I would like to study psychology. But I'm afraid it's not a good choice for me because of my depression. Is it possible to fix someone else when I can't fix myself?
Last Updated: 12/21/2021 at 11:17pm
Elena Morales, LMHC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.
Top Rated Answers
Struggling with your mental health doesn't mean that psychology wouldn't be a good fit for you. In fact, your mental health experience could better help you to connect with and understand clients. Most mental health professionals and advocates I know have struggled with mental health too. My therapist, for example, has anxiety and depression. Despite, or maybe even partially because of this, she absolutely loves her job and has helped me with those same things more than any other professional I've met with. The important thing is that you're compassionate and someone who cares about others, and from your concern about wanting to make sure psychology was a good fit for you, I believe you're both of those things.
You need to ask yourself why you want to study psychology. Is it to understand yourself better, or is it because you've been there and you want to help others not be in the same position as you? A lot of people who study psychology drop out of school because it isn't what they've expected. They thought it'll give them an answer to all of their issue and they realize it wasn't for others, it was just to understand what they were going through and try and find a solution to their pain. Psychology, is not about "fixing" people. You're job will be to listen and to understand them. The study is to make their problem more relatable so you can guide them. It isn't to find a solution for them but help them find a solution on their own. Having a depression could help with patient having the same issue because they'll be more relatable, but it could also make it more draining because some people have deep issue and you have to show strong support. Psychologists also have their own issue and they sometimes also need to seek help from other psychologists. That doesn't make them less professional or less prompt to help you, it just makes them human.
I agree with Anonymous. Many of the people who work at the mental health clinic I go to have had issues with depression or have a mental health disorder. It makes them more empathetic toward their clients because they can understand what they're going through. I have bipolar disorder, and I have a degree in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Just like you, I want to help others who are hurting or who need a listening ear. You never know who you'll be able to help. You telling others about your experience with depression could help bring healing into someone else's life who also suffers from depression. You could help them not feel so alone since you understand where they're coming from.
Hi Friend, I was in a similar situation as you were, but I just received my bachelors in clinical psychology and counseling! Learning about negative thought patterns and cognition actually helped me in ways I didn't think imaginable. It isn't about fixing yourself or another person, but about finding solutions and being kind along the way! I think it's an excellent way to be self-reflective and see that others are most likely feeling the same way you are! You could always start out general education major as well and maybe take an intro to psychology course! For myself, personally, learning a lot about the science behind psychology such as neuro psychology, cognitive psychology, and bio psychology helped me understand parts of what I struggled through. Plus, you learn different counseling techniques for your clients that you can totally use, too! Lastly, I believe a lot of people who go into this profession do so because they have experienced a difficult time and want to do exactly what you're doing. I remember being nervous too, but I'm so happy with my decision!
Yes, it is possible to help someone else when you are struggling yourself. In fact, personal challenges can lend you a strong background to help you practice from a place of true empathy and develop a tight bond with a client. Experiencing challenges like depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can better equip you for helping others who are dealing with the same struggles. Your life experiences are a gift and a tool for your personal growth. I also believe that by studying psychology, you may learn even more about depression and be able to help yourself more effectively.
Yes! There's no "fixing" mental illnesses. We can learn better coping mechanisms, and we can learn how to handle every day life, adapting to these problems we have, but there's no "fixing", because nothing's wrong. In fact, helping others can help you feel better; can help you feel like you have a purpose now (obviously: you always have a purpose outside of other people). I, for one, have Borderline Personality Disorder, and I'm studying psychology. It can really help understand yourself, and, in turn, understand future patients. A lot of patients feel better knowing the person helping them has directly struggled with similar things to them, too!
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