"Happy Pills"

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by d_anne5, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. LA/FLnewbie

    LA/FLnewbie Companion

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    Dec 12, 2008

    I'd like to respond back for those who say this thread scares them, since I am one of those now taking antidepressants.

    First of all, my situation was a huge part of my depression, not just teaching itself: I moved across country, to a big city where I had few friends and no family, to teach in a struggling inner-city school, in a grade level and subjects I had no experience in, five days after completing an accelerated Masters/certificate program, which I started one week after returning from teaching in a foreign country, where I was also depressed but never sought help.

    Soooo...yeah. It wasn't just teaching that lead me to a breakdown!

    Don't let this thread scare you. Let it make you take your preparation seriously, and make you think seriously about your reasons for becoming a teacher. I am now in my second year, and it is still hard, but I'm glad I'm still here. Without the meds, I probably wouldn't have made it through last year.
     
  2. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I feel that some people are just so perceptive to the world around them that it makes daily living much more intense for them than many. I am one of those persons. I am so keenly aware of "everything" that I can usually tell you what the person in the back of the room is saying to the person next to them. What it adds up to is too much information being processed in my tiny brain, all day, everyday. It's a very intense way to live. Combine that with intuition and it's enough to drive one crazy. If I didn't take medication, I would truly go insane. It levels me out and calms me down. It doesn't affect the thinking process and I still absorb the same information from my surroundings, but it helps me to sort things out so that all these thoughts aren't jumbled up into one mass of confusion. I don't know if any of you know what I mean, but if you do, you will know exactly what I'm talking about. It is truly like having eyes and ears in the back of your head picking up on "too much information." It can be a good thing if it's controlled. Flat on my back in bed many years ago, thoughts swirling in my head, not able to focus on any one thing caused me to get some help.
     
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I would never tell ALL my student teachers to sign up for counseling...In fact I don't think I'd tell ANY student teacher to sign up for counseling unless their mental health was at stake- AND I might suggest that this might not be a profession for him/her...
     
  4. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I disagree completely with that statement. I need my ADs to make it through the day AND I see a counsellor for issues that have absolutely NOTHING to do with my job.

    The fact is, job stress can make the stress of day to day living worse. The day to day stress I face from personal issues are what cause my depression - not the stress from work - but the stress from work magnifies everything else.

    Big changes can cause a whole wack of hormonal changes which can lead to depression. Going from a student to a teacher can be one of those changes. Moving away from home, money issues... even the foods were eating (or not eating) can cause major hormone issues which result in depression.

    That doesn't mean that teaching isn't right for a person. In fact, people who seek counselling and who work on their issues, in my opinnion make great teachers because they can be empathetic with students who are suffering from issues of their own, rather then being sympathetic or judgemental (and I see a lot of judgement in that post)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2008

    I'm not a doctor...I don't tell parents that their kids are ADHD or that they need meds and I don't tell student teachers that they need counseling...I model respect and understanding in my classroom, I ease student teachers into the routine...If you need meds because of organic reasons,take them... If you need meds BECAUSE of this job, well, maybe this isn't the job for you...teaching isn't easy, no one said it would be... I'm not judging, I just wouldn't want someone to seek professional help BECAUSE of this job...there are so many other things out there in the world that talented, educated people can do other than teaching...choose wisely.:2cents:
     
  6. trina

    trina Companion

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    Dec 14, 2008

    There's an herbal supplement that helps support good mental health. My daughter (13) is on it at the suggestion of her school counselor to help smooth out all the "teen angst and despair." She does seem happier and more even-keeled since she's been taking it. I think I may start it as I'm feeling really blue lately.

    It's called 5-HTP. I ordered it from www.vitacost.com but you can get it from many places.
     
  7. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Wow,I don,t think we are really prepared for what teaching is really like.The colleges don't really prepare you for the attitude and behavior some children demonstrate in the classroom.WE tend to blame ourselves for the problems and feel isolated. I know when I first started, I used to think I was the only one having discipline problems in my classroom and it must be my fault,. It took me a while to learn it was not true.What saved me was I hooked up with a group of excellent teachers under the guidance of a fantastic supervisor and we supported each other in curriculum and advice.I see noting wrong with carefully supervised medicine if it helps you, but I do feel support and communication among your fellow teachers is equally important.
     
  8. NewTeacher79

    NewTeacher79 New Member

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    Dec 15, 2008

    :thumb:

    5-HTP has been shown in studies to be quite effective against depression, even more so than some anti-depressants.

    Another good natural supplement against depression: Fish Oil.
    Another: Natural Calm (a magnesium drink)
    Another: a good high-potency multi-vitamin (stress depletes the body of essential nutrients)

    My prayers are with all the teachers trying to make a difference. May God make it easy on you.
     
  9. Canadian Gal

    Canadian Gal Habitué

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    Dec 15, 2008

    You don't need to be a doctor to suggest counselling. If someone is feeling isolated (and feelings of isolation can create a chemical imbalance that can cause depression) counselling is a great suggestion.

    I wouldn't suggest that all student teachers seek counselling in their first year. I do however, make my student teachers AWARE of STF (our union) services, INCLUDING counselling, so that they can seek it out if they need it.

    The fact is, there are many reasons for depression. There are many contributing factors. Some people do need counselling to help them deal with the first year of teaching on their own because of how alone they can and do feel. That doesn't mean that they aren't talented teachers - it means they're human.
     

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