{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Mental health check… are you honest with others about your mental health?", "post_id": "6103f428fda8a8002485dbbf", "reply_count": 91, "vote_count": 13, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

Mental health check… are you honest with others about your mental health?

likehelpful
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I am with my students—never about the circumstances (except at the end of the year when it’s about saying goodbye to my seniors). I want them to know that it’s not abnormal to be depressed or having a hard time emotionally. I also want them to know the reason for why I’m sluggish or moody or less motivated or in sweats for days at a time. They always show love. I hope this is preparation for their other relationships, whether it’s about them being supportive and understanding or being honest and seeking help. Other than my kids, I tell my BFF but that’s usually it 😕

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I teach AP Psych. One of my students has a gift for body language, facial expressions, & empathy. They really notice my days.

likesmart

I feel fortunate that I don’t struggle with any serious mental difficulties. I do struggle physically some days because of RA and Fibromyalgia. When I first realized I needed a couple accommodations, I quickly found out that sometimes districts have trouble making, and keeping those accommodations from year to year. I would suggest to anyone before talking to HR/Principal that they be very careful about the request of accommodations from their doctor. I was told while the district would work with me regardless of the disability, you still must be able to complete all the normal functions of a teacher. Seems silly, right? It’s not. I found out that my accommodations were mostly time related. For example if I was in a lot of pain on a given day I wanted to leave when the kids do. Most accommodations for teachers have to do with time. I used a FMLA. I could leave early if I had pain or be off if I needed to. I could take more than the 10 days per year without the fear of being fired. I didn’t need all that time, but if I did I could take it. Scheduling was also a consideration for me. I requested most of my classes in the morning because it’s when I felt best, but obviously that was not always “doable.” FMLA does not mean you will be granted “free time off” but get paid. When I needed to leave early I was able to use comp time so that my pay was not effected. Just be aware that time needs to be made up, or sick/personal days comp time needs to be used. Like mental illness, my difficulties couldn’t be identified by just looking at me. I guess my message would be to take any time you might need, physical or mental, to make sure you are well and on the ball. I don’t think anybody but family and friends need to know about any illness, unless you need the accommodations.

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Heavens, no. I have depression plus ADHD, they'd probably have me committed

likefunnyuplifting

Anxiety and ADHD, so I'd be in the padded room next door!

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I definitely am with my admin and my department head. My mental health ailments are bad enough that I have been hospitalized for them, so I make sure they know if I’m starting to struggle and what symptoms to look for (especially since I don’t always recognize them myself). It’s actually pretty liberating to be able to talk about it with non-medical professionals. And it does a lot for my willingness to fight back against mental health stigmas.

likeupliftinghelpful

It’s a blessing to have this level of support. Thank you for sharing your story 😊

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Many times this last school year I found myself thinking “I’m not doing well,” but I don’t think I ever said it out loud to anyone. Maybe hinted to our school psychologist because we’re friends, or maybe said something like, “I’m barely hanging there” to a few coworkers, but that’s about it. I’m really struggling with the idea of going back next week. I just don’t feel recovered - mentally or physically. 😕

likehelpful

I swear summers get shorter every year. Not even two full months this year. I need those couple extra weeks in August but sadly not gonna happen. 🥺

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I am, including with my department chair and admin. One of my colleagues- one of my best friends - committed suicide last year. I’ve gotten involved with mental health initiatives since, and I’ve been open about my PTSD. People need to know they are not alone and that it’s not shameful to have mental health issues.

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While it’s true that it’s not shameful, there is still stigma attached. Because of my mental illness, I took a few years off. When I went back (my meds were working and I was on a schedule and compliant), my doctor told me that I was the “last person in the world who should be teaching.” I took that as a sign that I needed a new doctor. All of that is to say that stigma is still very real.

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With my trusted friends, a bit...with myself, a bit more...finally made an appointment to start counseling for the stress and anxiety. I start next week. Long overdue!

likeuplifting

Not necessarily. A Russian colleague once remarked “Why do Americans always say ‘Hi, how are you?’ and then keep walking past? Why do they ask when they don’t want to hear the answer?” I laughed and said that he was absolutely correct, they don’t expect any honest answer. Just “Fine, how you doin’?” In fact, I dare you all to answer that honestly the next time someone asks. The look on their face will say it all!

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Nope, not with people at work. I’ve been bullied before and am not willing to show the slightest vulnerability again. 😥

likesmarthelpful

That sucks. You deserve better coworkers.

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I really encourage anyone here that is struggling or that has faced bullying and/or harassment over mental/emotional illness to read the briefing from the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. It isn’t very long and it’s specific to mental illness. I’m linking it below: https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/depression-ptsd-other-mental-health-conditions-workplace-your-legal-rights

likehelpful

It’s harder when the bully is your principal.

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Day to day ..yes Diagnostic wise…HELL NO!!

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I am so very, very sorry for your loss! Please give yourself love, time, and patience as you work through this!

likeupliftinghelpful

Probably about 70-80% Maybe 80-88% with myself?

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Even though mental health struggles don’t mean that you’re weak? 💗

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I’m not even honest with myself about my mental health. 🥸

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I am, but I've also been blessed with good mental health. When I feel anxiety, worry, or doubt creeping in, I have pretty effective coping mechanisms. I've seen my son struggle with anxiety and depression, and I know it was hard for him to be honest with us about how bad it was getting and start getting help.

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I am honest that I battle depression and anxiety, but will usually answer that I’m fine if anyone asks.

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I once heard an acronym for fine: freaked out, insecure, neurotic, and emotional! So you may want to rethink that answer! Lol! 😂😉

likefunny

And put a target 🎯 on your own back?

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I’m only completely honest with safe people and not everyone is safe. So no. It’s not wise to always be completely honest.

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Depends on the person and the purpose. I have great support among friends and family, so I don't necessarily need it at work. Sometimes I share with students who are struggling to give them hope for their future.

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After starting on Lexipro for anxiety in January, I shared with others because I wanted others to know it was okay to take care of mental health. I was shocked how many shared back that they were also on prescription drugs for mental health needs.

likeuplifting

I had lunch with my team the other day and it was the same! Either they wanted help or were taking meds for depression and/or anxiety. There is a lot of expectations for teachers to be and do everything.

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Pretty much, yes. But even more important, is are we honest with ourselves!

likefunny

Hell no. It’s too overwhelming for most folks.

upliftinglike

Why would I be? They don’t need to know.

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I wouldn’t tell anyone. I’d tell them I had COVID.

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