How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
63993671
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. L is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a terrible dilemma...I feel I did something unethical

Resolved Question:

I have a terrible dilemma...I feel I did something unethical by turning in a survey which I did myself to offset a really nasty and in-your-face response from a parent who is a known hater and troublemaker at our school. Her child has no boundaries and no respect for authority and challenges everyone all day every day. He learns this from his family's lack of respect for educators, which they don't try to hide. Anyway, I only work in this program part-time, and have been really stressed out with tremendous pressure from the other portion of my job, which involves overseeing state testing. I just snapped...I was so exhausted and on edge that I wasn't thinking at all about what I was doing. I am getting ready to retire and have always prided myself on my ethics and honesty. Now I can't eat or sleep, worrying about what I should do. These surveys are compiled as a district, and are anonymous, but I have tremendous remorse. If I confess, however, I'm afraid my career could be ruined and I may lose my last year next year. I just don't know what to do. I feel awful.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I would like to help you with your question.
I agree, this is an ethical dilemma. And...your self-report of not being able to eat or sleep is your conscience telling you that you have broken your own standards of behavior.
I understand the consequences of reporting this to your boss or school officials. And certainly that consequence is huge. On the other hand, there is also the guilt, remorse, and shame that you are experiencing today, and will continue to feel, if you attempt to sweep your behavior under the rug.
In my 30 years of practice as a psychologist, I run into issues like this quite routinely. That's because we are all human ... and from time to time we make poor decisions. I think that's what happened here...you did not intend to cause harm to anyone. Instead, you took control of the situation and submitted the survey as a way to move forward.
From what you have written, it does sound like you want to set the record straight and be accountable for your behavior. Yet...you do not want to be punished unjustly...and certainly you do not want to see your job put in jeopardy.
Therefore, my best advice for you is to go to your superior(s) and state what happened. Keep emotions out of it as best you can. Do not over rationalize what occurred, rather keep to the facts. Ask for forgiveness...a chance to remedy the situation. I would point out that you are coming forward because you believe it is the right thing to do and that you are willing to accept the consequences.
When we tell the truth, particularly in difficult situations like this, we are likely to be treated with compassion because it takes courage to acknowledge our own failings. This is exactly what you want your superior(s) to see...that you are an ethical person and that you are willing to be held accountable for poor decisions.
I await your reply.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is just so out of character for me. I am well-respected in the educational community here and have a great deal of responsibility. I am terrified of the thought of admitting this ethical lapse and terrified not to admit it. I am still completely stymied as to why I did it at all. I just didn't think it through...all I could think about was neutralizing the horribly negative effect of that hateful survey. I should also tell you that because of the crazy things happening in our school district, last summer and fall I developed depression and an anxiety disorder for which I am under care right now. I cannot lose my job.
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I am so sorry this has happened. And yes...sometimes we do things and later wonder what the heck we were thinking! I believe you when you say that you are an ethical person and that your behavior was so not you.
I am very glad you are being treated for the anxiety and depression! And certainly, these may have had some impact on your ability to handle the stress that day.
I can imagine that you feel very paralyzed by all of this. But...as the clock ticks away I am afraid that you will feel worse and worse, not better. So...hard as it is...I encourage you to talk to your superiors about that day and the poor decision you made.
As to losing your job...I say beg if you have to!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. My principal is a kind and compassionate person and we have a good relationship. I will talk to him about what happened and see what he recommends.
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.
Very good.
It takes courage to come forward...and I think that your principal will recognize this!
Take care!
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
Dr. L and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education