Psychiatrists are not immune to mental health problems. In fact, treating those with mental health conditions can lead to anxiety, depression and other issues among their care providers. If you are a psychiatrist, it is important to take good care of your own mental well-being. Here are some easy ways to preserve your mental health without sacrificing your patients’ care in the process.
Respect Your Boundaries
One of the biggest challenges that psychiatrists face is that they are unable to be there for their patients 24 hours a day. When a patient is spiraling downward or commits suicide, it can really affect a psychiatrist’s state of mind. For that reason, it is important that you create boundaries that you and your patient will adhere to. That way, you can separate your personal life from your professional one, which will help you form appropriate relationships with your patients.
The importance of separating your work life from your home life cannot be overstated. You need to have a good balance when you aren’t on the job so that you can lead a healthy and fulfilling life. This gives you the state of mind and professional tools you need to be effective when you are at work and interacting with your patients. Nurture a hobby, go on holiday, and spend time with friends and family away from the office.
Understand Your Competency
Another challenge that psychiatrists face is having patients who need specialised or intensive help. If you feel that you are not equipped to treat this type of patient, it is a good idea to pass them on to someone who can. Understanding what you feel comfortable and competent with is ideal for both you and your patients. This allows you to refer patients you think need more help than you can provide and ensures that your professional reputation stays intact.
Ask for Help
Just because you are a psychiatrist doesn’t mean you won’t need help from time to time. Don’t be afraid to seek out your own mental health provider if your job is giving you symptoms of depression or anxiety. If you are suffering, you won’t be able to give your patients the best care possible. Only by taking care of yourself can you stay equipped to give your patients the best of yourself while you are at work. There is no shame in admitting that you need a break or some encouragement.
Being a psychiatrist can be both fulfilling and upsetting. Knowing what bothers you and what inspires you ensures that you can take good care of your own mental health.