(Un)fit to Practice

It’s coming to the end of Freshers Week at University. So far, it hasn’t been as bad as I was dreading. I’ve attended every scheduled session, maintained consciousness throughout and even made notes where relevant. The downside is I’ve been in bed by 10 at the latest every night and still overslept in the morning. I dread to think how it’s going to be next week when lectures proper start and I need to be in at 9am every day. There are too many pharmacy students, I feel crowded and overwhelmed by them. They’re so young and naive. A lot of them have never cooked a meal before or even been away from home for more than a week. Was I really that innocent 7 years ago when I first started a degree? Did you know that people who are 18 now were born in the nineties? That seems so wrong, it makes me feel incredibly old.

This morning we had a lecture on fitness to practice. Every time he needed an example of a condition that may impare fitness to practice, he picked on long-term mental health problems. There was a list of things that may cause issues in continuing on the course. These included a severe criminal record, substance abuse, lack of commitment to study and other things you’d expect. However, the last thing on the list was:

health concerns and lack of insight or management of these concerns: failure to seek medical treatment or other support; refusal to follow medical advice or care plans including monitoring and reviews, in relation to maintaining fitness to practise; failure to recognise limits and abilities or lack of insight into health concerns; a treatment resistant condition which might impair fitness to practise.

This concerns me greatly. Although I do tend to turn up to my hospital appointments and roughly follow the advice given, there are times I have rebelled against it or not sought help when perhaps I should have. As for insight, well I think I have that but then and again I thought I had it when everyone was staring at me. Although, I am a lot better than I was there are aspects of my condition that do seem to be treatment resistant. I still self harm, I still have suicidal thoughts particularly along the line of taking another overdose. There are days when I am genuinely too unwell to leave the house. Besides, BPD’s allegedly incurable isn’t it? I can’t guarantee to continue to be stable. There’s nothing that promises I won’t have another breakdown particularly when under extreme pressure such as exams. The real issue as far as I’m concerned is that if things were to get really bad, I don’t think I would be above acquiring bonus drugs from a place of work in order to escape it all.

I could bury my head in the sand and refuse to mention any of this but unfortunately it will all come out eventually. There’ll be a point when we need occupational health clearance to go on placement and there’s no guarantee that would be granted. Besides which, I don’t want to work really hard for a year only to be told I can’t continue. We are meeting our personal tutors this afternoon and I suppose I will have to raise all this with her. There’s a question of how honest to be, but I’m a rubbish liar and would only get found out.

It’s ironic given how little I wanted to start this course, how much I want to continue now I know there’s a chance I won’t be able to. I suppose we always want what we can’t have.






4 Responses to (Un)fit to Practice

  1. willfindhope says:

    Well yes, people who are 18 are born in the 90s…I’m 20 this year and I was born in the 90s…

    Yeah, fitness to work is a tough one when you have mental health issues… But then again, I’m sure there are successful health professionals, including pharmacists, who have a mental illness and continue to do their work well. I’m not above taking drugs from pharmacies I work at either though when it comes to contemplating suicide and all to be honest… I’ve admitted to a GP, psychiatrist, psychologist & psych registrar at the A&E about stealing drugs from the pharmacy I work at to OD on…And they can be quite harsh about it.

    Here I don’t think we need occy health clearance in regards to mental health issues for placement. Which is lucky for me… Then again, the uni already know I’m mental through missing class when I was in hospital…

  2. tea, two sugars says:

    Ana, I really hope things work out for you, I think it’d be wise to tell your tutors your worries as soon as possible, so that you’ll know either way. If you can continue, that’s great, but if they feel you’re not ready, it’s not the end of the world, you can always reapply when things are a bit more stable. Obviously I want you to be able to continue on the course, so I hope your tutors are understanding, and i wish you the best of luck. Take care xx

  3. Perhaps what matters is how well you are able to amange it? You are still very young (listen to me! lol im only 22 myself) and you have plenty of time to come to terms with yourself as a person, and to cope with your difficulties with better strategies etc. All you have to worry about is learning as much as you can about yourself as a person, not about an ‘illness’ so that you can better handle yourself and control as much of the ‘downs’ as you can.

    Therapy and stuff arent particularly well renowned for helping BPD anyway, so i wouldnt call your reluctance a drawback. If there was a way to ‘cure’ it, im sure you would have been right in the que to participate! 🙂

    I hope everything works for you!


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