I’ve worked as a responder for over 3 years, and recently trained up to EMT level with the same service.
I also suffer from depression and anxiety. I find that there is a huge pressure added when working in healthcare and suffering from mental problems.
Every time we got a psych patient people would make comments about how the person was “fucking crazy” or “a complete weirdo” afterwards.
This made me fear repercussions if I admitted to having problems when I was struggling.
My train of thought was that, “I am the healthcare provider, and there’s no way somebody with mental illness can work in such an environment if people didn’t think I had full mental capacity”. I feared people would question my ability.
So naturally I was criticizing myself, thinking I should “suck it up” or else I’d never be a real EMT. This only put extra weight on my shoulders at times.
That all changed when a ED nurse I know was admitted to long term psychiatric care and was out of work for over a year because she is a manic depression sufferer. Apparently she has severe breakdowns and has to be supervised when relapsing
When I heard about this I was pretty surprised. This girl I had known, who was a really good ER nurse, with great personality, people skills and worked great with EMS, had such intense mental issues.
I then discovered that its not her first time having to admitted to a psychiatric facility.
It turned out that a lot of people in both the hospital, and EMS were very supportive and were completely fine that she had such issues.
It made me realize that a lot of people have mental health problems, and you probably don’t even realize it. It’s completely fine to be a healthcare provider even if you are mentally unwell as long as you can manage and treat it effectively.
It’s not the best story but its just a tale that took a lot of internal pressure away from me. Now I’m a lot more open and willing to say that I’m down from time to time.