Since that psych referral from the GP I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I’ve actually got bipolar disorder. I mean, wouldn’t you? I do like self-diagnosing (and more often than not failing spectacularly, with comical results. Once I impressively self-diagnosed acute pancreatitis (BAD) when it’s probably just indigestion or something (NOT SO BAD).… Continue reading I literally have no clue what’s going on
It’s the last month of the summer holidays and I’m getting to that stage where I’m restless and wanting to dive back into university. No doubt, come September, I’ll get two days in before deciding I’m a masochist. But hey. Right now I’m capitalising on the excitement to pin down what things I’m going to… Continue reading Academic year goals
A few days ago I stumbled across this awesome TED Talk on the subject of addiction. Here, Johann Hari spoke about his personal journey to uncover the roots of addiction, having experienced close family members’ struggles with it.
“… The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”
– Johann Hari
Give it a listen if you’ve got a spare fifteen minutes, but his main message is clear. Addictions arise when we don’t have “bonds and connections that [we] want to be present for”. When we can’t “bear to be present in our lives”. And, ultimately, the way that we deal with people with addictions is inherently faulty: we threaten to take away the very connections that people with addictions want to be present for. We imprison them. We fine them. We stamp them with criminal records: we essentially barricade their way to jobs, security and social acceptance.
Perhaps it’s time that we sing them a love song instead of a battle song. Perhaps it’s time to, as Hari suggests, say “you’re not alone, we love you”. “Because the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.”
I’ve recently re-discovered the blog of a beautiful woman whom I shared some classes with at school. For now, she has asked that I don’t post a link to it yet as she may be considering making changes to the blog. However, I do think that this blog is too good to pass up. When… Continue reading A confession of hypocrisy
I don’t deny that depression is hard to live with. What I often forget to consider is just how tough it is if you are watching someone else – someone you care about – struggling with it. To see your friend, son, daughter, mother, brother, partner in chronic emotional pain. It must be painful to… Continue reading It’s getting personal
At the beginning of medical school, I remember having a scary lecture along the lines of professional behaviour. Prominent in this lecture was “Fitness to Practice”. They really made a point of how the second your behaviour compromises your safe practice as a doctor/medical student, you will be hauled in front of the GMC and… Continue reading Telling the big bosses
A note to start. If you are having suicidal thoughts and feel unsafe or you suspect someone else is at risk of harm, you can call Samaritans at 116 123 (UK). Alternatively, if you go to A&E, the mental health crisis team will talk to you. They would definitely rather you come before you do… Continue reading Lifeline
Telling people I’ve got a mental illness is still really hard for me (I really show that by telling the whole Internet about it, don’t I?). At the start, I found it hard to figure out whom to tell. Do people want to know? Am I comfortable enough with someone to tell them? Do people… Continue reading A telling matter
I’m convinced that a major reason that some people don’t seek help for mental health because of the uncertainty around the issue. In the niche little worlds of medical schools, despite effort from the GMC and faculties, I basically had no idea about the frameworks that are there to support students. I’m going to recount… Continue reading In the beginning
Once in a while I’ll have a really off day and, before I know it, evening would have arrived and I’d have spent the hours hiding under a quilt and snapping at anyone who comes too close. Sometimes on these off days I’ll wake up and know that things are going to go downhill from… Continue reading Down day checklist