Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Reflection 5 (sadness)


Is it dangerous for a doctor to be emotionally involved with his or her patients?

Many of my students answer with a quick yes to this question.
Far too many doctors are afraid of their emotions

If something undeniably sad happens in the ward, it is ok to be sad
Sad is not bad. Our media portray all the time happiness as the only option.
Sadness is a normal part of life.

If we are afraid of our own emotions and keep pushing them away, no matter what happens to our patients, the pushed away feelings will reside somewhere in our subconscious mind and eat bit by bit or our stomach lining, causing us to have an ulcer.

It is far better to accept and live through our emotions. Our patients will truly appreciate it much more as well. If we break bad news and allow ourselves to b genuinely sad about it, it will be noticed and appreciated as such. It will mean support in most difficult moments. The sadness will not immediately stop after breaking bad news. Let it be there for a while. As we go on with our life an our other patients, there will be plenty of reasons to be happy and allow these feelings to happen as freely as we allow sadness.

Sad is not bad.

Of course some people suffer from overwhelming all encompassing sadness, called depression. That is not good and requires someone to seek urgently help. This reflection is not about this kind of all-encompassing sadness.

I wrote small poem about sadness some time ago:

A little sadness

Reflecting on my life at the end of the week
A tear leaves my eye and caresses my cheek
My ego wants to force a smile, but my soul doesn’t feel the need
This little sadness doesn’t taste bitter; it is sweet

My other poems can be found here:

Hope you enjoyed this reflection by Hans Van Rostenberghe
Feel free to share it, use it in any way (perhaps except for commercial purposes)
Will be grateful if you mention the link

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