Crap, I need a break from studying so much! I think my brain is going to spill out of my ears if I keep reading the material for my coming test… Let’s get philosophical, then.
Sometimes I question my ability to be a doctor based on my diagnoses, especially having Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s simply a question that pops into my head constantly. I think it’s normal asking yourself these types of things.
Honestly, I don’t view it as a flaw, quite the contrary. I feel it gives me an edge, an advantage over other students who forget what being a patient feels like. Having Borderline Personality Disorder allows me to understand people’s emotional pain. It allows me to grasp what others describe as their suffering and have a tangible idea of it, since I can relate to it.
I feel a lot of medical students forget what empathy really is. In all honesty, I have to admit sometimes it’s hard not to. People forget you’re human too, that you might have a family, that you have a life outside of medicine. Plus, sometimes it’s really hard to feel empathic toward others when you’re worried about failing classes, passing tests, passing boards…etc. But I think empathy should be the core of medicine, and when a patient tells you “I’m depressed” you should be able to stop and listen. Sometimes, all a person needs is somebody who’ll listen and show some sensitivity. Being a patient myself has allowed me to understand that fully. I suspect a lot of my med school comrades would simply look at each other with wide eyes and start stuttering were someone to tell them they’re bipolar, or are depressed, or have any other mental illness.
Still, sometimes I think I’m the one who’s going to be a doctor, I shouldn’t have a mental illness in the first place. I have to be perfect, like a Superwoman of sorts. But it’s ridiculous to expect this. Nobody’s flawless, and nobody can escape illness. It’s kind of funny how medical folk like to treat illness but expect to be spared of it when they’re just as human as their patients.
Honestly, so what if I have Borderline Personality Disorder? It’s an illness just like any other. What difference does it make were I to announce I have diabetes vs. I have depression and BPD? You might be thinking, “But Borderline Med, mental illness doesn’t have the same connotation as any other illness“…Yeah, so? It shouldn’t be that way. Sick people are sick. That’s it. Whether it’s cancer, a throat infection, ADHD, schizophrenia…it shouldn’t matter. I didn’t apply to medical school thinking I should help some patients and exclude others based on their diagnosis.
OK, enough ranting. I have a test coming up.