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Too Smart For Your Own Good: The Paradoxical Experience of Twice-Exceptionality (Final) Walden University(USE AS GUIDE ONLY)
Running head: TOO SMART
Too Smart For Your Own Good:
The Paradoxical Experience of Twice-Exceptionality (Final)
Too Smart For Your Own Good: The Paradoxical Experience of Twice-Exceptionality (Final)
Before returning to school to pursue my doctorate, I was a social worker in the child
welfare system. But the cumulative stress of casework was getting to be too much for me, and
I knew that my days were numbered in that role. At a meeting one day, my client disagreed
with the treatment plan being proposed for her teenage daughter. She began raising her voice,
opposing the distance of the treatment center where her daughter was to go, because she didn’t
have a car and it would be difficult to visit.
One of the other professionals stopped her and said, “Have you been taking
I was stunned, because that question had been uncalled for. It had nothing to do with the
issue at hand and felt mean-spirited. The mom stood up and walked out of the house. The woman
who’d asked the question shook her head. She leaned forward and said, “She’s so bipolar and she
used to be addicted to crack.”
Her implication was that we shouldn’t expect rational behavior from a person with
serious mental illness and a history of addiction. I got up and walked outside to find my client
– she was smoking a cigarette and fighting back tears. I was often perceived as the bad guy by
families, because child protection cases can be very difficult. But that day, I decided to be the
good guy. To take a risk and do something I’d been trained not to do.
I said, “I wish I’d told you this a long time ago, but I have bipolar disorder, too. And I
used to be addicted to crack. I’ve been asked that medication question, and I’ve never handled it
as well as you just did.”
I saw the relief on her face. And shock. What made my self-disclosure so powerful – for
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