This blog post is going to be slightly different. I can’t remember too much of went on this week due to what was going on in my head on Monday.
We had a brilliant guest lecturer in the form of Kevin Fong (he appears on BBC occasionally) who talked about why Doctors should not be compared to pilots and the challenges faced by practising medicine in the extremes. As good as it was, I can’t remember that much of it due to the slump I was having.
I woke up Monday and it felt like someone had flicked a switch in my brain. I was grumpy, short-tempered and had no patience for human interactions. I sat in lectures alone and my mental health was rapidly declining back to the lowest point I had ever been before. This was scary as I don’t want to go back to the person I was and more importantly, I really did not have the time to be having a mental breakdown. I got through most of the day but did not take that much in because my head was racing through a million points in the space of 30 seconds. I had gone from being the happiest person on the planet to rock bottom in the space of 24 hours. I was having constant thoughts of self-harm and beyond and I wanted nothing more than to just run away from the mountain of work that now lay in front of me. Luckily, I managed to not go through with anything (despite my best efforts to smash a pencil sharpener in the toilets) but it was terrifying as I know how low and dark that place is and I never wanted to be back there again.
I ended up leaving the med school at 8:30pm after giving up on getting any work done and ended up in a grassy section of Warwick campus sat on the floor looking up at the stars. I had no idea how I got there. I managed to calm myself back down and once I was back with reality I noticed I had been out in the dark, cold and damp for a good 90 minutes. I was shivering and exhausted but I had got to the other side of whatever had gone on and I knew I needed to get help so I called the Samaritans who were amazing. I also arranged to meet with the welfare lecturer of our year on Wednesday. I was worried because there was still a whole day between Wednesday and Monday, but luckily Tuesday was a lot easier to handle. I did still have the thoughts but they were once every hour rather than twice every minute. I also had my student seminar in the evening where I found out I knew a bit more than I thought I knew so I guess that was a bit of a self-esteem boost.
I saw the tutor on Wednesday morning and she was lovely. A fellow neuro, her office was lined with Neuro books so it felt like my idea of a dream. Although we didn’t talk too much about what went down on Monday night, it felt good to know that someone in the Med school knew what was going on and I’ve been directed down to the main campus wellbeing team.
I am still exhausted but nothing like I was on Monday night. A second year is going to see Henry Marsh give a talk tonight and I am gutted I can’t go due to having late hospital teaching. However, he has offered to take my book and get it signed and I am over the moon and incredibly grateful. I may or may not cry when I get it back because, after all the events that have gone down this week, I need a bit of positivity, and this is something I have wanted to get signed for ages.
Mental health is a big problem with medical students and I thought I was going to be the exception before Monday. However, I know now that this isn’t going to be the case. I am working on relaxing methods by allowing myself to do more anatomy (yes I know that is more work but the only time I felt like “happy go lucky me” was during the anatomy session on Monday. It is logical and I love figuring out how everything slots together)
I am off home this weekend and taking a little break from Medicine ( I need to complete my anatomy book for Monday) so hopefully, that should help. I still love where I am and what I am doing, I just need to breath once in a while. We also had a clinical skills session this week which was great as I managed to see my medic uncle and nail down my Abdomen Exams – I am going to sign up for these every week now !
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