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Thread: Life choices

  1. Life choices

    I was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, an anxiety disorder, and severe depression.
    I have been cutting myself for 5 years. My therapist of two years was the only one who was able to help me stop. Then she had to stop doing therapy to work in a hospital. That along with the fact im homesick, begging my mom to let me come home and she refuses are the reasons I began cutting again.
    I also am bordering on anorexic.

    Yeah. I know I suck.

    But Im 19 years old and thinking about my future.

    I studied theater passionatly in a performing arts high school for 4 years.
    Now Im 14 hours away from home at a conservatory for theater andhating it.

    I decided that I really, truly want to become a therapist. I thought about it extremely hard.

    so my first question is... do you think its possible, once im cured and have completed my therapy... for me to become one? Or would being one just make me more emotionally unstable? Im not kidding on the fact that I really, really want to become one. Seeing how my therapist changed my entire life I want to be able to help people through things like this. Is it possible for me to become one?

    But moving on, Im worried about my children. I dont have any now, and I am not planning until I am older... But my father is a manic depressive with an addiction to painkillers...
    The point is... will my children be at an extremely high risk for mental illness?
    I dont want them to have to go through what I have been through.
    Yes, my Borderline came from being sexually abused at a child. but my fathers didnt...

    I really want to have children but Im so worried they might become sick because of me.

    What ARE the risks? and should, when im older, I risk them?

  2. Life choices

    I was diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, an anxiety disorder, and severe depression.
    I have been cutting myself for 5 years. My therapist of two years was the only one who was able to help me stop. Then she had to stop doing therapy to work in a hospital. That along with the fact im homesick, begging my mom to let me come home and she refuses are the reasons I began cutting again.
    I also am bordering on anorexic.

    Yeah. I know I suck.

    But Im 19 years old and thinking about my future.

    I studied theater passionatly in a performing arts high school for 4 years.
    Now Im 14 hours away from home at a conservatory for theater andhating it.

    I decided that I really, truly want to become a therapist. I thought about it extremely hard.

    so my first question is... do you think its possible, once im cured and have completed my therapy... for me to become one? Or would being one just make me more emotionally unstable? Im not kidding on the fact that I really, really want to become one. Seeing how my therapist changed my entire life I want to be able to help people through things like this. Is it possible for me to become one?

    But moving on, Im worried about my children. I dont have any now, and I am not planning until I am older... But my father is a manic depressive with an addiction to painkillers...
    The point is... will my children be at an extremely high risk for mental illness?
    I dont want them to have to go through what I have been through.
    Yes, my Borderline came from being sexually abused at a child. but my fathers didnt...

    I really want to have children but Im so worried they might become sick because of me.

    What ARE the risks? and should, when im older, I risk them?

  3. #3

    Life choices

    More than one question there, aniston.

    1. You might be surprised to learn how many very skilled therapists come from backgrounds where they struggled and overcame their own issues. There is an interesting site and journal which is about this phneomenon: The Wounded Healer Journal. Having experienced and overcome such struggles often makes people more empathic and less critical or judgmental, and I think sometimes patients/clients find it easier to make a connection with someone who draws not only upon "book training" but also on life experience.

    2. The fact that you have survived childhood abuse and a "mental disorder" certainly does not doom any children you might have to the same fate. For example, the risk for developing schizophrenia in the general population is about 1%. If you have a sibling or parent with schizophrenia, your risk increases quite a bit - to something like 10%. But you still have a 90% chance of NOT developing schizophrenia. There is also an increased vulnerability to a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, or to anxiety disorders or OCD, if you have a close relative with schizophrenia - but the odds are still in your favor that NONE of these things will happen to you. The same applies to any children you may have.

  4. #4

    Life choices

    More than one question there, aniston.

    1. You might be surprised to learn how many very skilled therapists come from backgrounds where they struggled and overcame their own issues. There is an interesting site and journal which is about this phneomenon: The Wounded Healer Journal. Having experienced and overcome such struggles often makes people more empathic and less critical or judgmental, and I think sometimes patients/clients find it easier to make a connection with someone who draws not only upon "book training" but also on life experience.

    2. The fact that you have survived childhood abuse and a "mental disorder" certainly does not doom any children you might have to the same fate. For example, the risk for developing schizophrenia in the general population is about 1%. If you have a sibling or parent with schizophrenia, your risk increases quite a bit - to something like 10%. But you still have a 90% chance of NOT developing schizophrenia. There is also an increased vulnerability to a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, or to anxiety disorders or OCD, if you have a close relative with schizophrenia - but the odds are still in your favor that NONE of these things will happen to you. The same applies to any children you may have.

  5. Life choices

    In Dante Allighieri's Divine Comedy, vol 1: Inferno, Virgil leads Dante through Hell to get to Paradise. One must pass through the trials and tribulations of the worst place in existence to become purified on the other side, and one needs a guide to do so, and this guide must have already been through Hell in order to know how to escape it. As Milton said: "long is the way, and hard, that out of Hell leads to light" (paradise lost, book II, line 432-33, penguin classics edition). Personally, I think the fact that you know first-hand what it is like to have to deal with depression, that you have travelled that Hell and are working to come out on the other side, is what makes you a worthwhile candidate to help other people. You are preparing, just in that, to become the Virgil to someone else's Dante.
    As for the educational possibility. I am 20, and only just starting my psychology degree at the University of Ottawa. There is no time that is too late to start, nor is there a point in life when you cannot drop everything and start anew. Know what you want, and pursue it. To me, it is as simple as that. If you want it, it is obtainable, you just have to exert the proper amount of will and energy. Once you know how much that is, you are fully equipped.
    The tibetans say "the longest journey leads to the deepest purification". Your journey will undoubtedly lead you to a strength that as of now you probably cannot yet imagine (I know I could not see my own transformation as they happen, but only in hindsight). But it is evolving, nonetheless, without your perception of it, and someday you will see it and be surprised. All these hardships in life serve to strengthen us. They challenge us, and thus we evolve into something even stronger. If you want to, then use your strength to help guide others.

  6. #6

    Life Choices

    Aniston, if you have a desire to be a therapist I think that you should pursue it whole-heartedly. I feel that you will be a great therapist because you can empathize with people who are suffering. You will have an advantage over therapists who have never experienced mental illness because you will have first hand knowledge of how to truly make your clients understand the importance of their medication and therapy, etc. Pursue your dreams. I am sure you will bw very successful.

  7. #7

    Life choices

    hey Aniston! I think that all of those things definitely gave you a different perspective on life- you know the good, the bad, and the ugly. But you're trying to overcome those things, understand them better, and you have goals for the future. You couldn't do anything more than that. I in a way refuse to believe that just b/c someome tells me I'm "x" that that means I won't be able to accomplish my goals b/c of "x". Who is that person telling you that for one and where does it say that as a general rule you need to have always been "perfect" in a way to ever go on to be a therapist? Is a banker who has a mental ilness any less qualified to be a banker? They're dealing w/ people's $, which is as important... I don't think it's necessary to have to have gone "through" things to understand them, but I also don't think that having been in that position makes you any less able to pursue your goals- it probably just makes you more determined, more aware of life's challenges but also of what's out there and what you have to offer. In regards to you going into Psycholgy, I just also wanted to throw out there that there's many ways you can end up helping someone like you said your therapist helped you. People that come to mind are doctors, social workers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, nurses, teachers, researchers... and so many more! They all end up helpin people in one way or another, it just depends on the population they work w/ and the field they work in and the topics they deal w/. But if you want to "help people" there's more than one path to that, but if being a therapist is what you want to do there should be no reason to hold you back. Dont' let people or external circumstances (in a way having a label of a mental disorder is one) hold you back from your dreams and goals.

    Question though, do you currently have a new therapist? I think maybe trying to find someone else could be beneficial, it sounds like you have a lot to deal w/ and espec. if you'r afraid more will come... you don't "suck"- you have your whole life ahead of you. You know what your interests are, you know where you're coming from, you know where you want to go. Is this your 1st yr studying theater away from home? Maybe it'll take some time to get used to being away? If not, I know your mom said you can't come home, but maybe you could tell her exactly why you think that'd be best for you....

    in terms of having children, a worry I can relate to... many of us can. But again, nothing is set in stone in life, chances of your children having difficulties may or may not be increased, but I think what counts is to be realistic about it. The more you can learn to deal w/ the challenges you have encountered and understand them and yourself as a person, the more prepared you are to deal w/ whatever may come. Children can be at high risk for a disorder, say a learning disability, but the parenting style of their parents and the opportunties they are provided with in their environments can make a huge, positive contributions (almost like a buffer).

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