My mental health placement and the danger of PTDD

Well, I do apologise for my relative absence from this blog site the last few weeks. I’m currently doing my Mental Health clinical placement, and have decided that “PTDD” should totally be a thing – Post-Trump Distress Disorder.

About 1/5 of the disease burden in the UK is mental health related, which is a testament to the prevalence of core conditions such as depression, generalised anxiety disorder and schizophrenia. Sadly, we only get 8 weeks to really get stuck into psychiatry while on our clinical placements, although we do see a bit more generally while working on the wards.

However, this intra-curricular neglect of mental health is relatively benign compared to the lack of funding it receives on a national level – waiting lists are huge, which might just be because of the chronic underfunding and understaffing the area receives. Mental health conditions massively increase the risk of dying from other co-morbidities, and so it’s pretty shocking that more isn’t invested in the area.

That being said, the professionalism and quality of medical professionals I’ve been placed with has made me proud to be at Leicester. Mental health treads the tricky line between hospital and community, which makes placements a little chaotic – but, as with anything, there’s lots to enjoy about a good bit of chaos. One day might be spent observing oneflewoverthecuckoosnest-style electro-convulsive therapy and the next might be working with the elderly patient liasion service in the LRI.

It’s also a great pleasure to spend longer than 5-minutes with each patient, as is the norm in surgical specialities. You actually sart to understand why a patient has presented in front of you in their own words, and the problems they come in with are fascinatingly (and sometimes tragically) complex. I could definitely see myself doing this for longer than 8-weeks!

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Matt Q

About Matt Q

'Ello 'ello! Thanks for scrolling all the way down here. A bit about me: My name's Matt and I'm a 4th-year Med Student at Leicester. I'm a Global Health graduate and spend lots of my time with Medsin-UK, a student network which tackles health inequality through campaigning and advocacy. This year I'll be running a Global Health Short Course with Medsin Leicester (tinyurl.com/uolghsc, open to all), and advertising for participants in PASS1, a UK-wide study into the exposure of Medical Students to Pharmaceutical Industry marketing. If you have any questions about applying for Medicine, surviving Medicine or anything else (pssstt ask about global health), don't hesitate to get in contact.

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