Friday, July 20, 2012

Career dreams–helping others with depression

This Wednesday, I spent some quality time hanging with my mom. Our discussion eventually veered to helping kids with behavioral/mental disorders in schools, and my experiences with trying to get help in a public school system. 8 years since my overdose, it was interesting to get her perspective on trying to get my high school to acknowledge that they seriously dropped the ball in keeping an eye out for warning signs, as well as having systems in place to offer me help or allow me to feel enabled to seek assistance from someone. It should not have gone past my teachers’ heads that the girl shuffling around in hoodies, with suddenly dropping grades (from A-average to low B-average), and hiding in plain sight from day to day wasn’t fairing well. It’s not the school’s fault that I was depressed, but they definitely could have done more.

Talking about my experience and lack of available help reminded me of one of my early serious career goals: to become a behavioral health counselor. At Clark University, I briefly considered studying Psychology, but the potential course load scared me and I was more interested in reading anything I could get my hands on at the time. I’m still interested in helping people, especially teens, struggling with depression, self-injury, and anxiety (what I have experience with), though I don’t think I’ll consider a career change at this point. Right now, I’m still keeping my Yahoo! group about teens and self-injury active, though it has not been used much for the past several years. It has bouts of activity with new members from time to time, but mostly just people passing through to commiserate, or “old-timers” checking in.

I don’t know what I can do now. I don’t feel like I have the time or energy to commit to making any major changes in my schedule, such as looking into volunteer opportunities, but I’d like to get more involved in existing programs in my area, if there are any. I need to spend some time educating myself on what’s available, both for myself, and other teens that are struggling like I did. I will keep up with my blog and my mental health progress when I can, but right now, I think I need a break. I’ve been getting pretty overwhelmed with work and personal stress lately, and as much as writing it out helps me sort things out most of the time, sometimes I need to step back and allow my brain to relax a little. I am doing well enough that I don’t need to analyze every thought and action. Sometimes I wake up and find myself narrating my actions in my head (“I had a 3-egg omelette this morning, but wasn’t really hungry…”), in order to write it in my online journal later on. I need a rest from that!

So, this is just a break from the MWF update schedule. I may still post from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled.

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