deal with all I face is by going for supervision myself…it’s compulsory for us in order to get assistance or debriefed on our cases. That keeps us ‘sane’ 😛

    @ Sid: Hehe…yes, blogging is my distraction! These are currently all on my client load at both jobs. There’s one thing though — I can never complain about my job being boring! 😛

    @ Nikki: Sometimes I don’t know how I do it either. 😛 I must say though, I do have my down days when I question why I’m doing it…when it seems thankless…or when I haven’t seen change in any clients for a while.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    December 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I loved reading about your day! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! And we have something in common—I’m applying to graduate school now to become a mental health counslelor! Take Care!

  • Reply
    Karthik
    December 5, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Phew!! That’s one hell of a hard work you are doing. But as you said, if we love what we do, then it isn’t hard work, is it? It’s a celebration.
    Great post. All the best! Cheerios! 🙂

  • Reply
    Raksha Raman
    December 5, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Hello!! What a lovely post and awesome work profile!! I’ve always been drawn towards the unknown and what better than the human mind that is so vast and so mysterious!! I love psychology!! And you are envied!! I love your kind of work no matter however stressful it might seem!! Because there are very few people who have the audacity to venture into something that is so uncertain. Besides, the sight of a relieved parent and a less disturbed kid would be a great reward for all the pain taken!!

    Loved your write up! Wishing you all strength to enable you to make more faces smile and juggle between the multi tasks!! Good luck!

  • Reply
    Madhu | INDImag.com
    December 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Love your new blog layout (unless I’m still not awake an it has been this always!).

    Thank you for your comment ; appreciate it.

    What you do for a living is so noble. In an area where adults unsuccessfully grapple with these disorders, I can only imagine the effort,love,compassion and patience needed for kids with these ailments..

    I help the richest US bank get richer in my 0800-2000 hours..

  • Reply
    Reema
    December 5, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Wow!! what a day u have!

  • Reply
    Titaxy
    December 5, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    awesome, Psych…it’s so great what you do :D… i mean, i wud never be able to handle so much…your job seems so stressful…and that too every single day..good job!

    and hey, i forget to pack the lunch the previous night and i spend too much time in the morning doing that and eventually get late to work :P…

  • Reply
    Freddae'
    December 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    May God bless you in your work. It’s wonderful what you’re doing.

  • Reply
    Rachana Shakyawar
    December 5, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    @ PB

    Firstly, I’m a bit apprehensive and am really wondering what I should address you! I’m going by above mentioned comments…hope you don’t mind!

    Finally, I liked your post, well depicted…you definitely work hard and I’m sure you must be enjoying your work. Your job is an interesting line, which might be giving you satisfaction but also you can serve a lot through the knowledge. I enjoyed going through some more posts of your blog and found very in fascinating. Perhaps, I shall go through them soon!!

    Keep the spark Alive..

    P.S. Thank you for visiting my blog and observing and appreciating things! I’ve also left a reply back to your comment in my blog 🙂

  • Reply
    dilontherocks
    December 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Wow! Thats one hell of a day. Seems crazy. Glad that you get something meaningful out of our day.

    And yes, no matter what our experience level is, going through something is a lot different. Well put..

  • Reply
    Roshmi Sinha
    December 6, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Wow!

    My GK just traveled north-ward…

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 6, 2009 at 6:00 am

    @ Jessica: Amazing! You will soon know what I’m talking about. And working in mental health means you can never complain about your job being boring or monotonous. Because you always have to expect the unexpected! 🙂

    @ Karthik: Welcome! Yes, it’s hard work (more mentally exhausting) and even though there are days when I whinge or wonder why I am doing what I’m doing, I still love it 🙂

    @ Raksha: Welcome! And thanks for the lovely comment! Psychology is still a relatively unknown field in India, isn’t it? I never knew whether I would be cut out for it to be honest but I’m glad I chose to pursue it. 🙂

    @ Madhu: Thank you first for the comment about the layout…it is a recent change 🙂 And thanks for the lovely comment about my work…it does need a lot of patience more than anything else. I must say there are times when I think I’d be more effective banging my head against a brick wall — I would get through sooner than trying to work with some clients.

    @ Reema: Tell me about it. This year in particular has been a rollercoaster. I can count the ‘down’ days on one hand…

    @ Titaxy: I’m sure you would be able to do it if you wanted. I never thought I’d be cut out for a job like this given how sensitive I am but surprisingly, after my first practical placement in my Masters, I knew I was in the right area. And I don’t cry when clients tell me hardluck stories despite being able to cry at the drop of the hat! And lol…good to know someone else forgets to make lunch and is a ‘last minute’ person like me!!! 😀

    @ Freddae: Thank you! 🙂 It means a lot…

    @ Rachna: Welcome to my blog! You can address me as PB or Psych or Babs or Psych Babbler…I have no issues! 🙂 Thanks so much for the lovely comments about the post and the blog in general. Yes my work also does enhance my knowledge esp in terms of my own mental health — I know what to do to prevent myself getting clinically depressed for example.

    @ Dilontherocks: Welcome! Crazy is actually the right way to describe some of my days. 🙂 Oh…and with that comment about parents attacking me…I was being sarcastic when I said “what would I know”. Because I do know thanks to study in the area…which some parents don’t get and because they get defensive, they take it out on me not having kids.

    @ Roshmi: Welcome!! And glad I could help enhance your GK 🙂

  • Reply
    pushpee
    December 6, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Wow! That’s a gr8 job that you do, it must be quite challenging too..Must keep you in mind when sombody comes to me for help..i am a co-ordiantor of a special school and I do have ppl sometimes asking for help..maybe I could refer them to u…Keep up the good work..loved reading it..wel written…
    🙂

  • Reply
    livemorenow
    December 6, 2009 at 10:30 am

    oh goodness

    I am so pleased that there is someone like you to help those kids and that you like to do it.

    thankyou for being there for some of the kids who need help.

  • Reply
    British Thoughts
    December 6, 2009 at 11:18 am

    lol@ 0900 hours 🙂

    That was a wonderful post PB!

    Nothing more to add since everyone above have commented on how wonderful a person you are and on how amazing a job you have!

    Cheers

  • Reply
    Magali
    December 6, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Lovely post! You have a stressful but emotionally fulfilling day. I envy you 😉

  • Reply
    pRiYaN...!
    December 6, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    reading the entire post i can come into a conclusion that your a PERFECT example for Cat which manages a lot at a time… cheers! keep your spirit !!

    -pRiYaN..!
    http://www.gr8bluffmaster.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    December 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Wow! A rich rewarding day…to be able to add value and make a difference in lives of so many people.
    Damn impressive!! And wishing you the very best!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nethra
    December 6, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    You are into a nice profession.
    It was a nice post. 🙂

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 7, 2009 at 7:44 am

    @ Pushpee: Oh that’s a cool job you do! And very satifying! And thanks for the lovely comment!

    @ Livemorenow: *Blush* Thank you…

    @ Matt: Hehe…y’know…I really do use the magic wand phrase with teachers, parents and clients…I tell them I don’t have one! And while I have written all the positive stuff about the job, I must say it can be extremely frustrating on some days…

    @ Magali: Thanks! 🙂

    @ Priyan: A cat??? Please explain… And thanks for the comment 🙂

    @ Shilpa: Thanks 🙂 To be honest though, I’m not sure how much value I add to their lives though…some maybe…others nah.

    @ Nethra: Welcome! And thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    Shalini
    December 7, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Hi there.

    Least did I expect that your post will be something like this. What a profile and what a job to have! Well…now come to think of it your pseudonym does make sense.

    Am I glad to know someone like you. :)Am truly humbled.

    Good luck and cheers. You would wish for cheers I would think!

  • Reply
    aativas
    December 7, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Your work and the description of your day is very interesting. You are right, despite difficulties every day is different and on every day you are contributing towards good.

  • Reply
    Dhiman
    December 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

    OMG! That was some list I must say !!! You are into a very challenging profession I mean fixing people’s minds seems far more challenging than fixing software and we create so much ruckus about doing ‘so’ stressful job 😀

  • Reply
    Aditya
    December 7, 2009 at 9:14 am

    OH my god! And the fact that you still come back home and write a SANE blog post every single day tells us volumes about yourself. Brilliant!

  • Reply
    Mahesh Kalaal
    December 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    I am standing and clapping for you…..
    Hats off to your commitment and dedication…

  • Reply
    The West Wind
    December 7, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    wow so ur a psychologist.. I am a molecular neuroscientist.. and study about the molecular aspects of these days all the time.. dont get to deal with patients though.. so I think ur work is really amazing and significant for the society!!

  • Reply
    Gyanban
    December 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

    It s such a difficult thing to balance work and life, wonder if we could ever come up with some silver bullets.!

  • Reply
    Shruti
    December 8, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Hey, Sid Ravan Kabe told me, your post was awesome.. Since i was facing some problems with my blogger, I couldn’t come back n read ur post!! It was lovely.. My Cousin’s son has ADHD n I know the difficulties of handling him! To top it, u work with these kinda kids! Awesome!!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

    @ Aativas: Welcome! And thanks for the comment 🙂

    @ Shalini: Welcome! Glad my pseudonym makes sense now…I know it can make people wonder! 😉 And thanks heaps for the lovely comment! 🙂

    @ Dhiman: Hehe…thanks! I’m guessing software glitches have their own stressors with them. To be honest, I doubt there’s any job that’s not stressful. What do you reckon??

    @ Aditya: *Blush* Thanks for the lovely comment. Blogging for me is more of a distraction from the day’s work. And trust me, not all of my posts are sane! 😛

    @ Mahesh: Welcome to my blog! And thanks for the lovely comment *Bows* 😀

    @ The WestWind: Welcome! Wow you seem to have an interesting job. I thought ‘neuroscientist’ would have something to do with hte brain…so how is it that you don’t deal with patients? Would love to hear more about your profession…it’s not something I have heard before…And thank you for the lovely comment

    @ Gyanban: Oh I don’t balance work and life very well — I’m a workaholic. Hoping to change that next year and bring a lot more balance

    @ Shruti: Wow…Sid recommended my post. Someone recommended my post. I’m flattered. You would have an understanding of som of the frustrations that can come when kids have mental health or behavioural problems. Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  • Reply
    Preeti
    December 9, 2009 at 4:17 am

    Wow! ‘m amazed..You know, when you think about it, psychologists do not get the credit for the difficult balance they live in. Afterall, you are taking up other’s problems on your head! Loved your post..learnt a lot!
    Preeti

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

    @ Preeti: Welcome! 🙂 Thank you…I believe psychs are underrated as well. I sometimes question why CEOs of banks get paid millions while psychs don’t…but oh well! 😛 Thanks for the lovely comment! 🙂

  • Reply
    ηανєєη
    December 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    thats an interesting job profile …. an really good post .. keep it up

  • Reply
    Saimanohar
    December 10, 2009 at 4:18 am

    One of the most satisfying professions I feel, good writing

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    @ Naveen: Thank you 🙂

    @ Saimanohar: It is very satisfying… And thanks! 🙂

  • Reply
    psychedchick
    December 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Being a psychology student, I totally loved this post! 😀 Loved your work profile! Someday, I tell myself, someday!

  • Reply
    Makk
    December 11, 2009 at 10:33 am

    You seem to be busy like..psych..OMG what i have said…please don’t see me like that I meant Bee..

    🙂

    Keep Smiling!

  • Reply
    Psych Babbler
    December 13, 2009 at 9:40 am

    @ Psyched Chick: Welcome! Cool! You’re a psych student…you will probably be doing the same thing in a few years! 😀

    @ Makk: Welcome! Yes, I have been busy… 🙂

  • Reply
    ani_aset
    December 18, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I am pretty new to your job 🙂 all the best with your work…looking forward to read things i comprehend 🙂

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