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  1. - Top - End - #571
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    you can't train at life. the sooner you accept that and that you'll stumble on things you can't do no matter how much you'd like to.. the sooner you'l learn to set the bar at the right height.
    just make sure you don't go the opposite way either. it's good to be driven and motivated.
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  2. - Top - End - #572
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    Sound advice. Regrettably, if I worry about going to far the other way I'll be so pessimistic I'll make no progress at all. So I'll push the envelope as hard as I reasonably can in the other direction and when I hit the boundary line, stop.

    The above being guarded by the common sense-o-meter to prevent me from being what reasonable person would call lazy. It would be very, VERY hard for me to be anything BUT driven.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

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  3. - Top - End - #573
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    I don't know how helpful this will be but I will give it a shot. You need to change your way of thinking, which is easier said than done, and how you speak. Instead of setting expectations set goals, a goal is something you work towards in life and you may not reach it but it is something to continuously strive towards. An expectation is more black and white issue, either you fail and have the negative aspect of said failure to contend with or you pass and that is just standard. You need to start looking at your accomplishments and recognizing the little things you are doing right so you can hone in on them to make them grow. Focusing on why you failed will only cause negative feelings but I am not saying to neglect it only to look on it objectively to see where you can improve (this can also lead to new goals!). Finally, how you speak really affects how you feel, for example: I have to accomplish *insert activity here* VS I CHOOSE to accomplish *insert activity here* are two subtle but very different statements. One adds a great deal of stress and pressure because it you feel that must do it or else where as the other statement is a personal choice and can to an extent motivate you to see it through. I hope this helps and I apologize if I am just rambling
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  4. - Top - End - #574
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Morbis Meh View Post
    I don't know how helpful this will be but I will give it a shot. You need to change your way of thinking, which is easier said than done, and how you speak. Instead of setting expectations set goals, a goal is something you work towards in life and you may not reach it but it is something to continuously strive towards. An expectation is more black and white issue, either you fail and have the negative aspect of said failure to contend with or you pass and that is just standard. You need to start looking at your accomplishments and recognizing the little things you are doing right so you can hone in on them to make them grow. Focusing on why you failed will only cause negative feelings but I am not saying to neglect it only to look on it objectively to see where you can improve (this can also lead to new goals!). Finally, how you speak really affects how you feel, for example: I have to accomplish *insert activity here* VS I CHOOSE to accomplish *insert activity here* are two subtle but very different statements. One adds a great deal of stress and pressure because it you feel that must do it or else where as the other statement is a personal choice and can to an extent motivate you to see it through. I hope this helps and I apologize if I am just rambling
    It makes perfect sense and is sound advice. I would phrase it as "choose to pursue excellence rather than perfection". "Excellence" implies that you are trying to improve an existing issue. You're happy with where you are now, but you want to do better. "Perfection" implies that you measure yourself against some goal, and feel bad when you fail.

    Of course, this is sound advice for someone like me who is a driven perfectionist who hates failure more than almost anything. I don't know anything about the other sort of person, what motivates them and how they strive for accomplishment. That's a shortcoming on my part, because I suspect the second sort of person is a majority of the human population.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

    -- Eliezer Yudkowski, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality"

  5. - Top - End - #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    you can't train at life. the sooner you accept that and that you'll stumble on things you can't do no matter how much you'd like to.. the sooner you'l learn to set the bar at the right height.
    just make sure you don't go the opposite way either. it's good to be driven and motivated.
    Well, you can certainly train aspects of it while there are also things that one simply will be unable to do. Embracing that first statement overmuch leads to an easy form of self-defeating fatalism though.
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  6. - Top - End - #576
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
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    I recently learned something about myself, and sharing it here in case:

    1) Anyone else has the same problem and wants to discuss it.
    2) Anyone else has the same problem and finds it useful.

    Short version: "It's okay to be less than perfect".

    Long version:

    I have two things in my background:

    1) I was drilled from a very young child to not give excuses. I expect myself to take responsibility for my actions and failures and improve, not fob off my failures on other people or other things. Even if the dog DID eat my homework, it was MY responsibility to ensure the homework was adequately secured. So there is no weaseling out of the fact that I screwed up.

    http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/noexcuses.htm

    2) The second problem is unrealistic expectations. I routinely demand more of myself than I can reasonably give, and fail in the attempt. So I try, and fail, and fail , and fail.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue...ctionisms.html

    Put these two things together, and what do you get?

    You got it. One really, really unhappy person.

    So how do I fix this?

    Well, the only thing I really can do is to allow myself to make excuses after all. The military trains you to not make excuses because they expect you to do your best, to take responsibility for your actions, to adapt to changing circumstances and not to use a fluid situation as an excuse for failure. Find a way to win, no matter how badly things are fouled up. In a military situation, things are ALWAYS fouled up. So if you can't adapt or adjust, you're in the wrong business.

    Thing is .. there IS such a thing as a valid excuse. I have asthma. I cannot run hardly any distance without collapsing on the ground, wheezing.

    The US military recognized that no amount of motivation, no amount of additional training, would allow me to perform up to the spec demanded of a soldier. So they wouldn't let me join in the first place when the DODMERB medical exam came back.

    I believe it was a wise decision.

    So that's what I have to do. The whole "no excuse" thing only works if you are following expectations set by others who have a reasonable understanding of what they can and cannot expect of you. But when you're dealing with your OWN expectations, "no excuse" results in a death spiral of failure and self-punishment.

    So I need to step back from the military way of viewing things and start thinking more like a normal person.

    Maybe that's part of it. Perhaps there's a balance to the whole thing. If you're constantly failing to meet expectations and rationalizing it, maybe it's time for a little time with the DI who will get you to accept responsibility and start working on improvement. OTOH, if you're constantly in despair and depression over continued failure, maybe it's time to dial back the expectations. In other words, to lower your standards and allow excuses to some extent.

    And if .. as I am ... you are doing both, you have to decide which is the more critical problem and focus on it. In my life, I routinely perform up to and beyond expectations at work but find myself constantly fighting against a black pit of despair. This is an indication that I should be tilting more towards 'be kind to yourself' and less towards 'shape up your lazy self' .

    Maybe moderation is the name of the game. Maybe if I'd actually BEEN properly trained, instead of gleaning ideas from movies and books, I'd have a proper understanding of the balance. Ah well. Live and learn.


    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Let me just say I sympathize.

    Part of my problem is that the way graduate school and academia are set up, there's several areas that aren't really properly related to what I'm trying to study, but are nonetheless expected because most people can do it. My issues cause problems with these things, but they're so tied into the system...
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  7. - Top - End - #577
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    I call the mental health department on Tuesday, ask to see someone that can do a diagnostic evaluation. Tell them I need paperwork that has a recent diagnosis on it, so I can send it to disability. They call back and tell me to call medical records and get my old diagnosis,which I just told them wasn't recent enough. So they say they can't re-evaluate because their computer won't let them put in a new diagnosis. This repeats about 5 times (note that I had this conversation twice on Tuesday already - the woman kept trying to give me my old records).


    Eventually, someone tells me that they can't do disability forms anyway, so someone out of the main gp center has to do it. Of course, I need a mental health person with the proper qualifications, not a gp. So it *finally* comes out that the psychiatrist on staff is at the main gp center and not the mental health center. But they're not allowed to schedule appointments with him directly. No, I have to go see a regular doctor who will determine if I can see the psychiatrist.
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  8. - Top - End - #578
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Go get 'em! Please accept my best wishes and prayers as you get the help you need.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

    -- Eliezer Yudkowski, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality"

  9. - Top - End - #579
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    Glad you managed to get out of the loop. Keep at it!
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    Glad you got a handle on it; even in such a frustrating way. Hope it works out well!
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  11. - Top - End - #581
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    I'm still sort of worried. This is just to see someone that can see me for a single visit. I still have no way to get anything long-term.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Isn't medical bureaucracy fun? X_X

    I swear I could see a hell of a lot more patients if I didn't have so many damn forms to fill in. That said, the fact that you've managed to find the end of the ball of yarn should get you something long term set up eventually. In the NHS at least, once someone starts the Byzantine process of getting a hearing aid, they usually end up getting it - we have few patients that get lost in the system. Dunno how it is with mental health stuff though.
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  13. - Top - End - #583
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Succubus View Post
    Isn't medical bureaucracy fun? X_X

    I swear I could see a hell of a lot more patients if I didn't have so many damn forms to fill in. That said, the fact that you've managed to find the end of the ball of yarn should get you something long term set up eventually. In the NHS at least, once someone starts the Byzantine process of getting a hearing aid, they usually end up getting it - we have few patients that get lost in the system. Dunno how it is with mental health stuff though.
    Yeah. The biggest issue with mental health is that you have something that can be degenerative, but care is often not available in a timely fashion. Frequently the waitlist is months long.
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    So, yesterday I fainted again.

    Took me longer to recover than normal and there was no visible triggers, so I agreed to the ambulance and hospital.

    On the plus side, I had a few tests done on me and nothing major was highlighted. On the negative side, I'm likely to be going back to hospital at some point for some more serious tests to see if there's anything wrong with me. On the plus side, this means I'll know what causes the fainting.

    And I also learnt that ambulances aren't as terrifying as I thought, but when they need a drop of blood from your finger it's more painful and terrifying than when you get a blood test (which I got later on. Might have helped I had a boy of mine as eyecandy and keeping me happy while I had the blood test, which was terrifying).

    Mixed feelings really. Lucky I fainted in the physics common room, 'cos that means that the relevant people who I can't hand work into yet because of this fainting saw it happen or saw the aftermath, so that was easy to sort out. Wish I knew who the random students were who got the lecturers to help me were. Want to thank them.

    So a traumatic event, but here's hoping something good comes out of it. The paramedic and the ambulance people said it might be anaemia. The doctor said it was likely one of three things - heart problem, seizure problem, or just me being me with a sensitive disposition (I think the third option is most likely, although Anaemia is likely the second most likely).
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  15. - Top - End - #585
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Meh, that sucks Cassie. I have epilepsy myself, so it's always fun when one moment I'm at home or walking to work and the next being mandhandled into the back of an ambulance. Bloody disorientating for one thing. Hope you get some answers soon.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Okay. I need a lesson in being human. It's related to the last post I put up.

    Consider Item 1 and Item 2

    Both relate to schools doing better because they refuse to cut slack to students from low-income backgrounds, as opposed to high-income backgrounds. Everyone is held to the same standard regardless of their struggles. And the low-income students are better for it.

    Which brings me to item 3

    This is really painful to say, but Xin is having serious trouble getting pages done on time. Among other things, this week is the one year anniversary of her mom's passing. She's struggling pretty badly.
    Now, I'm human enough to pray for Xin, sympathize with her, and hope for a full recovery. It IS difficult to lose a family member.

    Yet ... and this is where the nasty part of me comes in ... why is it right to cut slack for circumstances in the third case but not in the first and second?

    I mean ... item 4 ... it makes perfect sense to cut slack for Rich on not doing any drawing. Because he physically can't draw and attempting to do so would increase the recovery time .

    Is a loss of a family member -- an emotional wound -- really that disabling a year after a fact as a physical wound? Because it hasn't been for me. Is that because I have a hard time empathizing with anyone, period?

    I'm sure you can see my conundrum. I know the logic is wrong but I don't know how it is wrong. The logic is: If it is wrong to cut slack for struggles in cases A and B, it is equally wrong to cut slack in case C. If this logic is flawed, it's because there are additional facts I have NOT taken into account that makes the case different.

    And if you're wondering, it's not fun living in this cold , chilly brain, completely unable to understand things which are second nature to normal human beings.

    What am I missing? If I understood the difference, then perhaps I can fumble my way towards finding ways and time to cut slack, both to myself and to others.

    ETA: Partial possible answer: There are more important things than drawing a webcomic. Forcing her to perform at the same speed, if it's possible at all, would increase her recovery time. So just as it is right to cut slack for a physical injury, so it is appropriate to cut slack for an emotional injury.

    It seems so obvious in retrospect I don't understand why I missed it the first time around. The reason must be obvious: Because I discount emotional injury as being "real". Because a person remains physically able to accomplish the task, I do not understand that emotional trauma can disable someone just as effectively as a physical one. So perhaps I should hold off on that career in counseling.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    Last edited by pendell; 2012-10-26 at 01:00 PM.
    "Opportunities to do good are everywhere but the darkness is where the light needs to be".

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  17. - Top - End - #587
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    So, yesterday I fainted again.

    Took me longer to recover than normal and there was no visible triggers, so I agreed to the ambulance and hospital.

    On the plus side, I had a few tests done on me and nothing major was highlighted. On the negative side, I'm likely to be going back to hospital at some point for some more serious tests to see if there's anything wrong with me. On the plus side, this means I'll know what causes the fainting.

    And I also learnt that ambulances aren't as terrifying as I thought, but when they need a drop of blood from your finger it's more painful and terrifying than when you get a blood test (which I got later on. Might have helped I had a boy of mine as eyecandy and keeping me happy while I had the blood test, which was terrifying).

    Mixed feelings really. Lucky I fainted in the physics common room, 'cos that means that the relevant people who I can't hand work into yet because of this fainting saw it happen or saw the aftermath, so that was easy to sort out. Wish I knew who the random students were who got the lecturers to help me were. Want to thank them.

    So a traumatic event, but here's hoping something good comes out of it. The paramedic and the ambulance people said it might be anaemia. The doctor said it was likely one of three things - heart problem, seizure problem, or just me being me with a sensitive disposition (I think the third option is most likely, although Anaemia is likely the second most likely).
    Fainting like that sounds a lot like one of the issues I have, which is known as dysautonomia. You should see if you can see a cardiologist and get tested for such things. A tilt-table test is one thing you should discuss with your doctor.

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    smile Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Pendell,

    Snoopy put it best: "Pain hurts."

    It sounds like you are under tremendous stress. I don't know if your stress is caused by something specific (like an injury or a loss) or if it is from a source you haven't identified yet. But honestly, it doesn't matter: you don't need to know the reason to need a break. Sometimes pain doesn't have a clear source. That does not make it less painful.

    If you need to ease off some pressure in your life, then do it. Don't fret too much about analysing why. The fact that a guy like yourself - a perfectionist with a strong sense of responsibility - is asking these questions means the need is real, even if you can't spot the source.

    Castaras,

    I am sorry to hear you fainted. Not knowing why that's happening is an awful feeling. I'm impressed with your healthy attitude: as you point out, at least you fainted in front of all the people who needed "proof".

    I hope you get some answers. Meanwhile, I hope you get the physical and emotional support you need and deserve. Best of luck.

    Warkitty,

    As Succubus said, you seem to have found the end of the thread. Now you can begin to follow it. Still, it is frustrating to the point of nightmare to have to try to dredge information out of people whose job ought to be to offer the information. Still, you are making forward progress on your own behalf. Be proud of that.

    -Monkey








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    Quote Originally Posted by bluewind95 View Post
    Fainting like that sounds a lot like one of the issues I have, which is known as dysautonomia. You should see if you can see a cardiologist and get tested for such things. A tilt-table test is one thing you should discuss with your doctor.
    I believe the things they're wanting to try are doing a look at my brain patterns and a 24 heart trace. Not certain. Right now it's waiting to see what my doctor says and whether they agree with getting more tests done on me. At the very least, even if they don't want me to go back to hospital I'll grab myself an appointment to discuss this.

    Not heard of this dysautonomia before, had a quick look on wikipedia but doesn't seem to have many symptoms match up with me. Most of my fainting is mentally induced. it's just the occasional one that's been physical.
    "I'm just going on motive and opportunity here and the fact that if the earth got swallowed by a black hole, I'd look suspiciously in your direction first."
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  20. - Top - End - #590
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    First time here. Rant because, really, I need to get this off my chest.

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    Hello, for those of you who may know of me, I mostly hang out in ponythreads or PC games threads. Here's the quick and dirty history of my sorry life:

    Hi, I hail from Malaysia. I was an excellent student. Handily sailed through primary and secondary school, (that's grade and high school to you Yanks) passed my A-levels with flying colours. Yadda, yadda. So, I got myself into medical school. Because a) my parents thought it would be a good career choice and b) I didn't know what I was getting myself into. To be honest, in retrospect, I let my parents make my choices because I have no idea what I wanted in life yet.

    Fast forward five years later and I got myself into the housemanship programme for budding doctors. (Medical interns for you Yanks). Boy howdy. Culture shock do not even begin to describe it. To summarise, we work 100-120 hours per week. We're expected to be in the wards by 6 am. We're literally the running dogs of the horrendously inefficient public healthcare system we have here. Going back by 8-9PM is not uncommon. 36 hours calls are routinely practiced and enforced. Bureaucracy stifles your every task and adds workloads in triplicate. Colleagues are best to be kept at arms length, because everyone is out for themselves.

    To say I was unhappy would be an understatement. I hardly have time even to eat, much less sleep. Free time is an illusion. Add to the growing realisation that this was not the job I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Sure, the hours would probably get better once I climb the ranks of the medical hierarchy. But I realised that seeing sick people for a living, for the rest of my life is just downright soul-crushing for me.

    I decided to quit after one month.

    My parents were horrified and quickly talked me into backing down. The reasons they gave made sense... at least intellectually. Jobs aren't easy to find. It would be a waste of five years. Quitting is a sign of weakness. Relatives would look down on me. They were careful to not outright forbid me from actually quitting, but the moral pressure was there. At the end of it, I decided to stay on for a few more months.

    Well... a few months has passed, and my feelings has not changed. If anything, I'm growing to loathe the hospital I'm posted to. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. Getting up from bed every day is getting to be a chore. My mood is shot to hell most of the day. (It varies on how well I can focus my mind to the job at hand.) What free time I have, I use to destress myself with video games. Not even time for productive hobbies or such anymore.

    *sigh*

    I don't know if I can keep up the charade. I really don't. I feel bad for letting down my parents. But if I don't walk away, I fear for my mental and physical health.
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    I'll put it bluntly and simply.

    You are what matters. You, your physical health, your mental health. You. Your parents don't matter in this bit. You are the one doing the job, you have to decide if this job is going to destroy you (which it looks like it is).

    Get out of there. If you are not happy in the job staying there longer will only escalate the situation.

    If your parents try and persuade you, hard as it may be, stand your ground. Your mental health is the important bit here. Explain that the job is killing you. Explain that you can't cope with the hours, and are being made physically ill because of it.

    Wasting 5 years of money on a degree you don't end up using is one thing. Wasting years on a job that make you physcially and mentally ill, then having to waste more years recovering is worse.
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  22. - Top - End - #592
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Castaras:

    Fainting by mental triggers is definitely possible. One type of dysautonomia is known as neurocardiogenic syncope (and there's several types of that). Stress is a known trigger. Fainting at the sight of blood is also one. In fact, some of the triggers are pretty weird. I just think it's worth looking into is all!

    Grif:

    What Castaras says is The Truth (tm). That amount of work will destroy your health eventually. And hey. If it just takes a few years to recover, you'll be lucky. What if it's destroyed in a way that it can't recover from?

    Something similar happened to me. I was working insane hours (though less extreme than yours). I was miserabe. My health cracked. I'm now disabled and it doesn't seem like it will get better. Sure, a job is valuable. Your health, however, is priceless. Unfortunately, most people don't realize this until they lose it. I know this. I was one of these people.
    Last edited by bluewind95; 2012-10-27 at 02:28 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #593
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    let's ease up a little on the scaring people, if possible.. there are tons of people who work gruelling hours for decades and it doesn't affect them.. others who cope with just the same he's facing, (his colleagues, to name an easy example) knowing that it's temporary, and others who can't cope and to whom a change of scenery or career is a lifesaver..it may very well be that he's one of the latter and there's nothing wrong with that. if his heart isn't in it, he shouldn't be a doctor.
    I appreciate the sentiment that goes behind giving advice based on ones own experiences and/or misfortunes..but let's not assume that it's always going to end for the worse here..or that he'll physically crack
    he's trying to sort his life out in a way that isn't too harmful for his environment (i.e. his parents and social/family pressure).. he's not about to crumble in a small heap of physically incapacitated mysery.. so let's not talk him into it
    Last edited by dehro; 2012-10-27 at 03:56 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #594
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castaras View Post
    I'll put it bluntly and simply.

    You are what matters. You, your physical health, your mental health. You. Your parents don't matter in this bit. You are the one doing the job, you have to decide if this job is going to destroy you (which it looks like it is).

    Get out of there. If you are not happy in the job staying there longer will only escalate the situation.

    If your parents try and persuade you, hard as it may be, stand your ground. Your mental health is the important bit here. Explain that the job is killing you. Explain that you can't cope with the hours, and are being made physically ill because of it.

    Wasting 5 years of money on a degree you don't end up using is one thing. Wasting years on a job that make you physcially and mentally ill, then having to waste more years recovering is worse.
    Quote Originally Posted by bluewind95 View Post
    Castaras:

    Fainting by mental triggers is definitely possible. One type of dysautonomia is known as neurocardiogenic syncope (and there's several types of that). Stress is a known trigger. Fainting at the sight of blood is also one. In fact, some of the triggers are pretty weird. I just think it's worth looking into is all!

    Grif:

    What Castaras says is The Truth (tm). That amount of work will destroy your health eventually. And hey. If it just takes a few years to recover, you'll be lucky. What if it's destroyed in a way that it can't recover from?

    Something similar happened to me. I was working insane hours (though less extreme than yours). I was miserabe. My health cracked. I'm now disabled and it doesn't seem like it will get better. Sure, a job is valuable. Your health, however, is priceless. Unfortunately, most people don't realize this until they lose it. I know this. I was one of these people.
    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    let's ease up a little on the scaring people, if possible.. there are tons of people who work gruelling hours for decades and it doesn't affect them.. others who cope with just the same he's facing, (his colleagues, to name an easy example) knowing that it's temporary, and others who can't cope and to whom a change of scenery or career is a lifesaver..it may very well be that he's one of the latter and there's nothing wrong with that. if his heart isn't in it, he shouldn't be a doctor.
    I appreciate the sentiment that goes behind giving advice based on ones own experiences and/or misfortunes..but let's not assume that it's always going to end for the worse here..or that he'll physically crack
    he's trying to sort his life out in a way that isn't too harmful for his environment (i.e. his parents and social/family pressure).. he's not about to crumble in a small heap of physically incapacitated mysery.. so let's not talk him into it
    Much as I hate to admit it, dehro is right. To be fair, I don't think I'm going to collapse any time soon. But ugh, when you spend your work hours wondering "Why the hell am I doing this?" and going back home in a black mood... yeah.

    But the point stands for me. I hate this job and much as I love my parents, guilt-tripping me into staying is really starting to munch on me. It's not like we really needed the paycheck either. (We're considered quite well-off.) The one thing that really grates me is how they think I won't be able to secure a job outside my degree.
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  25. - Top - End - #595
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    isn't there any other way for you to make use of that degree, something less hard on the soul? I'm thinking working at/running an apothecary, doing research, writing, missionary work, teaching, or other ways in which to make use of those skills and knowledge you've accumulated so far..
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  26. - Top - End - #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grif View Post
    First time here. Rant because, really, I need to get this off my chest.

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    Hello, for those of you who may know of me, I mostly hang out in ponythreads or PC games threads. Here's the quick and dirty history of my sorry life:

    Hi, I hail from Malaysia. I was an excellent student. Handily sailed through primary and secondary school, (that's grade and high school to you Yanks) passed my A-levels with flying colours. Yadda, yadda. So, I got myself into medical school. Because a) my parents thought it would be a good career choice and b) I didn't know what I was getting myself into. To be honest, in retrospect, I let my parents make my choices because I have no idea what I wanted in life yet.

    Fast forward five years later and I got myself into the housemanship programme for budding doctors. (Medical interns for you Yanks). Boy howdy. Culture shock do not even begin to describe it. To summarise, we work 100-120 hours per week. We're expected to be in the wards by 6 am. We're literally the running dogs of the horrendously inefficient public healthcare system we have here. Going back by 8-9PM is not uncommon. 36 hours calls are routinely practiced and enforced. Bureaucracy stifles your every task and adds workloads in triplicate. Colleagues are best to be kept at arms length, because everyone is out for themselves.

    To say I was unhappy would be an understatement. I hardly have time even to eat, much less sleep. Free time is an illusion. Add to the growing realisation that this was not the job I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Sure, the hours would probably get better once I climb the ranks of the medical hierarchy. But I realised that seeing sick people for a living, for the rest of my life is just downright soul-crushing for me.

    I decided to quit after one month.

    My parents were horrified and quickly talked me into backing down. The reasons they gave made sense... at least intellectually. Jobs aren't easy to find. It would be a waste of five years. Quitting is a sign of weakness. Relatives would look down on me. They were careful to not outright forbid me from actually quitting, but the moral pressure was there. At the end of it, I decided to stay on for a few more months.

    Well... a few months has passed, and my feelings has not changed. If anything, I'm growing to loathe the hospital I'm posted to. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. Getting up from bed every day is getting to be a chore. My mood is shot to hell most of the day. (It varies on how well I can focus my mind to the job at hand.) What free time I have, I use to destress myself with video games. Not even time for productive hobbies or such anymore.

    *sigh*

    I don't know if I can keep up the charade. I really don't. I feel bad for letting down my parents. But if I don't walk away, I fear for my mental and physical health.
    First: Do you have your degree? Is this internship part of your degree or have you already completed it and this is supposed to help jump start you?

    If it is part of your degree, I suggest you see someone and ask to get greatly reduced hours, even if it means it takes longer to complete the degree. You may even ask for a relocation, perhaps to a GP office or something if it's possible. Take time off if you need to wait for them to place you somewhere. You've come this far through the degree and you may as well complete it if you can do so safely.

    Similar advice if it's not part of your degree. Rather than just quitting, consider talking to the HR department, tell them that this is not the type of medical job you are able to do. Ask them if reduced hours are available and/or to get a transfer to a more appropriate section.

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  27. - Top - End - #597
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    Well, you could compromise - I did.

    I work as an audiologist, as many folks on here know. It's basically a technicians role where you do tests for consultants and surgeons, so there's still a large amount of medicine and science involved but the "life-and-death" decisions lie with the doctors. Maybe you could look into a medical support role like that - neurologist/cardiologist/pathology/etc? That way there's less pressure on you, you're still using the medical degree and depending on the role, less patient interaction.

    Give me a PM if you want a little more detail.
    Last edited by The Succubus; 2012-10-27 at 06:17 PM.
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  28. - Top - End - #598
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehro View Post
    isn't there any other way for you to make use of that degree, something less hard on the soul? I'm thinking working at/running an apothecary, doing research, writing, missionary work, teaching, or other ways in which to make use of those skills and knowledge you've accumulated so far..
    As far as alternatives go, yes it exists. But you're going to have to hunt for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawhide View Post
    First: Do you have your degree? Is this internship part of your degree or have you already completed it and this is supposed to help jump start you?

    If it is part of your degree, I suggest you see someone and ask to get greatly reduced hours, even if it means it takes longer to complete the degree. You may even ask for a relocation, perhaps to a GP office or something if it's possible. Take time off if you need to wait for them to place you somewhere. You've come this far through the degree and you may as well complete it if you can do so safely.

    Similar advice if it's not part of your degree. Rather than just quitting, consider talking to the HR department, tell them that this is not the type of medical job you are able to do. Ask them if reduced hours are available and/or to get a transfer to a more appropriate section.
    To make things clear, it is not part of my degree. But it is considered necessary if you want to obtain a certificate to practice. You either serve, or you don't. No middle way.

    As for talking to the HR department... we have none, so to speak. We're not considered normal, salary-paying workers by any means and we're not legally bound by normal labour laws. (Stupid I know, but that's the brand of medicine we practice over here. A hangover from old British practices, I'm told.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Succubus View Post
    Well, you could compromise - I did.

    I work as an audiologist, as many folks on here know. It's basically a technicians role where you do tests for consultants and surgeons, so there's still a large amount of medicine and science involved but the "life-and-death" decisions lie with the doctors. Maybe you could look into a medical support role like that - neurologist/cardiologist/pathology/etc? That way there's less pressure on you, you're still using the medical degree and depending on the role, less patient interaction.

    Give me a PM if you want a little more detail.
    I get that. But because the way my degree (and the entire medical education system over here) is structured, you need to complete two years of this hell before pursuing a further specialization. Medical support roles require a different degree/diploma altogether, something which I cannot understand, but that's the way things are.

    Well, what a fine pickle I find myself into eh? Just one of those great mistakes in life I guess.
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  29. - Top - End - #599
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    Default Re: Personal Woes and Advice 2

    So I'm realizing I may need to take a semester off to just work on medicine (using up my savings in the process). And my biggest worry is how to tell my mother so she doesn't freak out and mess things up.

    Something is not right here.
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  30. - Top - End - #600
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    So I'm realizing I may need to take a semester off to just work on medicine (using up my savings in the process). And my biggest worry is how to tell my mother so she doesn't freak out and mess things up.

    Something is not right here.
    Ugh, I know how hard it can be when you're forced to take time off for medical reasons. It sucks, but if you need to do it don't hesitate.

    Also check into whatever governmental assistance you might qualify for. I know in the States Social Security provides some safety net for people who can't work because of disabilities, and most other Western democracies have something similar.

    What specifically are you worried about your mom freaking out about and messing up?
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