Lying in bed that evening,
I still felt unsettled by the vacuous look in the GP’s eyes as she recounted the episode of deliberate self-harm that had brought her into the Emergency Department. The dull sheen they projected could likely be explained by the generous amounts of sleeping tablets she had consumed but I knew the truth. She had reached a point of no return. As a ruler bends, bowing to the forces applied until it finally snaps, she could bow to the confounding stressors of a career that demands more, more, MORE no longer.
And I knew this truth because a year prior, after walking out of a hospital following a particularly intense 14 hour on-call shift and suffering an acute stress reaction, I had reached my own point of no return.
Ugh. I do hate sounding so vulnerable. Or even worse, melodramatic; which is how I assumed anyone who saw me that day crying and throwing up in the hospital car park
But there is absolutely nothing melodramatic about the growing numbers of Physicians globally reporting severe anxiety, depression and burnout directly related to the workplace, as discussed in the following Washington Post article.
Doctors are masters of disguise. Even fun-loving docs who crack jokes and make patients smile all day may be suffering in silence.
It’s an epidemic.
But I wonder why we are so hesitant to acknowledge it?
Part 2 coming soon
What are your thoughts about the current climate of Physician burnout and depression in the UK?
©️ Dr Reen Abroad 2018