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Severe Mental Illness and Working in EMS

Discussion in 'EMS Talk' started by LifeOfAMedicStudent, Mar 18, 2017.

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  1. LifeOfAMedicStudent

    LifeOfAMedicStudent Forum Crew Member

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    I will admit and come clean that I have mental illness and been hospitalized for it numerous times since adolescence.

    I have severe social anxiety and Aspergers. I often get paranoid about losing my jobs and fear I will co workers against me. I feel everyone can pick up on it. My demeanor is sometimes shy and anxious and feel others can see I am a weak link.

    I found out recently I have a GAF score of 55. That indicates moderate difficulties.
     
  2. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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    Do you have a question or was this just confession time?
     
  3. LifeOfAMedicStudent

    LifeOfAMedicStudent Forum Crew Member

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    I am trying to ask if this poses a major risk/problem
     
  4. NomadicMedic

    NomadicMedic formerly DEmedic

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  5. DesertMedic66

    DesertMedic66 Forum Troll

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    If you fear your coworkers are always out to get you that will pose a pretty big problem as this job has a decent amount of team work that is needed.
     
  6. xxdanielt3

    xxdanielt3 Forum Ride Along

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    Nobody can answer if this poses a problem but you. The question you need to ask yourself is does the impede the ability to provide adequate patient care? If you answer yes, then I would say yes. After all, that is your job.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. SandpitMedic

    SandpitMedic Shock&Awe

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    I can answer if this poses a problem....
    This is should be a barrier to entry.
    Sorry, but you likely will not be a good fit in EMS.

    EMS is a people business. We deal with people, exclusively. At times during their worst moments, and most times when they think they're having their worst moments.

    We go from low stress standing-by to high stress situations constantly, with the center of our high and low stress being focused on other people.

    EMS folks are also usually a social group. We like to laugh, we like to joke & banter, we like to teach each other, and most importantly we like to trust each other when we are around others because other EMS people "get it" and "get us."

    Someone with your condition would likely not fit into the working atmosphere or the leisurely atmosphere of most EMS systems I have worked in. It would likely not be good for you, nor your partners, your immediate team, or your company.

    Save yourself the trouble and choose a different path.
     
    Gurby and NomadicMedic like this.
  8. hometownmedic5

    hometownmedic5 Forum Captain

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    I cant imagine someone with your condition finding success(or comfort) in EMS. People unable to control their anxiety shouldn't be in charge of difficult, high stress situations. People who have difficulty relating to people shouldn't be in patient care positions.

    That's not to say you wont find it elsewhere, but this doesn't sound like a proper fit for you. If i have miscategorized your conditions, i apoligize and await your corrections. If I'm correct in your shortcomings, i find it difficult to believe you will be happy and well adjusted here.
     
    Gurby likes this.
  9. Summit

    Summit Critical Crazy

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    I haven't met anyone "normal" in EMS

    I think EMS has a hell of a lot of people who have (pick one or several) ADD, autism spectrum (particularly Asperger), narcissistic personality trait, etc
     
    NomadicMedic, Gurby and VentMonkey like this.
  10. SandpitMedic

    SandpitMedic Shock&Awe

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    ....
    Normally I agree with most of your posts. However, while agree we don't fit into the "normal" category, I'd say that's quite a stretch to say "a hell of a lot" of EMS folks have autism/Aspergers/ADD...
    I'm just going to say you're way off base with that comment.... I'm going to have to disagree and call them immature adventure junkies, at worst.
    Perhaps in your systems no one is a "normal" citizen. I've met plenty of "normal" EMS folks. None of which I'd categorize as autistic.

    As for being a narcissist, you'll find that in any field... especially with this up and coming generation. It's hard to meet anyone these days who doesn't think they're the best thing since sliced bread.

    When's the last time you've heard anyone who said they're a mediocre cop, mailman, bag boy, UPS driver, drive-thru worker, computer programmer, etc....? They're all the best of the best! ;)
     
    Summit and Gurby like this.
  11. hometownmedic5

    hometownmedic5 Forum Captain

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    I think this business tends to attract people with certain personality traits; but to say we're all on the spectrum or mentally unstable I think is over the line.
     
    agregularguy and SandpitMedic like this.
  12. Underoath87

    Underoath87 Forum Asst. Chief

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    The obvious answer is a loud, resounding, "NO". Would you want someone with "severe mental illness" responding to your emergency? Of course not.
     
    redundantbassist likes this.
  13. Summit

    Summit Critical Crazy

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    Your points are well taken, particularly that illusory superiority is part of the human condition.

    However, if someone said "we are going to screen a random population of EMS worker and a control group from the general US population with a similar demographic skew, and see what the comparative prevalence of adult ADD is," I'd take the bet that it is literally 3-5x that of the control group.
     
    EpiEMS likes this.
  14. Underoath87

    Underoath87 Forum Asst. Chief

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    I've heard of entire stations/depts faking ADD so that they can pop amphetamines like candy and work more OT, but I don't see any reason to believe that we have higher rates of ADD or anything else than the general population.
     
  15. Bullets

    Bullets Forum Knucklehead

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    I cant find it now but there was a study 2-3 years ago that showed a higher prevalence of sociopathic tendencies among emergency healthcare providers, they sampled ERs and EMS
     
  16. Summit

    Summit Critical Crazy

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    That sounds like a load to me
     
  17. EpiEMS

    EpiEMS Forum Deputy Chief

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    Agreed. That said, I haven't been able to find good published data*.


    *JEMS =/= a real journal
     
    Summit likes this.
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