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(Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 16th 2010, 08:38 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Well, I'm sixteen now, so in a couple of years I'll be leaving school and going to University, meaning I need to start thinking of a career.
I'm interested in pyschology/counselling, etc, because I find mental health/illness fascinating, and really want to help people.

Problem is, right now, I've been needing help too. I've gone through self-harm, suicidal ideation, disordered eating, the whole deal. Would that affect my chances of becoming a psychologist?

Also, what if I were to be diagnosed with a mental illness myself? Would that mean I couldn't become a psychologist?

Oh, and, just say I were to attempt to commit suicide, then later wanted to become a psychologist; what then?

Any input is welcome. Thanks.



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Re: (Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 16th 2010, 11:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoViolet View Post
Well, I'm sixteen now, so in a couple of years I'll be leaving school and going to University, meaning I need to start thinking of a career.
I'm interested in pyschology/counselling, etc, because I find mental health/illness fascinating, and really want to help people.

Problem is, right now, I've been needing help too. I've gone through self-harm, suicidal ideation, disordered eating, the whole deal. Would that affect my chances of becoming a psychologist?

Also, what if I were to be diagnosed with a mental illness myself? Would that mean I couldn't become a psychologist?

Oh, and, just say I were to attempt to commit suicide, then later wanted to become a psychologist; what then?

Any input is welcome. Thanks.

depends on where abouts you are living. i live in england and the rules here (i have spoken to counselors and psychologists about this) are something like you can't be turned down for a job simply because of your mental health issues. and that includes EVERY JOB! ok, so obviously if you go out and kill someone, this will go on your CRB and will affect your chances of getting a job but as far as i'm aware no, if you have your own mental health issues, try to self harm etc then this shouldn't affect your chances and to be honest you'd be surprised at how many people working in the social care area have actualy had there own mental health problems. my mentor at college has bipolar. As far as i'm concerned, it is wrong to turn someone down for a job because of a mental health issue but to be honest your experience could actualy help with that sort of job. i want to be a psychologist or criminalologist but i have anxiety,depression and anger issues, i'm not gonna let it stop me.
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Re: (Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 16th 2010, 12:34 PM

Don't take my word for it, but as far as I know, unless you have a mental illness that prevents you from showing up to work, or that means you can't keep yourself together when you're dealing with patients, then no, it won't affect your chances in the slightest. I'm pretty sure most psychologists have to attend therapy sessions anyway (I can't remember where I heard that but yeah) and having a history of mental issues shouldn't affect your chances and will probably even just better you for the job since you'll be able to relate more to patients and such.
   
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Re: (Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 16th 2010, 04:05 PM

I'm unsure where you are but in North America, it's a yes under certain circumstances. For a job, it is illegal or at least very amoral for any self-respecting employer to demand you provide a list of your medical history. If they do, I'm pretty sure you can lean back and watch them lose in court, possibly a federal court. They can however get around this in a legal and moral way by asking you to make a judgment call as to whether or not you have any impairments (mental or otherwise) that would negatively prevent you from performing your job or even showing up on time. Technically, if you do but say you don't, they cannot do anything because they would have no evidence, unless you exhibit the symptoms or go about and blab to someone about what you have. Hence, if there is no severe impairment, then no you cannot be refused a job on that basis. In other countries I'm not sure as the laws are different.

In some cases it is quite useful especially in therapies because the therapist can relate to the patient as he/she has gone through the same stuff and isn't simply using a theoretical paradigm they learned. They can empathize better with the patient, form a stronger therapist-patient bond and more efficient therapy can occur. However, the one thing to keep in mind is, at least if you're going for a doctorate (M.D., PhD or PsyD), you need to be objective and also for therapy too, so you want to be able to relate using your past experience but also be objective and attend to the patient without focusing too much on yourself. It's a delicate balance and down the road, if you cannot find that, then it's going to be a bumpy road, one where you may kiss your job goodbye and not due to mental illnesses.
   
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Re: (Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 17th 2010, 12:14 AM

Thanks for the info, guys. It makes me feel a lot better. = ]
I live in Australia, by the way.


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Re: (Labelled triggering just in case). Okay, so if I wanted to be a psychologist... - March 19th 2010, 08:22 PM

Honestly, you'd be surprised how many counselors/therapists have been diagnosed with a disorder at some point in the past. Depending on the diagnosis, it may or may not be realistic to be a counselor though. Considering what you mentioned, I would definitely want to try to get them "under control" before starting a career in psychology, because counseling is one of the most mentally and emotionally stressful fields out there. You have some time before that would come into play, though, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I'll add, for the record, that the people that make the best Addiction Counselors are often recovering/former addicts.
   
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