The depression was there today again. I got up late, didn't take a shower or even eat breakfast- hoping that my morning cup of coffee with a lot of milk could tide me over until lunch. I did make it to work just on time. And work did go pretty well- except that by 11am I thought that I would pass out from hunger.
Today is mental health day or week or something like that. I think I have compassion fatigue when it comes to these illness-awareness days. I was supposed to wear pink last week I think- but I didn't. Does mental illness have its own color? It ought to be black- but then everyone would just think you are from New York City.
Do we need more awareness of mental illness? Do these days really reduce stigma? I don't think they do. Not for serious and persistent mental illness. I think this manifests in two ways. Of course there is potential discrimination on the job, from dates, friends, etc. And then there are the other people who will tell you that you are not really mentally ill because you are working and living on your own. I guess we are not supposed to get better.
What has my interest right now is the Ebola news. I don't think- for the near term- that the US is at risk of a significant outbreak. I think the biggest worry is that it will not be stopped in West Africa and will become endemic in this area, with a huge loss of life and a constant threat of infection spilling out to other areas. Because the economy will go so bad that people will migrate for work, as well as medical care. And it will become just awful in this area.
I have also been reading that India may be next in line to get Ebola, due to crowding and lack of medical infrastructure in places. I hope this doesn't happen. I really hope we get a vaccine. Before the economy crashes.
I have to admit- I have a patient who is recently back from west Africa. And I mental calculated that he had been here over 21 days before I saw him. Safe!