Depression – a disease of our time
Hardly anyone today calls depression a simple mood drop, a worse mood, depression. Most of us know that depression is a serious and debilitating disease. It is also becoming more and more common. According to data from the World Health Organization, more than 250 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
The disease manifests itself in very different ways. The most prominent symptom is a depressed mood. Hence – a sense of hopelessness, lack of interest in anything, low self-esteem. In addition, there is insomnia or excessive sleepiness, inability to make decisions, reluctance to take any action. The spectrum of symptoms is much broader, but always unpleasant. A person suffering from depression feels lonely, unhappy, unnecessary. If you develop symptoms of depression, don’t wait. We recommend visiting mental health treatment center to start therapy.
Who is at risk of depression?
We are all exposed. The development of depression is influenced by biological factors (which we do not always have an influence on), but also by psychological, cultural, and social ones. And we live in a hurry, in pursuit of money, losing sight of much more important values. We do not have time for our own families, we do not create deep relationships with other people, there is nothing to talk about the spiritual life at all. We don’t even have time for ourselves. We rush, losing sight of our true purpose, or get lost in this world to which our priorities somehow don’t fit.
The most vulnerable to depression are the so-called welfare professions – doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers. These are professions whose primary goal is to help others. Professions that involve constant communication with (very different) people, high social expectations, and a great sense of responsibility. It’s a job that absorbs you completely. Aid workers are required to work with their whole heart and soul to their “wards”. These are not high-wage jobs. They are most often chosen to help others.
Why does depression affect teachers?
Teaching is a very rewarding job. When you see the results of your work, you infect your students with passion, you influence their way of thinking, you develop them, you enjoy their progress – the satisfaction is great. Except… this is only part of the truth about this profession.
Constant concentration. There are real teachers, those with vocation and those who are ambitious. They don’t allow themselves a moment of letting go. They conduct each lesson with a high level of concentration and energy. If they “loosen”, the lesson gets out of hand. Then, firstly, they will not pass on knowledge, and secondly, they will not be able to cope with discipline. The teacher cannot rest, drink coffee or go for a walk. He cannot breathe or even go to the toilet when he needs it. He only does it when he can. It makes you tired.
Noise and behavior. During lessons, he fights to maintain discipline in the classroom. It is his job to keep the group in check and believe me, one unruly student is enough to make it very difficult. During the break, if he is on duty, and most often (especially in primary school), he is in constant noise. Have you ever been to a break in elementary school? Exactly.
Aggressive behavior, violence, disputes between students – the teacher is the first person to face it. Only later does the pedagogue or psychologist get involved? And problems don’t solve themselves ‘by themselves. Especially if the interested parties do not really want to cooperate. This can cause fatigue, frustration, and a feeling of powerlessness.
Living the life of the students. Like it or not, the teacher lives with the problems of his pupils. He knows who has fallen in love unhappily, who has argued with whom, but also who does not get lunch at school and is afraid to go home after school. It is impossible to leave the school building and forget about it for a few hours. Often the student’s affairs are obscured by his own. It can’t always help. He can be depressed, overwhelmed, tired and powerless.
Pressure. The teacher is under constant pressure. He is overwhelmed by the requirements – of the management, students, and parents (which, by the way, often contradict each other). The management requires the implementation of the program, maintaining discipline, and good examination results. Students – the lessons should be interesting, varied, and – preferably – not too tiring, but effective. Parents – oh, it is very different here. To ask a lot, or not to ask at all. To go on excursions or not to waste any time on lessons. Most often – to take care of the child comprehensively, from education to upbringing. The teacher who is under constant evaluation can be frustrated, he must please everyone.
Working time. The teacher does not only work at the blackboard. I don’t know of a single one whose work would end on the bell. At home, they prepare for lessons, check papers, prepare reports, plans, reports, and more – the bureaucracy in school is increasing. After the lessons, they take part in trainings, teachers’ councils, class exits, excursions, open days, etc. The teacher’s working time is not standardized. Most of the teachers I know are exhausted.
Public opinion. Teachers are not particularly recognized by the rest of society. They are still reminded of their working hours and those unfortunate vacations. They may hear that they are demanding parasites and lazybones. What if they don’t like something, they can change their job – then they will see what the “real” one looks like. Because theirs is not real. They are just having fun. Teachers encounter such opinions, and this gives rise to great bitterness.
The dire consequences
Teachers who usually (believe me or not) take up this job because of their passion and calling, quickly lose heart for it. They are exhausted, stressed, and demotivated. Over time, they stop getting involved in work because they see less and less sense in it. “It’s their problem”, you can hear, “let them go to work in the supermarket”. And they go. Most often leave the profession for those for whom working with children and youth was the meaning of life. They burn out. They are drowning in a sea of documents, running away from the pressure of constant criticism and contradictory demands. Who will teach our children? If things don’t get better, I assume that those who don’t care so much will stay. They won’t burn because they don’t care.