Friday, December 24, 2010

Profile: Sofia Vanderslice, Assistant Editor of Profiles in Batshit.

First diagnosed by her friend group in seventh grade as being "too pessimistic to hang out with anymore".  This greatly improved her outlook on life.

Her family conducts most quarrels using a complicated code of smiles known as Presbyterian Sign Language.  She mostly dates Jews and Catholics who mistake these constant smiles for being a "basically happy person".

She does not eat enough fiber and has bad knees.  She has frequently done things... like get married to someone that she had known for all of one drunken week... for the "story potential" of the situation.  Despite this, she has always been thought to be highly intelligent.  She has gone out of her way, since the age of seven, to read things left around people's houses about how intelligent people behave and interact with reality.  It is unfortunate, but highly telling, that one of these books was by Sartre. She has always had a deep fondness for passive voice, third-person autobiography, “putting things in quotes,” the Oxford Comma, and red wine. She has no idea how she has gotten to where she is today, which has made her stop drinking (almost) entirely.

Her only suicide attempt was thwarted by Spalding Gray.  He had been fished out of the East River the day before she planned to go off the Queensboro bridge, and she didn’t want to be a copycat.   At some point, she decided to do whatever scares her the most, and repeat it until she fears nothing. She currently fears success.  She is not exactly sure how to overcome her fear of success while unemployed, eating cheese bagels, drinking obscene amounts of coffee, listening to Ornette Coleman, and avoiding "good intentions."   She aspires to "be in love and then get some sleep."

Diagnosis: Cyclothymia, social anxiety.

UPDATE: Sofia is currently employed full-time with kick-ass medical benefits and perscription drug coverage.  She is seeing a therapist again, and she no longer fears success. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Profile: Jack Swindle, Editor of Profiles in Batshit

Undiagnosed Manic Depressive for thirty-four years. Rage. Broken furniture. Most relationships resemble a slow plane crash.

Depressive episodes manifested by panicky social anxiety and periods of rampant, often irresponsible activity. Colossal drinking habit. Hundreds of unfinished projects. Hypertension. Sensitivity to bright light. Grandfather: self-taught engineer who once removed all of the furniture from the house, claiming it had been injected with radioactive material.

Alienates those closest to him with fits of self-deprecation and violence toward inanimate objects. His personality dominates the mood and tenor of his interactions with others. Unwittingly selfish, abusive with language. Intelligent (and conniving) enough to convince himself he has self-control. Frightens those he loves the most, including the dog. Once punched, during a manic/drunken episode, by a guy previously thought confined to a wheelchair.

Hundreds of pages of unpublishable prose. Feels crushed by inspiration. Ambitious yet usually incapable of calming down enough to get anything done. Has done a lot of drugs. Loves stories, women, words, and himself.

During a recent depressive period, fancied himself the culmination of all humanity—while standing on a bridge. Describes self in third person to abnegate responsibility. For years suspected something was really, really wrong but refused to do anything about it, letting others feel the brunt of his expressions. Believes himself to be lonely even when surrounded by friends and lovers. Financially profligate.

Tried yoga, meditation and sobriety to control his moods. Turned to anti-depressants, thus exacerbating his hypomania. Often blames abstract forces for his troubles. Has a breakdown at a pop concert. Goes on low-grade antipsychotics. Finds himself impressed and confused by stability. Figures he should start a journal about it.

Diagnosis:  Bipolar II, Egomaniac, Psoriatic, Batshit