It was a black Sunday yesterday, 19th March 2017 as the story of a doctor who jumped to his death from the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos Nigeria broke the hearts of many. Questions trailed this unfortunate incident because no one fully understood the cause of the actions of the man who was simply identified as Orji, by some news reports.
A little research into the medical profession as practisced in Nigeria today will reveal that there are no laid out provisions to ensure that doctors remain healthy in spite of the grim scenes and realities that confronts them daily in the course of duty. It is necessary to note that I am not totally in on the story and cannot tell the exact cause of his action, but I will like to use this opportunity to talk about taking care of the minds of medical doctors.
In some quarters, they claim that if you are not able to withstand the pressure associated with being a medical doctor, then you are not fit for the profession. It is important to note however, that doctors are not super humans and they really do need help.
On a daily basis, they attend to patients who look to them as “the all-in-all” but sometimes they fail, they see their patients battle with life-threatening sicknesses and they sometimes watch them breathe their last. They deliver babies that sometimes die, they have to break the news of the death of a loved one to families that were hopeful that maybe by a miracle their daughter-in-law will make it through the labour process, In spite of the super human facade that society has built over the years about doctors,
a careful examination will reveal that most health practitioners and especially doctors suffer from prolonged depression and post traumatic stress disorders which if not well managed, can lead down the path of suicide. Some other doctors are spent and just need rest but they just have to attend that next patient who was brought in on a stretcher
I hereby advocate that the medical profession take into account the mental health of doctors and other medical practitioners. Doctors need help! A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.
If symptoms of anxiety and depression can be easily managed, we might be able to avoid more suicides and save doctors from living in constant depression. Having said that, I will like to say that suicide does not solve any problem rather it creates more than the initial problems. existed. The next time that depression over takes your heart and taking your own life seems like the most reasonable or appealing thing to do, remind yourself that killing yourself will not erase any only make things worse!!!