Depression and Weight Issues - I'm thinking of going back to school

04-18-2014, 08:46 AM

Has anyone here with a mental health disability gone back to school? I went to school for my associates in medical assisting, I don't use the degree but I am glad that I did that. I'm thinking of going for cosmetology, I am considering learning about hair. I don't know if I will do it but I'm a creative person and I enjoy working with people. A few people have said that they thought I'd be good at hairstyling. I'm not sure but I am considering it.

I don't think that the academics are that tough for me, it's more of the applying my knowledge that kinda trips me up. I'm working with a new therapist, I think he believes in me and truly wants to help me out.

I'm wondering how others do with working/career and disabilities.


04-21-2014, 05:46 PM
Cosmetology school can be expensive but that's the easy part. Trying to learn to cut hair later in life can be difficult for some, this is something most people do right out of high school so I would suggest using that license to do massage therapy, spa/facials, or nails. It's not easy to cut hair, especially men's fades but if you have your heart set then go for it. I will warn you right away that you need to be very thick-skinned, you will deal with some extremely difficult (and mean) people. I have been in and out of this profession since 1995, currently back in.

I'm not trying to discourage you, merely suggesting trying a different area of cosmetology other than cutting hair since you're starting later in the game. Whatever you choose, good luck.

04-21-2014, 07:02 PM
Thank you Novangel.

I am not sure if I will try this field, I was also considering something else in healthcare. That's a good warning, I am a bit thin skinned, I don't want to put up with overly demanding people. I was also considering radiology tech learning physics is going to be tough. Maybe I'll consider floral design, that would allow me to be creative too.


04-22-2014, 12:40 PM
I have never worked in the same kind of industry that you have, but I have had severe clinical depression for most of my life and had to figure out a career with that obstacle.

I think working for a florist would be fun and creative. I am not sure what your preferrred outlet for creativity is or how much money you need to earn, but some other career thoughts I have for you are are working for an art framing store, like Aaron Brothers. If you like home decorating, a working for a store that sells products or services for home improvements . If you like computers and don't mind additional training, web design can be very creative.

If you stay in the medical field, I think there is a huge demand for elder care. Anything in the medical field will provide you with better income and more job opportunities. If you stay in that field, you can still do creative projects at home during your time off.

I chose a career in law, before I really knew myself. Law is not ideal for a severely depressed introvert with a high level of sensitivity and very thin skin. However, my academic interests in college were in law and sociology. Instead of staying with law, I pursued a different path, and created my own niche. I was able to use all of my background and still satisfy my own personal needs. Nobody in my life could understand this, but taking the usual path just wasn't me. I made far less money but have been much happier.

I wish you all of the best in your career. Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing. :hug:

04-22-2014, 07:20 PM
I am getting my BA online from DeVry.

04-22-2014, 08:28 PM
Hi doingmybest,

Thank you so much, I like your suggestions! They all sound interesting actually. I did elder care for years and while I liked it, I am not rushing back but I would consider being an activity aide, I did that before and I enjoyed it.

Hi Ohiofreespirit,

Good for you for going back to school! How have you been?

04-23-2014, 07:51 PM
Hi doingmybest,

Thank you so much, I like your suggestions! They all sound interesting actually. I did elder care for years and while I liked it, I am not rushing back but I would consider being an activity aide, I did that before and I enjoyed it.

Hi Ohiofreespirit,

Good for you for going back to school! How have you been?

Hi sweetie,

I am doing pretty good. I have my bad days but overall, I am doing really well. i am taking my meds religiously. I just finished my first class and I have about 9 days off before my second session starts. I have an online business class and a math class in person for second session.

I hope you find something that makes a good fit for you. :)

04-25-2014, 02:30 AM
I have ADHD and went back to school in 2012 at age 26. Initially it was rough as I hadn't been diagnosed, but being a psychology major I knew that something was off. Being in a traditional college has done wonders to help me succeed. The psychiatrist tested me when in a normal situation I couldn't afford it. I am on steady medication which helps a lot. Disability Support Services allows me to take my tests in a quite room with no disturbances and gives me time and half so that I can read the question multiple times before answering (classic ADHD to miss stuff). Student Support Services provides me with free tutors if I need them and free access to an ADHD counsellor. There are a lot of services out there for any kind of mental health obstacle. I highly suggest you look into it and look into going back to school :)

ETA: Yep, classic ADHD saw "school" but not the possibility of "hair school." Still, I would look into a traditional school if they have a program that you might like.

04-25-2014, 04:53 AM
In my honest opinion, if you really want to do it, do it. :) The only person holding you back is you. My partner pushed me into studying because I'd been putting it off for years and it's the best thing that's happened to me!

I'm creative, too :D

04-25-2014, 03:41 PM
After high school I received my Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice. Unfortunately, it was a useless degree as I eventually decided I didn't want to be a cop and tried working in corrections and didn't like that either. Last year in November I started taking classes at Indiana Wesleyan University Online for my Bachelors in Social Work. I take one class at a time and it is completely online. I much prefer online classes to in person classes because one I'm already a busy person and online is much simpler when you are busy AND I'm just not a fan of being in a classroom.

I think you should find something you like and pursue it!

04-25-2014, 07:53 PM
Hi there, thank you everyone for the replies.


Good for you for going back to school. I hope that you continue to do well with that, good for you.


Thank you for that information. When I went for my Associates Degree in Medical Assisting, I had some accommodations from the student services department. It helped a lot, I think that I have a mild form of ADHD or ADD. I find that distractions can be very irritating and I will often lose my train of thought with interruptions. Thank you.


Thanks for your encouragment. I like the idea of getting more training in a field, after doing some thinking I am more seriously considering areas where I would need a little training but not as much as a degree such a peer support specialist or swim instructor. I am hopefully going to explore different places that provide the training. When I went for my medical assisting degree, I was my own worst enemy because I got overwhelmed so easily and I postponed a lot of homework. I don't cope with stress well. If I could try a couple of training courses instead of a whole degree, maybe that would be better for me. Some people in my family think that I should get a job first and others support the training, I'm not sure.

FleurDeLis- My degree was a bit useless too in Medical Assisting. I am glad that I proved to myself that I could do it but my nerves and stress level got in the way in addition to my dislike of needles. Thank you for your encouragment!

Thanks everyone :)

04-26-2014, 06:24 PM
I dislike needles too! Despite my multiple tattoos, lol!

04-27-2014, 04:57 PM
YOu have to do what you want to do. Only you can decide what career is best for yourself. Have you talked to others in the cosmetology field to see what they have to say about their jobs?

04-27-2014, 07:28 PM
Fleur De Lis- I almost got a tattoo but seeing the needles really scared me! I found out too late how much I disliked needles when I was in school. Oh well!

Angie- thank you for your encouragement. I think I am going to hold off on school for now, perhaps some training as I mentioned earlier.