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Any EPs suffer with mental illness?

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by ThrowAwayERdoc, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. ThrowAwayERdoc


    Apr 21, 2017
    Hey everyone,

    Long time lurker, New attending for about 1 year. Wanted to get an idea if anyone else suffers from any type of mental illness? I myself suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. Always knew I had anxiety, really came out when I was in residency when I got the "official" diagnosis. I've been on and off meds and my anxiety comes in waves whenever it feels like it. Sometimes it's crippling, other times an annoyance in the background. It always feels like I'm alone with this even though we all know physician mental health/anxiety/depression/suicidiality is higher than many other professions. Really don't know what I expect to get out of posting this.. maybe just shining some light on an issue that I feel is stigmatized. If anyone else cares to share their story they are also more than welcome!

    Anyway. My intern year was stressful like everyone else. But for some reason for me I felt like I just got an IV push of epi that would occur for days on end. I lost weight, maybe 20 pounds. Took a while to get a psychiatrist and another long time to accept i needed medication. Medication helped me and I finished my residency with minimal anxiety which was great. Eventually time came to decide what to do with meds. My psychiatrist suggested I try being off meds now that the stress of residency is done. I did it and shortly after rebounded back to anxiety. Not the same intensity but that uncomfortable familiar friend was back. I restarted my meds although this time not as successful as last. Still working with the psychiatrist to find the right med for me. Wish I could say attending life is great, and you know what, it's much better than residency. I jus have to accept I am a person with a chronic mental illness. Even though I am a physician I am still human.

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  3. Venko

    Venko True to self Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    Rochester, MN
    I realize that it's not the point of your post...

    Anxiety disorders in general are well treated with cognitive behavioral therapy. If you've never looked into it, you may consider asking your treating provider if it wouldn't be a good idea.

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    Mr.Harsh likes this.
  4. The White Coat Investor

    The White Coat Investor AKA ActiveDutyMD Physician Partner Organization 10+ Year Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    SDN Partner
    I'm more and more impressed with anxiety the longer I practice. Wish we had better treatments.
    Mr.Harsh and WilcoWorld like this.
  5. northernpsy

    northernpsy Psychiatrist. No, I'm not analyzing you

    Jan 20, 2016
    I'm a psychiatrist who has treated other physicians on more than one occasion. I assure you, you're definitely not alone in this fight even if people don't like to talk about it.
    My heart really goes out to anyone who is battling anxiety. It really can be disabling and miserable. You are doing the right thing by trying to face this head on, and I hope you find a treatment that gets this back under control quickly.
  6. ThrowAwayERdoc


    Apr 21, 2017
    Thanks. Yeah I'll be honest I never really understood how crippling anxiety could be until I started residency. It was always something in the background that would come and go away. Now when I get anxiety it takes over my life I feel that I cannot do anything.

    And yeah the purpose of starting this thread was to just see if anyone else would speak up about their struggles and start a conversation. I'm not suprised by the minimal responses. I mean hell in using a throw away account myself.
  7. gamerEMdoc

    gamerEMdoc Associate PD; EM Clerkship Director Physician Faculty Gold Donor Classifieds Approved

    Feb 10, 2016
    N of 1

    But propranolol helped me considerably.
    Groove, WilcoWorld and ThrowAwayERdoc like this.

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