Dr Philip Alexander joins @drruth on the 16th Episode of Brain Health: Unchaining Your Pain.
Dr Philip Alexander is a practising medical doctor and paediatrician. Having suffered childhood trauma from a very young age, Dr Philip used the study as his primary escape mechanism from the destructive culture he grew up in, leaving home at 16 years old. Despite achieving glowing reviews as a paediatrician, Dr Philip’s empathic nature, driven by his deep-rooted desire to treat others appropriately, became a double-edged sword.
Starting his training as a doctor in the 1990s at a time when there was little mental health support, the cultural stressors during training to become a consultant paediatrician, coupled with unaddressed childhood trauma, leading to burnout and in 2013/14 he was diagnosed with depression. Despite being in the NHS healthcare system it took two years for Dr Philip to receive Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
This became a turning point for him on his journey to recovery. With the right therapist, he was able to open up and describe how he was feeling. Continuing therapy weekly until 2019, combined with coaching that has been super-charging his recovery, he has recently 2021 started his return to work.
During this episode, we talk about the shocking statistics reported by the British Medical Association that 75% of medical professionals have some form of mental health struggle and don’t disclose it.
We discuss the cultural stigma in the medical profession by talking about mental health struggles and how adverse childhood experiences can manifest later in life. We talk about what some of the warning signs are that we often don’t pay attention to, and what key changes are necessary now to support medical professionals struggling with their brain health.
“Ask for help not because you are weak, ask for help so that you may remain strong.” Les Brown.
Books and references discussed in the Episode: