PDA

View Full Version : Mental health issues?



wag1
December 31st, 2012, 21:24
Hey, long(ish)-time reader, first time poster!

I'm going to be applying for the 2014 group.. but i've had a pretty long history of mental health problems. Spent nearly a year in hospital with an eating disorder, had a couple of bouts with depression and have seen a shrink for some personality disorder-related therapy too.

After reading on the JET website, there's a self-assessment form along with having to see a doctor to make sure I'm mentally stable and stuff. Relatively confident my GP would give me the all clear, but would JET see the previous mental health stuff as a disadvantage?

mothy
January 1st, 2013, 21:30
Hey, long(ish)-time reader...

...i've had a pretty long history of mental health problems...

Clearly.

Gizmotech
January 2nd, 2013, 12:13
Will it hurt you getting on JET? No. The only thing it can do is potentially limit your available cities if you indicate that you require continued support.

Should you go on JET? Really think about this for a while.

In my short stay here I've now encountered two ALTs with depression issues (among other mental health problems) and they certainly did not take well being stuck in rural nowhere Japan. Their depressions only got worse while they were here, and the Japanese can be rather unsympathetic to the problem, with quite a few taking the "Pull yourself together and get shit done" approach to the problem, which is a rather common attitude to most problem in Japan. (Too cold? check. Too hot? check. Too tired? check. Too sick? check. Too stupid? check.) That's not to say everyone won't be, but it can be a rather hostile work environment and living environment, which doesn't help.

word
January 2nd, 2013, 14:55
...would JET see the previous mental health stuff as a disadvantage?I hope so.

I am truly sorry to be so brutal and blunt, but recent years have found me in a position of attempting to assist new JETs through the process of navigating their lives here, and I am f*cking through with JETs with mental issues. Transitioning to a life in Japan can be a difficult and testing experience for some people. Add a disadvantage in the form of mental instability, and everyone suffers--not only the new JET, but also his/her coworkers and neighbors, not to mention the program as a whole. The screening process can and should be especially severe on individuals with a history of mental instability. I do f*cking everything I can for some of these wankers, and it is infuriating at times. It would be significantly easier to assist young children through the process.

That all said, I had gone through counseling and drug therapy in my early college years for depression. It was a gigantic waste of time and resources all around. Once I pulled my head out of my own arse and quit being so mopey and pathetic, I discovered I could be a pretty capable and competent person. I knew who I was and what I could do, so I lied, applied, and made it over here. Three and a half years later, I'm doin' all right.

I dunno where I'm goin' with all this. Make of it what you will.

mothy
January 2nd, 2013, 17:41
Yay word!

stanmarsh
January 3rd, 2013, 00:12
Wag-- let me preface this by saying that I'm sorry that you've had to go through all that crap :(

I agree with both word and gizmo...I think you should really think this over before applying. I'm an applicant right now as well, so I can't speak from experience with going to Japan, but yeah...like they said, it's a huge, huge, HUGE step and seems to be incredibly frustrating at the very least for even the most stable people. There's also the whole issue of availability of certain medications (I know that at least several antidepressants aren't available there) in Japan, and the hassle that would come with needing a new med/switching meds.

That wasn't what you were asking though, so to your question: I guess it depends on how long you've been stable and in treatment for. If you were just released from the hospital last week, I'd assume that they'd be less inclined to give you a chance. If you're able to show that you've improved and show long-term stability, I think that should really help. Again, I'm just a n00b who wandered into this thread, but I'd imagine they'd handle your situation the same way that any other sort of application and selection committee would.

wag1
January 3rd, 2013, 03:55
Wag-- let me preface this by saying that I'm sorry that you've had to go through all that crap :(

I agree with both word and gizmo...I think you should really think this over before applying. I'm an applicant right now as well, so I can't speak from experience with going to Japan, but yeah...like they said, it's a huge, huge, HUGE step and seems to be incredibly frustrating at the very least for even the most stable people. There's also the whole issue of availability of certain medications (I know that at least several antidepressants aren't available there) in Japan, and the hassle that would come with needing a new med/switching meds.

That wasn't what you were asking though, so to your question: I guess it depends on how long you've been stable and in treatment for. If you were just released from the hospital last week, I'd assume that they'd be less inclined to give you a chance. If you're able to show that you've improved and show long-term stability, I think that should really help. Again, I'm just a n00b who wandered into this thread, but I'd imagine they'd handle your situation the same way that any other sort of application and selection committee would.


Cheers for the replies.

Erm, I've not been on any medication for about 3 years and in the end I wasn't diagnosed with any sort of personality disorder. Also the eating disorder has long, long gone (apparently, it was some phase that I went through).

Oh yeah, I couldn't imagine how bad it would be for current applicants - even now, the idea of writing something like a SOP sounds pretty damn stressful. Like people in thread have said, I'll have a good think about applying - but I am still pretty keen on applying (hey.. I love Japanese culture).

word - yeah, I know what you mean with meds/therapy being a complete waste of time. If anything, it made me feel worse - but i knew what was depressing me and they're not a part of my life anymore.

stanmarsh
January 3rd, 2013, 04:21
Ah, sorry, oops... :105: Apologies! They prescribe SSRIs like candy, so I figured you'd probably had them forced upon you at some point in time.

That honestly doesn't sound as bad as your OP...with no formal diagnosis, you don't even need to mention the PD thing. Sounds like it was all a long time ago too, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just make sure your GP gives you the all-clear, and maybe prepare to explain some things come interview time :)