Friday, 20 April 2012

Thinkpiece - Angela on stress and the varying responses to it

Not every problem is a problem of the mind. I have been a user of mental health services for several years. I found my treatment useful, because there were times when I was very ill and the psychi- atric doctor managed to heal me regardless of what symptoms were presented to her.
However not every problem is a problem of the mind. If you go to the pub and say you feel ‘stressed out ‘ the Barmaid will say what will you like to drink ?
If you go to a travel agent and say you feel ‘stressed out’ they will say where would you like to go on your holiday?
If you went to the health shop and said you feel ‘stressed out‘ they will recommend relaxing aromatherapy products and supple- ments like B vitamins which target the nerv- ous system. If you went to a sports centre and said you were ‘stressed out’ they will offer you differ- ent forms of exercise, because exercise raises the endorphins in the brain which have a feelgood factor.
If you say to your psychiatric doctor that you feel ‘stressed out’ he will say are you taking your tablets properly? A consultant psychiatrist is trained to see a problem as a problem of the mind. For example I had a problem with my eyes. I kept seeing thing move. I told my consultant psychiatrist then she increased my medication. At the time there was a American lady working at the Clarendon Day Centre. She said that she notices that the patients are given medica- tion without a full medical check first. She recommended me to go to the optician. He said it is a condition of the eye not the mind. The Consultant did respect what the optician said.
The bar maid will not send you to the health shop. The sports centre will not send you to the travel agent. So what should the consultant psychiatrist do?

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