I think I may know what I want to become.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    Alright, so, I'm 16 and as most of you know I have suffered from anxiety and panic disorders that I have been going to a therapist for lately, and it's gotten better.

    But even thinking about what I wanted to become when I grow up before would give me a panic attack. Until I thought of what I want to become...

    Something to do with psychology/mental and emotional therapy.

    I am seriously forever grateful for finding someone who has helped me with my problems that I was thinking about killing myself over. Without the use of drugs or anything. I want to help people like that. I have always been a helpful persona and helping people for a living for something that has had a huge impact in my life in a negative way sounds like something I'd go into work everyday happily.

    I just want to know what options there are to get into this career field. I am a junior currently, and have about a 2.76 GPA at an "advanced" school where by next year (my senior year) all my required courses will be done so I will be hitting college courses.

    I also am very interested in studying and going to college abroad, somewhere like Britain fascinates me. Is Britain openly accepting students for college?

    Any tips or anything? My grades suffered from my anxiety issues but they should be getting better.

    Thanks all for suggesting to go see professional help. I was seriously lost. I lost 20 pounds from not eating and throwing up everyday during school from panic attacks, I never went outside, and was considering suicide to a seemingly helpless life.
     
  2. Big Dave macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Location:
    Crestview, Fl
    #2
    Take it one day at a time. Start researching colleges, even if it is a community college. Study for the SAT and get the scores up. Research financial aid. Talk to someone who is in that field. Most importantly, it is a marathon not a sprint. Take it one day at a time.
     
  3. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #3
    Sorry. today was just the first day that I didn't get a panic attack since August, and I didn't even think about it or come close to having one.
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #4
    Those who experience hardships in this area are often drawn to the field. That isn't a bad thing, but you can also help others in so many ways.

    If you put your mind to something, and have help along the way, you can do almost anything.

    What you want to do with your life is a topic that will be rehashed thousands of times, and the fun part is - you can always change your mind no matter how old you are.

    Find something that makes you happy. If you can get paid for it, all the better. If not, hopefully it helps compensate for the "job" part of working in something different.

    No matter what, you come first - and what you do with your professional time is far less important. Talking things through your thoughts, dreams, fears with a therapist is great, and you may even find similar comfort in a special someone later on too.

    You are most important so make sure that you always have the necessary support -- then find something you love and do it! When you are successful and happy, help someone else who needs a career boost and make their day.

    In the end, no one remembers what you did, or even much of what you said - just how you made them feel.
     
  5. King Mook Mook macrumors 6502

    #5
    +1

    Do whatever makes you happy! What you enjoy, that's the job you should do. No matter how much money you make in a job, it cannot get you happiness. And anything you want to do as a job is basically possible, with enough hard work.
     
  6. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #6
    Congrats TSE on the progress you are making. It's such a great feeling when you are able to break through and feel like you are the one who is in control of your own life. Going a full day without an attack is a big achievement and you should be proud of the changes that you are making.

    As far as your question about going into mental health as a career, well feel free to ask me any questions you might have. The three general directions for this career path are social work, counseling, and psychology. There are jobs that can be performed in these areas with just a college degree, but if you want to be truly considered qualified in this field then you will need to pursue a professional license or certification. This will require a college degree, a graduate degree, and then completion of state licensure requirements which consists of passing an exam and logging a set amount of supervised work experience hours.

    The most common certifications are:
    - Licensed Clinical Social Worker
    With this license an individual can provide therapy, but most often works in a social services focused area

    - Licensed Professional Counselor
    With this license an individual's primary focus is to provide counseling/therapy or work in a field where their clinical experience is used for ovesight, consultation, etc.

    - Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
    This license if very similar to the LPC above with a greater emphasis on working in the area of marriage and family relationships

    - Licensed Psychologist
    With this license an individual can provide therapy, but additionally has specific training in psychological testing, assessment, and evaluation. Often psychologist do not see patients for extended therapy, but provide diagnostic interviews, consulting, organizational development, etc. There are many subsets of psychology that are open to psychologists like industrial psychology which is applying behavioral and social principles to the work environment.

    With all of these licenses the state will recognize you as capable in this field and permit you to open your own business where you can provide direct care mental health services to the public.

    Additonally, there are other forms of licensure/certification like being a Chemical Dependency Counselor. It is also important to understand the difference between psychology and psychiatry. While similar in focus, pyschiatry is a medical discipline. A Psychiatrist is a doctor with a full medical degree whose emphasis of study is in the area of mental/emotional/behavioral health. Similarly, a Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner is a nurse with advanced training. The general primary focus of psychiatry is to treat mental health concerns through the use of medication and medical intervention. There is very little direct counseling/therapy done by pyschiatrists.

    So, sorry for the long post, but I hope this quick introduction has helped. As I said above, let me know if you have any specific questions and again congrats on how well things are going. Keep working hard and you will continue to see positive outcomes. :)
     
  7. Melrose Suspended

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    #7
    Think carefully. A lot of people start out with the idea that either (a) They'll make a lot of money (psychology is one of the top jobs) or (b) they'll genuinely be able to help people and change lives.

    The result is that Psychologists have a very hight rate of suicide themselves, and are some of the biggest prescription drugs takers.

    It's a noble idea, just think it through carefully.

    :)
     
  8. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #8
    I'd be interested in seeing the data behind your statements Melrose. I'm not doubting, but being in the field myself it would be interesting to read the article or study to which I assume you are referring. Can you give me some links or references so I can read further? There's no argument that the helping professions as a whole are known to be high stress and can be difficult to manage without healthy professional boundaries.
     
  9. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #9
    First of all, congrats for your courage to take this head on!

    Anxiety issues are problems that affect at the very least 20% percent of the population, if not more (far more). Sometimes medication works, sometimes alternative medicine, and sometimes exercise. There is not one size fits all answer.

    I had it really bad at your age and I studied at college (while still a hs student) and uni near my house so that helped. They may have not been the best schools I would have qualified for but they were close.

    I did go off to London for a semester and that was somewhat anxiety inducing. The crowded streets, the crowded subways (the tube), and fairly rude people you would find in any large city. The only bright spot was that I got a girlfriend there who really helped me keep my mind off of anxiety.

    Think about it first when you want to study far away from home. I did it in steps (13 units of college) while in high school, 30+ units at a uni near my house, then 12 units in London, then safely back near my house to finish Associate's degree. Then I worked in the real world for some time. From there the BA was done through a satellite campus near my house instead of the main campus in the big city. By then I got more confidence and did some grad work at the main campus in the big city. I took a safe path and many years later, it doesn't matter if my diploma says the University of London because what you do as a worker/entrepreneur has little to do with that diploma one or two years out of school.

    Even in silicon valley with people with master's degrees working at Starbucks, there are plenty of college dropouts making bank at a high tech firm. Wozniak was an early model of this at HP, but there are more of him now.

    If you are thinking about going off to England because their education is better (yes, it is), be sure you are up for having a handle on your anxiety.
     
  10. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #10
    My anxiety problems aren't exactly with people, but it is with scheduled events. It is formally known as anticipatory anxiety.

    I don't exactly want to go to England right away, I want to just take it slow, but I do plan on it eventually.... what is the best way?
     
  11. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #11
    I put away nearly half of my 4 year degree (give or take a semester), and then got some confidence and an idea of what I liked and didn't like studying.

    So when I went to England, I wasn't so green and the course work was manageable even though the intellect of the students was on another par I had never seen before or since.

    However, nothing would prepare me from the nearby college town of 32,000 people I went to over to the Greater London Area of millions of people. The subway (called the tube) is a scheduled event, per se, and I would feel anxious as one came close and if I could push my way in.

    Usually things were OK, and I could get out, but sometimes I was too polite and got off at a stop 1/8 of a mile up the way, but no big deal.

    What I couldn't get used to were the sometimes perverts who would ride the subway, as in any big city subway, and do inappropriate things. And the ones with their privates hanging out were not always perverts, but sometimes drunk chavs or soccor (football) fans. Some thought it was funny for them to pee on each other and would be more likely after some Guinness and a win.

    You just have to ignore them and keep to the tight schedule of the subway system.
     

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