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Teachers with long term mental illnesses - How common is it?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by MrSavva, Apr 18, 2019.


Do you know a teacher with a long term mental illness?

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    Recently I had a conversation with a group of teachers and I found that most of them felt that people with long term mental illnesses could not cope with the way education is developing, due to the pressure, stress, anxiety etc. My view, it's similar to Carly Schwartz's, where mental illness can be a gift, enabling educationalists deeply understand the suffering and pain of others.

    However, I appreciate that great teachers with long term mental illnesses may not feel comfortable to open up to their colleagues so... no-one knows about their existence. Are teachers with long term mental illnesses more common than we think? I will be interested to see what other people think about this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm totally insane - I just hide it well.
  3. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    most of my colleagues are on anti depressants, or have been
  4. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    Is this more often due to their teaching/work or unrelated ?
  5. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    This seems to me to be a motivational poster statement. @EmanuelShadrack might appreciate it but I think it's nonsense.
  6. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    With 40% of teachers planning to leave teaching https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-47936211 it would seem that a lot of people "cannot cope with the way education is developing due to the pressure, stress, anxiety etc." regardless of whether they have a long term mental illness or not.

    What is much more worrying is the number of teachers who develop a mental illness, whether long term or short term, as a direct result of the way education is developing.
    jellycowfish, irs1054, Jamvic and 6 others like this.
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Prozac is my best friend.
    vannie, agathamorse and irs1054 like this.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    more often due to work related stress, but not always
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Senior commenter

    A good level of general health is part of the requirement for teachers. Before teaching that is, not afterwards.
  10. fraisier

    fraisier Senior commenter

    I personally know 6 or 7 teachers who are currently on antidepressants (not necessarily work-related true but the current environment cannot have helped much) and many more who have been on such medication in the last 10 years. When I started teaching in England, I think I only came across one or two such cases in the first decade, 1990-2000. And that’s just the teachers, an increasing and worrying number of youngsters/U18s and young adults are on it, some on very powerful SSRIs too (increasing risks of long-term dependence).

    There’s been a real epidemic in the UK since the early 2000s, it’s trebled in the last 15 years! More awareness, less stigma etc. have something to do with this huge increase no doubt but deterioration of society in general – brutal neoliberalism, austerity, savage cuts, difficulty to access NHS dedicated mental health services (fuelling anti-depressants use), addiction spiral etc. – must also have plenty to do with it too.

    A GP friend of mine told me recently that something like half of her patients complain of being constantly “tired” or having no energy, often code for being depressed (or on the verge of mild-to-moderate depression) and she reckons that a good fifth of all her patients are on anti-depressants. The rise has been massive in the last decade or so she says.

    A nation hooked on 'happy pills': GPs treble doses of anti-depressants in 15 years as Britain heads towards top of world table

    Britons take nearly twice as many of the ‘happy pills’ as counterparts in France, Italy and the Netherlands.


    The UK rate of consumption for anti-depressants is 94.2 doses a day for every 1,000 inhabitants, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This is up from 37.6 doses in 2000.
    agathamorse, irs1054 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  11. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    As I have said before, 'You've gotta be mad to entire the asylum.';)
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    I agree, but I do you think Universities prepare trainee teachers appropriately for the mental challenges that come with the profession?
    peter12171 likes this.
  13. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Are you doing research for a dissertation?
    1 person likes this.
  14. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    The question is “Do universities prepare trainee teachers appropriately?”

    The answer is no.

    Teachers teach with varying degrees of mental unwellness. They also teach with chronic physical illnesses such as arthritis, asthma, IBS and plenty of others.
    peter12171, agathamorse and MrSavva like this.
  15. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    Quilty! :) I am writing a paper on teachers and their mental health.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    And you imagine this is "research"?
  17. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    Where would you suggest to start from?
  18. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I'm currently finishing my latest round of anti-depressants. hopefully I'll stay clear of them for a few years. Though Education is by no means the only stressor in my life I regard it as a major factor which were it to suddenly vanish would immediately make me 'normal' again.

    As this was my second attack of depression I've opened up to colleagues and acquaintances and have found their empathy and support pleasantly surprising.
    agathamorse and MrSavva like this.
  19. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    If this is a serious question, you are not qualified to carry out the research.
  20. MrSavva

    MrSavva New commenter

    Thank you for your contribution to this thread! :) But this is a chat, sharing experiences...this is how research starts, with sharing ideas.

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