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Trading My White Coat for a Hospital Gown

As a medical professional, I have never felt particular enthusiasm for wearing a white coat. It creates an impervious barricade; demarking the clear positions of a pure, healthy provider, and an ill, tarnished patient. Interestingly, doctors exclusively wore black until the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. These dark garments signified formality, as well as an elevated societal status. During these times seeking the assistance of a doctor implied seriousness, and was often a precursor to mourning. Additionally, the black cloth hid stains from a frequently hostile medical environment. As advances in microbiology evolved, similarly antiseptic standards emerged, which would forever alter the field of medicine. Doctors were expected to maintain proper hygiene, which could be accounted for with a pristine white coat. In doing so, this universal uniform of the profession quickly elevated the image of those who donned it.

The ceremonials of being presented with a white coat are much more profound than the action of placing any ordinary cotton, polyester blended jacket over the shoulders. Once the upper appendages are slipped into the sleeves, is the person instantly transformed into a competent, and ethical healthcare provider? Comparable to the comics when Peter Parker dons his iconic suit, alchemizing into his alter ego, Spider-Man. Traditionally, students are presented with a white coat in a ceremonial fashion which, signifies entrance into the profession of medicine. The formality being completed with the reciting of the famous Hippocratic Oath. This snow-colored covering symbolizes professionalism, honor, authority, and purity. Even when not wearing the coat, providers are expected to assume proper behaviors that represent this article of clothing at all times. As I was proudly robed with achromatic attire during my own traditional ritual, I failed to consider the future possibility that I myself might actually trade this iconic covering for more patient appropriate garb.

While earning a white coat clearly doesn’t protect a provider from personal illness, it can create an elusive façade, otherwise deceiving those who are bestowed with its greatness. The fact that medical practitioners are subject to the same ailments as their patients, is usually not evident until they themselves fall ill. I was one of those providers before I got sick. Although, I learned quickly after stumbling in and out of autoimmune flares since age thirty-seven with a disease that the medical community rarely affords attention to. Sjögren’s is the second most common autoimmune disorder, however, it remains the red-headed stepchild of such ailments. Concurrently, I began a battle with endometriosis, another misunderstood and underappreciated disease, which ultimately took six long years to officially diagnose. Infiltrating into my white coat, I secretly hoped it would obscure my own medical impurities. Was I trying to convince myself, along with others, that nothing was wrong? I essentially used the most virtuous of symbols in medicine to censor such darkness. I am surprised the great Greek physician himself didn’t strike me down for smudging such an honorable emblem. Apparently, my time to maintain the charade of “healthy” provider came to an end, as I had effectively traded my white coat for a less prestigious garment, a patient hospital gown.

As I found myself lying on a gurney, the other side of the metal rail staring me in the face; my visual field was flooded with sensory input of a very different vista. Medical practitioners have an obligatory responsibility to maintain good health, and those who falter encounter unexpected contempt. The stigma of sickness is unbiased, therefore impartial to all patients, whether medically educated or not. Illness is viewed as weakness, and most institutions neglect to teach students about the vulnerable patient perspective. Failure to reveal the contrasting viewpoints of treating a patient versus treating a disease result in the dehumanization of mortal beings. It seems the empathetic side of medicine is often left off medical education curriculum, and the role of patient is quite challenging to comprehend without actually becoming one.

The fragility of life, and ultimate mortality that us medical providers attempt to evade must be confronted head-on. I finally asked myself, what exactly is the function of a patient? Does it really entail complete passivity? It certainly represents exemplification of exposure, and therefore unmistakably authentic vulnerability. Extricating the dual sides of myself, both provider and patient is more than just a problematic task, but an inconceivable one. Whether enveloped in a stiff white coat or flimsy patient gown, we all inevitably must face our own fate.

#sjogrens #Endometriosis #MightyTogether #MedicalProfessionals

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I’m new here!

Hi, my name is todayissomeday.
I haven’t been formally diagnosed but I have all the signs of ADHD, dyslexia, and CPTSD. I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I have a lot that I’m working on in therapy right now. I saw this add and it was about childhood trauma and specifically neglect. I have neglect from a young age as my sister younger sister was a failure to thrive baby and not expected to live. And I’m the middle child in my family. There’s a lot more stuff. I’m interested to see what this is about.
#MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #PTSD #ADHD

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Tw for medical neglect mention

I have been processing and struggling with the fact I have had chronic pain and illness since I was very little. I have thought it was/is normal to feel such a high level of pain normally that it became hard to use the pain scale as my “pain tolerance” is and was high.

I thought it normal to run a marathon and be in extreme pain after, that it meant I was out of shape. All of this due to my parents not wanting to take me to get checked out by a doctor unless it was “ bad enough”.

Which I am paying for now that I am in my 30’s. I try to joke about it and be positive, only for those around me to not take it seriously when I am only half joking. Better to joke than to cry, you know?

I struggle with knowing when to call the doctor due to not knowing if it is bad enough. Anyone else go through this and if so how did you over come it? Any thoughts would be helpful.#ChronicPain

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Family

Guys,can y'all share what's your family environment like?

I kinda live in a joint fam with my parents and grandparents. Since time immemorial, I've been seeing them have pretty violent arguments, like literally the four of them always fight with each other. Sometimes it turned so nasty that our neighbours had to come and intervene.
Plus each of them need therapy I'm pretty sure but they won't even admit that they're mentally ill. Like my grandfather has severe anger issues , he's so controlling and egotistic. My grandmother is - I don't know actually what her exact problems are but she suffers from a pretty bad inferiority complex lmao like to the point she gets so offended when I visit my maternal grandparents because she's paranoid that I'll get closer to them than her . In fact she never wanted my dad to be closer to my mom ( my parents had arranged marriage) because she's afraid that my dad will stop doting on his mom.Then there's my dad who again, has severe anger issues, suffers from anxiety,adhd and bpd ,but still denies it and tbh yea he does love me a lot like he showers me with gifts,takes me to so many places. But yk it's like materialistic love, even though he's really emotional, there's somewhere a lack of emotional bonding
My mother on the other hand is bipolar and she's so emotionally constipated that she never actually expresses her love and feelings. Like she doesn't even know how to. So yea I never learnt to express my feelings either and yeah there's always been an emotional neglect from them #BipolarDisorder #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #ADHD

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The Silent Echo: How Childhood Trauma Can Shape Adult Health

I did not know I was suffering from PTSD well into my 30s. Fortunately, once I was able to identify that the vivid waves of flashbacks were PTSD induced and discussed it with my therapist, I was able to push the tide back so they became less frequent, and eventually disappeared altogether.

Sadly, I know this is not the case for everyone. Yet in coming to terms with my childhood trauma, while progressively getting more unwell—it has become increasingly clear that there is some connection. While there is awareness that traumatic experiences can influence mental wellbeing, emerging research from the past decade reveals the potential of Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs) in shaping physical health outcomes later in life. ACEs are traumatic experiences from our formative years. These range from witnessing or undergoing abuse to experiencing various forms of familial dysfunction. A 1998 Kaiser study, found a direct correlation between the number of ACEs a child faces and major adult health risks, including conditions like heart disease, cancer, and liver disease. Additional research indicates that those with high ACE scores might also be more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and immune system alterations.

My own ACE score is 8/10. One of things that particularly resonates with me about the connection between ACEs and chronic illness, is that I know I became hyper vigilant from a young age due to being co-opted into parenthood by both my parents. My mother was a narcissist, and my father, while being the more stable parent had a degree of covert narcissism that meant neither of them were emotionally available. Instead, they demanded this emotional support from me. Things only got worse, when my mother got remarried to a violent drunk more broken than she is, which meant I was treading on at least three layers of eggshells every day of my young life.

The impact of emotional trauma in our early years, can lead to significant physical changes mirroring those observed in PTSD patients. Specifically, trauma can change the size, shape, and connectivity in areas of the brain such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which regulate emotions, stress, fear, and memories. These changes can perpetually activate the body's stress response system, leading to heightened inflammation, issues such as sleep disturbances and gut dysbiosis, that can pave the way for a tsunami of other physical ailments.

When I look back on my health journey there were signs from early on in my childhood, that were ignored. While my mother loved going to doctors, and I think she had some form of munchausens by proxy, her particular fixation was chest infections and little else. I have a vivid memory from my early teens of damaging the cartilage in my right knee that was hot to the touch, and inflamed for almost a year… I ended up saving my pocket money and buying a knee guard as the only form of self treatment that I knew how to offer myself. Then there were the frequent nosebleeds that started when I was about 9 years old. Again, no trip to the doctor. These episodes were viewed as an inconvenience, but one that would inevitably pass—so I guess it was not deemed worthy of further investigation or treatment.

As I write this, it becomes poignantly clear that through my parents’ lack of concern for my health, I learned to simply ignore physical discomfort. Establishing a pattern of self neglect that would take me until my 40s and a breaking point in my health, to finally prioritise my own wellbeing above all else.

Recognising these far reaching implications of childhood trauma and neglect on adult health underscores the urgent need for comprehensive mental and physical healthcare that acknowledges these connections, is the support we all need and deserve. Unfortunately, I think we have a long way to go before this kind of integrative healthcare happens. In the interim, I can only offer this advice: if you find yourself with toxic people in your life who are not concerned about your well being, and take more than they give, the sooner you address these dysfunctional relationships, the better.

Trust me I’ve done the wheelchair work… and perhaps the most important thing I learned from the experience was this: my unstable childhood made me incredibly resilient to life’s many storms, and far too quick to share my umbrella with others. This was an unconscious choice to begin with, but now I’m aware of it, I’ve consciously uncoupled myself from this unguarded openness, and quietly traded in my umbrella for a much smaller one ☂️

#PTSD #Anxiety #PostTraumaticStressDisorder #Trauma #ChronicFatigue #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Fibromyalgia #Abuse #Depression #Insomnia #PTSDSupportAndRecovery #Selfcare #NarcissisticPersonalityDisorder

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My best friend Charlie I promise you your death will not be in vain

Charlie was my best friend and he was like a brother to me and he died over a year and a half ago from medical neglect and I promised him I would tell everybody about what happened to him because he shouldn't have died the way he did the doctor should have helped him. He went to the ER and the doctors did what they do and he comes home he was allowed to go into a MyChart situation and get his medical records from the visit and what he found pissed me off. The doctors had literally written in a medical chart that he was dumb stupid head schizophrenia was mentally ill was insane and he was crazy and he was a hypochondriac and this is what they put into the record well did they realize what that did to his care afterwards after those words were put so every doctor could see them his care was so bad afterwards he could never get the proper care they would poo poo it off that he was as sick as he was and you can tell just by looking at him he was very sick and they still wouldn't take care of him and what happened was he had medical PTSD because I begged him to come to Ohio but he wouldn't and on the last time I called him he gave up and he died that night and he was left in his house for 3 days before anybody figured out there was something wrong. And they didn't do right by him and death either but that's another story all together. For me I promise to tell Charlie story because medical trauma and medical neglect is very real and his death isn't going to be in vain as long as I tell the story and name and shame the hospital because geisinger hospital was not a good hospital they are so hell-bent on buying up all the little hospitals that they don't care about patient care and patients die that way. I'm sorry this is so long but that's Charlie's story

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New Me?? *trigger warning*

I'm feeling a little down today. Nothing like usual, just a little off. Sometimes this happens before the shit hits the fan, so I'm anxiously anticipating that. I feel like I live in a pinball machine, bouncing off the walls and bumpers and glass, however, today I'm just slipping along the sides and avoiding all of the obstacles. It's not a very good analogy, but it makes the most sense to me. I am asking myself if this is 'regular' or 'level' ... I can't remember the last time I felt this way.

I started a new medication (both new to me, my p-doc, and to the market) about six weeks ago.The new med belongs to a group of drugs called an atypical antipsychotic that also has an antidepressant effect. For the first time in over 40 years, I haven't had suicidal ideation every single day! It took me a couple days to realize I hadn't thought about it and it really threw me off. You have to realize that that line of thinking has been my life. Every. Single. Day. It has always been my go-to; the only thing that I felt I had control over. My p-doc is astounded at how I've turned around. He decided to wean me off of the antidepressant I was currently on. I've noticed that I'm a little more snappy; my patience level has changed, though, for the better. I think I'm being shown that I can deal with my illness, and that it's time for me to put in a little mindfulness and being more conscious of my mood, and the ways I choose to deal with those feelings.

To put it in nutshell, I'm terrified that this is only going to be a quick fix, that it won't work, or that it will work but there's a HUGE crash coming. I'm just really afraid. I'm trying hard to stick to today and not give thought to tomorrow, but I can't just flip the switch that's been on for so long.

I really hope we're onto something here. It has been nice not to spend so much time thinking about and planning my demise.

Thank you for always listening. It's nice to have this community's support, understanding and sometimes a well-placed foot to the butt.

#Abuse #Addiction #Anxiety #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #ChildhoodAbuse #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #CPTSD #Depression #EmotionalAbuse #Hypomania #MentalHealth #MightyPets #neglect #OurSideOfSuicide #PTSD #Relationships #SubstanceUseDisorders #Suicide #SuicidalIdeation #SuicidalThoughts #SuicideIdeation #SuicideSurvivors #SuicidalThoughts #Suicidethoughts #Survivor #Trauma @dannygautamawellness

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Childhood trauma #Abuse #neglect #Too hard to go on.

How do you move forward. The abuse still feels like yesterday, but it was so long ago. I still feel the pain, the cowering in the corner, the feeling like your life may be ending. The physical hitting over snd over. How can any parent even think this is/was ok.

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Trauma and Missing Parts of You

A few months ago I realized an aspect of trauma that I never realized before.

We are all aware that we spend most if not all of our lives trying to lives our lives like we are normal. Not only do we have the normal travails in life to deal with like everyone else but we have to live with mental illnesses that take up so much energy just for us to exist never mind live life. We have to work at least twice as hard as a healthy person does just to make it through a normal day. Never mind having a bad day.

In my recovery from CPTSD I've spent a lot of time trying to heal so many trauma wounds, big and small. I've come to learn that not only are bits of you locked up in trauma but also aspects of you are locked up as well. I think the best example to use is self esteem. In trauma a small part of your mind is locked up in a timeless, neverending bubble. When this happens repeatedly, more of who are are gets locked away. Such as self esteem. We are taught by trauma, abuse and neglect that we are no good. So we learn to lock away our innate sense of well being. We end up crippled by low self esteem. And it's not just self esteem. Depending on the trauma, different parts get locked up. Self confidence. Self love. Hope. Happiness. So much of what we are can get trapped inside us. Parts of us that help us succeed in life are unavailable when we need them.

I realized this and understood that those that hurt us, people who we've been in conflict with through most of our lives have had a large advantage over us. It's like playing baseball without a full team. Like having a choir with two members. Depending on how much was locked away was the disadvantage you are going through life with.

So you can feel empathy for yourself for having to deal with life having to use so much of your energy on your mental health issues but if you have PTSD/CPTSD you can also have some pride knowing that you lived through conflicts and trials in life with pieces of you unavailable to help like normal people have. Whether you won or lost, you approached conflict at a disadvantage and still did your best. And if you lost, you lost with one arm tied behind your back. So yeah, you did good, no matter what.

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Sweet Sinead

So sad that Sinead O'Connor died due to mental health issues. Some will call it 'committing' suicide, that she completed a selfish act, and who knows what else. Sinead died by suicide, her last moment in a tragic life filled with trauma, pain, devastation, grief, and instability. Let us not focus on her means of death, rather the mental health demons that ate away at her and caused her demise. Many of us deal with the same issues she did, and many are a tiny step away from her death. Listen when someone says they're not feeling right, give a call or text when a friend has been off the radar for a while. We can all help people who are suffering. Any words or actions you choose can help someone get past that moment of just not wanting to be here. Be patient, compassionate and caring. Be kind. ❤

#Abuse #Addiction #Anxiety #Bipolar2 #BipolarDisorder #Bipolar2Disorder #ChildhoodAbuse #CPTSD #ComplexPosttraumaticStressDisorder #Depression #EmotionalAbuse #Hypomania #MentalHealth #MightyPets #neglect #OurSideOfSuicide #PTSD #Relationships #SubstanceRelatedDisorders #SubstanceUseDisorders #Suicide #SuicidalIdeation #SuicideSurvivors #SuicidalThoughts #SuicideAttemptSurvivors #SuicideSurvivors #Suicidethoughts #Survivor #Trauma

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