Posts in Psychiatry
“I Love My Diagnosis”: The Benefits of Mental Illness

An acquaintance recently shared with me what he apparently felt was outstanding news:

“I just found out I’m clinically depressed!” he beamed with pride.

He perhaps thought that I, as a psychiatrist, would share in his excitement. Maybe he thought it would strike a chord of kinship for me to know he’s “one of my people.” Or part of my “target population.” In line with my training, I was struck with how his affect seemed seriously off-kilter given his proclaimed diagnosis. (Hmm, come to think of it, maybe he really was deeply disturbed).

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Back to the Mental Health Basics

At 14 years old, I became interested in the psychiatric field when my brother, Don, (14 years older than me), entered the field after completion of medical school. The notion of the healing power of listening and being a better “friend” (than the world provides) captured me. Since I loved being around people and hearing their stories, I thought this could be something I could do too. But I was in middle school. A career was a long way away. Read more…

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