By now, we should know that doctors aren’t free from illnesses. No, I’m not referring to malaria and chickenpox alone; I’m talking about serious, life-threatening physical and mental illnesses. Yes! like depression. That’s exactly where I’m going. Doctors aren’t free from depression; they are, in fact, highly susceptible to the disease.
Most unfortunately, an average doctor will deny or ignore symptoms for a prolonged period of time. He will not seek help even when he knows that he should. He would come up with excuses and reasons to hang on –
“I have dying patients to attend to. I have exams to pass. I have a huge paperwork to complete. I have a narcissistic boss to impress. I have aged parents to care for. I have a spouse who doesn’t have me. I have children who only see me for a few hours in a week (while I’m already burnt out). I have extracurricular dreams and aspirations to fulfil. I have my faith to protect. Yet, litigation and severe penalties await me if I err… “.
He has all these worries on his shoulders but he’s expected to meet the world with a big smile. He still has to play demigod and save lives. Now, add all the “Nigerian factors” to the above and tell me why he shouldn’t have mood swings, if not full-blown depression. The health sector is rotten and the workers are the ones inside the bottomless pit of this rot…
And no, I’m not justifying any error committed by a doctor. I just want you to know that a doctor CAN be depressed but smiling. Go out there and show a doctor some love! Neither am I discouraging my brothers and sisters from studying medicine. You are welcome. We need you. But know, that medicine is not for the fainthearted. You have to be strong. The thought of quitting will mess with your head from time to time. If you must quit anything, then quit medicine, not your life.