Throughout my journey battling mental health after experiencing trauma, I realized besides my conviction, determination, and faith, I have a community, a tribe of people that would not allow me to fail or falter. Mental health is not something that can be addressed in a solo fashion.
I discerned through conversations and even through research that one of the most significant issues with mental health is that loneliness is a significant root cause, and one of it’s most disastrous effects is hopelessness. I further comprehended that even within a community, how mental health can make anyone feel isolated. Either way, it’s not easy opening up, being comfortable, or also putting into words our emotions or lack thereof.
Adding to it all, some people do not have the option to have a community. With social media, it can be even more daunting and lonesome. With technology, we have drifted further and further apart regardless of how secure the connection is. With social media, all we have to do is open an app and find numerous ways to feel involved, at times ending up feeling even more indifferent and detached. Depending on what we are discerning, sometimes social media can enhance us, either negatively or positively.
I first wanted to address the dilemmas causing and affecting those that have been displaced – graduating medical school yet not matching or matching into residency and not finishing. However, I realized that the most crucial principle is always our mental health. So I figured it would be best to recognize mental health by utilizing the very thing that’s driving social interaction in today’s society, social media, and technology.
Developing an online platform exclusive for physicians, concentrating on mental health, will authorize us to combat multiple aspects. We can help confront the lack of community and support, the fear of freely expressing mental health struggles without repercussions, and the overall stigmas shrouding mental health. By communicating ourselves in a myriad of ways, we can advocate for each other and drive to change the policies that govern us all.
One of the critical aspects of Doctors Under the Radar is the preference to be anonymous. With anonymity, we get to be authentic, forthcoming and feel safe. We will not have to worry or stress about being viewed as less than capable, our licensing being in jeopardy, or co-worker judgments. Moreover, with having access to mental health advice, conversations, and resources 24/7, we all can have some reprieve from what is ailing us. Just as important, are the possibilities of being able to convey and ingeniously share our messages.
There is evidence-based research that focuses on how there is healing in creative expression with art, whether it’s through writing, photography, music, or other forms of media. When we candidly share portions of our lives creatively, we not only build rapport and network, but we share our solitude, sufferings, and despair. Art in all forms encourages us to become more flexible, normalizing healing and positively impacting our emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental composition. Overall, providing more excellent health and wellness for all those involved.
While mental health is the emphasis, everything affecting a doctors’ cognitive state will be open for discussion; diagnoses, relationships, love, birth, death, trauma, tragedy, etc. All the aspects of life that make us who we are, but at times gets pushed aside. Our professional lives, for the most part, overtakes our personal lives and drives how we govern and maintain ourselves daily. Yet, so much is lacking professionally to help us retain personally, especially in regards to mental health.
We give so much to medicine, and medicine takes so much without giving back most of the time. For too long, we have kept our mental health separate from our physical health, mainly focusing on the latter. We should not have to feel as if our emotions and attitudes fly under the radar to protect our careers. So with joining me on this mission, I hope that we can have professional healing and personal growth.
I genuinely hope you find this enlightening, relevant, and beneficial towards your voyage.
Love and Healing,
”When I is replaced by WE, Illness becomes Wellness.” -Malcolm X