I am a medical student and mental health researcher under Dr Xiong Peng (Dr Paul Sir) in the Department of Psychology, Jinan University. I represent a mental health research group in which my friends and I are doing research on mental health under Dr Paul. We have identified some mental health disorders us medicos face very often during the course.
Depression and stress are the main problems. Getting a chance in a med school is very tough all across the world. It is a long course of study with 19-20 core subjects. These subjects are gruelling, and as medical students, we have to study very hard. Sometimes, prolonged study can cause severe depression. Tough exams and practicals can lead to anxiety and depression.
How can one combat this? It is important to determine whether you love the subject or not. In stressful situations, listening to music, talking to your friends, and playing different games are very important.
Burnout is the next major issue in a medico’s life. From anatomy dissection lab to internships, we have to face many deaths, and each and every death leaves a big scar on our minds. Colleges should conduct DASS21 question test every six months to determine students with depression, anxiety and stress.
Sleeping disorders and insomnia plague medicos big times. PSQI is one of the best scales to detect sleep disorders. If anyone has a persistent sleep problem, proper intervention is needed. Sleep is very important in our normal circadian rhythm.
Apart from this, smoking, alcoholism and suicidal tendency are also prevalent among medical students. The World Health Organisation has played an active role in preventing the youth from smoking or drinking. Suicides can be prevented if we identify it early through questionnaires such as the Columbia Suicidal Questionnaire.
Coping is important, and Holahan Moos is a good scale to measure that. If you are a medical student facing ailing mental health issues, don’t be shy to consult a psychologist. It is always better to seek professional help. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Good health means both physical and mental well being.