Can I still become a doctor if I have past mental health issues? Watch

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Jess1996
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Right. Well I have something wrong with me. I won't go into detail but I'm deeply depressed. To the point where I've actually started self harming. Now, I want to get help really I do. Id love to have the courage to speak tp someone but I'm worried. You see, I've always wanted to become a forensic pathologist. And to become a forensic pathologist I have to train as a doctor first. My worry is that if I see a doctor and if this goes on my record then I won't be able to achieve this.

So I was basically wondering, can someone become a doctor if they have past mental health issues?

Thanks
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Sultana
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Yes. If you can prove you have your condition under control, there is no reason at all you can't become a doctor. In fact they legally aren't allowed to discriminate against you. Also; if you don't get help for the depression you probably wouldn't manage the course anyway.
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Jess1996
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Thankyou, now I can consider that option
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Anonymous #1
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My friend was sectioned when she was 15 years old and has a long history of mental health problems. She's now a junior doctor.
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Jess1996
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I guess im just worried that even if I get to be a doctor that ill be mocked and looked down on for my past /:
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RightSaidJames
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Moved to Medicine from Mental Health, I expect you'll get more replies here
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by Jess1996)
I guess im just worried that even if I get to be a doctor that ill be mocked and looked down on for my past /:
Unlikely, a lot of doctors will have gotten into medicine because of a health issue they or a relative has/had.
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ellieHA
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A psychiatrist told me that most of the people she knows have had 'past experiences' with mental illnesses. Psychiatrists have to do medicine too and if they've suffered and got in there's no reason you can't
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Cherriesxo
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(Original post by Jess1996)
I guess im just worried that even if I get to be a doctor that ill be mocked and looked down on for my past /:
I think you'll find that people will admire you.
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Jess1996
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Thanks guys now ill have to see if I actually have the guts to get help. I doubt it but at least I know I have an option. Thankyou
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Friar Chris
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(Original post by Jess1996)
Right. Well I have something wrong with me. I won't go into detail but I'm deeply depressed. To the point where I've actually started self harming. Now, I want to get help really I do. Id love to have the courage to speak tp someone but I'm worried. You see, I've always wanted to become a forensic pathologist. And to become a forensic pathologist I have to train as a doctor first. My worry is that if I see a doctor and if this goes on my record then I won't be able to achieve this.

So I was basically wondering, can someone become a doctor if they have past mental health issues?

Thanks
If you were a diagnosed psychopath, that'd be an issue because it could interfere with your work quite pointedly - directly endangering patients, for example.

Depression is not at all a problem. Former depression equally not a problem.

People won't care if you have past medical problems, even mental health issues. Medical School, in my experience, is nothing like school. Your colleagues are more likely to ask for your input on patients with depression and value your perspective, if anything. Hell, I suffered from epilepsy for a good third of my childhood which involved tonic clonic seizures with me voiding my bladder and writhing on the floor. A problem? Not at all, it's entirely resolved now, and I've never been judged for it. In fact, I've been the go-to-guy for anything seizure-related for the past two years (both for reference, and also in an emergency situation or three where drunk flatmates had issues).
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kka25
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Some of the posts here are so positive

OP, I sincerely wish you all the best and I'm very sure you'd be a great doctor; the one that could appreciate a person's well being and health
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Jess1996
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Thanks everyone you've made me feel a lot better about all this!!
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junior.doctor
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Having sought help for a mental health problem will not stop you from studying medicine. When you apply, you will have to fill out an occupational health form 9as will all applicants) where you give details of past mental and physical health problems, vaccinations etc. Following that, someone from the occupational health team will need to contact your GP and any other health professionals involved in your care (with your permission, but you will have to give your permission - they can only give occupational health clearance by contacting the relevant people, and a satisfactory occupational health report is part of the conditions of any medicine offer). Your GP / psychiatrist / whoever will then write a report. I'm not sure where you're at now in terms of GCSEs / A-levels, but in your subject title you talk about 'past' mental health problems, and in your post you say you've not sought help yet and it's a current problem. You don't have to be completely 'better' to study medicine, but you / your doctor will have to show that things are under control to the extent that you will be able to cope with the rigours of a medical degree. This is meant as a supportive measure, to make sure that you are able to cope with a demanding course, rather than as a punitive measure. Good luck, and don't be afraid to seek help. You have recognised that there is a problem - good on you. Much better a doctor who has recognised that there is a problem and has sought the appropriate help than one who is struggling and hiding issues for fear of others' opinions.
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nexttime
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(Original post by Jess1996)
I guess im just worried that even if I get to be a doctor that ill be mocked and looked down on for my past /:
No definitely not. I know a few students that have had/currently have mental health issues - they are supported and largely get by just fine. University tutors and doctors are likely the most understanding people you'd find. I'm on psychiatry at the moment, and the experience has definitely made me more understanding and aware of the kinds of things depressed people go through.

If you are thinking of self-harming i would advise going to a doctor. Worst that can happen is that you don't like what they have to offer and you don't have to take it up.
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Jess1996
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I just sometimes feel like I don't want to see a doctor as its embarrassing. I also feel like it trivial. Like they will think "oh here comes another sad teenager who thinks the world hates her. Blah Blah Blah she's just looking for attention" /:
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gingerandice
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either ive been watching too much house or doctors with a health past issue make the best doctors.

jokes aside, if i were suffering from a mental issue, i would personally prefer my doctor to have some empathy; theres not much more empathy you can get if the doctor actually has a first hand of what you're going through.Just my thoughts, tis all.
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Jess1996
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Yeah but house is a ******* :P Js!

And I get what you mean but I also dont want to let my family down /:
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selena martinez
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i am wondering the same thing my name is selena and i think you should find out from a docter so you dont have to go through the studying for nothing because that would suck i was in you situation i have been in treatment for 7 almost 8 years because my mom doesnt want me so i did do bad stuff and self harm so check with a real doctor and do sopme research after you check with the doctor good luck i believe in you
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selena martinez
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if a doctor says that he is an ******* and you never know if you dont try i am selena i am 15 i am from hawaii i am wondering the same thing i typed another message so look at it dont give up no matter what
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