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to be shitting myself that they are going to take away my PGCE course on medical grounds :o(

(56 Posts)
saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:08:07

I filled in the medical questionnaire for my PGCE course, which I have been accepted onto and am due to start in September

I was honest about having had depressiona nd anxiety for years and the fact that I am still taking medication for it

I have just had an email from the doctor at the university saying that she needs more information before she can sign me up as fit to do the course, with a list of VERY direct questions about my history, when was I diagnosed, how long have I been on medication, what have I coped with while on it, have I ever had time off work etc etc - loads of questions

I have just typed out an absolute marathon of a reply, answering all of the questions in as much detail as I could, probably far too much and she will think I am nuts

It will break my fucking heart if they take my place away sad

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:13:08

please come and hold my hand, someone

CliffTumble Sun 12-Jun-11 22:13:34

Just be honest. They will have to be very careful because of the disability discrimination laws anyway

bleedingheartlefty Sun 12-Jun-11 22:19:29

I think it is unlikely, as Cliff says disabilty discrimination comes into it. They may just want to know what additional support they may need to give you. Medications can mean you have to use some different strategies for learning, I say that from experience.

Hope it all goes well. Kick up a real stink if it doesn't.

JoniRules Sun 12-Jun-11 22:19:45

I am quite sure they it will be ok. I think they have to ask those questions to cover themselves and also because PGCE is quite a intense course.
Have you sent the reply yet? Maybe don't go into so much detail. I suffered with issues with depression and anxiety but \i wouldn't dream of going into detail about it. If you really want to go on the course and you feel able, then you have to tell the doctor what they want to hear.
I.e you have suffered in the past you've overcome it now, your're stable, you have a good support network etc etc

Parietal Sun 12-Jun-11 22:19:51

The uni I work at has a disability office whose job is to help students with disabilities including mental health to cope with their courses. They often need info about the difficulties in order to provide appropriate help. But students are never obliged to disclose info if they don't want to. I have never heard of a student place being withdrawn for health reasons.

You could call & ask why they need the info & who will have access. Health info is v personal and they should be v careful how they use it.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:20:36

I have been honest, but I am just so scared they will refuse to let me insad

It really is the only thing I want to do with my life, it means so much to me. I have resigned in my job, my children are excited about it, my family are delighted - I thought if I had been given the place that was it. I didn't know this was going to happen so late in the day.

Northernlurker Sun 12-Jun-11 22:21:08

Well are you fit to do the course? Bearing in mind the stress involved? That is all the uni doctor will be worried about and tbh if you aren't fit enough then it's best to know now before you get too far down that path. I really hope everything will be ok though. The uni doctor just needs to know a bit more in order to protect your health as much as anything else.

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:22:16

oh christ I have been VERY honest

it asked about triggers and coping skills and stuff, so I just said the whole truth and nothing but

she will think I am a manic freakazoid from hell and they will throw me out sad

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:23:40

Yes, I absolutely am fit enough to do the course

at the moment I work, I have two kids, one with AS, I'm a school governor, I run a children's group, I play in a band - I am not a recluse or anything, I know I can cope with it academically and I know it is what I want to do

but will they believe that?

johnthepong Sun 12-Jun-11 22:24:21

How odd. I had depression and anxiety and wrote about it on my PGCE application and nobody batted an eyelid.

I did worry about it though- I must admit- I posted on the TES- I remember all the replies telling me it wasnt an issue- one person even said- if you havn't got depression before you train as a teacher, you soon will have!!

Im surprised they asked you for more information, perhaps the dr doing the medical forms was just being very thorough. I really wouldnt worry about it.

Goblinchild Sun 12-Jun-11 22:30:29

How long will you have to wait before you know?

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:33:14

I have no idea sad

Ohsowhat Sun 12-Jun-11 22:37:50

You need medication now and you are thinking of teaching??! Good bloody luck!

saidthespiderwithahorridsmile Sun 12-Jun-11 22:38:37

thanks a bunch

Northernlurker Sun 12-Jun-11 22:41:26

Just ignore ohsowhat's remark.

I think you do need to establish with the university that you are fit to do the course but it sounds like that won't be a problem at all so try not to focus too much on this. The health review process is designed to protect you not accuse you.

CliffTumble Sun 12-Jun-11 22:45:02

It's true that you should consider your pgce very carefully if you already have diagnosed depression. It's an extremely stressful year.

ObiWan Sun 12-Jun-11 22:45:29

Really, you have nothing to worry about.

The occupational health questionaire is all about the support that they can offer to you. It is a system that has been put into place to offer support to those who might otherwise be disadvantaged or discouraged.

Your place will not be withdrawn, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Goblinchild Sun 12-Jun-11 22:45:43

I'm not being nosy, but surely it depends on what caused you to spiral into depression in the first place.
If you've dug yourself out of it, have hope and goals for the future and know how to spot the warning signs that indicate you may be slipping back before you do, then that's all good.
You know how intense the course is, but feel you can manage. So go for it.
You will be supported and mentored through the course and through your NQT year.
Just, please. If you find that it is too much, walk away before you crack.

yellowraincoat Sun 12-Jun-11 22:45:45

Same thing happened to me. Am waiting to hear as well. I'll hold your hand if you'll hold mine cos I'm terrified.

Ohsowhat Sun 12-Jun-11 22:46:31

I'm serious! So many teachers struggle massively maybe the college is just trying to be sure they aren't setting you up to fail. Jeez, it's a fact, if you struggle with emotional, physical or mental health issues it's likely that teaching is not going to help.

penguin73 Sun 12-Jun-11 22:49:30

I think their concerns may be more about coping with the pressures of the practical aspect of the course rather than the academic side - they have to be absolutely sure that you will be able to cope with the school placements and there is no risk to anybody. The fact that you are already doing so much and already involved in working with children will stand you in really good stead and, as somebody else has already mentioned, they will want to ensure that you have all the support you need but can only do this if they have all the information. If you haven't already let included details of everything you do maybe consider another quick e-mail tomorrow outlining everything you are involved with and how well you cope. Good luck smile

Ishani Sun 12-Jun-11 22:53:50

Fir your own sake as well as your childrens I would honestly reconsider, my MIL had a nervous break down due to teaching, she's a bloody good teacher and has never been well since quitting 20 years ago.

HughManatee Sun 12-Jun-11 22:54:50

Would the university accept a letter from your GP? Someone I studied with had to have a GP's letter when returning to university after dealing with depression and stress: once the university had the letter, she was ok to return. That may not be relevant for your course, but maybe worth a try? Good luck smile

ObiWan Sun 12-Jun-11 23:03:56

You have been offered a place on this academic course, the only concern of the Uni is that you should pass the course.

They, rightly or wrongly , will not consider your ability to find a teaching post after you qualify. At this stage, the Occupational Health screen is about covering their backs and complying tith disability discrimination legislation.
Your place is safe, even if you are invited to a face to face meeting, it is all about accomodating your needs.

Most people put on a 'front' in their working lives. The stresses that they face day to day outside of work are entirely separate.
You feel that you will be fine, and that goes a long way to ensuring your success.

Good luck!

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