Depression + Self-Harm- will they still let me into medical school? Watch

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Anonymous #1
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ANON OR DELETE

I have an unconditional place at a medical school for September, but recently some things have happened and I've become very depressed and have cut myself to try and make the emotional pain easier to deal with. I kept it hidden and nobody knew, I've only done it a few times when everything becomes too much. But my mum saw the cuts a few days ago by accident, her and my dad had big talks with me and said they'll support me through it and I had to promise not to do it again. But I did it again this morning. And I've just got to hope they don't find out. They want me to go see the GP anyway and see if they can help me at all. But I'm scared that if I have depression and self harm on my medical record, that the medical school will withdraw the offer. Does anyone know how medical schools view this? If they won't let me in then I'm just going to have to try and work things out on my own, I can't give up med school for anything. But if they'll be ok with it I think I'm going to go get some help because I know thats the best thing for me right now. What are their views? If I get help wil I lose my place?

tl;dr I want to get help for depression and self harm but scared of losing med school place, what are med schools views on them?
Anonymous #1
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Please can someone help? I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important, and I know it's in the wrong forum but I needed the anonymous.
animalnitrate
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I would have thought that you'd be fine, just be aware of the extra support that the university will have for you. Also, just because you self harm, it doesn't mean you actually have depression, as in the medically diagnosed mental illness. I hope everything works out for you.
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Anonymous #1
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Not a troll I promise, I really need to know.
animalnitrate
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I have just replied...
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Anonymous #2
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Medical schools do not have access to confidential patient files. From what i've experienced there are people on my course who have an extremely questionable mental state but the medical school is completely oblivious. in short, they won't know.
angelbones
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I would recommend that you inform someone about it - particularly the uni's support/counselling service, as they'll be able to help you.
Medicine is a VERY stressful course to do, and you'll need support, otherwise you risk self-harming every time you're stressed or upset.

Also: If you choose to continue cutting, be very aware of where you do it. If I was treated by a doctor with visible scars/cuts on their arms, I'd feel like they weren't the best person to be taking care of me if they can't take care of themselves. (Maybe a bit harsh, but true. Sorry.)
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by angelbones)
I would recommend that you inform someone about it - particularly the uni's support/counselling service, as they'll be able to help you.
Medicine is a VERY stressful course to do, and you'll need support, otherwise you risk self-harming every time you're stressed or upset.

Also: If you choose to continue cutting, be very aware of where you do it. If I was treated by a doctor with visible scars/cuts on their arms, I'd feel like they weren't the best person to be taking care of me if they can't take care of themselves. (Maybe a bit harsh, but true. Sorry.)
I think I need to go to the GP and get it properly checked out before I go to the uni. It's not exams + work +pressure that are the problem. If anythng I thrive on the pressure, it makes me more focused + more determined. It's the emotional stuff that upsets me, friends,family, relationships, personal stuff. That sort of level is whats caused all this.

I don't choose to cut, I didn't choose to start, I don't want to continue. Its not something I can control, and I know how ridiculous that statement sounds but if you were in my situation you'd understand. I have only made a few small cuts on my arm so far, I hope that I won't do it again, but I do get what you mean. I don't think they'll leave permament or obvious scarring.
angelbones
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I think I need to go to the GP and get it properly checked out before I go to the uni. It's not exams + work +pressure that are the problem. If anythng I thrive on the pressure, it makes me more focused + more determined. It's the emotional stuff that upsets me, friends,family, relationships, personal stuff. That sort of level is whats caused all this.

I don't choose to cut, I didn't choose to start, I don't want to continue. Its not something I can control, and I know how ridiculous that statement sounds but if you were in my situation you'd understand. I have only made a few small cuts on my arm so far, I hope that I won't do it again, but I do get what you mean. I don't think they'll leave permament or obvious scarring.
I do understand (I used to self harm too).

Definitely go to the GP. They're very understanding and will help you get to the root of things, and refer you to counselling if necessary (which might help, seeing as it's because caused by emotional things).


I'd recommend Bio-oil or moisturising the area regularly to reduce any scars that are there.
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TheSmithsIndeed
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As far as I'm aware, you cannot be discriminated against for a mental illness therefore if you were to tell them that you have a mental disorder (and I think that's the only way they can find out since your medical records are confidential) they can't just withdraw your offer.
I think it would be wise to go to the doctors about the depression/self-harm though because you don't want your problems to escalate, especially seeing as getting a medical degree is a lot of work/pressure.
Hope you get better soon
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junior.doctor
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The medical school will require you to complete a health questionnaire closer to the time you're due to start. Whilst on one hand your medical records remain confidential unless you give permission to disclose them, on the other hand you have to be honest on the form and they are likely to request permission to see your medical records.

Realistically - the reason they need to know is so that they can best support you in undertaking a fast-paced, strenuous degree. They need to assess whether you're currently up to doing that, or whether it might be better for you to take some time out, invest in yourself, get the help you need to feel better and then start medicine. Rather than starting, and not being able to cope with the demands of the course due to other difficulties you've got, and overall getting yourself into a worse position, quite possibly having to start the year again the following year.

You may find yourself some problems if the medical school find out that this was an issue beforehand and you didn't tell them. These days it's much more accepted that being a doctor and suffering from mental illness are not mutually exclusive - after all, '1 in 4' is the statistic often quoted. And it stands to reason that in such a demanding profession, medics are equally if not more affected, and are certainly not infallible. Those who have the determination and strength of character torealise that they are in difficulty, and take the help and time that they need to get better, will do better in the long run, and will have the extra life experience to learn from.

The medical school often likes to know that such difficulties are under control, so it is possible that they suggest you take a gap year and work through things. I think it's very unlikely they'd take your place away. Good luck.
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Shanster
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I'm on a few self harm forums, and there are members on them who self-harm and are also studying to become nurses and doctors. They haven't had any problems so long as they stay hygienic - for example, it would be bad if you cut on your hands and then handled wounded patients. It's a good idea to try and get some help in managing it if possible, such as counselling (:
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anon2010
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like junior doctor said: it is unlikely they will take your place away because they could be brought up on charges for discrimination. It is more likely they will ask you to access help.

I have a mental illness and have had for a while. I have though about medicine and I asked my psychiatric if it would be possible and he said that about 10-20% of the patients he treats are doctors and nurses who work or train full time. As long as you access treatment and do not become a liability to your self or a patient you should be fine.



Also on a side note: as a former self-harmer I advise you to try and give up asap. The longer you do it for the harder it is to give up and when you are older people in professional situation will ask questions about you scars if there are a lot of them. And sometimes its is very hard to answer them.
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musicmad123
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it can be done, i starting studying to be a nurse with depression self harm and social anxiety disorder, if you do have a mental illness (please go to your GP they can help) you should let occupational health at uni know, they will just want to help you. Good Luck
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ClaireHogben
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See your GP, definitely, but in the meantime i hope this helps you
http://healthmad.com/mental-health/d...st-easy-steps/
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Mr Chips
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If you lie in a signed declaration when required to reveal information about yourself you will ordinarily have provided an employer or a university with good reason to remove you subsequently when they find out. Dishonesty is usually ipso facto grounds for reversing someone's admission or hiring and if they do this specifically because you lied to them rather than because, for example, you cut yourself then they can lawfully and fairly remove you for not having told the truth.

A point made by others is also crucial. University is hard for many students and medical school is especially testing. You need to think hard about whether an untreated problem such as this that rears its head when you are anxious or subjected to stress is just storing up a lot more trouble for yourself when heading into the highly competitive, demanding and pressurised environment of medical training.

Finally, if you go to medical school and qualify you will enjoy privileged access to controlled substances and also face regular life-and-death situations that you will be expected to handle competently and with composure. Instead of focusing on your presumed right to pursue whatever career you want and regardless of whether your problems are treated and cured, which just sounds extraordinarily self-absorbed, try put yourself in other people's shoes for a change: medical colleagues, healthcare bodies, and particularly vulnerable and anxious patients and their loved ones. Don't they have a right to have a medical practitioner who can cope with the pressure and still remain calm and rational and focused when the going gets tough?
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