Medical school is a time when students are learning to take care of others, but many medical students forget to take care of themselves in the process. With the grueling hours, extreme work, and the pressure to be amazing, it is hard to remember to sleep, eat, and try to relax from time to time. The month of May was “Mental Health Care Month” and recently, suicide was a popular topic. Although many students may not know this, suicide is the second leading cause of death in young adults. Medical students are three times more likely to commit suicide than the rest of the general population in their age range. Stress and depression are common in students, but two times more common in medical students.
Why is it So Common?
So, what is the reason for such a big difference? One of the main reasons is that medical students are afraid to admit that they need help because they see it as weakness. Getting a reputation of being weak could be detrimental for their career. The stigma of getting mental health care is one of the most common deterrents for getting help due to the fear of it affecting their academic standing and chances of getting into the residency program they are seeking. In fact, it became such a big deal at one school. The dean himself wrote an article about one of the fourth-year medical students who had committed suicide. It is important to know that there are people out there who feel just like you do.
Talk to Someone Today
At the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), you can find student support programs for medical students as well as mental health services that are there just for you to get help, with no fear of being judged. It is completely confidential. Another option is to visit an online mental health website, where you can talk to a professional anonymously in a chat room, over the phone. If you want to talk face-to-face, they can do that too. In fact, if you want to be referred to someone close enough for you to see in person, they can help you with that as well. No appointment needed. You can just go to the website, sign-up, and get started. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, depressed, or anxious; do not wait to get help. Do it today.