We Need Competent Mental Health Professionals

Even when individuals do receive mental health care they can be repeatedly misdiagnosed and given improper treatment. Kay Redfiled Jamison speaks out to mental health professionals. How this can happen these days reflects the need to focus on medical training across the board. We have a long way to go.

The New York Times
The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor
To Know Suicide
Depression Can Be Treated, but It Takes Competence

By KAY REDFIELD JAMISON
AUG. 15, 2014

“Suicidal depression involves a kind of pain and hopelessness that is impossible to describe — and I have tried. I teach in psychiatry and have written about my bipolar illness, but words struggle to do justice to it. How can you say what it feels like to go from being someone who loves life to wishing only to die?

Suicidal depression is a state of cold, agitated horror and relentless despair. The things that you most love in life leach away. Everything is an effort, all day and throughout the night. There is no hope, no point, no nothing.

The burden you know yourself to be to others is intolerable. So, too, is the agitation from the mania that may simmer within a depression. There is no way out and an endless road ahead. When someone is in this state, suicide can seem a bad choice but the only one.”

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