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League of Legacy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone considering a career in mental health? I have thought about it, but not sure I鈥檓 emotionally strong enough 馃し鈥嶁檧锔廔 feel like I would have too much understanding and empathy which may cause me to burn out. What does everyone else think? Ever thought about it?
 

League of Legacy
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5,639 Posts
i worked in mental health for 2 years. severe and persistent mental illness. it was good but didn't pay much and overworked you, my coworkers would stay for hours after their shift to get all their paperwork done. i'm like f you pay me lol. i just learned to type faster. it was really great working with clients. your #1 job is safety though you cannot be spacey or fainting. i feel like that's a misconception about psych work, that it's about counseling and empathizing and that's part of it but safety is so much bigger than all that. i have other illnesses and i definitely overidentified with the clients. i don't think i would now that i have more experience. you definitely can't let your own issues get in the way of client care. ive had high pressure high risk jobs my whole life. there were some serious emergencies. also it can burn you out because there really aren't many resources to refer ppl to, they are really just straight up guessing, like i used to think psych treatment was half assing and a lot of time they are but even if you're trying your absolute hardest which i did there's only so much you can do. so it gets frustrating. it wasn't like getting burned out on dealing with clients it was more the system and there's not much you can do about it except not be a dick which i would have appreciated from the ppl in the psych wards i was in lol. also major major social pressure to act like you have it all together. if i said i was going out for shots for my bday that would be shocking to my boss and coworkers. like why do you need alcohol just go meditate or something. i'm never supposed to be mad, i never have a negative feeling i just journal and essentially be the living embodiment of therapy if i wanna fit in with the staff. it's a ton of pressure like i like my work to end at the end of my shift. of course i still cared a lot about the clients and i'd think about what groups to do and stuff off of work. i mean it's like your whole personal life is up for criticism and you better be perfect. this is on the staff side altho a lot of clinicians put on that front for clients too. that's what would deter me now. i'm a private person and i don't need all my dirty laundry being sorted by my boss in front of everyone. it was really gratifying whenever i could help someone or someone made progress and i really liked the clients, i looked forward to work every day.
 

League of Legacy
Joined
5,639 Posts
but ya like if the building is on fire or someone is holding a weapon about to self injure you need to leap into action and it is ALL on you. people live or die because of your in-the-moment choices. i would say that's the bigger risk if you don't consider yourself an emotionally strong person
 

League of Legacy
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A mental health-related career requires special education and dedication to the profession. It would help if you had a specific mindset to help others deal with their psychological problems. I don't consider mental health career for myself, and I already have a specific profession, and I'm totally fine with my job occupations. I finished medical transcriptionist courses at https://www.exploremedicalcareers.com/medical-transcriptionist/ site five years ago, and I'm working right now in two hospitals and one private clinic part-time. I have a pretty good salary right now.
 

League of Legacy
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I mean, there's just so many different options in mental health. Doctors, nurses, hcas, OT, psychology, social workers, peer support education, advocacy, the list goes on!

I have always wanted to work in mental health in some way. I started uni to become a mental health nurse but unfortunately my mental health became too much for me to continue.

I've done HCA work which (from my experience) is often less about the emotional side and more about the practical care side. Of course you're still involved emotionally at some level though.

I've also done peer support which I absolutely adored but I was working with ladies with bpd and ed, which didn't feel triggering at the time but 6 months later my depression was back and well.... Here I am relapsing ha. So maybe it was too close to home.

Maybe you could try some volunteer work to test the waters? It's an incredibly interesting and rewarding career path, and you don't have to work with ed since there's so much range of mental health. Lived experience is also so valuable if you can manage to 'give back' in that way, and is becoming increasingly recognised by employers too.
 

League of Legacy
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57 Posts
I鈥檓 in uni right now and I actually want to go to grad school and specialize in eating disorder development and treatment because I feel like it鈥檚 incredibly underresearched.

I don鈥檛 feel like I鈥檓 doing it because I need help myself but genuinely because it鈥檚 something I鈥檓 interested and passionate about and I want to help other people dealing with it

But I guess I鈥檒l see how things go once I finish uni but I don鈥檛 think my passion will waver
My Ed has taken a lot from me but it hasn鈥檛 taken my grit and passion towards becoming a clinical psych
 

League of Legacy
Joined
204 Posts
I am working on an associates in social work. I am scared about how it will affect me bit one thing to keep in mind is that every single mental health worker is also mentally ill themselves. It really is the blind leading the blind, and I know it will be hard, but their is no other job I could do. If you feel called to work in mental health services than do so. Make sure you are in a space were you can handle the stress of course, but if you feel it is your life's purpose don't deny it. Keep in mind though that there are so many ways to help people, if you just want to help people you could go into nursing (although nursing is not for the faint of heart), community social work, teaching. You could do all kinds of things. any job you chose will touch peoples hearts and will leave an impact.
 

League of Legacy
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966 Posts
i've wanted to work with mental health before but i don't anymore, simply because my interest went into another field.

if you like psychology in general, you could still study it. psychology in and of itself isn't just about mental illnesses. my brother mastered in clinical psychology but some of his psychology friends went into marketing psychology n shit. there's more branches than you could think of tbh, you might end up liking one of them:) gl with it xx
 

League of Legacy
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128 Posts
Already studying and almost done with my social work studies. I can say from what I have understood is that most people working in mental health are often mentally ill themselves, ironically enough. I can say I have been triggered during lectures, but you just have to manage your emotions during practice if you wish to do it. When doing practice with real patients I somehow get myself to mask and forget about myself, making it easy to stay calm, listen and support. During lectures however I have a tendency to leave the class for a few minutes to take a break. Lectures regarding family-related trauma hits too close to home and can't help but leave for a break or else I'll end up crying.

You'll absolutely need to manage your head during practice. I was told by a licensed social worker that if you're not struggling already, working with patients' issues in will give you a sense of betray from the system, and will hurt you as a practitioner to some extent. During practice anyone can get themselves to it with interest and right mindset. It's always suggested once you get to work, to have people close to you for support, because working with such things is and will get tough.

I can say that my studies have got me able to reflect and understand myself a lot better.
 

League of Legacy
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235 Posts
I'm working on my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I have thought about doing work with eating disorders and trauma, but I don't know if I would be capable of it considering where I am myself right now. I wonder if there is a way to do something other than clinical that is still in the field but not directly working with patients. Maybe policy or working to develop new therapies.
 

League of Legacy
Joined
304 Posts
im currently in the same boat.

im in undergrad rn getting a BS in Science of Nutrition and Exercise and going to med school once i graduate. any time someone ask what i want to study i always say sports medicine or bariatrics but deep down i used to really have a desire to go into psychiatry (focusing on eating disorders). i dont tell people that anymore but whenever i used to say that people would be like "but you barely eat tho lol"

ultimately, i think im more interested in going into internal medicine with a specialty in bariatrics but i still do feel kinda strange but excited about going into career where the main focus is weight loss and exercise and nutrition plans. at least i know that ill look forward to work/enjoy what i do...but mentally...probably not the best ahaha
 
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