Spoiler: The Avengers are not the true heroes.
For those who believe these fictional characters are our heroes, you could not be more wrong. The answer is 'Doctors', the ones who are the true saviours of this world. The year 2020 has proven that, with the Covid-19 pandemic all over the world. The world has been in turmoil and the doctors put their lives on the line to save ours. It is not just about the pandemic, even in our daily lives, the doctors play a big part.
We all struggle with our physical and mental issues and to solve those issues we all go to see our doctors. There are many types of doctors for our problems such as cardiologist, urologist, etc. For us, it becomes convenient since we have that accessibility to reach specialists. We thank the doctors when critical surgery goes successful, we thank them when they cure us. But what if things went the other way around? What if a doctor fails in saving someone? Now, these are some of the thoughts that doctors have in their minds which brings us to a real question.
Do the doctors take care of their mental health?
They are NOT, not because they don’t want to, but they are not able to help themselves. This is all because of the stigma of mental health that has stuck around for many years. Mental illness is a serious issue that is not taken seriously in the world. Especially in the healthcare system where the doctors are under pressure 24/7. Despite all the expertise and knowledge they possess, doctors are not able to be mentally healthy. Sometimes, it is work-related stress, lack of confidence, or bullying. A survey conducted by MD Linx showed that out of 800 US physicians, 15.6% of them have clinical depression.
People with mental disorders are looked upon as incompetent and that can’t handle work. It is the work itself that causes them mental issues in the first place. The workers are discouraged from talking about psychological issues in the workplace.
One of the worst perceptions that humans have towards mental illness is by saying “It’s just a phase.” Mental issues are not a short term emotion that will just go away. They are something that stays with us in the long run if not given proper treatment. The quality of life starts to fall and the assurance that we need to feel confident is not provided. Even our loved ones also misinterpret mental health, thinking that it will go away. Ironically, it is the family that helps us to fight with problems, but at the same time, they are oblivious to mental health. The human brain is quite fragile, so anyone can develop vulnerability towards mental illness.
The main problem is a lack of awareness. Usually, the patients believe that the doctors are perfect human beings or even God, that they have miracle hands. But nothing could be further from the truth. Doctors do not succeed every time and when they fail they get ridiculed all the time. If the history of the medical industry has taught us anything, nothing is predictable when it comes to the Human body. It can be both, good and bad. The best thing a victim can do is to have complete faith in the doctor and hope for the best. It is bad enough for the doctor to feel pressured and be worried if anything goes wrong during the treatment.
Fortunately, awareness is being spread and the problems associated with mental health. A survey conducted by Health Partners has shown that in Minnesota and Wisconsin communities, 66 to 71% are comfortable talking about mental health. We still are a long way from erasing the stigma, but it is a good start.
Doctors are not able to take care of their mental health and they need our help. The first thing we need to do is to destigmatize mental health completely.
Everyone needs to understand that mental health is very real and can happen to anyone. So reach out to anyone who has not spoken to and ask to see how they are doing.
The author is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Director and founder of Possitive Vibes. Views are the author's own.