Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Staring at the future

I went into psychiatry thinking that my own experiences as a psychiatric patient would be helpful. I thought that my experience would help me understand my patients better. I would be able to empathize with them. Maybe I identified too much with them. Maybe it turned out to be a detriment.

I think about going back and completing my residency. I want to, but I don't know if I can handle it. Do I really want to spend my life, make a career out of, staring at what I will become in the future?

Currently, I am doing okay with my depression. My medical training tells me, though, that with my history, I am likely to battle clinical depression for the rest of my life. People often have one episode of clinical depression and are never bothered by it again. Sometimes a second episode will occur. Three or more, like I have in my history, is predictive of lifelong chronic depression. If I am smart, which I like to think that I am, I will be on antidepressant medication for the rest of my life.

I will likely become a bitter old woman, seeing the world through black-colored glasses. I may constantly complain about what a rotten life I had. Make something negative out of everything. Drive away everyone important to me until the only person I have left to talk to is my psychiatrist.

How can I be at both ends of that relationship?

2 comments:

...just-rambling... said...

I thought about becoming a therapist since my PTSd makes me more empathectic, but I don't think I could handle dealing with other people's problems.

Eva J. Mah said...

It takes a special person to deal with other people's problems. My therapist is great at it. I'm just not so sure that I can deal with other peoples' problems and manage my own at the same time.