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Suicide

Eh.

Took a hiatus. I’m sorry. But hopefully I’m back. Making no promises with my crappy schedule. But here I am. As I told one of my patients yesterday: let’s take it day by day, ok?

So. I did 2 months of psychiatry. I loved it, the hospital, the patients (mostly), the staff, everything. I felt stupid at first, then got the hang of it. Then on my last day I did an impromptu half hour teaching session about psychopharmacology with the medical students and I thought: well, I actually know more than I do. And that was awesome obviously.

But then I started medicine. A month of it. It’s been a week. Let’s just say I’ve found myself teary eyed in the bathroom or when I’m alone in the work room at random times. Yeah, it’s that bad.

And it’s not the team I’m working with. The team is great (except the attending, more on that below). It’s the fucking schedule. Minimum 12 hour shifts (that mostly turn to 13 or 14), 6 days a week. I bet you can guess which day of the week I have off, judging by the date on this post….and how frequent my potential posts will be.

The attending I started off with was good. He was chill and relaxed. The attending I have now is an overachiever. And I don’t bode well with that. I’m the chill type of person, by doctor standards, that is. No wonder I ended up in psychiatry, it’s the chill people specialty. I did enough overachieving during my teens. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I feel stupid 24/7 and it’s taking a toll on me. Last time I did medicine was a year ago. “Rusty” is an understatement for my current status. It’s like I never went to med school and need a refresher course on everything. At least during my 2 months of psychiatry I felt marginally stupid but knew some things. Here it’s just straight up embarrassing every time I have to round on patients in front of the team, especially the attending.

My attending gave me feedback yesterday. He said nothing I didn’t know already, about my performance anxiety apparently having no reason to be as I seem more sure of myself, about how I should brush up on what my patients have to refresh my memory….but what really hit me was him saying “study on those topics even if it’s 2 minutes”.

Haha! Dude. SERIOUSLY?! I have no time to take my trash out in a whole week and my apartment stinks, let alone study. And let’s be honest, I don’t care about the topics. As terrible as that sounds. I just want to be done with these four weeks and marginally pass, setting the bar as low as possible so that the next psychiatry cointern that comes around doesn’t get treated like shit. I just want to know the basics so I’ll know when to recognize a medical problem in my psychiatry patients in the future.

Dude: just tell me what to do. And I’ll do it. Don’t expect me to be interested, though.

He did, however, reiterate something my program director has told me a few times before and something I’m proud of: that it shows I have good rapport with my patients. And really, as long as I know the basics and have good rapport with my patients, I’ll be set. No need for me to overachieve. It’s not like I have the time for it, either way. I’ll worry about studying for real when I get back to psychiatry and neurology rotations (and I’ll have the time for it).

So, medicine…it sucks and I would rather do 10 batches of laundry in a single day than do this for a prolonged amount of time (and trust me, I HATE doing laundry).

Yesterday I couldn’t take it anymore. A patient started masturbating as I was interviewing him. Yes, you read that right. Hello, trigger! Hello, feeling disgusted and used! And of course, nobody in the team gave a shit except the females. Then another patient’s family was driving me nuts with wanting special treatment for the patient.

And already my head had gone over to dark places because another patient was irritated with me when I went to talk to her. I found myself thinking about suicide, yes, solidly for the first time in a while.

I was able to manage the thoughts. But yesterday I couldn’t take it anymore. I got to my apartment at 9:30pm and just started bawling. How can anyone live through this? Why is this necessary? I just want to help people and lead a balanced life. Is that too hard to ask for?

I texted the Russian. And he got worried. He came over. Cuddled and held me while I cried like a baby and just let everything out of my chest. Everything including our current crappy relationship situation, or whatever it is, because both of us have shitty schedules and barely interact. Started crying even harder after I told him I didn’t want to get depressed again (he knows I’ve been depressed, although not in detail….I’ll get around to that when things are more stable between us).

And I guess I just needed a good cry and a day off, because today I feel better. I was able to finally clean my apartment.

I’m not depressed. Not yet. And I hope not ever again. But I know myself better than anyone else, and I know that if I don’t get enough sleep or enough balance in my life, I will fall down that slippery slope quick. And medicine is exactly the type of environment that depression festers in.

No wonder there’s so much physician suicide. But that’s nothing new to me, really. It’s just more tangible when you’re no longer a student and are actually in the front lines. I honestly think it’s unnecessary for one to work 14 hours straight, 6 days a week, and expect to be ON all those hours…sometimes having to skip breakfast or lunch. Nobody gets a sticker for toughing it out. What’s the point, then? My attending went so far as to make the medical students rotating with us come to hospital tomorrow, on a holiday. His reason? “Well, in my day, when I was a medical student…” Seriously dude? Times a-change. Get over it. I have to go because it’s my work, but the med students? Come on.

And…I’ve gotten more shit from my medicine patients in one week than I did from my psychiatry patients in 2 months. Oh the irony. Especially since people think psychiatry patients are “the difficult patients”. Pfffffft. Sure.

I try my best. I really do. And my intentions are good. But it’s difficult not to have your morale eroded quickly with so much crap going on.

And that, my friends, is my current “life”, for lack of a better word. Everyone keeps telling me it will be over soon, but soon isn’t soon enough. I want it to be over now.

And because I like to finish things on a lighter note: it seems things with the Russian are turning more solid/stable every day. His schedule is going to be better now, apparently. Can’t say the same for me, unfortunately. We’ll see what happens.

I kinda want to die right now. Or sleep and not have to deal with the world. To my twisted mind, those are both the same thing. And yes, I’m throwing the phrase “I want to die” around loosely. Deal with it.

I’m still away from home. I scheduled a trip with a close friend to the city where Pizza Guy lives. It was convenient, surprisingly cheap, and since the opportunity to travel young and responsibility-less won’t come around again in life I said “why not?”. Plus, it happens to be the same city where my most recent dating interest lives.

And yet, it was a bit of a mistake and I can’t wait to get back home. I’ve barely spent time with my friend because she’s busy doing adult things and basically I’ve been locked up in the hotel and mostly sleeping by choice. And why locked up? Because my anxiety is very high right now. And why is my anxiety very high? Because I got my heart broken on only my second day here.

The most recent dating interest is no more and I am pretty devastated. Another one bites the dust. I’m glad I didn’t give him a name on the blog and I’m glad my sole traveling purpose wasn’t him. But still. We were sort-of-almost-dating and just going with the flow. But on Friday he confessed via text that after a full 3 months he’s finally accepted that we’re not a good match.

And you know what’s the funny thing? I rejected him after our first date. I told him I thought there were girls who were more compatible with him than me. He said “ok, but I believe in second chances”. We continued texting daily. He grew on me. We went out quite a couple of times when we coincided geographically. I started liking him. And then finally I was really into him.

But I guess it was the other way around for him. He thought we were a good match at first…but then he got to know me better. Granted, at least he wasn’t a douche like The Russian and actually told me what he felt. But still…

Can’t help but feel men only like me for my physical attributes and sex (yes, low-self-esteem-me is actually feeling that). However, once they get to know me they discover I have no personality and am something to run away from. They all say how beautiful I am  at first and as time goes by they just drift away slowly, hoping I don’t notice.

But Dana, there’s other fish in the sea.

But Dana, that’s not true! You’re a great person! You’ve got an awesome personality in addition to being beautiful!

But I wanted that fucking fish. And I wanted it (him) now.

There’s a backstory to him. He’s been my platonic crush for all of 9 years now. I couldn’t believe I was semi-dating him. I felt so lucky to be semi-dating such an amazing guy. But no. After 3 months I get my heart broken by no less than my platonic crush. You’ve gotta be kidding me…

I’m fucking sad. Very much so. He wants to stay friends. I told him me too, but that he has to give me time to recover. But right now I don’t want to recover, I just want to see him and be with him. And knowing that I’m in the same city as him and we haven’t spoken since Friday is killing me.

Then yesterday I saw Pizza Guy. Nothing remotely sexual, I just wanted some good friendly company and to get out of the hotel. It was good to see him. It allowed me to solidify our current relationship status as friends. I told him about my heartbreak. And again…

There are more fish in the sea.

Dating fucking sucks.

Some new person will come around when you least expect it.

And that’s fine, sure, if I had the fucking certainty that I will actually meet someone or a few people who will be Mr. Right at the right time. But guess what? Some people actually live alone in this life. And that could well be me. What if my fear of ending up alone and without a significant other becomes a reality? Anything’s possible.

Meanwhile, my close friend met up with someone last night and is meeting up with him again today. I love her to bits but I can’t help but feel like an utter piece of shit next to her. I’ve always felt like the ugly best friend when I’m with her and I’m just so jealous of her meeting up with this guy. In summary: here I am, feeling ugly, personality-less, lonely, and heartbroken, while she’s out there meeting awesome guy after awesome guy after awesome guy…in an awesome city.

Why couldn’t I have this one awesome fish with me? What didn’t he like about me? What made him think we’re not a good match?

There’s only one common factor to all the guys I’ve dated or been interested in: me. So, it follows that I’m the problem, right?

I’m always the fucking problem. Maybe I should just fucking drown in a vat of coconut oil.

Submissions for Rank Order Lists span from January 15th to February 24th.

I still haven’t decided on a final Rank Order List, but I have my top three programs figured out long ago. I have decided the following: I will be ranking the heart-mindblown program #1 and the world-renowned institution #2.

Sounds like a stupid move, right? But it doesn’t feel like it. Both programs are in the city that I adore, but I definitely clicked more with the heart-mindblown program. Whenever I think of placing the top program #1 it just doesn’t feel right. My gut tells me: Don’t do it!

I’ve done summer internships with the world-renowned institution before. The summer internship during which I decided I wanted to be a doctor in 2009 was affiliated to this institution. However, the internship I did in 2012 during the throes of my depression was affiliated to this institution also. And that was a disaster in terms of my mental health. It was the first time I seriously considered suicide.

Thankfully, I am no longer the lady I was in 2009 or in 2012. I am 2016 Dana. And 2016 Dana’s gut thinks the following:

I am a very capable person. I know I deserve to train at the world-renowned institution. If they didn’t think so too, they wouldn’t have invited me to interview without even waitlisting me. I’ve been at the world-renowned institution before. I know the culture. I know the people. I know I would thrive there.

However, I am well aware that with a world-renowned institution come many negatives, among them fierce competition and a workload few can take on without losing their leftover marbles. I am not a person of competition. Actually, I loathe competition in most cases. I don’t like the person competition turns me into. Been there, done that.

Meanwhile, the workload scares me, and I’ll be frank with myself and say it out loud: I am afraid of becoming a victim of the system. Things could go wonderfully well, but they could also go wonderfully wrong. I am not afraid of admitting this if it means I will thrive at a less intense place and still keep my relative health and stability.

2009 Dana used to think she needed the world-renowned institution’s diploma to be somebody. 2012 Dana saw the ugly side of the world-renowned institution and her low self-esteem made her think she wasn’t worthy of training there. But 2016 Dana knows better. 2016 Dana prefers to be safe than sorry (if sorry means I’ll end up in the obituaries).

I am really excited about the heart-mindblown program, even more so than the top program. And they seem to be excited about me. They are the only program so far from which I recently received a call from the Program Director asking if I had any questions and telling me they will probably rank me highly. Then yesterday the Chairman of the department sent me an email asking the same thing. Programs only do that when they’re really interested in you. And to think, this program waitlisted me in the beginning!

I have already informed them that I will be ranking them as high as #1. And I will stick to that decision. It feels right.

But I won’t get prematurely excited. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my four years of hearing stories about this process, it’s that nothing is as horribly unpredictable as the Match. I might end up at my #1, but I might well end up at my #2, at my #5, or even at my #9.

And what does that mean? Yes, I will rank the programs I interviewed, but I have to come around to the idea of matching at any one of them.

I’ll just keep on doing my own thing, wherever that will be.

 

Ah, I think I’m depressed again. Though I don’t want to call it that. I’m feeling shitty. Yeah, that feels just about right.

It just so happens that I’ve been kind of crappy with my Prozac since I left home to visit the Russian in October. And I haven’t had therapy in who knows how  the fuck long. G and R? I don’t know who they are anymore. I also haven’t been writing as much and today and yesterday I tried to sketch but I couldn’t even doodle. Sigh.

And I know what triggered it all. In addition to the obvious (the Russian, interview season, thinking about my goddamn future on a daily basis…) I’ve been back home for a few days now. It was like turning on a switch.

I’m back in the noise and with my parents, but most of all back to this tired old place where I’m from and which I’m so sick and tired of. It doesn’t change. It literally does not change. If you visited this place 50 years from now you’d find the same people, the same conversations, the same problems. I’ve always been an outcast here, and having the joy of pretending I was a nomad across the different states for a month now made me forget just how much I don’t fit in here.

Also, not helping my depression is the fact that I need a fucking car to get anywhere interesting here. Sounds stupid, but it’s much easier for me to balance my emotions when I know I can just pick up my two legs and go somewhere within 5 minutes without having to turn on a car and think about gas, traffic, or road rage. So, I lock myself in my room because it’s just fucking easier and it’s my comfort zone…hence the isolation and falling into depression again.

And then there’s my parents. The same old tired crap that drags me down again and again. I love them to bits but my god, I cannot live with them anymore. Anything they do or say sends me spinning into bitch-mode.

I’ll be leaving for another interview in a few days. Then I’ll be a tourist somewhere else for a few more days. Then I have to come back and study for Step 2 CS. Oh the excitement…

And the Russian. Nothing there, obviously. Texted him today because he has a pair of earrings that I adore and left in his apartment. I refuse to leave them there. I suggested he ship them or we meet up quick when I’m back in the city that I adore in January for an interview. I was crossing my fingers he’d say meet-up, but was expecting having to text him my address. No answer. No nothing. Texted him again, nicely, asking him if he had any preference. Again, nothing.

I’m so fucking heartbroken you guys. I want to be angry at him and I know it’s what I should be, because he’s the one avoiding me and not showing face. But I can’t help but think that I was just wrong in sending him that angry text (which wasn’t even insulting, by the way, it was firm and angry but not indecent). I keep thinking about the small things we shared before it all went downhill…the conversations, the uncanny coincidences in things we liked and just the things we talked about, the movies we liked and joked about, the conversations about medicine and philosophical stuff, him saying “I love listening to you ramble”, the kisses, the intimacy, the jokes we shared, the places we went together, that cute smile of his, and that fucking geeky laugh he has that makes me weak in the knees because it makes his tough exterior melt away for just the teeniest second…..

I miss him you guys. And there’s no getting him back. There’s no fucking getting him back (ah, hello tears…they’re starting to well up). I fucking ruined it.

And of course that sends me on a tailspin of thinking: Oh I don’t want to be a doctor anymore, fuck I don’t want to be a psychiatrist, why am I even interviewing for residency?, I’m a good for nothing idiot, I’m fat and pathetic, can’t even hold onto a great guy who was interested, I just want to crawl in a fucking hole and wither away and die in my own fucking shit.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I can’t sleep anymore. The noise in this house and this fucking neighborhood just don’t let me sleep. The noise in my head, thinking about interviews and the teeniest details about what I answered, what I did wrong here and there, how I would rank the programs, where I would be willing to compromise where I not to match in my #1 program (which is very possible)….it’s all keeping me awake at night.

And then come the thoughts of wanting to die, the suicidal thoughts that never come to fruition because fuck, if I’ve made it this far I’m not just going to kill myself on a whim (in my case, I know it’s “on a whim”…I know myself well enough to know that the thoughts will wither away after a while, doesn’t mean it’s “on a whim” for others though).

And then, by fucking g-d….I wake up in this fucking good-for-nothing place that offers me, you guessed it: NOTHING. This place offers me zero opportunities, zero life, zero happiness. The only things I find here are my parents and siblings, my friends, and my dogs. Nothing else.

So I wake up. Go back to sleep. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Dream about the Russian never coming back home from work. Wake up. Go back to sleep. Dream about the Russian avoiding me during an interview day where we coincided. Wake up. Can’t go back to sleep. Hate myself. Sit on the bed. Get up. Open the blinds….and fuck, I’m still in this shitty place they call my hometown. I’m here again. Stuck again.

I go through the day. I eat dinner. Hate myself for it. Purge a bit. Feel the high. Alone.

No Russian. No new interview invites. No new adventures. No place to grow. It all withers away the moment I start to get comfortable. Hurting so much.

(And yes, I’m crying.)

 

It takes me a solid hour to get out of bed. I’m awake during that hour, but I’m ruminating. About depression, about death, about how I’m an idiot and immature, about how I just want to sleep once and for all and never wake up again. Frozen, in my body and in time. But that’s the sad part: time keeps passing. Thinking about how a bit of cuddling and an “I’m here” from an imaginary significant other would come in handy right now. But no, I can’t count on others to get me out of bed. I have to do this on my own, for myself. Nobody but myself is going to take Step 2 CK in two days.

How do I get out of this bed on my own? I have no idea how.

So I just push myself to do it. Day in and day out. And sometimes it turns out to be an OK day or even a good day. But how do I hold onto hope when I feel so miserable in the early morning?

I don’t. I just try and let the feeling pass.

But sometimes it doesn’t.

I finally got myself to sit down and focus on studying for Step 2 CK. I’ve been studying on-and-off since February…but way more “off” than “on”, unfortunately.

June 30th is the day. That’s not enough time, but I honestly can’t afford to change the test date a third time. And, I don’t want to change it. I’m sick of moving it around, playing around with it. So, I’m taking a risk (for now). Wish me luck. I’ll need lots of it.

My determination was caused, of course, by a bit of drama. I don’t like to call what happens in my life “drama”, since I despise the word, but I can’t find another term for “there’s always something happening”. So, I’ll stick to “drama” for now.

The drama has been nonstop during these past weeks. I haven’t been doing well, due to both my lack of sleep and the shitty environment at home. I feel like my parents are pulling me from both sides, and it’s kind of driving me nuts (more nuts than I already am, ha!).

Then yesterday I saw G and I was in such a horrible state that it prompted the infamous “Do you think you need to be hospitalized?” conversation. I had barely slept, couldn’t put my thoughts or words together, and felt an incredible level of mad rage. I was tense, thinking about death, and spiking every sentence with more swear words than usual. But, no hospital for me, thankfully. (As a side note: I’ve kind of learned to unconsciously wait the death thoughts out. Either that or taking a nap. Sounds stupid, but it’s saved me quite a lot of times.)

G emphasized the need for me to focus on the important stuff right now: Step 2 CK and Step 2 CK (plus, Step 2 CK). She told me that it’s absolutely necessary for me to place boundaries with my parents. And she called the relationship with my mom “codependent”, which pissed me off but only because I know it’s kind of true.

She said the plan was to “go to your dance class so you’ll have an outlet for the rage, and then go straight home to study”.

But of course I didn’t do that.

I mean, the studying part. There’s no way in hell I was going to miss my dance class because, priorities.

But I didn’t do much studying yesterday because once I got home after seeing G, the rage just kept building up and up and up. I snapped when I realized the TV is on at home 24/7. Yeah, that itty bitty detail was what made me snap.

Thing is, I’m very sensitive to external stimuli, especially auditory stimuli. Having the TV on 24/7 at home has me on edge constantly. I can’t live like that. My parents have turned into zombies. All my dad does is watch TV (remember he had his back surgery, so he’s still not working), while my mom watches TV at night…..both watch TV at a ridiculously high volume.

So, I snapped. Though, there was no nuclear word vomit like the other day (thankfully). I did the following:

I went to dance class (because, priorities) and then went straight to the apartment where MM and her husband are staying.

G suggested the idea, and the more thought I gave to it the more logical it seemed. MM and her husband are positive energy for me, there’s no noise messing around with my brain, and I don’t have my parents pushing and pulling me. A perfect environment for studying.

Except for my dogs. Geez, I miss my dogs so much and it’s barely been 24 hours. They’re my little rays of life.

So, here I am, in my little safe haven, for now. I’ll probably be going back and forth between here and home in the coming days.

Thing is, I felt horribly guilty yesterday. So horribly guilty! Why? Because I felt I was being a traitor to my mom, in a certain way (and also to dad, but less so). I felt I was being a terrible daughter for putting myself first, for listening to G and being “selfish in a good way”. I felt I was abandoning them….and the dogs.

And that’s when I realized the relationship with my mom has turned way more codependent than it was before. And I really don’t want that to happen. I need to live my life. I love my parents to pieces, but I can’t stop living for them.

If only it were that easy.

Well, I believe I’m depressed again. That’s why I haven’t been keeping up with the blog. But I’m back now because not writing here is all part of isolating, which only makes things worse.

I finally finished the preventive medicine rotation. And I’m never going back to that, thankfully. I really wasn’t expecting to not like it as much as I did, but oh well…I learned something new about myself, I guess?

And depression, well, it’s been kicking my ass. In a weird way. I’m sleeping a bit more than usual, which is the norm for me when I’m depressed. However, what’s really bugging me this time around is anxiety. It’s really screwing up with my head. And that’s why I say the depression is kind of weird this time around, because I had never really felt so on edge during the previous episodes I’ve had.

I’ve found myself thinking about death and suicide all the time again. I’d never before had such a long period of time where I didn’t think about these things, so now that I’m back in that little hole I’m a bit frustrated. But whatever, it’s all part of this thing called DERPession.

So far I’ve had two days where I truly felt I was going to do something. One of them was the day before I saw G last week. I ended up telling her “I don’t know how I made it to today, and now since I didn’t kill myself I have to take the preventive medicine final exam in two days.” She chuckled, and so did I. Priorities, you ask? Yeah, I don’t know what those are anymore.

I had G give me a good slap in the face this last week (figuratively speaking, of course). I was so angry during therapy with her, angry at her and angry at everything, really. I’d given up on everything for the one-hundredth time in my life and was just a bouncing ball of anger. She confronted me, put me back in track. It lasted a few days, but then I had a horrible nightmare that made the shit hit the fan again.

The nightmare was about The Ex, and it felt very real. It was as though these past 4 years had never happened. I was back in the abuse…him touching me, blah blah blah. The horrible part was how it felt so real in the dream, how I felt exactly as I did in real life. What I felt was the horrible mix and confusion of having my body react to what he was doing but having my mind going haywire and screaming I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THIS, THIS FEELS ‘BAD’, GET AWAY FROM ME. I don’t know if anyone who’s never experienced this could ever truly understand just how horrible that feels and the deep shame you feel afterwards.

And so, I woke up feeling an intolerable level of shame, I was anxious and I felt unreal. I felt I wasn’t part of the “real” outside world, but actually part of the world encompassing the nightmare and that that was reality, not what was around me. Another horrible feeling. It was my last day of the preventive medicine rotation, and I had tears streaming down my face as I was getting ready in the morning, knowing that I had to go to clinics but not knowing how the hell I was going to make it. I felt so horrible I didn’t even know if I was capable of driving in that state.

But somehow I made it. And somehow, I was able to distract myself at clinics. Then later at night I was afraid of going to sleep for fear of having another nightmare. Thankfully, I didn’t.

I swear, this had never happened to me before. What does it all mean? I tried to manage that day after the nightmare on my own, without contacting G or R, but shortly after midday I realized I needed help. And so I texted G for help. But she didn’t answer. Ouch. She probably saw the message but forgot to answer or whatever. It still hurts, though.

I don’t want that to happen again. Ever.

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Trauma therapy, life after sexual abuse & PTSD

hbhatnagar

Not-so-random thoughts