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'Professionals' who themselves are suicidal

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by warrabinda, Jan 17, 2011.

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  1. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    I am struggling right now with the reality that I am a social care professional. I am meant to, and want to, focus on other people and make their circumstances better. In order to do this I
    a) have to focus and concentrate
    b) have to be able to feel emotion and empathise
    c) have to function on a basic level i.e. self-care, showering, in order to get to work everyday.

    I am not really doing any of those three to the standard that is required. And I hate myself for it. It's humiliating. I feel like I am living a lie.
    2 years ago I was relatively healthy and couldn't wait to get out into the field, and now I'm in it I can't do it.
    So I'm just curious if there are any other particularly health professionals who are in this predicament. How do you deal with it? What are your feelings/thoughts about it? Has this always been the case?
    I have the job I dreamed of for years, and I have never been in a worse place mentally. Obviously I feel terrified it's going to affect my clients, that goes without saying. So far it hasn't though I don't think I've been able to connect on an emotional level; I know this and it drives me crazy.
  2. Socialman

    Socialman Well-Known Member

    I've read of cases where psychologists become depressed and suicidal. I'm not a professional, but you should know that professionals can definitely become exhausted with their jobs. I used to know a lady that worked in the same office building. She trained to take care of animals, but then she found out she was actually allergic to the little fur balls.

    You are going to have to sit down and think hard about your career. If it is affecting your emotional and mental health then you may have to make some changes. I would seek out help from other professionals on this matter since I'm not qualified.

    I hope you feel better. I have the same feelings when it comes to my career choices.
  3. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    before this all happened, i'm not being up myself, i loved working with people. i don't dislike people at all. i don't get stressed out or experience secondary trauma. I'm good with boundaries. it's the whole being approachable and understanding thing i struggle with. i don't feel anything at all on a regular day except the overwhelming terror of the future and sadness in relation to different aspects of life.
    I want to get back to the place I was when I loved working with people. Ironically I put my name down for telephone counselling to be a volunteer. intellectually i want to do it; i know i could be good at it. but hell... most days it's my own finger that lingers over the number. there's a postsecret out there somewhere that someone wrote about identifying with the callers haha... perhaps I should do it anyway and just use whatever insight I can to help other people? try to make the best out of a bad situation... we're only human right?
  4. Jenny

    Jenny Staff Alumni

    I don't really want to say too much here, but I work in a mental health field and, well, I truly believe that most people who work in the mental health profession have "issues" of their own... in my department we currently have 2 people off with depression and 1 with stress. I myself was signed off for 2 months with depression/suicidal feelings. I just wanted to say, that you're not alone. It may feel like you're the only one struggling but chances are others in your team are too. When I spoke to my manager about the tablets the GP put me on, she said "oh i take them too". Then one by one people came to me (or i heard from others) telling me they too had depression either currently or in the past.

    Anyway, yeah, you're really not alone and I'd urge you to get some help/support for how you're feeling. I was dreading telling my manager but actually they were SO supportive.. maybe because of the field of work!! They may be able to support you with your work too, by looking at what you feel able to cope with currently, etc.
  5. warrabinda

    warrabinda Well-Known Member

    Hi jenny
    My friend who worked in mental health was saying most of her colleagues were on something. there's a very thin line that seperated the workers from their clients, and in most cases it was class related i.e. it was an NGO, whilst the 'professionals' were receiving help privately. fascinating to analyse.
    It's hard to discuss this with my supervisor because I'm new and I don't want her to think I'm not coping. And I know of all fields, social care should be the most understanding but its a really tough department. i don't have much faith in myself and i can't let it show
    thank you for your responses.
  6. Screaminginsilence

    Screaminginsilence Well-Known Member

    My mum is a manager within a PCT and she struggles with things, i've seen her come home and cry all night to my dad who can do nothing but listen and comfort her. The things that happen within the NHS are shocking sometimes, especially the way people are treated!

    I've seen your replies in various threads and enjoy reading your views/opinions, you seem to really care and i'm sure your patients enjoy working with you (not that these things can be seen as enjoyable, but you get me!)

    I think you should speak to your supervisor, NHS workloads are ridiculous, don't suffer in silence, new or not - its better to ask for help rather than gradually crumble. I also think that its a good thing that you recognise when you need help, you know your limits and it sounds like you've reached them

    Think about yourself, you can't help others unless you are in the right place yourself. In an ideal world i would say, take a week off work, relax, chill, unwind but we all know that wont happen. Your probably working twice as hard to compensate!

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