Thursday, 12 February 2015

What I've learnt from psychiatry

You know what, psychiatry is so interesting. I have really enjoyed my last few days on my placement and it has just reignited my passion for it and for medicine. I have had the privilege to hear things about patients that they wouldn't consider telling anyone else, and have seen some people in extremely vulnerable states which has been upsetting. Schizophrenia, bipolar and depression fascinate me in the way that they affect some but not others, and the reasons behind that. And it fascinates me how they can make people think they have superpowers, or hear someone talking to them in their head. I want to be one of the people that contributes to improvements in mental health and helps people suffering with theirs. It's amazing seeing how much difference a psychiatrist can make to a patient's life, along with the rest of the mental health team - it would be a privilege to be a small part of that in the future.

I've also learnt such a lot about myself over the past few days of my psychiatry placement. I have learnt that my depression is probably moderate, and that I should be proud of myself for getting better so quickly. I have learnt that the reason for me getting better so quickly is because of all of the self-help I have been doing. And I have also discovered that I can easily empathise with psychiatric patients and know what to say to them, due to my own experiences and what I would like someone to say to me. I knew a lot about depression before I visited a psychiatry ward, but seeing it from a doctor's point of view throws a whole new perspective on it. Each person is completely individual and has to be treated holistically - and with that comes the responsibility of knowing almost everything that has gone on in a patient's life, from abuse to suicide attempts. And that can be really emotional and upsetting at times.

In other news I have spent the majority of the evening dancing around my housemate's room to 5, 6, 7, 8 and The Cheeky Girls while she was trying to do work. With her curtains wide open. Helloooo neighbours.
Make today count. You'll never get it back.


  1. That is so great to hear! I think you would (will) excel at being a psychiatrist. It seems like there's few and far between good ones, at least in my country.

  2. Psychiatry has been my favourite placement so far - I always feel a little bit offended when people say they hated it! I was especially amazed at how open people were about their problems, even more so than in medicine/surgery. I think I learned some of my best communication skills from my psychiatry placement and am more confident than a lot of doctors and nurses about asking patients on general wards about things such as depression and hallucinations. Hope it continues to go well!
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    1. It has been my favourite placement so far too! People just seemed to be completely open about everything and although I heard some shocking stories, I felt privileged that they felt they could tell me about them. I know what you mean, some people are afraid of talking to psychiatric patients because of the stigma around it, so it really does help with your communication :) xx