Anyone seeing a shrink?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by JustineCase, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2007

    I thought I'd throw this out there...

    Like I've said before, I'm first year & the veteran teachers have told me that this year is all about "keeping your head above water".

    (sigh)

    I hate the stress... I don't think I've felt this continuously anxious & exhausted & near tears over as long a period of time as I've felt with this job.

    I don't sleep well, and I've started having nightmares. I'm tired even when I get 8hrs in bed...mostly bc I keep waking up & tossing and turning until i mangage to get back to sleep..

    What I'd like know is.... has anyone sought professional help for dealing with stress/depression because of teaching?

    Does it help? Or does it just turn into just "one more thing" to make time for in an already ridiculous schedule?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 4, 2007

    Before turning to that kind of professional help, why not turn to the professionals in your building and here??

    Tell us more about the problems you're having-- what's keeping you up at night? Let's see if we can help you get it together.
     
  4. miss brave

    miss brave Rookie

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    I'm not, yet, but I'm trying to get an appointment. It does seem like kind of a drastic step, but I've always had a little bit of a problem with anxiety, and teaching is compounding it.

    I can't speak to whether or not it helps, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone :)
     
  5. teach2heart

    teach2heart Rookie

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    I had A LOT of anxiety last year, which was my first year of teaching. I went to see a counselor a couple of times this summer until my insurance ended. I am now planning to sub and the anxiety I get just thinking about it makes me wonder if I should go back. I've always had problems with anxiety as well, I think something so new and stressful just compounded it. I would highly recommend talking with someone! Otherwise it just gets bigger. It's nice to know I am not alone as well! :)
     
  6. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Justine, I highly recommend it... There's nothing to be ashamed of... I used to go to a psychologist (when I was a kid), and I find even know, I'm able to talk myself down from any of these stressful situations due in part to learning the coping mechanisms as a kid (that we're often just expected to know growing up), and in part to my major in Psychology... It definitely can't add to your stress, I say give it a try.

    While I agree with you Alice, about talking to people around you, in the school, and here, this sounds like an issue that may be best for a psychologist, imo.
     
  7. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    I think it depends on exactly what your nightmares or depression is over. Is it the meticulous details of lesson planning? The kids? Classroom management? Specific behavioral issues? Kids not learning? You feel incompetent? Because those are definitely issues that we could help with here or you could talk to your other team teachers.

    I don't know what other issues it could cause, but maybe you're a lot angrier or less patient with the children. Then that may be something to see a shrink over because that's not necessarily an issue of teaching, but more of an unresolved childhood/teenage issue. That's what i learned in one of my psych or ed classes. That unresolved childhood issues lead to adulthood issues. So that may be a reason to see someone if teaching is compounding to your underlying & already existing issue. But i'm not so sure that teaching itself is a reason to see a shrink. JMO.

    Hope this helps, please let us know what you decide. And as previous posters have said, talk to us. We're really nice people who want to help-well MOST of us are. ;)
     
  8. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Thank you for the support, folks!

    I try to ask for help from my colleages w/o seeming too needy... most of the staff was working there when I was a student, so perhaps that contributes to the reluctance to "bother" them.

    Right now teaching feels like a "sink or swim" situation of which I'm treading water & very tired.

    Keeping up with the paperwork makes me tired... trying to keep the students under control makes me tired.... I'm not comfortable w/my teaching persona (I'm "too nice"?) and being "on stage" personality wise makes me feel exhausted.

    I definitley feel burnt out emotionally at this point, and I find it's affecting my ability to get things done. --Which in turn, doesn't help my stress levels, y'know?

    I'm thinking I should make time to find someone to help with my anxiety. We'll see...
     
  9. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    What subject do you teach?
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2007

    Justine, if I went to a shrink, I would be afraid they would have me committed? :)

    Though I don't think it would hurt to talk to someone about what you're feeling.
     
  11. miss brave

    miss brave Rookie

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    Bingo! Just wanted to let you know how much this resonates with me, too. I never really got the "teaching is like acting" metaphor before, but I totally get it now -- and just like acting, I still get stage fright and forget my lines in front of the kids!
     
  12. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    :lol:It is just like being on stage- that old expression the sage on the stage is true! Even though I have been teaching for many years I am a new school. Just trying to do everything is wearing me out! I pride myself on teaching the whole period but yesterday right in the middle of class I ran out of anything to say or for the students to do! Which usually doesn't happen to me. I looked at them and said "well, thats all folks!" I just had to laugh it off. I'm glad no administrator was evaluating me! So much for teaching bell to bell!

    People think teachers just sit at their desks all day. Ha! It is physically exhausting because we are always "on".
     
  13. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Well I don't see a shrink but my poor husband gets an earful every night, almost. I also am now knowing who to trust at school, to vent to a little too. I call my sister, friend and mom and sometimes tell them all the same story, lol! It really helps me to vent. For me, having someone to talk to really relieves a lot of the stress and also validates some of my feelings. If I had no one to talk to, I might consider counseling.
     
  14. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Oh also, something to help with anxiety. I find if I can even do just 15 minutes on my elliptical or go for a brisk walk, I feel much better. I usually have to force myself since I am so tired already, but I do feel better both physically and mentally. If that requires too much energy, then maybe consider taking yoga classes.
     
  15. BurnedOut

    BurnedOut Rookie

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    I feel like I need help most days. I've always been a pretty happy and carefree person. Teaching brings out this cranky, sad, depressed, stressed, anxious, exhausted and pathetic side that I didn't even know existed within me. I vent to my mom and husband. I've been wondering how many teachers are on medication as I've actually considered going on something to survive the year. But I hate that idea of numbing myself. My negative energy is mostly from exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. Nothing helps me. Yoga, deep breathing, etc doesn't fix it. Yes, I'm burned out, and I think I'm going to have to make this my last year. It's brutal.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 5, 2007

    If you feel that you could benefit from professional help, seek it. I have friends that have found great support from seeing a counselor. This can be a very stressful job- especially the first few years. Walk if that works for you, vent here or to a trusted frined if that works for you, and contact a therapist if you feel that's the best route for you. There is nothing to be ashamed of. You should feel good about realizing that you have the power to find help and that you know how to get it. Go out and get it.
     
  17. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I agree that therapy is a good thing. Sometimes an outsider can really help put things in perspective the way no family member or friend could.

    You may not need meds, it could just be your need to talk to someone. Either way, do it!

    If you don't like your therapist- find a new one. It's all about establishing a relationship with someone you can open up too.
     
  18. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    Walking is REALLY relieving..

    Even if it's just around the corner or so
     
  19. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    And an outsider is ALWAYS a good source because they're not partial or biased.
     
  20. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I wouldn't say an outsider is ALWAYS a good source... I wouldn't go talking to some stranger on the street... :lol:
     
  21. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Many schools have a number to call to talk to a pyschologist for support for teachers for free. Sometimes the school counselor will have this information and they are obligated to keep everything private. And actually school counselors often help teachers too. The burn out is incredible.

    The first time I had parent teaching conferences I went home after my first conference! The parent yelled at me so much and I was in such shock I cried all way home. I thought I am killing myself working so many hours and you yell at me because your child is getting a B? But it did get better and I am very happy being a teacher now! Best wishes.
     
  22. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Just a thought....
    The traditional teacher up front looking at 30 plus students is just one of many configurations for your room. Can you group your students up to work on projects/ activities? You can then rotate and work with smaller groups. Can you develop learning centers where students work together (again you are the facilitator). Rather than you being "on stage" for 40 minutes solid. Maybe you could rearrange your desks in your room to help your comfortability level. :D
     
  23. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    This is ideal, except, you would really need to have control established first, and I think that is what is causing the OP to be really stressed. Teaching first graders ( as an example) to work cooperatively is very time consuming and takes a ton of practice.... but it's worth as you say.
     
  24. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    a CERTIFIED stranger.. how's that fleming? lol.
     
  25. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    much better :lol:
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 7, 2007

    Room arrangement, and walking, and venting here aside (and I'm not disputing that the aforementioned can be helpful and therapeutic) but if someone thinks they would benefit from seeing a mental health professional they should do it. Not everyone deals with stress in the same ways. We had a guest speaker at my school last year who had suffered from depression and considered suicide. His family was always suggesting better diet and exercise and 'just to snap out of it'... not so easily done all the time. He finally got the help he needed. JustineCase, (and anyone else thinking they need help) don't be ashamed to go for therapy. It can make a tremendous difference in your LIFE.
     
  27. mstemple05

    mstemple05 Cohort

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    well said czacza.. :clap:
     
  28. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    also, clinical depression is very different from being down in the dumps. If your symptoms seem to be lingering, then you may possibly be suffering from clinical depression. I was diagnosed with depression years ago, I managed to do ok with talk therapy as opposed to medication. Some people need a combination of both. Explore your options and do what you feel is best. Depression is something that can be managed.

    Good luck.
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The original poster referred to stress, depression and sleeplessness. I'm not a therapist- I don't think anyone here should try to diagnose whether anyone else is clinically depressed or just 'down in the dumps'... Seek help if you are concerned about your 'well-ness'...:hugs:
     
  30. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    Oct 8, 2007

    thank you all for you kind replies...

    i don't have a lot of options as far as room arrangements go... small room, too many students.... and i don't have the "with-it-ness" and classroom management skills to pull off the small groups, etc yet.... i'd love to, don't get me wrong....but i can see it going downhill fast with my inexperience & the current rotation of students i have....

    i probably would benefit from a professional opinion.... like i mentioned, i'm having a lot harder time picking myself up...and the sleepless nights don't help....

    ...anyone use sleeping pills? i know you're not supposed to use them every night...but do they help, short term?
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    There are some fairly effective sleep medications available now. If you can, it would make sense to get something prescribed - you're likelier to get something that will work for you.
     
  32. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Always get them prescribed as TG suggested,


    and to the OP I hope you didn't feel like I was trying to "diangonse" you and what you are feeling. I was simply sharing my experiences.

    Good Luck and I hope you feel better:hugs:
     
  33. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    And please be forthright about the issues, the better to ensure you get the right stuff.
     
  34. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2007

    thank you all for your responses & support & suggestions...

    I've called to arrange an appt with my general practitioner, to see if i can be prescribed sleeping aids, and perhaps a recommendation for a psychiatrist.

    i also went for a walk today... 3 laps around my block (a little over a mile) took my ipod, and bawled my eyes out even though it was all happy dance music with a beat.

    i'm hoping it'll help me sleep tonight, if not, at least i know i've got an appt and am persuing help.

    thanks!
     
  35. eduk8r

    eduk8r Enthusiast

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    One of the teachers I know, who is very sweet and mellow, told me that she had to take anti-depressants her first 3 years teaching. And she said that many teachers have to do that. Which I really think indicates that there is seriously too much stress in teaching these days.
     
  36. CHI

    CHI Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2007

    I was much like you last year. I am normally a happy person who loves to laugh. Once I began teaching that all changed. I became depressed, cried all the time, had trouble sleeping. My mother finally made me go to the doctor and get help. It really did help me feel a lot like myself again. Getting an appointment for help was the right thing to do! Hopefully it will make you feel a lot better like it helped me!
     
  37. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    'kay... i went to see my primary care physician. Doc took blood to rule out any real medical reasons & i'll have a follow up next week... in the mean time, i have some sleep pills....

    ... i chickened out about asking for a referral for a psychiatrist, so i'll practice asking this week & make sure to ask for one next week.

    i'm hoping getting some real sleep will help.
     
  38. ddwake

    ddwake Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2007

    Not that I want anyone else to feel bad; butI'm so glad that there is someone else out there feeling the same way I do!! I literally feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. I have also never felt so stressed for so long. I have only been married about a year, and this is my first year teaching, and I think I have officially decided this would be my last year. I really feel that my marriage and health have suffered. To me a job just isn't worth it. I'm just going to do the best I can this year (fir my students) and then try to find a job that doesn't change my entire life.

    So, my advice for you-hang in there if you can, I know most people say that the first year is really hard, but I just don't think it is right for me. Too time consuming and stressful!!

    Good luck, and keep in touch-maybe we will change our mind :)
     
  39. JustineCase

    JustineCase Rookie

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    just thought i'd update....

    ... i'm currently seeing a psychologist who has gotten me to try and eat regularly thru out the day, so my blood sugar stays even. She also wants me to try to walk 3x/week, but the weather has been so bad recently, that's all but impossible.

    She's also suggesting a low dose anti-depressent, but i've reacted badly to an earlier one, now i'm a little "gun-shy" on trying others.... but i feel so badly, i'm about ready to give it another go...

    .... I don't care that all the experienced teachers say first year is hardest. I don't think it's normal to wake up crying every morning and having to push yourself thru the day when you feel like a zombie, and feeling so EXHAUSTED all the **** time.
     
  40. ebrillblaiddes

    ebrillblaiddes Companion

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    Dec 6, 2007

    :hugs: Are we the same person? Except for crying in the morning; I just abuse the snooze button because I don't want it to be morning. Last Friday I was late to work because I either didn't hear the three alarm clocks I need (seriously) or accidentally turned them all off (that'd have to be one of those subconsciously deliberate accidents I think), which kicked over an anthill that's got me back on antidepressants (I took the same stuff for a while in college) and seeing a counselor. Blood tests ruled out physical causes although my B-12 is on the very low end of normal (which explains the VitaminWater cravings).

    Every other field I can think of, with the possible exception of prostitution, does not expect rookies to do the same job as 20-year veterans. So why is teaching supposed to be different?
     
  41. wolfclupie

    wolfclupie New Member

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    Dec 6, 2007

    sounds like you have gotten some help. My first year teaching was horrible. I was at a Low-Will, High-Risk school here in California and I hated it. What kept me going is the students. I knew GOD had placed me at that particular school for a reason so I stuck with it for them, not me and to this day I wish I had done something for me. Make sure you put YOU first before anyone else (except GOD, if you are a believer). Take time for you. I followed my own advice and to this day I still love my job. At a different school now but I wouldn't want to change careers now. Hang tough the students need teachers who care.
     

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