Doctors are experts at concealing their emotions, a skill they acquire through years of rigorous training and practice. They don't allow themselves to cry, even when they're grappling with grief, personal hurt, or overwhelming sadness.
This process begins during and before their time in medical school as their minds
subconsciously take a position to help others selflessly due to positive and negative childhood experiences and continues throughout their careers where their dedication to patient care and the need to be numb to emotional pain often means suppressing their own feelings that is unhealthy for natural human wiring of behavior.
What's often overlooked is the emotional toll they silently endure, including various forms of harassment while need to be at the top , added to the high work load and lack of time for themselves that seldom see the light of day specifically in Sri Lanka right now.
These accumulated traumatic experiences remain buried deep within them and doctors with their incredible strength of will, push these emotions down, hoping they'll never resurface. But inevitably, there comes a day when these pent-up emotions explode to the surface, manifesting as troubled relationships, serious health issues, or mental health challenges and other coping mechanisms like turning to alcohol or becoming workaholics can become their unconscious way of dealing with this emotional turmoil.
Despite their deep knowledge of medicine, doctors are surprisingly ill-equipped to manage the emotional burdens of their lives and profession. Medical education focuses heavily on technical skills and medical knowledge but largely neglects the critical aspect of emotional well-being. Rarely doctors take the time to ask themselves, "Could my past emotional experiences be contributing to my present problems?" And even if they do, they often attribute their issues to external factors, rarely delving into their own deep unconscious emotional struggles.
Unfortunately, medical training even in the best universities rarely includes emotional support and coping mechanisms of past issues till now which I find it is essential as we find more evidence of different emotions directly contributing to many health issues.
In the world of medicine, illnesses are often viewed as “static” conditions – you either have them or you don't. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that illness is a “dynamic” process even when the disease is not there. Disease-causing elements like cancer cells or biochemical factors persist within the body, often alongside genetic predispositions in completely healthy individuals . What tips the balance toward illness is the intricate subconscious interplay of the mind, triggered by external stressors. It's this hidden emotional process that can determine whether these elements manifest as illness or remain dormant.
In essence, the emotional well-being of doctors and the profound impact of the mind on the onset of illness are areas that demand greater recognition and support within the medical community as their mental wellbeing impacts the country massively.