Any teachers here with anxiety/depression?

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Bubblyboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/5/2006 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I teach and I have both. How do other teachers cope when there is something constantly in your face to do? It never ends.
 
 
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normalsnofun
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2500
   Posted 11/5/2006 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I know there are teachers on here with this I am sure they will check in soon.
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harry4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 11/5/2006 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
many teachers with anxiety problems post at these boards, teaching can be brutal and IMO, good teachers are born and not made
some teachers have had a life long dream of being a teacher only to find they arent suited to the work and are heading towards a nervous breakdown
 
 learning and studying new methods of relaxing and calming yourself may help, also dont take the job home with you and ask the older teachers for advice
 
much of recovery from anxiety requires the acceptance of advice, some are just too stubborn or proud to accept any advice
recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional


Bubblyboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/5/2006 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   

Yes, teaching is higly stressful. I am thinking about quitting, but my mom says to wait or at least have a plan in place. So, I need a plan 1st, but this teaching, I can't go on with this. This is where I am getting the anxiety and depression to begin with, and it's making it worse. I wish I could just not show up, I would feel much better.

Then I have to listen to the kids make snide comments- I had one ask where I was the day I went to the doctor and I was like that is none of your buisness and he was like you should have stayed where you were. I know it was childish, but I told him I would if I could have. I can't take abuse frome mere children. I could have written him up, but the last time I wrote someone up for saying "Ms. M____, you make me sick" Nothing happened to him. Stuff like that makes me want to quit without giving any sort of warning and go back to school so i don't have to put up with other people's bad a*& kids.


 
 
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CounterClockwise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 11/6/2006 3:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bubblyboo,

I teach, but I find that my job has little to do with my anxiety and depression. In fact, I have a peculiar thing where most of the time I can hold things together just fine when I'm at work with the students (sometimes other staff give me some issues!) and it's when I get home that my anxiety comes on. For me, teaching keeps me distracted from my anxiety, and working with the kids (older kids in my case!) is the best part of it.

What I see in what you wrote is that it is the job itself that is a major part of your anxiety and depression, and that it's not, like it is for me, a helpful distraction. So we seem to be dealinbg with two very different things.

I think your mum is right that you should have a plan in place before you quit (anything -- not just this!), but really, deep down, I think you know you don't enjoy your job and you want out. There's absolutely no shame in that. The demands of teaching are heavy enough as they are -- fine if you love the job, but not fub in any way if you don't. In fact, as I say, I teach older kids (at uni), and I don't think I'd ever let myself in for school teaching (maybe 16+ years, but I doubt even that!).

Have you any ideas on what kind of thing you'd *like* to do? Can you visit a careers advisor?

Best,
Rosie x
********************

People are not like fish: they do not work well battered.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded...

********************

 
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Bubblyboo
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 11/6/2006 7:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I have made plans to start graduate school in January. The deadline for my paper work is December 5th, so I have to hurry. I just pray I don't quit today. I am trying to hold out until December, but I doubt I can.
 
 
Ms. Bubblyboo- a cute, bubbly little soda who is dating  tall, dark and handsome Dr. Pepper!


Christiana
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/6/2006 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
My best friend and colleague Sam has just started suffering from Anxiety and Depression.  We teach nursery and the children are mostly delightful, so it can't be that, but her Doctor just dishes out anti-depressants like smarties and says it's up to her to pull herself together!.  I think there is a link to her hormones, but she has collapsed into a complete basket case in the space of weeks and is terrified.  Does anyone else out there feel this could be related to the onset of the menopause or her IUD?
 

babygonzo
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/6/2006 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey, just stumbled into these boards while doing some research.

I taught for 4 years (university writing programs) and fianlly made a career change because of a major anxiety/depression episode. (I'm still "teaching" but am working as a training consultant which is a better fit for me than traditional classroom teaching) It can be so overwhelming.

One thing I realized was that even though you are surrounded by people, you can often feel very isolated because you are always "on stage" wtih students. Even more than in other work environments, there is a huge divide between your work self and your real self and maintaining this distance is exhausting, especially when your dealing with a mood disorder (you have to be wonder woman or the students will eat you alive!). And, then you look around at your colleagues and wonder how everyone else seems to be able to handle it and still have time to win teacher-of-the-year awards

Another challenge is that often you are the center of the classroom universe... i call it the deathstar theory...if the teacher falls apart or drops the ball (you blow up the deathstar) the entire classroom (Empire) falls apart... the reality of that can cause or severly aggrivate anxiety....and then your inability to focus make you dropp more balls...and then... oh the cycle of stress!

The hardest part was realizing that teaching was a huge part of the problem (not the only cause, but a big one). I LOVE teaching.I am REALLY GOOD at it... I LOVED my students...etc. and I was so excited to find a job doing what i loved after grad school.... but, i had to start to see what parts of teaching were unhealthy for me

The best advice I can give you is to leverage all of your resources.

Hopefully you have a principal or advisor you can trust and explain a little of what you are going through and get some support in the classroom...especially with all of the grading and constant prep teaching required. Find out about the possibilities of a leave of absense (even a week can make a big difference), extra help with prep and grading (just having someone else around to work through the piles of paper can help keep the overwhelming anxiety at bay). And, you can aleviate the additional stress of feeling like you are not meeting your professional obligations... if nothing else, they will know you are wanting to leave and help with the transition

Find a doctor who will help you find the best treatments (I opted out of medications after one unsuccessfull run and found HUGE relief with amino acid therapy; cognitive-behavior therapy mix with some more traditional talk therapy, etc.)

And, most importantly, give yourself permission to drop the ball here an there and NOT do all the millions of things you feel like you HAVE to do.... give the kids some worksheets, take an extra week to return grading, creat lessons where the kids come up with ideas or work in groups and then present materials so you don't have to do it all...

Ok... hope this helps a little.... hang in there... and know you're not the only one who's gone through this (i know it doesn't make it easier, but at least you are not alone!)

stronglady4me
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 470
   Posted 11/6/2006 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Babygonzo, I taught for 12 years. I worked for 2 very abusive principals on top of the other stresses that teaching brings into our lives. I love to teach and a single day does not go by when I don't miss it. I did come to understand that while I love teaching, I did not love being a teacher. I think that they are very different things. I taught 1st & 2nd grade in many different environments. I have taught in affluent districts and taught inner city kids and have come to believe that throwing more money at education is not the answer. I believe that schools should be the most compassionate and supportive of environments and found that for teachers it was anything but. If we want to improve education for kids we need to improve the treatment of our teachers. People who are increasingly having difficulties looking after their own families under more and more stressful conditions can not give to other people's children what they are not allowed to give to their own children. I moved on and have never regretted it for a minute. Your mom is giving you sound advice, have a plan in place first.
Stronglady4me
Walk in harmony


anxiety veteran
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 11/8/2006 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I am a twenty year veteran of teaching and a long time veteran of anxiety and depression. I love teaching. I love being a teacher. But education has changed so much over the years. It used to be teachers were treated with utmost respect and the profession was one of honor. It certainly has fallen down the ladder. The pressure of accountability, poor test scores, lack of facilities, parental support,  student apathy and last but not least POLITICS make the job tough. But I still get up in the morning looking to the good parts of the day. It was in my fourth year of teaching when I had my first real bad "anxiety state."  It has been up and down from there. I have been on meds for the past ten years to handle the stress. I have also sought counseling. The past five years I have worked under the superintendent from hell. It has been pretty stressful and trust me, many of us, though very few, will admit they have suffered through depression and anxiety. The successes outweigh the failures. I look forward to my kids, but I do not look forward to the red tape and naive parents. I am a perfectionist which doesn't help. I have learned to try to set some issues out of my control aside, realize I am in a high stress, demanding job. Is it easy? Absolutely not! But I am in a serving profession. I would suggest hanging in teaching a little while longer. Coping skills come with experience and personal satisfaction will find it's way and the job will have it's reward. My brothter, who is a teacher, has gone through tough times to. We teach because we think we can make a difference. I have lost some kids through the cracks but I know I have made a difference. I have concerns we are enabling kids to much with all the technology. I have concerns that our future adults will not have the "mental toughness" they need to be in the real world. That  is the coach in me talking now. My advice, don't get out of the profession to early. You could be one of the great teachers in time. It is discouraging at times, especially early in your career. But it gets better, rewarding and really enjoyble. Even through the negatives. I do have a great principal who I almost worship. She is the most realistic understanding principal I have ever worked for and that has been good for my morale. Look at it this way. We are in one of the toughest professions in the world.

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 11/9/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I believe you have been given great input and I do hold teachers very high ........
I have to agree it has to be one of the toughest professions there are out there
I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do or whatever path you choose
Lyn
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