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Knowing your place and what to do with opinions

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Senior Contributor

Knowing your place and what to do with opinions

I had a job once for 6 years. Each working shift I'd drive along a quiet country road to work and it took me 33-34 minutes.

 

One day a colleague asked me how long it took me to drive to work and 33 minutes was my reply. "Nope, no way can you do it in that time, you must be speeding...it would take you at lest 50 minutes"

 

My old Zephyr car hated going over 100kph and besides, I was more qualified to know that detail of time taken.

 

My point is that many people offer comments and statements when they aren't qualified to make them or at least are less qualified than ourselves. Lets take mental illness. Who below is qualified to make any judgement on your mental illness?

  • your psych - yes
  • your GP - yes
  • your therapist - yes
  • your friends - no
  • your family members - not necessarily
  • your workmates - no

A good example of this is just last week. Armed with all my searches from Dr Google I went along to my psych and during my consultation seeking a change of meds I suggested the medication that someone on the internet recommended and said it had transformed their life for the better. My psych's reaction was alarming because he had intricate knowledge of that medication and its severe side effects, side effects not listed by that person.

 

This is where the patient must leave those decisions to the professional medical person that has your welfare in his/her interest. EG dont go beyond a suggestion. Then there is the family member or friend that has to give their unqualified opinion to us. "Well I know a friend of a friend and he wouldnt touch that medication ever again..."   Yet a psych takes years of study beyond a GP qualification to make such decisions. If you had never sailed a yacht would you give advice on how to sail one to someone that has been on a yacht all their lives?

 

What we as sufferers can do is listen to our mind and body along with loved ones observations and convey all that EFFECTIVELY to our psychs to get the best possible treatment. It is our body and mind, no one elses. Only we know what we feel and only close family members or a close friend can make observations and observations only. Like my wife who'll make the comment "I think you are becoming  a little manic". You can convey that to your psych like "my wife has observed that I appear a little manic"....because we often dont see the change.

 

However, non professional medical people are not relevant to your mental health needs. To rely on their opinions is to take a new car for service to a backyard mechanic, or any other example of placing faith in someone not qualified.

 

Try not to feel arrogant in discounting others opinions. Just like someones beliefs on how long it takes to drive to work...

WK

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