On 15 May 2018, "6 Minutes Medicine" a medical forum publication on the Internet published an article titled "8 Facts on the dark side of doctoring- Dealing with the elephant in the room"
It was a plea by a specialist Head and Neck Surgeon at the Combined Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the New Zealand College of Anesthetists stating that "We know that there is an elephant in the room, but we really don't know what to do with that elephant. Doctors are struggling and they are struggling quietly."
He produced the latest statistic s on this issue based on a BeyondBlue survey of more than 12,000 doctors:
"1 in 5 has been diagnosed with or received treatment for depression.
1 in 4 has had suicidal thoughts.
And 1 in 50 has attempted suicide.
Females are at higher risk.
The specialty hotspots for suicide are general practice, emergency medicine and anaesthesia.
1 in 2 are emotionally exhausted.
1 in 6 or 7 are not effective due to burnout.
Of those experiencing burnout, 1 in 2 describe themselves as highly cynical."
I have been writing on the mental health issue for a while stating that it is simply a disorder of perception. It is only the degree that determines the point at which it becomes a clinical disorder of behaviour and action. But the medical profession is not listening.
From the statistics above it is clear that the medical profession is also suffering from a disorder of perception like many of their patients. When it comes to mental health they do not want to look at themselves for fear that they might have to change their directions. Yet unless they realize that we are hypnotic creatures and our perceptions create physiological and biochemical in us, all our research work will only prove to be just chasing shadows not the substance.
We must acknowledge the fact that our hopes and fears and desires affect our perception of reality. Our perceptions lead us to think in a particular way thus affecting our thinking. Our thinking process is hypnotic. It is made up of words and sentences. It influences our subconscious mind positively or negatively depending on the type of words we use; meanings or beliefs do not matter. Now our mental and physical health depends on our immune system which is directly under subconscious control. So it is the subconscious mind that is the elephant in the room and the way we influence it is what we should be addressing.
As I have said before, how one feels at a given moment depends on how one is stimulating one's subconscious mind. When you are happy it means you are stimulating it positively; when you are depressed and miserable it means you are stimulating it negatively.
If we look around us every one of us is an ego tripper and a time traveller. From the moment one is born, one starts acquiring an identity. One is given a name and then everything we do becomes I, Me and Mine. This self-centred action leads to possessiveness which in turn leads to thinking in terms of "My house, my car, my wife, my husband, my kids etc." One does not realize that when we go through life this way acquiring wealth, knowledge, power etc. it is a self-isolating process. This process leads to building a mental wall round us. On day sooner or later, depending on the circumstances and one's conditioning, unless an individual becomes aware of it, one will surely find oneself totally isolated, totally surrounded by this wall and totally alone.
This is the dark side we refer to when our perceptions create a very gloomy picture of reality where there is total despair and everything in life becomes meaningless. This of course is a distorted picture of reality which an individual acquires through self-centred thinking and lack of self-knowledge. Please understand that our thinking process is a hypnotic process and we are constantly hypnotizing ourselves. Under this hypnotic spell the ego is liable to talk himself or herself into taking extremely stupid actions.
If any of you find yourselves in this precarious situation, my advice is not to take yourself too seriously. The wall you have built around yourself is of your own making. It is in your mind. You can break it down and go beyond it just by becoming aware of it in the first instance. Awareness is the weapon you use to dehypnotize yourself. Once you can make that perception that it is a self-created barrier it will melt away. It is a wall you have built through ignorance. You are a part of this universe and the timeless reality. As you clear up your perceptions, you will realize that is there is a whole world beyond the cocoon you have created. However if you withdraw into your shell, you will only be reinforcing that wall.
Verbalizing our feelings is a habit we have acquired in our thinking process. We use words and sentences to express our feelings and as a means of communication. Now these words can have a powerful hypnotic effect on the way we feel about a situation.
Please let me explain how words intensify or give form to your feelings. Suppose you are very angry. You start expressing your anger using words such as "I hate that so and so etc... " You will find that if you keep using negative words and language you can become quite emotionally upset, and liable to act in a destructive way. But if you did not verbalize your feelings and just tried to understand and stay with them, you will find that they have no life of their own. The feelings will just melt away. Yes it is the words that activate your feelings. Try to maintain the feeling of anger without saying anything in your mind and see how long you can maintain it. You will find that without words your feelings have no substance.
Another habit of the ego is to keep analyzing the negative experience you may have had. Well my friend if you keep analyzing the situation, you will become even more miserable. This is because once you use words it gives form to your feelings and it will activate the thinking process even more. You will be going round and round in circles like a squirrel in a cage. So my advice is stop analyzing. If someone does not want to talk you, don't ask yourself why etc. You should say in your mind "If you don't want to talk to me, I have no time for you either. Good bye and good luck." You will be amazed to find yourself instantly free of the negative feelings.
As we are all ego trippers and time travelers, sooner or later we can expect the dark curtain descending on any one of us out of the blue. If you think you love someone and it is causing you heartache, clearly your perception is distorted because love never makes one miserable. Love always makes one happy. It is your selfishness and your ego that is making you miserable. Learn to understand what love is. When you; love you are always a winner because when you love you never possess a person. However if you possessed someone, it is not love. You will have a feeling of loss attached to it. Love and possession cannot coexist. That is the fundamental law of the mind. Please learn to understand what love is and how your ego tries to manipulate it. Love cannot be manipulated. Once you clear up your perceptions of love and possession, you will be amazed to find how open and free you will feel.
Do not depend on the world to make you happy. You have to make yourself happy. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and regretting. Life is never meant for regrets. All the experiences in life, the good and the bad, are all good for you. They teach you a lesson in life and should make you a better person. Learn from those experiences, make amends and move on. Make the whole world your oyster not only your little shell.
So my message to the medical profession and to all the people who are suffering from depression, anxiety etc. is very clear. If you don't wish to become one of the statistics in a mental health survey like above, please do not ignore the elephant in the room. Be willing to change your perceptions and harmonize with your subconscious mind. Ignoring the facts will not make them disappear.