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How Is Your Mental Health?

Sep 14, 2023

September is suicide prevention and awareness month. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, roughly 300 to 400 physicians die by suicide each year in the United States1. Suicide deaths among female physicians are 250-400% higher than females in other professions1. These are alarming statistics. According to the American Medical Association, some of the factors associated with suicide among physicians include emotional exhaustion, depression, substance-use disorder, impaired relationships and self-destructive tendency2.

How is your mental health?

Mental health is an integral part of your overall well-being. It affects your emotional, psychological and social well-being. Mental health also affects your physical well-being.

How would you describe your mental health?

As physicians, you are always faced with different challenges at work and at home. I view mental health in terms of function and attitude.

Is your mental health excellent?

Examine your everyday life. Look at how you function in a normal basis. The minimal baseline is if you are able to fulfill your daily routine – wake up, go to work, take care of your patients, take care of you and your family. While at work, are you able to focus and complete your tasks efficiently?

What happens when something unexpected occurs – how do you deal with it? Good mental health will allow you to take things in as they come. You have the capacity to function in what most people considered to be high-stress situations. You are able to accept your situation and move forward.

Your attitude is a major indicator of your mental health. Out of all the emotions you get to experience, what emotions do you spend the most time in?

For me, my thought about my attitude is overall positive – which is a drastic difference from before. I used to be frustrated and angry because things did not go my way. I spent a lot of mental energy arguing with myself. It is not that all of a sudden everything is going according to my will. The difference is my attitude. Healthy mental health can be gauged by the extent of your gratitude.

Since being introduced to life coaching, I find myself with increased awareness of my feelings, and how my feelings are influenced by my thoughts. Awareness is an important part of mental health. Realizing that things do not always go your way dissolves a lot of emotional tension.

Accept what is presented to you and figure out what you can do about it. Part of mental wellness is realizing what you can change and what you cannot change. Control what you can control. There is less “should have” or “could have” in your sentences. For every “should have” or “could have” been a different way, the flip side is “why not”. If you ask why this happens to you – you can also ask, why not me?

Having the attitude of gratitude, even for the little things. It is hard to be grateful when you believe that you are always lacking or things are against you.

Having excellent mental health is when you can perform your daily routine and tasks well. You stay mostly in the positive attitude while acknowledge your unpleasant emotions. You are grateful for what you have. You have special bonds with your family and close friends.

If you or someone you know are in crisis, experiencing trauma or contemplating suicide, please do not hesitate to call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.



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