I had the opportunity to attend a seminar last night… “Careing for the caregiver”
Most physicians have experienced everything that the speaker was sharing. He was clearly an expert.
His prescriptions for change were clearly unconventional…More about that later as time is short.
Medical training is a very stressful activity. There is a great deal of stress. There is a great deal of fear. There is a great deal
of suppression and dissociation of emotions. It is fair to say that there is extreme stimulation of the over-production of
cortisol and adrenaline. Normally the cycles of the brain and body involve the hypothalamic-pituitary -end organ axis. Acute stress
damages the normal functioning of the cycles.Chronic stress makes that worse.
Medical training is akin to acute stress…sometimes at an almost psychologically traumatizing level.Medical practise represents
a chronic ongoing stress. Some of the worst effects of this will be seen in our emergency department physicians,and high pressure surgical
specialty areas ( trauma surgeon,vascular and cardiac surgery)
Currently,studies show that over 60 % of medical professionals are burned out,and in Western Society,we live in a system that has escalating stress,and demands.
The system is clearly at a breaking point. Many caregivers of various stripes ( nursing,medical,psychologists,administration,educators,paramedic..etc etc)
Many caregivers suffer from a disconnect between the normal feeling,emotion based system of the higher cortical brain; and have become functioning
daily from the limbic and biologically older midbrain. These are patterns that are common in those we say are suffering from PTSD ( post traumatic stress
disorder) The question on my mind is…what can be done to Not Burn Out in The Service of Others.
Caregivers Need a psychological Trauma Toolkit and ” Psychological First Aid”
1.Circular breathing/Abdominal Breathing
3.Body Scan( in your mind)
So…More about this all in a future blog
Remember that Caregivers are Spiritual Creatures too ( The path….Stabilize;then Shift the internal
narrative: a faith-based spiritual practise daily and reconection to self, relationships,and a healthy life philosophy
More to come