Starting New as I End My Volunteer Experience

The past few weeks has surely been hectic. Of course, the Bipolar project gave me a reality check on what I’m getting myself into. 

After talking to my supervisor, she told me that I have to go through these challenges no matter what. In any situation, there are always going to be challenges, and I have to learn to keep up with it. Also, having a passion has its downs–as much as I love psychology, I learned that there are plenty of ups and downs in this field. 

Yay! I survived till the end! Now my next goal is to actually get a job after graduation, and learn how to deal with patients even more. 

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Decisions, decisions…

I went to the mental hospital today and talked to my supervisor. We had a long conversation on whether or not I should stay as a volunteer. I know that it is for school credit, but I shouldn’t just think that getting this credit is the only reason I am here. I could possibly pursue a career in this field!
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My supervisor said that I only need a few more days to complete this credit. She also told me not to take things too harshly and not to be too worried. When entering a field like this, she said that I have there will be times of disappointment, and not every situation will have a happy ending. She also said that I am a great person to work with, and I could potentially be offered a job after I graduate.

Personally, I agree with her, but at the same time, I don’t know if I can handle these situations. Studying psychology really interests me, but when it comes to the negative side of dealing with patients, I get worried and anxious.

What am I to do? Stay or leave? If I stay, I will get the school credit for sure, and the experience, but I really can’t handle this pressure any more and the patients are going insane… it’s making me go insane!

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Day 3: Bipolar Project

So I think I am going to break down soon.

The bipolar project yesterday did not turn out well. First, Michael was already out of control, throwing furniture across the room and almost physically hurting the psychologists. I actually stepped outside the room for some time and watched through the window.

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Later, the psychologists took him outside the room and I followed. We went to another room, with lots of wiring and a bed. There were some other contraptions that I have never seen before.

Then the psychologists put him on the bed (and it was quite a struggle). One of the psychologists told to me pass some tools, and then he attached a headband around his head.
I knew what was going to happen now…it quickly reminded me of the movie…One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest…
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The sight was quite scary and painful to see. At least Michael became stable. But during the time of the electroshock, he moved around a lot. He also screamed and moved his head furiously.

After the electroshock therapy, I made my way home. I began to think about what had happened and my volunteer experience. I was beginning to have second thoughts of being here. I consider myself a positive thinker but after this experience, I feel like quitting. I think I will see my volunteer supervisor tomorrow and talk to her.

Relationship Trouble

Dear Alyssa,

I am having a relationship problem right now. I have been with my boyfriend for 7 years, and I recently met someone else at college that has been quite interesting, and we’ve been hanging out a lot. But I don’t know what to tell my boyfriend and what I should do!

From,
Confused Heart

Hello Confused Heart,
You are since in college… I think it is a good time to not be so stable and possible move around a bit if you know what I mean. I’m assuming you are in your twenties, and when you are in your twenties, you tend to move around from homes to jobs…and even to relationships. You’ve probably been dating since high school… or elementary school.
I think you should talk to someone you trust and get their opinions. Here is a quote I think you should take a look at:
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Take Care,
Alyssa

Day 2: Bipolar Project

I went to see Michael again today. We both visited the psychologist and apparently, he has been diagnosed with a higher form of bipolar disorder. It is called Cyclothymia, and NO it does not relate to this…

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It is basically a serious form of bipolar disorder, and needs much more attention and care.
His mood has seriously been up and down lately, and when I met up with him, he was seriously depressed. He lost his appetite, and he just laid in his bed.
The psychologists try to cheer him up, by doing some art therapy
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Art therapy apparently helps control his moods.

However, it was very saddening to see. He wouldn’t even pick up the pencil crayons or attempt to draw anything.
I was having second thoughts about this bi polar project, and hoping that it would get better today. Maybe it will get better tomorrow.

 

Day 1: Bipolar Project

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So for those who don’t know, I am doing this volunteer position for school credit. Part of it is to take on a full on project, and I happen to be placed in the Bipolar project.

I met Michael a couple days ago, who has Bipolar Disorder. I had a conversation with him, along with a professional psychologist. It was definitely not your average conversation, Michael kept changing his mood constantly. He started out happy as he talked about his family, but suddenly turned mad when he talked about how his parents treat him. Apparently, he doesn’t understand that his parents are trying to help him, not make his life worse. Michael suddenly turned excited as he soon talked about his life at the mental hospital…apparently he said that he liked the environment and the doctors.

However, his turning point was when he suddenly turned angry again as he suddenly thought about his life at school and how kids used to tease him. He flipped his chair, and became physically violent. Soon doctors had to come and control him.

After this experience, I felt very uncomfortable and thought twice about this bipolar project I agreed to volunteer in.
I guess I shouldn’t be too negative. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Shocking Surprise on ADHD/ Update on my life

I came across this video today:
http://www.upworthy.com/why-is-relatively-normal-child-like-behavior-being-treated-as-an-illness-gue-4?c=ufb1

Throughout my experiences at the mental hospital, I’ve been a significant amount of people who have ADHD. After watching this video, I have come to realized how much advertising goes into making ADHD treatments sell. It made me think twice on the truth of ADHD… could it be misdiagnosed? Are people are just giving it to medications? Although these treatments end up working, there is constant debate in the diagnosis of ADHD.

I personally think doctors should rethink on what they are diagnosing and what they are prescribing. Only what is necessary should exist, and people who have ADHD are eventually the victims in this  situation.

After this thought, I’ve been thinking of talking to some people about what should be put into these kinds of mental diagnosis. Maybe rethinking and reevaluating the mental healthcare system can be thought through.

In other news, I will be starting day 1 of my observations of a bi polar patient.. I talked about him (Michael) in my previous post..
Well, off to do some more research and volunteering!

Bell Let’s Talk!

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In honour of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign, a few of the staff, volunteers, and a few patients at the mental hospital came together for lunch today. It was held in a conference room, and was decorated with campaign ads. Not to mention, great food as well!

Around my table were a few of my fellow volunteers. However, a patient sat beside me by the name of Michael. He seemed content and kind, and we had a good conversation. He said he suffers from bipolar disorder, but was undergoing treatment. He told me he just had a treatment right before the event today.

It was a coincidence that we met, as I later learned that I will be volunteering with his doctors and him. About a couple of hours a day, I will be watching his behaviour and writing down what I see and learn.

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Smoking: A Bad Habit

Hi Alyssa,
I’ve been a heavy smoker for many years now. I want to quit but it’s very hard to. This habit has been an ongoing problem and is now affecting my friends and family. They are breathing in my scent, which is not good and it’s a danger for all of us. I consider myself to be pretty healthy (I’m a pretty young person). But I know that down the road, I may suffer. 

From,
Bad Habit Smoker

Hi Bad Habit Smoker,
I understand that quitting smoking or any bad habit is difficult. However, if you start now and begin a slow process of healing, you will meet your goal. You cannot heal yourself over night, it takes time. 
Smoking is more than a physical illness, but also a mental illness. You should seek a mental professional to help you. 
Have you tried Nicorette or other smoking substitutes? Those can help you with changing your habits. 
Remember that quitting now is better than quitting ‘down the road’. You know that this habit is bad, and when you keep building up the habit everyday, you will go through an explosion (not literally…). What I’m trying to say is, that you can suddenly breakdown (at the hospital). I’m not trying to scare you! But if you want to quit, attend therapy sessions or talk to people you love. 

Hope you get better.
Alyssa