Being a teacher with mental health issues

Discussion in 'General Education' started by SF_Giants66, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. SF_Giants66

    SF_Giants66 Cohort

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    Would you disclose all of your mental health problems you seek therapy and medication for?

    I am only actually diagnosed with depression right now, but I likely also have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as well as possibly Autism Spectrum Disorder, and I don't really know how they would look at that if I had to disclose it. I don't have anything such as that on record now, but I am not sure whether or not to go for therapy for it. I can try to work it out on my own, but it is getting to hard, and many of my relationships and friendships are at stake as well as my own mental well being.

    I have no problem working with kids. I was a camp counselor and volunteered and had some of the greatest memories with those, but it is probably going to be the parents and administration that are going to be most affected by this disorder. I am mostly trying to seek help not so that I can avoid doing anything violent, because I don't really have that in me, but so I can stop turning people away and making them uncomfortable around me.

    Mental health records are confidential, but do they require you to disclose them really? Do they just usually ask if you have any disabilities that require accommodation, or do they ask if you have any kind of disorder at all?
     
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  3. comaba

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    They shouldn't ask you about that at all. It's up to the employee to request accommodations if needed.

    By all means, go for the therapy.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I pray that you find peace and well being thru your therapy. Disclosing your mental health issues as a candidate could negatively impact your 'hire-ability'....social issues, on the other hand, could negatively impact decisions on renewal once hired.
     
  5. SF_Giants66

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    Okay, I need the therapy once I have adequate insurance coverage for it, if the marketplace ever reviews my documents, which they have an excuse of why they haven't every time I called in the last 2 months.

    However, it's just getting to be too much, and I've already been suicidal twice in the last six months and it is interfering with my school work as well as my confidence level to even go into teaching.
     
  6. ecteach

    ecteach Groupie

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    Absolutely not!
     
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Do you have any places in your area that provides mental health services for people with low incomes (since you don't have a teaching job yet). Have you looked into getting some help from your college (is there a health office or someone you can ask)?
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I know of many teachers who are being treated for depression and I presume that many of them have associated diagnoses. An employer is not entitled to inquire about your health issues and you are not required to divulge them. I would say, however, that you should be aware of the demands that the job makes of you and you should make every effort to ensure that you are ready to undertake the job in a healthy way. It would not be fair to you or to your students for your health to become a risk factor. I imagine that there are many people whose health issues make them unsuitable to become teachers. Only you and perhaps your therapists can know if this is true for you.
     
  9. JustMe

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    You said you aren't seeking therapy to avoid being violent, but you later say you have been suicidal twice recently. Suicide is extreme violence to yourself.

    I would not disclose any such information. And I would get all the help available.
     
  10. SF_Giants66

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    They do have counseling services at my college. However, I am 3rd shift worker right now, and they only offer them during weekday evenings Mon-Thu. I am also trying to find a qualified professional who is able to do psychotherapy.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Principals aren't going to ask you about your mental health issues. You shouldn't disclose anything like that in an interview.

    I think it's dangerous to try to diagnose yourself. Don't do that.

    You should really find a way to get in touch with someone who can help you. It might be inconvenient, but there is surely a way to find and meet with a competent professional. There are usually free or low-cost mental health services available in most places. Since you work third shift, maybe scheduling your appointments at 8 AM after you get off work is an option. There are other options. If it's important to you, you will find a way. If it's not important, you will find an excuse.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Consider that it may not be best for you to be responsible for student learning given your current mental fragility...while others will advise you to not disclose your status, you would be doing yourself and potential students a great disservice by accepting a position before you are stable. This is not a job to take for the medical benefits.:2cents:
     
  13. SF_Giants66

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    The psychologist the doctor on campus recommended was the same one I have been trying to get an insurance policy for.

    Yes, they have free services, but generally not the type I am seeking.

    If you know anything about autism in adults, it is relatively difficult to come by a psychologist who does diagnostics for that.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    So you aren't just looking for therapy but also assessment. You are correct. Most universities do not do adult assessments for autism.
     
  15. SF_Giants66

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    I may go to the free counseling services after my Tuesday night class, but generally I cannot go to those because of my work schedule and I'm nocturnal so my schedule is 12 hours backwards. It is also peer counseling, which I think could help, but the help will be insufficient for what I need and only temporary to help me steer the course until I get a professional.
     
  16. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    SF--if you are suicidal, getting help is the most important thing in your schedule right now.
     
  17. SF_Giants66

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    I said I was feeling suicidal. The main reason was way too personal and dynamic to talk about even on an anonymous forum, but I'm past that. Right now I just deal mostly with relationships being hurt because of my narcissism and intellectual superiority complex that I deal with.
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    So, you are asking teachers here if they think a suicidal, depressed, narcissistic, autistic person with a superiority complex should seek a teaching position? Really?
     
  19. SF_Giants66

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    No, I didn't ask if I should seek a teacher position, I asked if they would ask me about it. I am not switching careers again, I'm getting too old for this. I actually was suicidal quite awhile ago, last fall, but I moved on from that. I'm just dealing with anger issues and narcissism now. Autism, I don't really see why a teacher can't have that.
     
  20. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    "Feeling suicidal" IS being suicidal.
     
  21. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I don't think you can be a teacher with anger issues or NPD. It would become a major issue. Really, a career with children would not be a good idea. Depression and high functioning autism, sure.

    Edit: I should note that when I said depression is fine, I mean depression that is managed and will not interfere with day to day life.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    You said earlier today that you were suicidal twice in the past sixth months (which really isn't "quite awhile ago") and that it's affected your school work and confidence. Seems, then, it is still an issue.

    I truly wish you well. :hugs:
     
  23. SF_Giants66

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    Narcissism is more what is hard to manage, because I don't like having it, but at the same time, most of my frustration is not being validated in my egocentric view of the world, and generally I don't have much high regard for someone's feelings if I dislike and disrespect them.

    However, this isn't saying I look for ways to go around hurting and upsetting people, but just that I'm rather abrasive and can't really avoid it much, and people getting upset about what I say and do only really bothers me if it is someone close to me in my life.


    I actually don't have trouble working with kids, and rarely come across a kid that doesn't like me. I'm rather full of energy, very fond of youth and admire them, and enjoy trying to improve their lives.

    Mostly it is the anger and obsession with revenge I am having a problem with, mostly because of the way I see people. I see no threat with children, but can often see adults as a threat and a competitor because of my perception on things.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Obsession with revenge? Yikes!
     
  25. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Again, I ask, really?
     
  26. SF_Giants66

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    Yes, I can be pretty vindictive at times.

    Again, I thank you for the advice, but I don't need everyone telling me I have problems, because I already know that. We all have personal problems which people would think of us questionable for, but I am just admitting to them because they are all part of mental health which I am planning getting counseling for before I go into the field.
     
  27. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Like I said, I really don't think NPD and teaching are compatible. I'm familiar with the characteristics. Like you said, it's very difficult to manage. If you were under regular treatment and and very stable, I would say maybe. This doesn't sound like the case. Maybe you can think up a plan B while you go through counseling in case you decide you don't want to teach.
     
  28. SF_Giants66

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    I want to teach, that is the thing. I've tried out many careers, but they aren't compatible with what I enjoy doing. I haven't been diagnosed with NPD, and maybe it is part of some other diagnostics that I have which my anger gets the best of me at times, but I have worked through other problems relating to anger in the past dealing with job losses and trouble with co-workers, that are problems much less severe in my present life as I have matured. It's been over 4 years since I lost a job last, and I've held down my current one for almost 2.5 years now.
     
  29. 2ndTimeAround

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    Isn't doing what you want, d despite it being bad for others, part of being narcissistic? If you can see the flaws in yourself, can't you recognize that your desires may be flawed as well?
     
  30. SF_Giants66

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    Honestly, this typically effects personal family relationships mostly, but not work relationships much anymore. I don't think I'm doing a disservice to anyone by being a teacher, and honestly, there isn't really anyone here that's going to convince me to consider another profession. Keep in mind, all you really know about me is what I told you, it's not as if there are no good qualities I have in which I would make a good teacher. I have references and I have already received 3 disposition forms with high scores of recommendation for being a teacher, two from people who are or have been in middle school education.
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :yeahthat:
     
  32. SF_Giants66

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    Okay, I'm not saying people's opinions are offending me or anything and that I'm disregarding them, I'm just saying there is little chance someone is going to be able to talk me out of teaching this far into my major and get me to consider another profession. If it is going to be that hard for me to teach with my current problems, my solution is going to be for me to fix these issues, not switch careers.
     
  33. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    When do you finish your degree? What are you going to do while you try to fix your problem if you can't manage to get help now with school and work?

    Do you believe you can fix issue of mental illness quickly?
     
  34. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    It's highly unusual for a person with a personality disorder to acknowledge and actually perceive the disorder ... Which leads me to think that may not be your diagnosis. And, a personality disorder cannot be fixed. It is an inherent and permanent part of an individuals personality.

    You also cannot fix Autism. It is permanent. You can,however learn to manage the aspects of it that impact your functioning.

    So, in a way, getting a concrete diagnosis may not be as important as seeing a therapist who can help you manage your symptoms, regardless of the cause. A therapist can help your target problems areas and develop a plan for overcoming them.
     
  35. SF_Giants66

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    If it helps, I found an NPD community, and the people there who are very knowledgeable in it, told me I likely don't have it, but it is most likely Autism. Simply because my sense of superiority is something I try to describe logically and have trouble seeing other perspectives, where as someone with NPD will just always want to think of themselves as better and perfect with or without rational reasoning for doing so.

    I do have a need to be the center of attention at times yes, but that is likely because I don't have many friends, because I don't do well with social situations and make friends mostly online. In person I generally have a hard time talking to people unless they are interesting in talking about a topic that interests me, and I can often offend people without intending to.


    However, what I was saying about anger management, is usually I have meltdowns that I have a hard time controlling. If it comes to a case where I need to control my anger to avoid losing a job or breaking a law, I can, but I will fall into other compulsive behaviors that can be self destructive. Generally, if it is someone I see as not worthy of my respect or I don't see them as an equal, it usually won't bother me if I hurt their feelings, upset them, make them cry, etc. I know that sounds me, but it is just that simple. If they are someone I hurt without deserved cause, or didn't intend to, I'll feel bad about it usually, but that is because logically I can see things from their perspective and how it would hurt someone, and can develop that sense of empathy.

    Mostly, my issue is I have to figure out how to avoid wanting to get even with someone or seeing that as the practical solution, because typically I know it is wrong and hurts people, but most of the time I just don't care unless I acted out of impulse and see later that they weren't someone that deserved what I said to them.
     
  36. AliLand

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    Hi. Obviously its almost impossible to get good advice from strangers online. But I'll share my opinion anyway....
    I spent a lot of time growing up with psychologist and most said I was autistic (I'm quite sure that I'm not) all agreed I was profoundly dyslexic resulting in being unteachable. All that I know is that I think differently. While my IQ is off the charts, I'm just really good at IQ tests but there is so much I'm really bad at I don't think I should be classed as a genius. Relating to my peers has always been a challenge- they don't come close to getting me and I struggle with some social skills. Coupled with that, I have sticky blood so I have had multiple miscarages and have spent a lot of time being treated for depression.
    from the posts I have seen here, I realise many would be horrified that I would consider working with kids- and I get that. I got in to teaching after realizing that my 'short comings' actually make me a great teacher. I started out volunteering in dyslexic units and moved to assist in behavioural support.
    When I applied for my present position I didn't disclose any of my problems, but I did say which jobs I felt unable to do (I can't manage large young classes, I'm not good at teaching grammar, I'm terrible with parents, I don't perform well if forced to follow certain formats)
    After several years in the same school, most of my colleagues know my issues. They also trust me. I do it all well
     
  37. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Copy all of your posts on this thread and put them into a document. When you do seek help, that will help your doctor treat you.

    You've said you're trying to do a lot on your own. I think it would be wise to seek professional help, even if difficult with your current schedule. Guessing about what you may or may not have isn't going to help you get better at coping with the symptoms.

    Getting help to improve yourself is a lot like taking the correct college courses.
     
  38. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Am I right in reading that you are mostly self-diagnosed and self-treating? Those are very poor choices. I know how difficult it is to find low-cost mental health treatment, but it is absolutely necessary. Self-help groups and on-line relationships are not sufficient for your continued growth. I still can't imagine someone in your shoes seriously considering teaching as a career.
     
  39. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    None of these translate well to a classroom environment where you need to consider not only your relationship with your students, but also with administration, colleagues and parents.
     
  40. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Don't worry; his union will protect his job for him regardless of those issues affecting his performance.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Non tenured can be let go at will....undiagnosed, untreated health issues as related by the OP run a good chance of causing major concerns during those first non-tenured years.
     

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