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Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

I'm going with someone to a college in a few days to take a look at what courses they have to offer. I'm not exactly the type of person that finds making decisions easy, but I'm trying to decide what kind of course I'd be interested in looking at.

I'd say more than anything, I want to go into some sort of thing that involves helping people with their mental health struggles but after mentioning that this is my dream job, a few people have been very clear that I might not be great at that sort of thing considering how I've been recently. So this leaves me with my passion for art or my passion for working with children.

Right now I'm thinking would it be best to go into something to do with child care and use art as an extra hobby in my own time? But then I'm thinking about the longer term - and in fact I think having to work with a group of younger children might leave me stressed out because if I was going to go into childcare, then I'd want to do something like become a registered child minder or work in a nursery, or something similar, but I guess I'm worrying about how my mood might be down sometimes and I know that responsibility could perhaps leave me feeling frustrated - like if I had a "I can't be bothered with the world so leave me alone" day.

Which brings me onto art. I'm up and down with art and I'm a perfectionist so rather than enjoying the whole process, I tend to focus on the end goal of the drawing, which leaves me very stressed out sometimes if I feel I can't do it and then I'll begin to put myself down purposely.

My dream really is to go into something mental health related - working with the age group of up to 18 I think. But if nobody believes that I could handle something like that, and the process of getting there, then is it really worth the risk of trying to prove myself?

I guess I just wanted to hear what some of your perspectives are on this, if you don't mind sharing. Right now I'm at the point where I just want to cancel this visit to the college because it does feel like I'll never be well enough to do anything like these, knowing that my own mind could very well get in the way in future. Plus I'm awful at meeting new people, so to make it easier on myself this past month, I've been drinking beforehand as alcohol gives me a bit more courage - realistically, could I actually handle college and the future?


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't give you any advice; but you may find that college and actually doing a course could help you? I know that some people with mental health issues say that they find doing something like a course helps them. And unlike a job, you can quit if it gets too much for you.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    You wouldn't be starting college instantly so you would have time to get used to the idea. As Melian has said, sometimes people find it helpful because they have structure and goals to look forward to whilst doing a course. You might also be able to do it part-time, which would take away the need to be there with people all day every day as well as being able to slowly build up your (positive) ways of coping. You don't have to start the course in September, or even this year - sometimes it takes time to flesh the idea out and work out how you will do things.

    In terms of what to study, this is really your own decision. You've laid out several potential routes and I know you really enjoy spending time with your niece etc - so you have experience in this. It might be worth seeing if you can do some voluntary work in each of the fields you're interested in to work out what you will prefer. About working in mental health, it's not impossible but I would maybe exercise caution in your reasons for doing it. I know when I was going through my first bad episode of depression I decided I wanted to become a Mental Health Nurse to give something back to the profession that was helping me. Looking back, I'm glad I didn't because this would not have suited me at all for various reasons (personality, other people and compassion not my strengths) and in doing so I would have over-identified with my illness and most likely spent a lot of time navel grazing as a consequence. This obviously is my own experience and I also know of so many others who have mental health issues and work fabulously well in MH jobs. You would need to be stable etc and be able to convince occupational health of this, however.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks so much for the replies guys.

    I have thought about the mental health profession thing a lot, and it genuinely does feel like my complete dream. Part of the reason I want to go into this is because I benefited so much when I was under the care of camhs - plus my experience with the crisis team was really good.

    But also, I just feel like I have enough experience to be able to be good at it. I can use my awful life experiences to help other people and in my mind, that can only be a good thing, right? I also love listening to people in general. Okay, I have been stressed out a lot in the past with it but I think when it comes to a profession, there is a limit regarding how much a person can take on before it gets to the point where someone else might need to be involved.

    In other news, I'm having a "let's put myself down day" and I've cancelled the college viewing today. I know what I'm like with meeting new people. I'm kidding myself if I ever think anything like college or work could be an option for me. Realistically, I think I'm destined to do nothing good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also, it does feel like this put-down towards myself is actually a fact because nobody believes in me, not really. Professionals just think I'm too unwell to ever help people. Okay that might be true, I don't know what they're seeing, but the confirmation from them isn't particularly helpful.
  • ShatteredSecretsShatteredSecrets Noob Posts: 186 Boards Initiate
    Hi there Butterfly 123!

    Firstly I wanna say that it is wonderful that you want to help other people similar to yourself! College is a good way to go about it too!

    Have you possibly thought about courses such as Health and Social Care? I personally did that and an A-Level at college and am now at university working for a degree towards possibly mental health. If the college you would go to offers a BTEC this could be a route you may like to take? The course I took covered a range of topics which could lead you to mental health professions if that is what you chose to do. In addition to this, I would also recommend volunteering of some sort too. I started volunteering about a year ago for my local Mind so perhaps that was something you may want to look into after you have yourself sorted and you feel like you are mentally stable enough.

    If you have any questions about a course like that you know where I am.

    Good luck with making your decisions! Take Care!

    - ShatteredSecrets

    I am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

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