I was recently asked by a reader how I had recovered. As I started writing my response, I suddenly appreciated that I had got better. It may seem odd that this would not be obvious as I have been ‘better’ for a long time. Complete recovery though and feeling stronger as a result of what … Continue reading Recovery – 9 key things that helped me
On qualifying as a GP, I followed a traditional route from trainee to salaried and locum doctor, to partner, trainer, and appraiser. A path that many doctors of my generation have taken. Underneath, I suspected that the anxiety which appeared in my 30’s, as the invincibility of my 20’s faded, would limit my time in … Continue reading Jungle gyms and re-defining success
A follow-up post by Dr Clare Barton who wrote "On Leaving Medicine." Behind the new door: It’s now been over 6 months since I properly left medicine. No more appraisals, off the GMC register, proper door shut stuff. I’ve had lots of the usual questions – do you miss it? Any regrets? Did you want … Continue reading Life after medicine
Mental ill-health in doctors is a global phenomenon. Doctors experience more mental ill health and addiction than other professional groups1. The numbers in the UK are high. A recent survey of 600 doctors by the Medical Protection Society (MPS), reported high levels of stress (75%), anxiety (49%), depression (32%) and suicidal feelings (13%) 2. There are higher rates … Continue reading New GP Health service
Winston Churchill famously talked about his “black dog”, a metaphor for the depression, which plagued him for much of his life. For me, the black dog conjures up images of the snarling, menacing, oppressive beast that haunted me when I was younger reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of Baskervilles’. All the more sinister in … Continue reading Journeys with the Black Dog
How often do you start the New Year with optimistic resolutions, which you never see through, despite good intentions? As medics, we are used to setting ourselves SMART goals and objectives. These work for the purposes of appraisal. They commit us to something specific that we can evidence to others. Last year, I discovered a … Continue reading # My 3 words. Reword yourself for the Year Ahead.
A Poem about Recovery Burnt-out but not Washed-up For many years I did believe Medicine, was all I could achieve So when required to take ‘shore leave’ I found myself begin to grieve My fragile self-esteem was blown Denied self-worth, I felt alone Adrift beyond my comfort zone A future in a world unknown Ashamed … Continue reading Burnt-out but not Washed-up