Stigma and Psychiatry
How Stigma of Psychiatry impact people
I am working in a General Hospital setting and getting referrals of pain-abdomen, vomiting, backaches and headaches from medicinal branches of Hospital. Majority of patients are having illness duration of 2-10 years with all normal investigation reports. These patients are informed several times by their Physicians that ‘Tension’ is the cause of their problem. They try Yoga, Physical exercises and treatment suggested by their Physicians, but avoids consultation from Psychiatrists. In majority of cases, there are histories of job loss, financial problems, diminished self esteem and relationship problems, leading to poor quality of life and disability. So, they struggle with signs and symptoms and disabilities that result from disease.
Their relatives also understand that their unemployment and diminished self-esteem is because of the physical complaints and feel that they are not getting proper diagnosis and treatment. When severity of illness increases they consult a Psychiatrist and treatment begins after wasting productive years of their life.
These stories of suffering always inspired me to work for mental health awareness initiatives and anti-stigma campaigns, so that early diagnosis and treatment can help people and sharing these issues can motivate people for early diagnosis and intervention.
Dr. Aarti Midha
Psychiatrist and Deaddiction Specialist
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