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Self harm and teaching...

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've applied to do a post graduate teacher training course at the end of this year. To be accepted for the course I have to go for an interview and a medical.
Does anybody know what the medical involves? Is it just a weight, height, hearing test etc. medical?
Also is there any rules/regulations about self-harmers not being able to train or work as teachers?
It sounds like a really stupid question but it's been bothering me and I don't really know where I can find out about it.
If the medical's just a quick checkup thing I can lie my way through no problem, if not...is it going to ruin my chances of getting accepted?

Does anybody know?

Sorry if this sounds like a really stupid post. Thanks.
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not a stupid question at all.

    Just wondering are you getting any help for this?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I had my Medical before I started my Nursing course, all she did was a lung capacity test, measured weight and height and then asked me about my general health and any particular problems I may have been having or have had recently. I had also previously had to tell them all about my innoculations, which was annoying as we'd lost half of the records and had to harrass my GP for them.

    Before the actual medical I think there was a section on the medical form in which you were supposed to disclose any history of "emotional problems". Obviously if you've been to your GP about problems in the past and the course requires a medical disclosure from your GP (with your consent, of course) then it may be made known to them that way. I don't advocate lying when it's an important situation, but if there's no record of your self-harm then no one would know if you lied about it. That's the kind of situation, however, that can really come back and bite you on the bum. Weigh your options carefully, for sure.

    I'm not sure about whether there are any regulations surrounding self-harm and routes into Teaching, to be honest I wouldn't have thought there was any set legislation about it...and if they did know about it then I'd presume they assess all cases individually. Someone who has applied for/has been on a Teaching course will probably be able to give you more specific information about what information you have to disclose and what would hinder your acceptance etc.

    Good luck with it all, sorry I can't be more help. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote:
    I had also previously had to tell them all about my innoculations, which was annoying as we'd lost half of the records and had to harrass my GP for them.
    you dont have rabies or anything do you?
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    I have been through the medical for teacher training in Scotland and it is very straightforward. You are asked about general health, innoculations, any problems in the family (eg heart disease) and that malarky.

    As briggi said, in the form there is a section for emotional health.

    Another point to note is that if you get on the course and there is a problem with your medical, you have until the end of the course to sort it out. I had a problem with my initial medical and was told that it doesn't matter as long as it was sorted by the end of my course.

    If you can show that you are getting help and support for depression etc then you should be fine :)

    Just bear in mind that the PGCE is a really demanding course and make sure you are emotionally ready for quite a busy, hectic and extremely stressful year.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not a stupid question at all.

    Just wondering are you getting any help for this?
    Apart from friends, nope. Never have.


    I'll see what happens between now and then. I've never been to anyone about it so it's not on my records. If I can just lie on the form then it should be fine and if I can't handle the year then I'll work that out when the time comes, I supose.

    Thanks much for the help guys :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Honestly? I think you should get help before you go in to teaching.

    You could be dealing with students who self-harm and then what would you say if they confided in you? How would you deal with it? If you can't control your own self-harm then how will you ever know the skills to help young people in your position?

    I know it sounds harsh... If you have depression and aren't in the best of mental health... Well being a teacher, you need a strong mind, you need to be feeling well because then you will be able to help young people better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Honestly? I think you should get help before you go in to teaching.

    You could be dealing with students who self-harm and then what would you say if they confided in you? How would you deal with it? If you can't control your own self-harm then how will you ever know the skills to help young people in your position?

    I know it sounds harsh... If you have depression and aren't in the best of mental health... Well being a teacher, you need a strong mind, you need to be feeling well because then you will be able to help young people better.

    I agree and disagree.

    People who cut themselves have a better knowledge of how likewise people feel...they can empathise...so in that respect i'd say were more than qualified to deal with people cutting themseves.

    Depression could make teaching very difficult though. We made some of our female teachers cry, one of them actually was off for a while because of problems she was having. Teaching is dodgy generally if you're lacking confidence and a light-hearted view of life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    I agree and disagree.

    People who cut themselves have a better knowledge of how likewise people feel...they can empathise...so in that respect i'd say were more than qualified to deal with people cutting themseves.

    That's pretty much nonsense. It would only even be partly true if everyone cut themselves for the same reason. Even on another level it would only be a superficial level of "help" that someone could give, in the same vein as someone who has a cold is able to "help" someone else with a cold.
    Depression could make teaching very difficult though. We made some of our female teachers cry, one of them actually was off for a while because of problems she was having. Teaching is dodgy generally if you're lacking confidence and a light-hearted view of life.

    I'd agree with that bit.

    Anyway, to answer the original question, you won't be able to lie your way through your medical, you'll need to understand your condition and be able to explain it. I think that you will need to have a sound mental state to be accepted, or be willing to undergo a period of consultation to be conditionally accepted.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    My sister had a history of depression and self harm in her teenage years but she was able to study her PGCE. She is now a fully qualified teacher and teaches in a primary school.

    I have a history of depression and self harm in my early 20s and am currently doing my PGCE.

    The difference with me and your sister is that we have overcome our depression and self harm and were mentally stable to undertake such a hectic course.

    I would never ever EVER tell anyone to consider doing this course whilst ill with depression. It is far too taxing to take lightly and if you think you are not up to it then you shouldn't even bother applying until you are because you are taking away a place from someone who is mentally stable to do it.

    I am mentally stable now and there are times that I have thought "shit, I can't cope" so to be unwell whilst doing the course doesn't even bare thinking about. Fuck knows where I would be.

    I would also never ever EVER condone anyone lying about their personal circumstances to get on this course. The second you are found out you will be chucked off. Simple as. And I don't know how far it would go with the GTCS about whether it would go on your record with them.

    If teaching is what you want to do then seriously consider what you are going to do. If lies go on your record with the GTCS then you may not be able to apply/register with them again. They can be that strict.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    they have medicals for a reason!

    and i'm just guessing, but if stress is the reason for self harming - then i think you'd be better off re-considering applying for teacher training... which is by its very nature, a very stressful career choice.

    okay its not on any records or anything so your report from your GP should be okay from the point of view of the application, but, if you lie and its not on any records or anything and then you get found out you'll get kicked off your course most likely. and getting help for self harming can take a very long time to get to a place where you are emotionally strong enough.
    People who cut themselves have a better knowledge of how likewise people feel...they can empathise...so in that respect i'd say were more than qualified to deal with people cutting themseves.
    i think if someone self harms and they turn to sombody for help - they tend to turn to somebody who they do think is emotionally strong. nobody goes to a weak person for help. any knowledge that a self-harmer has aswell on self harm would be very personal to them... and i think if somebody is in an emotionally bad place themselves and are hurting themselves - i don't think true empathy can be possible, because your mind is constantly on your own problems, and it leaves little space for anything else. - i do think however if you've been over self harm for a number of years, and are emotionally stable and have been for years, then there is no real problem. - but that is not what this thread indicates.

    just to change the subject slightly as well: the police force is like that. any emotional problems... you need to have been over your problems for 4 years before applying, i seem to remember. and having such problems and appying leads to instant rejection of the application. - these sort of rules DO exist for a reason; and its is to protect the applicant just as much as it is to protect the people they will be involved with.

    think about it carefully!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    People who cut themselves have a better knowledge of how likewise people feel...they can empathise...so in that respect i'd say were more than qualified to deal with people cutting themseves.
    That said, I deal with a girl from my old school who self-harms and I find it almost impossible to cope with her when I'm low myself. It's detrimental to both of us when I get like that, which would be my concern here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi, I'm Lucy I'm in year 3 of a primary teaching degree in England and the health check I had didn't involve any one-one medical I simply had a to fill out some forms e.g. Do you have hearing problems? If so what are they?

    I would say though that I really think you would do well if you seeked some support to talk through what makes you self-harm, because as I'm sure you know teaching can be very stressful and it would be awful if something you love doing (teachng) could end up causing you so much pain. Your GP will put you in touch with good organisations that will support your needs rather than have a go at you. If you can't face that there are some great people on these boards that will be there to support you, just don't wit there worrying all on your own.

    My best friend self-harms and she refuses to talk it through with anyone so I realise how hard it is.

    Good luck with teaching! You're going to love it!! :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I've been self-harming for 5 years and have thought about getting help several times. The problem is, I keep convincing myself there's nothing wrong.
    Also, my mum's a nurse and has a "miraculous" way of finding out everything that goes on my medical records. Doctor-patient confidentiality doesn't exist in my family...

    However, I am considering going to the councillor at my uni and seeing what they suggest. God, I don't want to but I need to do something. True, I've been considering it since I started uni 3 years ago.

    I don't know what else to do. I'm not going to my GP. For me that just doesn't seem like an option.

    Meh. Wish me luck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lolzabeth wrote:

    However, I am considering going to the councillor at my uni and seeing what they suggest. God, I don't want to but I need to do something. True, I've been considering it since I started uni 3 years ago.
    QUOTE]

    Thats a brilliant idea, the councillor will be trained and you wont have to talk about anything you don't want to. You might be really nervous now but once you've been it'll be a total weight off your shoulders. I can promise that they wont be shocked by anything you say, they are there to help after all. IMO I think you should be completely honest about you self-harming don't try and convince them it isnt as bad as it is.

    Keep up this positive attitude and all will turn out well. Let us know how it goes. Good luck but you wont need it. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ... although if you're considered to be at risk of harming yourself the counsellor is allowed to break confidentiallity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    the councillor can only break confidentiallity if your at risk of hurting others or killing yourself of he/she thinks you will commit/attempt to commit suicide
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    I agree and disagree.

    People who cut themselves have a better knowledge of how likewise people feel...they can empathise...so in that respect i'd say were more than qualified to deal with people cutting themseves.

    Not at all, if you're still cutting then you still have issues yourself. I'm sorry to say...

    That's like saying if you're currently using drugs, you're fit to work in rehab. Somebody who's been clean for years would be fit to work with drug users because they'd know how to quit, they'd understand the pain others are going through and can offer techniques.

    Empathy is one thing but offers no solutions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lolzabeth wrote:
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I've been self-harming for 5 years and have thought about getting help several times. The problem is, I keep convincing myself there's nothing wrong.
    Also, my mum's a nurse and has a "miraculous" way of finding out everything that goes on my medical records. Doctor-patient confidentiality doesn't exist in my family...

    However, I am considering going to the councillor at my uni and seeing what they suggest. God, I don't want to but I need to do something. True, I've been considering it since I started uni 3 years ago.

    I don't know what else to do. I'm not going to my GP. For me that just doesn't seem like an option.

    Meh. Wish me luck.
    Have you considered registering at a different GP's? Do you live at home? If you are away at university you could register with one there. Or just a different GP surgery in the same area that you already live in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Randomgirl wrote:
    Have you considered registering at a different GP's? Do you live at home? If you are away at university you could register with one there. Or just a different GP surgery in the same area that you already live in.

    I live away from home and have changed GP's once already.
    I hate the doctors. I have to take someone with me to make sure I get through the door without having a panic attack. If I can avoid it I don't go at all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not at all, if you're still cutting then you still have issues yourself. I'm sorry to say...

    And? Why should "having issues" preclude someone from helping others with problems?
    That's like saying if you're currently using drugs, you're fit to work in rehab. Somebody who's been clean for years would be fit to work with drug users because they'd know how to quit, they'd understand the pain others are going through and can offer techniques.

    So someone who drinks a few pints or smokes a few joints at the weekend isn't fit to work with drug addicts? Silly analogy.
    Empathy is one thing but offers no solutions.

    Errr...if you're teaching and also doing support/guidance work or whatever with pupils then you'll obviously be trained to offer "solutions". Empathic understanding is obviously a further benefit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote:
    That's pretty much nonsense. It would only even be partly true if everyone cut themselves for the same reason. Even on another level it would only be a superficial level of "help" that someone could give, in the same vein as someone who has a cold is able to "help" someone else with a cold.

    Oh right. So people cut themselves for reasons other than depression and/or attention? The root cause may differ, but that isn't the actual depressive experience.

    A cold isn't a psychological problem, so that's another silly analogy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    Oh right. So people cut themselves for reasons other than depression and/or attention? The root cause may differ, but that isn't the actual depressive experience.

    A cold isn't a psychological problem, so that's another silly analogy.

    I'm not even going to bother explaining how wrong you are, because it's massively irrelevant. If you're cutting, and not even seeking help, you shouldn't be teaching.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    Spliffie wrote:

    And? Why should "having issues" preclude someone from helping others with problems?

    Because they have to be emotionally strong enough to help others through their problems. If they are not then I think it will be detrimental to both parties.

    So someone who drinks a few pints or smokes a few joints at the weekend isn't fit to work with drug addicts? Silly analogy.

    Obviously this depends. If they are (still) an alcoholic or a dependent on drugs then I don't think they are the best people to help support through their problems.

    Errr...if you're teaching and also doing support/guidance work or whatever with pupils then you'll obviously be trained to offer "solutions". Empathic understanding is obviously a further benefit.

    Teachers aren't trained to do this though. Teachers are trained to teach.


    From personal experience, I don't think anyone who is still suffering from depression and self harm can go through a course like a PGCE and I certainly don't think they will survive being a teacher.

    People underestimate how hard a profession teaching is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Teachers aren't trained to do this though. Teachers are trained to teach.

    Well, if they ain't trained for that, then it's irrelevent the topic in hand.

    From personal experience, I don't think anyone who is still suffering from depression and self harm can go through a course like a PGCE and I certainly don't think they will survive being a teacher.

    People underestimate how hard a profession teaching is.

    I've already largely agreed with the fact teaching is probably too strenuous for someone who self-harms. It was the notion that someone who cuts themselves is somehow by default less able to help someone who also cuts themselves that i don't so much agree with.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote:
    I'm not even going to bother explaining how wrong you are, because it's massively irrelevant. If you're cutting, and not even seeking help, you shouldn't be teaching.

    Wrong about what, exactly? There are other reasons for cutting than depression/attention?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    Wrong about what, exactly? There are other reasons for cutting than depression/attention?

    Wrong about your entire concept that someone who is depressed is the best person to help out another depressed person. Basically, just wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mist wrote:
    Wrong about your entire concept that someone who is depressed is the best person to help out another depressed person. Basically, just wrong.

    Really.

    So someone's who's depressed can't provide the same advice and support as someone who's happy as larry? How's that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    Really.

    So someone's who's depressed can't provide the same advice and support as someone who's happy as larry? How's that?

    Oh my god. :banghead:

    You know what, if you're so clever, you figure it out yourself. I'm buggered if I'm going to waste my time.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    Really.

    So someone's who's depressed can't provide the same advice and support as someone who's happy as larry? How's that?
    I dunno... Would an alcoholic be qualified to work with other alcoholics?

    On the road to recovery you learn skills to help yourself get better... If you cut then you do not have these skills.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Spliffie wrote:
    So someone's who's depressed can't provide the same advice and support as someone who's happy as larry? How's that?

    do as i say, not as i do. a fine basis for learning.

    how would you offer personal advice to someone struggling to get out of their hole if you are still in the hole yourself? if i was the person being helped, you know i would be thinking, 'so if it's so easy and good and 'worth it', how come you haven't done it?
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