Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Seeds of Doubt

So I have been talking to a guidance counselor from a University that shall remain nameless. She pissed me off today. I told her I did not want to get an Elementary Ed degree as she was pushing me to get. Clearly I am not getting the job that I applied for or they would have called me by now, I am sad about that but they want a Bachelor's degree....obviously I don' t have one, so I want to follow my heart and get a degree in Psychology. I really think I could be of help to women like me. Kids like me. Hell people like me. I am a survivor. The skills I have and the mistakes I have made learning to be a survivor could be invaluable to someone and that is really where my heart is leaning.

She advises me against becoming a psychologist because of my disorder. She says suicide rates are high amongst bipolar therapists. "Check the stats" she says and then goes on with her used car salesmen spiel about Elementary Ed and about how it doesn't matter what your BA is in as long as you have one (which sounds like BS if you ask me :0) and if I wanted to do Psychology later I could. Well if I was going to go to the trouble of working towards a Master's in Psych, why wouldn't I start there to begin with???? Duh! I'd end up taking classes I hadn't fulfilled with my BA in order to get my MA......AAAAUUUGGGHHH But the biggest thing is telling me I can't do something! I am kind of like Ruth from Fried Green Tomatoes "Don't say neva to me!" That's the quickest way to get me to do it! (I had a reading teacher tell me I would never learn to read in 4th grade because I always acted up in her class.....I was bored in her class
~ended up in Advance Reading the next year~....and look at me now Mrs. Sterchi, not only can I read but I can write so ppptttthhhhh! :0) And to tell me it's because of my illness, because she has a son with BPD blah blah two people or diagnosis's are alike.....and I AM checking the stats....can't find any. None.

So please, by all means....someone show me some proof. And I dare ya to tell me I can't do this.....BPD or not! I hate people who plant seeds of doubt for their own gain. I am sure she gets commission money off of her 'sales'


Unknown said...

"You can do it!"
Love ya J!

Anonymous said...


I don't even remember how I came about your blog. I read many Muslim blogs, some who are polygamous, I came about your blog likely linking through one of them.

I'd like to tell you that there is a more effective degree to aim for if you want to help people, especially people with mental health issues. I am in an MSW program now and I am so happy. I graduated from college 14 years ago, but I am back now. I my minor in Psychology was enough to fulfill all of my pre-reqs.

I just want to let you know that if you study Psychology you will not be able to practice with clients unless you have a Ph.D.(most likely) As a social worker, you can be a therapist with a Bachelor's degree. There are licensing tests and years of experience involved, etc.but the educational commitment is not as great as in psychology.

As I am an older student as you, just thought I'd share. I wish that I had studied social work years ago. Noone clued me in.

Good luck.

BTW, many social workers struggle with mental health and addiction issues themselves, so it is not rare.

Maybe they don't have a social work department at the school you spoke with, so maybe that's why she didn't suggest it.

BTW, I was also a teacher and I went back to take certification classes once. It is a huge time commitment. In some states you need all your requirements for graduation PLUS one year of non-paid full-time teaching to be certified (usually a 5 year program in most states).

In social work, you work simultaneously during the semesters that you take classes, it is a lot of work, but you can do it part-time if necessary.

I think you can do it if God helps you and you have a positive attitude.


Anonymous said...

You can look at, the National Association of Social Workers for more information.

I think you'd be a good social worker. Social workers need to invest a lot of their life experiences in their clients.

BTW, is a social worker. I have asked her to post info on her job before, but never got a response, perhaps you will be able to get some positive info from her.

-musulmana, again

Anonymous said...

While it is true that a lot of drug counselors are former addicts the only way for them to do this job professionally and ethically is to have been clean and sober a significant amount of time. I think the same would hold true for people wanting to do mental health counseling who suffer or suffered from their own mental health issues.

Experience is priceless, but unless you have over-come your mental health obstacles and been given a "clean bill of mental health" (meaning that you've overcome the disease and have not been symptomatic for a significant amount of time, I would say that it would not be ethical and dangerous for you to be counseling people who struggle with mental health disease.

How effective/objective could a substance abuse counselor be if they were still using and counseling at the same time?

Very dangerous and unethical. I would say that until you get your own mental health to the point were it is managable or controlled it would not be wise for you to pressure yourself about this degree.

It's not about proving to those naysayers who said you can't do this or that, it's about being pragmatic and responsible to yourself and to others. Don't set yourself up to fail just to spite someone who told you something you did not like hearing.

As someone who has suffered from severe depression since childhood I've learned how to cope and have been medication free for ten years. I think that with your current diagnosis it is not wise to be making life-changing decisions right now. Wait until you get your mental health issues under control before taking any big steps.

The Pastoral Princess said...

Just about the time I was getting excited about maybe social work actually being a good fit for me I am faced with this latest comment. Which has a very valid point. He/she is right. I shouldn't be making any major decisions right now. (I wasn't planning on starting until January...but that's really not that far off)

But then now I am stuck facing only the prospect of more of the same......ho hummmm.

C said...

I have a close freind who is finishing his PsyD right now, and he has a LOOOONG history of mental health issues. He has been hospitalized many times, but he is pretty stable and mature now.
He will be, I am certain, a very good doctor. He is one of the best in hs class at a presigious university, too.

He told me that many (if not most) of the other students have a history of mental health issues. He said it could even be argued that mentally healthy, sound people don't often have any interest in being a psychologist. lol

As a psychologist, you would have to work on manitianing good boundaries and bein sure you weren't sub-consiously using your patients to fulfull your own desires (apparently, that's the biggest challenge psychologist face).

Have you read An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jameson? It's a book by a bipolr woman (VERY bipolr), who went on to be a psychologist and author...

I haven't read all you comments, and I'm rushing through your posts a bit to catch up, I admit, so I aplogise if I just rehashed things alreay mentioned. :)

I think you'd be a great psychologist.

Dee said...

C!!!!!!!! Good to see you posting. I've missed reading your blog and seeing how things are going at the Distelfink Farm.

I couldn't agree with you more--anonymous has planted seeds of doubt in J, but I KNOW she would be a great psychologist.

In my humble opinion, J, I think you should only take a class or two at a time to get your feet wet. Don't bite off more than you can chew. But by God, do not give up with out even trying.

And even if you DON'T pursue a degree in psychology, knowledge is a gift. Taking classes is another outlet for you.

I hope you don't reconsider going to school. It has been 22 years since I stepped foot in a classroom. I never finished my degree. I am going back to school this fall! One class a time, but I am going to do it. FOR ME!

You have to do what is best for you.