So this grinds my gears…
Today, I spent some time with my mom and her coworkers. My mom is an RN in a pediatric intensive care unit, so her coworkers are all also involved in the medical field, and are involved with many of the same patients. Unfortunately, a lot of their patients suffer from mental diseases, such as anorexia, bulimia, and depression, and are in intensive care because of acts of self harm.
So discussing some interesting stories of patients they’ve had, someone said, “I think they should make a public service announcement that overdosing on Tylenol won’t kill you.” As if this comment didn’t already bother me enough, a pharmacist added, “You’re right. I had a patient that only took two days worth of aspirin to try to commit suicide. At that point, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.”
I’m not sure if this bothered me so much because I myself have been diagnosed with clinical depression and can relate to that patient, or because of the fact that I’m not a complete asshole. So, my personal opinion on this ridiculously ignorant comment is basically, what the fuck?
You would think that this clearly somewhat educated woman would have a little more knowledge on the diseases that she has a hand in treating. And damn straight, depression is a fucking disease. Not only does she have this awful opinion of someone that was going through the absolute worst time of her life, but her colleagues sat there and nodded their heads. You are all ADULTS in the MEDICAL FIELD, please act like it.
I was lucky enough to never have attempted suicide, but had I been in that girl’s position, and heard this woman’s comment, she would have been missing teeth.
Wasting time? So if she had taken enough to successfully kill herself would that have been a better use of time for everyone? Is that what we should do? Inform people that they need to take more drugs in order to kill themselves so we don’t need to care for these people and their illness? And please tell me how the fuck this is any different than any other disease. And what if nobody else had any reason to think this girl was suffering so badly? Would it be better if she had died than if she got the help that she needed? What if that was your daughter, niece, sister, friend, or yourself?
So really I’d just like to say a giant fuck you. Fuck you to this social stigma. Fuck you to the health care professionals that don’t take mental illness seriously enough. And fuck you for not having the basic compassion and empathy to care about other human beings. Your thoughts?
It does provoke a few houghts and questions.
Who are the kinds of people that pursue these positions?
What are their goals? Why are they at that job? and what are they doing there?
Because you have given an example of a person who seems to be ignorant, inconsiderate, and perhaps even unsympathetic to the individuals who are undergoing a great deal.
Now why does someone in this position find themselves saying such things? Could it merely be a release from the work? A common vent among co-workers? But you were their to hear this. This was said while you present to hear it. Too judge it. To judge them? Would they not be more inclined to bite their tongue while you were in their presence? That actually makes this persons comments and the following responses from the others that much more disconcerting and perhaps telling aspects of this event. Because maybe it suggests that this is the norm? That this is a common view of these people?
And do you wonder what this says about the people who said nothing in response? About you your mother? Yourself? The institution?
i work in a mental ward and my opinion is that you, your mum and your mum’s work colleagues don’t fully understand what mental illness is because you class it as just being psychologically ‘unwell’ instead of a normal human reaction to past experiences and or the physical body being damaged/unbalanced…
so in other words… don’t worry about the opinions of others…
if you know you’re right about something, let other people’s opinions instead challenge your point of view in a non-emotional way, otherwise you’ll have to endure what buddha called ‘suffering’ and what i like to call ‘wasting time’… aha
@umnaut, People are paid to do a job, “waste of time” should not be a consideration. If there were no job to “waste time” on then they wouldn’t be there, getting paid.
It is a blow out that people are that apathetic and cynical, it shows just how far mental illness stretches into our society. The way you feel about these professionals is the same as they feel about the patient, remember that, they are just as fucked up as the girl, maybe more so because at least the girl is aware of how fucked up she is.
It really is angering when you realize that someone working in healthcare is actually not a compassionate, caring person …because we expect them to be. Of course, sometimes they are, but too often they are not. They’re just doing a job, making a living, and only do as much as needed to stay employed, or protect themselves from liability, and the only time you see emotion from them is the annoyance they show if they have to “waste” their time answering a patients question.That describes my primary care Dr anyway…time for me to try finding a real doctor, but they seem rare…
The comments they made about the girl trying to commit suicide…I’m with you in the feeling of disbelief and rage…wtf!…instead of looking at it as a chance to help someone BEFORE they find an effective way to kill themselves…they are thinking about it as wasting their time!
@umnaut, “because of the fact that I’m not a complete asshole.”
-So, everyone who doesn’t overreact is a complete asshole?
“And damn straight, depression is a fucking disease […] And please tell me how the fuck this is any different than any other disease.”
-A cold, for example, is caused by an airborne virus. Contact with the virus will, if your immune defense is weakened, lead to disease. The disease spreads from person to person. There is medicine which can help kill the virus. The virus can be observed, because it is real.
There is no virus or bacteria or anything like that behind depression, thus it is not a disease. Nor is it an injury, it’s just a bunch of bad thinking.
“You are all ADULTS in the MEDICAL FIELD, please act like it”
-You are an adult on a website dedicated to higher existence, please act like it.
“I was lucky enough to never have attempted suicide”
-Oh yeah, because suicide is something that just randomly happens to a person and not something they chose…
Luck has nothing to do with this shit.
“Inform people that they need to take more drugs in order to kill themselves so we don’t need to care for these people and their illness?”
-If someone wants to die, let them, anything else is an infringement on personal freedom.
If someone is not trying to get better, and keeps “needing” other people’s time and resources with nothing in return… then why help them?
“What if that was your daughter, niece, sister, friend, or yourself?”
-Has anyone told you yet that you’re a huge sexist?
It wouldn’t make a difference to me who it is. If someone doesn’t wanna live… why make them?
What if it was me? Well, I’d do a better job next time, and I sure wouldn’t like it if people tried to interfere.
“And fuck you for not having the basic compassion and empathy to care about other human beings.”
-What about these “other human being?” Is it compassionate and empathetic of them to put people through this shit? To demand special care? To cause all that pain to their loved ones?
There’s a word for this shit, it’s called hypocrisy.
@umnaut, Depression isn’t a disease, or if it is, it is exceedingly rare.
“Depression” that the western world has is a disorder, mostly caused by our culture.
And to try and overdose on tylenol by taking 8 pills;
This is a cry for attention. This person isn’t suicidal, if they were, they would have at least taken the entire container.
They are wasting time because they want to hide behind a disease, beg for help, and feed off of others that are ‘required’ to help them. They are leeches on the medical care structure.
I have empathy for them, but maybe you’re unaware of what empathy truly means. Its standing in anothers perspective, taking on their life, and feeling what they feel. Empathy does NOT necessarily mean pity and feeling sorry for people. I can empathize with Hitler, I can empathize with Osama – I understand their vantage points, but I do not pity them.
To empathize with someone who takes 8 pills of tylenol and shows up at the hospital ‘Help I overdosed’ is stepping into a delirious person with no empathy for others. A complete lack of respect for doctors, nurses, and others who will seriously need help. And here this person is, complaining they made a bad decision which wasn’t terrible at all.
Finally, the person isn’t being honest with themselves or their doctors. A truth-speaker does not show up to the hospital with 8 tylenol in their stomach and a head full of regret with baggage of an illusory disease.
@manimal, Why say it if it isn’t your viewpoint?
@ijesuschrist, I agree it isn’t a disease. Just like addiction. I think it’s a bullshit cop out to call addiction a disease. They’re like, ” Oh I can’t help it I’m an addict it’s a disease.”
No, you’re just latching onto a fantastic excuse to keep using.
@josephm, I know it’s not easy. I’m not saying addiction isn’t real, I’m just saying I don’t believe it’s a disease. I was in a court appointed rehab for a year and I did a lot of listening.
That tree will come out, you just gotta get to the root. Eventually the root will lose grip of the dirt.
@spaceghost, Technically, addiction is a disease, if you go based on the literal definition of the word:
A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a…
A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.
However, it is self induced, so I think that’s where people disagree and think of it as something different than a disease that just “shows up”.
@manimal, Manimal, channeling viewpoints of no one in particular*
@tangledupinplaid21, Something like that.
@spaceghost, You wouldn’t understand. What good is a viewpoint? It’s just a person stating his/her opinion, it means nothing, accomplishes nothing. I have no urge to display my values fishing for validation. I don’t mind haters or getting a bad rep.
When a lake becomes acidified, we pour lime in it, returning it to a neutral state. Doing so does not mean that the person doing it likes lime or represents it or anything like that. It’s done to solve the problem.
People don’t need more opinions, what people need is to question and widen their perspective. There’s two sides to everything, each side full of different nuances.
Getting pissed off about people holding an opinion which differs from yours is ridiculously pathetic.
This is interesting, and I’m glad this is something brought up on here.
Hopefully I can give you another perspective on the matter.
I work in the medical field myself, and though I’m only in Primary Care, I see day to day mentally ill patients, addicts of all types (suboxone, amphetamine, cocaine, etc), and hard working middle-lower class Americans just making it by. This gives you an experience of a very, very depressing reality that literally feels inescapable.
Sometimes, what I’ve noticed, in our line of work, is some people (many) adapt to a morbid perception on the matter to embrace positive. I am not going to lie, after being balls deep in this shit for eight months, I find myself growing more apathetic, (and ironically more responsive). Sometimes, the only way my coworker and I can get through the day, is by laughing at some absolutely heartless joke. But we’ve looked death in the eye – how do you laugh at that? That is, however, NOT an excuse for the type of behavior you’ve experienced. That steps into the American medical god complex that many of us have experienced.
But there’s also a human element you are neglecting.
We try our hardest to get you healthy, its our job and its what we chose to do. We can’t always guarantee that YOU’RE going to do your part, to try to get better yourself, but we are pushing for YOU to take that chance. But that’s all we can give you. I lack sympathy for people who come in continually abusing the system, continually drug shopping, continually taking away privileges for other people who NEED help. When a mother comes in with her child claiming mental illness, a mother clearly addicted to prescription drugs, a mother clearly unwilling to get help, regardless of how many times we’ve gotten her into pain management gotten her into the hands of mental experts – what do you do? We do what we signed up to do, regardless of how much I despise what she does – because its our job to help you try beyond our medicine.
We can’t think of “what if that’s our child”, because then we won’t do our job right. Emotions get in the way, and in a case as severe as what we’re dealt with, we can’t afford an emotional overload over logic and strategy. It’s a cut and dry field, where life and death is a line walked by many daily. And unfortunately, that includes patients. And if a patient isn’t going to better themselves with medical effort – how are we to blame? We can bring you back from the brink of death, but we can’t make sure you’re going to make the choice to change your life every step of the way. All we can do is support you 100%. Once you leave our office, it’s your turn. That doesn’t mean we DON’T have empathy. God, we care.
A patient of ours passed away several months ago, and I cried like I’ve never cried before. But I can’t react like that all the time – because I’ll lose focus.
I’ve been mistreated by the same people that you’ve only spent a short period of time with. I work with some of these ungrateful fucks every day. The self righteous arrogant ones. Those people with MD, LPN, Ph. D behind their names. I’ve been a patient to these people, and I was told I was a “heroin addict overdosing.” When I was actually just a pregnant woman having a horrid allergic reaction to antibiotics. All because I work in a medical office, and not in an ER.
It’s a horrid world, in the medical business. It’s a scary place, and one where empathy is few and far between. But there are GOOD nurses and doctors out there, and we give up our lives to make sure you can secure yours.