I find that my mind is just buzzing all the time. I struggle to switch off from psychiatry. The patients have had very interesting lives, often very traumatic and I just feel so much empathy for them! I’m never like this with patients who have physical problems. Probably because I’m able to stay detached and can view them in a medical way. However, I struggle to do that with psychiatry. It is definitely a field where the entire biopsychosocial model is vital for understanding AND managing the patient’s symptoms.
I have a great deal more respect for psychiatrists as I think it must be very difficult to handle these very difficult areas of a patient’s life and not let it affect you. I feel shocked and sad when I hear about the schizophrenic man whose marriage ended and who hardly gets to see his children, then there’s the severely depressed man whose wife took out so many loans in his name to accumulate a debt of £95,000 which the courts have said he has to pay for. And not to forget, the psychotic woman who is still living in her ex partner’s house despite them not being in a relationship, and him not being able to get rid of her as he is far too decent to make her homeless.
Maybe it is because I have experienced loss that I can relate to these experiences. I’ve tried and failed at many things in life. And it really does affect you mentally and emotionally. I’m constantly analysing things and I think it is this that is making me feel drained of all my energy. I’m not just carrying my own problems (which have no easy fix), but I’m thinking about psychiatry as well and reflecting on and being saddened about what I hear.
Sometimes I worry though, that that severely depressed and anxious patient who presents to secondary care, could very easily be me if I get very ill. I think my religion is a strong protective factor against me having any dark thoughts like suicide. And the fact that I have been severely depressed before makes me not want to head in that direction again. A few months ago when I felt like I fought off another depressive episode, I thought of my parents and how I didnt want to bring them any more distress, like I had in the past. I don’t want to hurt them.
I just feel like I’m living a very sad life and no-one knows of the things my mind experiences except for Allah. I can only pray that He cures me of this horrible illness that prevents me from leading a good life.