Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's been a while

It's been a while since I've posted last: I just didn't have the energy until now.  I get like this every so often: I get depressed and I can't get anything done for a week or two.  I'm working with my doctor to figure out what's going on, maybe it's a hormonal thing.  I snapped out of it on Monday and I'm good to go, but I'm getting tired of going through this over and over again.

This does bring to mind another thing I've wondered about: how many teachers are there taking antidepressants or mood stabilizers?  For that matter, I've seen how much teachers can drink: how many of us are self-medicating?

I started to wonder about this when I ran into the teacher who teaches next door to me as I was coming out of my psychologist's office.  I think she was just as surprised to see me.  We talked for a little while and she mentioned that she was having stress and anxiety issues.  I didn't think much about it until other teachers in the building started to talk to me more, and I heard more about the medications they were taking, the problems finding medications that you could take every day but hopefully didn't interfere with driving, etc.  It was like being discovered with a therapist was a codeword that opened the clubhouse door, and I realized there were a lot of us who were coping with anxiety or bipolar disorder or depression and were hiding it at work.

I'm not sure how the percentage of teachers medicating for mood disorders compares to the population at large.  Certainly, it's not something most people share at cocktail parties: " when I realized I wanted to stab him with a toasting fork, that was when I asked for the valium.  I'm feeling much better now....."  Mostly, I think teachers usually medicate their moods for the same reason that humans don't whelp litters: humans aren't designed to raise more than 5-6 young at a time.  Trapping any adult in a room with 30 children for 6 hours a day will batter your emotional stability after a while.

Not that I'm saying pity us, or I'm making the case for a $10 Starbucks card come Christmastime.  Just something I noticed, and wondered about.  Maybe the elementary 20:1 model should be the norm.

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