Being a Psychiatrist

Why?

This isn't as much Being a psychiatrist, as it is WHY I became one.

Truth be told, I have no idea. I understand if non of you actually care to read this, but like my profile says, I will write about what ever the hell I want, when I want.

I didn't become a psychiatrist because I had some uncontrollable interest in the human mind. I didn't care that much for it until I started college. I didn't become a psychiatrist because I had some undesirable urge to help people, although I do now have the urge. A PART of why I am a psychiatrist is because I grew up with a brother who suffered (and still does suffer) from extreme schizophrenia, paranoia and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I guess after years of watching shrinks calm my brother down, a part of me found this exciting.

I do not regret the decision of practicing medicine in the field of psychiatry. But every now and then I wonder "Should I have done something different?". Why didn't I study business management or something? Or became a successful Hollywood actor? I always wanted to be a teacher. Why didn't I go down that road?

Also, a part of me decided to do this to, occasionally drop the M.D. bomb on people. People are trying to be better than me in debates, you can make them speechless by saying "I have an M.D., do you?"

Being a psychiatrist is awesome though. I'm in children and adolescent psychiatry, but take the occasional adult to my table. I work in the PICU (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit), which means I handle suicidal (and more) teens who need to be monitored 24/7. But I'm studying Personality Disorders, so I should be well on my way to opening a practice soon.. I hope.

This is a horrific job though. I go to work, I counsel teenagers and they attack me. Or they threaten me. Or they do something worse. You know, there's nothing worse than having a 13 year old sitting in front of you with needle marks on his hands. Or even his face because he couldn't find any more veins in his hands. There's nothing worse than hearing from someone that they'll kill your whole family and rape your mother because you're trying your best to help them. It's not a good feeling to know that someone resents you enough to attack you when you literally beg them to stop using. I recently had a teen who beat his mother daily, to the point where she allowed him to anally penetrate her to stop him from beating her. It sickens me. But I'm not allowed to have opinions in those people, because I'm a medical personnel.

I cry. I never admit it, but I cry. It's the only thing you can do to get through this job. The residents try to stick together, so we can all go through this, but the fact is that we're all just a bunch of backstabbers. We're too competitive to actually care about each other. We all need to be the best. So the only thing you can go through this, without needing therapy, is to sit down every once in a while when you're having a shit of a day and CRY. Have a good cry. I do realize someone will call me a vagina or something for this paragraph, but I don't care. At least I can be honest.

I know this job can ruin you as a person. I know that. All of the older psychiatrists at my hospital have warned me this will ruin me as a person, and I will either end up with caring too much about my patients and start protecting them too much, refuse to see the problem and cause them more harm. Or I will end up with not caring at all when I see a problem, ignore it and cause the person more harm. It's a tricky situation. Which one of those do I want to be? Neither. But, apparently, I don't have a choice.

It's a horrific job in so many ways. You see anorexic teenagers who were trying to get thinner for a boy or because all the kids in their school were so cruel. A suicidal girl woke up in the ER the other day, looked up at me and said "Why the hell am I still alive?". She was 11, and her parents were going through a nasty divorce, and neither wanted custody of her because she has ADHD.

But also as you go through this job, it makes you wonder how the hell you can still have any faith in the human kind. The abysmal, disgusting things people do are just phenomenal. But then again, it can also completely restore your faith in the human kind when you see a progress so amazing, you can't believe it's anything but the good Lord in the sky.

If you're thinking about becoming a psychiatrist, I both recommend you get your degree now and join us. But on the other hand, I also recommend you stay the hell away from this hell.

It's your choice.

Thanks for reading.

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Comments 51 comments

LaVieja profile image

LaVieja 6 years ago from London

Appreciate your honesty. I have unfortunately had to experience people close to me with severe mental health issues, and therefore have come across many mental health professionals- psychiatrists included. I never really stopped to think what a thankless job it can be- as well as a rewarding one. I read your hub and it really touched me-I felt compelled to comment. But I write this comment with some trepidation as I am not sure you actually wanted comments!


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Thank you.

Having a loved one with severe mental issues is never easy, believe me, I have both been there and I am currently going through it with two of my closest both friends and family members.

We're hated. People see us as walking lawsuits who make too much money. The fact is that an average resident makes about as much as a waiter..

Comments and Criticism is always good.

Again, thank you.


tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 6 years ago from Normal, Illinois

Funny! I do give a lot of credit to you for being a psychiatrist!I told myself that in America, you can be whatever you want to be but for me, never be a doctor. Do you know why? Cause I cannot fix a broken heart! Thanks for the hub. Enjoyed it!


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 6 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

There seem to be a lot more hyperactive children and adolescents in this world today than when I was a kid. Food additives such a dyes and preservatives have been mentioned as possible causes. Also there is a lot more sugar in people's diets. A LOT of orange juice and orange drink has artificial sugar piled on top of the natural sugar. Sports drinks that have guarana often also have lots of sugar. As for other artificial sweeteners, who can say what they do to the human body and mind. Being high on sugar or food dyes or preservatives must affect a child's concentration at school and then also when it comes to sport. Can this sort of thing lead to mental disorders in the future?


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

It can't really lead to a mental disorder, but ADHD leads to depression in probably around 40% cases, and depression may lead to schizophrenia (it happened to my brother).


TheGlassSpider profile image

TheGlassSpider 6 years ago from On The Web

{{{HUGS}}} Don't let those older psychiatrists get you down. There are ALWAYS choices, and you don't have to make the same ones they did--you don't have to be what they say you'll be, even if you want to be a good psychiatrist. ;-) I know it's so far beyond a tough job that there aren't even words to describe it, but like you said there are moments of pure inspiration that somehow make it worth it. Don't forget about the needs we meet with our jobs; us mental health workers get into the field (at least partially) because we like to try to rescue people (it makes us feel worthwhile, and even gives us the illusion that we have some kind of control over things ;-). Not many people can say they've had the unique opportunity to make a positive connection with a child so lost in despair, but you can.

It's good to cry. The suffering in the world can be overwhelming; crying is simply the expression of that, and it's cleansing and healthy. No shame in tears...even the big, blubbery kind!

I really appreciate your honesty and your publishing this hub. I don't think enough people realize what people in the mental health field are doing, why they're doing it, or how difficult it is. Thanks for shedding some light on the subject. You've done a great job.

Now! Brush up on your knowledge about Caregiver Strain and secondary trauma! Make sure to take steps to keep yourself as vital and healthy as you can! You deserve it for you and all the people with whom you work.


NateSean profile image

NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

Glad to have you on Hub.

I'll admit that I was one of those teens. I was diagnosed with Aspergers in 1996 and up to that point and long after it I resented the psychologist (so not an MD but a guy pretending to be one, my opinion, sorry) whom the school saddled me with.

It took him three years to finally just say, "You know what. You don't want to change and I can't force it on you, so we're done."

Looking back I can say I still resent the guy. I resented the psychiatrist I went to for my evaluation because when the guy wrote the report it looked like he was sleeping for the hour that I was with him.

But I do respect the work and the heartache that goes into this job and speaking as a man, I don't think you're a "vagina" for breaking down and crying. I'd think you were psychotic if you told me you didn't cry after going through all that.


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Thank you so much, you have no idea how much I appreciate this. It was kinda hard for me to write the crying part, because I've always been the "alpha male" kind of guy. And I wrote Vagina because I didn't wanna seem appropriate for writing Pussy, Lol!


NateSean profile image

NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

That's funny, it's exactly the reason I didn't write "pussy" too. :p


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia

Your hub is refreshingly real, loved it.


Sunshinin' profile image

Sunshinin' 6 years ago from The Midwest

NewYorker, as a newly grad student in a Counseling program, i really appreciated what you had to say. I do have hope for you, but then again perhaps i am naïve. But, i do believe there can be a balance between genuine care, and professionalism. How to achieve this balance i suppose is up to you. I think it will have to be achieved differently with different clients. I know its hard to care just enough. It is such a difficult profession because you are trying to help those who don't seem to know how to get help in the appropriate ways. Someday each of your clients will remember you, and think to themselves, "wow, if that psychiatrist wasn't there, i don't wanna know what could have happened to me". Stay focused NewYorker. Its good to know your limits of what you can and cannot handle. Good luck on your journey!


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Sunshinin';

It's a tough profession (and you might end in these situations..) because probably 70% of the people you try to help either don't believe there's something wrong with them, or they just flat out don't want your help. And too many people think psychology is a crock of shit. So it's a hard business, but I think I'll manage...

Thanks for inspiring words.

- NY.


NateSean profile image

NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

I don't think psychology itself is a crock of shit. I find many of the people who practice it to be full of it.

I guess what bothered me most as a child is that it took three years for the psychologist to say, "He doesn't want my help." Because of course it was the school paying for it, not myself or my mother.

And then there's this fear I have of one day being involuntarily committed as an adult. I say the wrong thing to the wrong person and suddenly I'm locked up and having to convince someone that I'm safe to be on my own.

You could tell me that those fears are based on misconceptions in the media. But I've read articles that challenge one very basic fact of a person's medical treatment: The ability to refuse it.

If I choose to refuse medicine that could cure me of Hepititas C, then no one can legally force that medicine on me, even if I'm in a hospital.

Now if I'm in a mental institution and I refuse Haldol, what's to stop them from forcing a needle into me?


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Nate, you're absolutely right. There are way too many psychologists and psychiatrist way too full of shit. I find that the Ph.D. and M.D. Degrees are too often given to people who do not have the intelligence to have it.

I think you may be in denial of your own mental status, but then again, I can't say unless I spend some time talking with you. You may have issues looking at yourself as an adult because you just don't feel like one. But then again, I need to be sitting infront of you.


J.J. Beach profile image

J.J. Beach 6 years ago

Wow, a psycho doc on the hub. I've been through four. Finally found a guy that is truly caring and doesn't look down his nose at me. I have (managed) severe depression, panic disorder & agoraphobia. After 8 weeks of day treatment hospitalization a year and half ago, the hospital finally convinced me I needed a new psycho-doc. He finally found the right mix of medications for me.

I'll be writing more about myself here with this "alter ego".

As a woman who has teens and worked in a high school, I've seen quite a bit. It really takes some one special to work with kids and teens. I'm glad to hear you cry, if you didn't, how could you be a human with all that goes on in those children's lives.


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

@ J.J. Beach;

You surprised to find a psychotherapist on HP? I'm still a second year resident, so I really don't see myself as a psychiatrist yet. I still kind off see myself as this dorky kid who's wearing a white coat and scrubs.

I feel for you on the depression. I know how hard it can be dealing with depression and a panic disorder, and I truly hope you're taking your medication because I've seen both depression clients and PD clients end up badly, so make sure you stay on top of those.

Takes someone special to work with kids, you say. I decided to go into Children and Adolescent psychiatry because I'm still a kid in spirit. I can't work with adults, I just can't communicate with them as well as I can with kids and teenagers.

Thank you for your feedback, and thanks for reading this hub.

- NY.


figment profile image

figment 6 years ago from Texas

For someone who suffers from mental illness, I enjoyed reading some of your hubs, and looking into YOUR mind instead of vise versa.


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

Thank you.

What mental illness do you suffer from?


Susana S profile image

Susana S 6 years ago

Hi NewYorker - I read your hub with interest. I'm in the UK so may be we have a different system here, but all the psychologists and counsellors I know (I trained as one), have very regular supervison themselves in order to help deal with all that is bombarded at them as well as to look at what role they are playing in the psych/client relationship and how their shit interfers with the therapeutic process.

I've worked with young people in a therapeutic way and it can be sad at times, but ultimately I found myself in awe of their resilience and ability to "think outisde the box".

I can understand going home and crying because you have taken on their pain or their pain has triggered something in you - don't you get support with this?????


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

@ Susana S

Yes, we help each other a little and we always have the choice of seeing a crisis counselor or a grief counselor. But I don't feel like I'm in a crisis, nor am I grieving.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

You have quite a task before you. As you share love, it will increase. It will not be easy on you, and quite draining. I don't envy your position. I only have four adolescents who hate me. Hopefully mine will grow out of it. Wish you the best, and enjoy your awesome writing.


mailxpress profile image

mailxpress 6 years ago from New York

Hello NewYorker,

The mental mind. I give you much credit for being one of the people who actually do try to help people who can't help themselves.

I'm a person who is content with life and grateful for everything I have. On occasion I have a down day but who doesn't.

I'm a young 41, feel I have experienced enough in life now to understand some people's mind will never work regular or ordinary. I have meet people who are on medication for their mental health and while growing up never had the patience to become close friends with anyone who either hate their life, never happy, always complaining, and have tried to hurt themselves. I stay away because I always felt you can help yourself if you want to.

Time has taught me people are truly sick. Their mental state needs help and having people like you who truly try to help and can grasp that it's a chemical imbalance (I believe that's what it is) in what goes on in the mind/brain.

You made a comment on how a psychiatrist warned you about how your chosen profession would change you but do you feel it has changed you for the better?

I watched a program last night about

schizophrenia, paranoia and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). The families go through hell. Those poor kids who know they are sick but can't help themselves. I feel for the families who have to deal with such a server disorder. It was heartbreaking.

Watching the show and many other shows on occasion about people who have it so bad make me appreciate my life so much. Sometimes people (because of what is going on in their minds) label you (us) as if they know better. Many people make it seem as if you have a problem but in reality they are the one with the problem. I'm fine and grateful for it. Life gets hard sometimes but reading what you deal with everyday makes hard times not so hard.

Excellent hub and I do want to know how your job has changed you.

mailxpress


NewYorker profile image

NewYorker 6 years ago from New York, NY Author

@ Deborah: Haha, you don't envy my position? You know, this job does have it's wonderful moments. But I understand if you don't envy me, it's not a very envious position, and especially not in the ICU.

@Mailxpress:

This job has changed me in a lot of ways, both good and bad.

I can't believe some of the things people can do to each other; I can't trust 90% of the people around me; I psychologically diagnose everyone around me; I find problems everywhere; I see a monster or a beast in everyone, but then again, there are some good things.

But then again, I was warned this job would change everything about me, and that's correct. I don't believe we have a soul anymore; I don't believe in love and I don't believe in God. Y'know, this job just changes so much about who you are, in both a good and bad way.

And about the show, one of the hardest things I've experienced in my whole life is growing up with a brother who had a mental illness. My brother had schizophrenia on the highest level, paranoia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and on top of that, he was also a pathological liar. My brother would have frequent episodes, and when he did; our mom would lock me and my sister in any room of the house while my father held my brother down and my mom called an ambulance. It's one of the hardest things I've witnessed.

Also, always before I accept a new client, I have to talk to the child's parents, to see how the child is at home, and some of the stories I get are horrific. Sometimes the kids are so out of control they're controlling their parents, and the parents can't do anything about it because they're too scared. Like it says in my hub, I had a boy who beat his mom every night, and it was because he wanted to anally penetrate her, and she actually gave in, and then SHE was arrested and put to jail for incest. It's a fucked up system.

If you're interested in knowing more, just contact me. :)

- NY.


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Thanks for this Hub. I want to be a child psychiatrist so this was a good Hub to read.


RMM 6 years ago

I made the mistake of seeing a shrink (An M.D.) for 18 months back in the late seventies. The result? Money wasted. Then again, what the hell did I know at the time? I was a 20 year old kid who couldn't tell the difference between his arse and a hole in the ground. A complete and total waste of time and money. You're either going to solve your problems by yourself, or you're not. Don't bother going to a shrink.


Jcal 6 years ago

I'm 19 and I want to be a psychiatrist but after reading this I'm not sure If I want to....I mean I'm already becoming cynical and I'm losing faith in humanity love and god and it's killing me I just don't want it to get worse but at the same time I want to help people and be the change I want....need to see in this fucked up world. What do you suggest I do?


R.Ng 6 years ago

Thank you NewYorker for sharing this

To be honest what you have said has given me more reason to travel down this dark emotional path of Psychiatry.

You have heart and passion NewYorker. Many people would have quit the job if they have gone through what you have. You continue to suffer inorder to continue helping these people who really need help. Those are the kind of people that inspire me and I hope to be one in the future.

Thank you for your service because the world really needs more people like you


Matt MD 5 years ago

I don't believe for a second that you are a psychiatrist. What you say about the field and your practice doesn't make sense, and your grammar is bad enough that I doubt you have a college degree. Nothing wrong with not having a degree, but don't pretend to be something you are not. It gives us real psychiatrists a bad name.


Mikey 5 years ago

@NewYorker

you don't believe in the soul? this is the typical case when someone can't use knowledge.


Elly 5 years ago

Boohoo to you. Dont do the job if you're gonna moan. Value judgements is all psychiatry is about.


Dr. Linda 5 years ago

l totally agree with dr mat. A psyhiatrist (l am a psychiatry resident) cannot write this way.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

How you Dr's who work in the hospital setting is beyond me. I couldn't make it one day. I would be crying, or terrified, and utterly overwhelmed with people's pain. I've been struggling with mental illness for a while now, and I haven't been in the kind of setting you work in, but I have been hospitalized and I always run the risk of getting overwhelmed with other people's pain.

It's very sad in this world that professionals in the medical field, particularly men, have to defend their right to cry. Personally, I thinks it's probably normal to do so in the early years. After many years, clinicians develop a thick skin and quit feeling altogether. You need to take care of yourself and not get compassion fatigue. Perhaps you should consider going into a different aspect in psychiatry. Perhaps in a clinic or private practice with not quite so critical patients.

Thank you for reaching out the hurting and putting up with all the crap you get every day. But take care of yourself. If you aren't well, you cannot help others.

Blessings


Stephanie 4 years ago

Hi, I'm 13, and I want to be a psychiatrist when I get older. I kindof have the same reason you did, but it was my mother and grandmother that had mental issues.

This article really helped me. It seems very interesting to be a psychiatrist, and now I want to be one more than ever.


nichole 4 years ago

I have a question and I think you will actually be honest with me. My so called psychiatrist is not licensed as a psychiatrist he is a regular M.D. I am seeking treatment for addiction and it has been a long battle for me and I honestly think he is just jerking me around. He has no interest in what parts of my life that really need help. I pay him $100 for almost 5 minutes of his time. He doesn't even look at me. He is seriously lacking bed side manner skills. He is not giving me treatment for any of the issues that caused my addiction. He has not asked about my previous psychology treatments. I have been diagnosed with depression, PTSD, and anxiety. I know these diagnosis may seem as if I was a drug seeker to begin with but that was not the case. I was molested as a child and up until I was a teenager. Since then I have basically been kicked in the ass by life. Mainly I have huge issues with men. I can't stand for my husband to touch me and this can't be normal. My husband is working with me on this and he knows my entire past. I want help and I feel this guy is honestly taking me for my money, well not just me I believe he has no concern for any of his patients. He looks at me as a drug addict and everything I say is a lie. I just don't think I will ever receive the treatment I need if I keep seeing him.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 4 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Nichole, all psychiatrists are medical doctors. If you have addiction issues, a psychiatrist will be of absolutely no help. That is not their area of specialty. AA is where you will get the most help and it's free. It has changed my life. Sounds like you might benefit from some counseling too with your personal problems. Best wishes.


amanda 4 years ago

I have a huge respect for psychiatrists. honestly i would rather be a garbage collector or unemployed than a psychiatrist. nothing frightens me more than mentally ill people. Dealing with them would probably make me become mentally ill. I really admire your emotional strength to deal with this day in day out


Michael 4 years ago

I stumbled upon this just now. I'm a PGY1 psychiatry resident. I've recently become aware of the enormous anti-psychiatry movement, and constantly argue with these people on internet forums. No one ever respects my medical degree or my profession. They call me a drug pusher and a murderer. They say psychiatry is a fraud. They constantly call psychiatry pseudoscience. When you go on YouTube and type "psychiatry" in the search field, the anti-psychiatry videos outnumber the pro-psychiatry videos by 100 to 1. No other medical field is so maligned, and still, I work hard everyday to do my best for my patients, even when they think I'm trying to poison them. I'm so depressed that I'm having trouble studying for USMLE Step 3. I have no life. I make as much as a waiter too.

Some of the few patients I've been able to really, really help have been schizophrenic. Then again, once we release them, the usually throw away the prescriptions and within a month, the police pick them up again, naked, howling at the moon, at I have to start all over again.

Thinking of leaving the field. I DO NOT recommend this job to anyone.


sabyj1993 4 years ago

I really appreciate your insight and point of view on the field of psychiatry. I am currently a college freshman and I was stuck in between being a general doctor or becoming a psychiatrist since I really love helping people. I realized that I enjoy helping people overcome their problems by talking to them so psychiatry may be the right field for me. I also would love to invest my time into research. Although I don't have any mental illnesses or know of anyone that does, I was a victim of sexual abuse. I can honestly say that talking to a psychiatrist really helped me overcome the aftermath of the abuse. I feel like I can also help others who have gone through abuse because I was a victim myself. I've never really commented on any hubs before but this one I really enjoyed!


Kommadant 4 years ago

Very informative post. I am planning on taking my prereqs for medical school and have a fascination with the field of psychiatry. It is helpful to get somewhat of an understanding of what a psychiatrist experiences. Please keep up the posts.


kaylamadison15 4 years ago

This was absolutely amazing ! Truly inspiringy. I'm 15 and want to be a psychiatrist for teenagers, but I'm honestly not sure if I want to do it for suicidal teens. Me, myself, I've been through some stuff in my life. Tough stuff. Never suicidal things. But, I love helping people with their problems. And , I'm considering going into this field now. Thank you so much!


daisymayorga profile image

daisymayorga 4 years ago from Las Vegas

I'd like to say that this is an inspirational piece. You gave specific details of pros and cons about your profession which is awesome because many people do not. I am still not sure what i want to do in my life, this is something I put thought into ever since i was a child, do not get me wrong to some I am still considered a child. But to this world I am an adult and people expect.too much from me. Anyways back to the point... This is awesome, when I read this I actually felt like I had a part in this profession. I also felt that I could make a difference in ones life. No matter what. I don't like how you said we will either care too much or not enough and those are our only options. I want to be neither but taking advice from someone with experience definitely gives me a.better understanding of what is yet to come. One thing I know forsure is that I want to help people! Thanks for this


Kolton 4 years ago

As a teen looking into psychiatry I must say that this has been inspirational and I have gotten into psychiatry because I have my own mental disorders that I am almost positive that I have. I am studying psychology and mental disorders (I myself am likely to have Paranoid personality disorder) on my own and take great fun in categorizing my friends by the possible mental disorders they could have or develop in the future but I also see the horrible parts of it. I try to help my friends as much as possible but I cant and that may be one of the reasons I want to become a psychiatrist so that I can learn how to actually help my friends but I have a long way to go as I am barely in my teen years


Thunder 3 years ago

This is inspiring. It makes me want to pursue the profession even more. I'm a freshman in college from a broken home, and dedication got me to where I am now. I'm willing to give, from inside myself, so that people don't have to feel what I've felt.


... 3 years ago

this is fake


Hope 3 years ago

WOOOW

Psychitist is a profession that I have recently entried me. I personally find fascinating how fragile the brain is and the massive impact it can have on a person and how that shows up. I don't have any friends or family relatives that have experienced any psychotic disorder- to be honest I have never encountered anyone that has had it either but I have seen it in videos and heard it from people. All the same before I read your Hub, I was well aware of the impacts this medical field can have on the person but never in my life had it occurred to me the extent to which this field of medicine could change you- is there are anyways of preventing this?

Lastly, I am a first year medical student, studying in the UK and would really like to know, you complete honest opinion, is psychiatry a good or a bad field of carer.


Silje 3 years ago

"You know, there is nothing worse than having a 13 year old in front of you with needle marks on his arms."

I think it would be much worse being that 13 year old sitting in front of that psychiatrist - with his M.D, feeling great about and sorry for himself, because he holdes the position where he can judge and hjelp.


Olmed 3 years ago

I am a physician too. One of the best pieces I read about being a psychiatrist. I am a family physician with a job interview tomorrow..in psychiatry. Wish me luck...and thanks!


Anna 2 years ago

I'm a medical student from Poland. I'm thinking of becoming a psychiatris and this article is a big help. I like your spirit, your devotion to the job. I also like that you write about your profession without idealizing it. Just pure, horrifying reality. But actually it makes me want to do this job more. I got interested in psychiatry cause I had depression and neurosis since I was a child. Also the situation at home didn't help. Then at the age of 20 I had few panic attacks which made me look for help. I took medicines and I had psychoterapy for few years and I got better and better. Now I participate in a group therapy for adult children of alcoholics. I'm supposed to finish it in June. I feel like I've made a huge job changing my way of thinking about myself, other peope, my way of reacting, dealing with stress, understanding emotions and dealing with them and so on. However I know I still have a lot of things to work on. But we all do if we want to develop. It's just I'm not totally sure if my past and my vulnerability doesn't make me a bad candidate for psychiatrist? Or maybe they make me a good candidate? Or both? What do you think?


Olmed 2 years ago

Anna. I know the question was not addressed towards me. From my "few months" in a psychiatry training position I think your background is going to be an asset. But of course you should also be aware of signals about yourself. I think CBT and metacognitive therapies are really interesting. I find psychiatry very interesting in general even if it also challenges myself and my own reactions a lot.


Ash 2 years ago

This was a very interesting article for me and quite insightful because my dream is to be a psychiatrist. I love learning about the human mind, I'm always curious about the truth of why a person may act the way they do and when I come to an answer it is deeply rewarding for me because now I can work on a solution that works for them.

I've read your whole article and it was terrible to read about the boy who beat and sodomised his own mother. Also how some of your patients treat you. It certainly is a job not anybody can do, you need great emotional maturity to do it or it'll destroy you. People don't realise just how much it can change you.

I read a really good book The Road Less Travelled by M Scott Peck (A psychiatrist) (VERY INSIGHTFUL BOOK, SAME PSYCHAITRIC KNOWLEDGE BUT GREAT INSIGHT) and that alone literally changed my life and how I see everything. Now I'm reading everything I can on human behaviour because I realize how important it is, how the knowledge applies to almost everything not just the medical ward. Especially true life stories like Torey Hayden's books and Damaged (I forgot the author), The things I read broke my heart and absolutely disgusted me (especially damaged) how people can treat others and if you let it, it can make you lose faith in humanity. But don't let it.

You said the job can ruin you in two ways. I think that has to do with that we are all neurotic and personality disordered to a certain degree, that during the course of our career those weakness comes up and can come in the way. Its also because of how much one puts in trying to help patients. Your job is difficult, because put simply to do it well you have to love your patients. That's the hardest thing a person can do. It hurts like hell. But it is greatly rewarding at times. Its not about how many qualifications one has, its about whether they truly care about the patients mental health and giving the love they need to help themselves to recover.

We tend to forget that the way people act towards us has rarely to do with us. People are trapped in their fears. Almost all mental illnesses are a result of a lack of love or neglect of love that the person needed for successful maturation and mental development in the fundamental years. Yes there are monsters, everybody has their demons but everybody does has a potential for good, unfortunately too many do not work towards it despite our efforts to help them but that is their choice. They know what's wrong or right and therefore they are responsible for their choices. The more I read and the more experiences in my life the more I see this is absolutely true.

I really appreciate the work you are doing as a psychiatrist, please do not feel discouraged by difficult patients or their relationships. Don't try to change them first, love them first, empathise with them then the change will come. I know easier said then done, obviously but that's what gets results. Lastly I admire your honesty. The fact that you have a good cry now and then shows that you have good intentions and haven't lost your heart. That's more than I can say for most people. Good luck for the future


Confused 2 years ago

I also want to be a psychiatrist to, I want to help people too. I just don't know of I'm choosing the right path..

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