Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Physicians and Mental Health Care

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Physicians and Mental Health Care

Article excerpt

I COMMEND DINAH MILLER, MD, for an insightful article on an important topic ("What stops physicians from getting mental health care," Clinical Psychiatry News, August 2017, p. 1).

As Dr. Miller's article emphasizes, there are very often real and negative consequences for any licensed professional who discloses his or her personal psychiatric diagnoses and treatments.

Our DSM mental health diagnoses are inherently discriminatory because they're defined in terms of behavioral abnormality; and who wants to be labeled as abnormal in our society (be this on Facebook, in an electronic health care record, or in the press)? Certainly not a trusted physician needing community acceptance. So to avoid this "Catch 22," licensing authorities do need to ask applicants to declare if we are currently impaired professionally rather than being required to disclose diagnoses or if we receive or have received treatment for any medical reason, including psychiatric conditions.

However, another compelling reason why physicians (and other health care professionals) do not seek or follow through with psychiatric treatment for their "burnout" (when they know they need it) is their negative expectations about the quality of the treatment available to them. …

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