Mental Health Providers and Caregivers, Overworked, Over Pressured, and Under Evaluated

The fields of medicine including the fields of Psychiatry and Psychology require regular practice of humility in order to remain effective. As with any human vocation, when a practitioner or worker sees themselves as a higher class of human than those he or she serves, their ability to perform their job changes. The same happens when one becomes arrogant about one's experience and knowledge, whatever one's vocation is. If one feels like they have mastered all, they no longer seek new information or fresh eyes, and no longer double-check themselves. In the fields of medicine and care giving, arrogance is a huge liability since the price is human life. To place one's self or one's colleagues categorically above clients and patients, to see them and think of them as "Them", as "Other" is not a practice of healthy boundaries. It is simply a denial that "They" and "We" are the same "kind" of human, thus giving the "care giver" permission to treat them without the respect and care that one would treat "one of his/her own kind". Unfortunately few "care givers", regardless of their degree, seem to have reached a plane of maturity that allows them to treat clients and patients as "one of US" instead of "one of THEM". As a result, the quality of health care and mental health care is at an all time low, even though the advances in treatment are incredible.

There are providers out there who do have the capacity for respect toward their clients and patients, and the contrast of quality of care between them and those who do not is quite stark. If the practitioner seems blase toward you, is not interested in doing any testing, or seems to think he or she can assess you in one quick visit, you might want to think twice about going back. Put yourself in the evaluator' shoes; if they were treating someone they RESPECTED who was having as hard of a time emotionally or mentally as you are, or as hard of a time with other people in your life as you are, what would they be asking? What would they be testing? How much information would they want from the person? If you were the evaluator, and your patient was a person you respected, what would you be asking them?

How much information do you think it would take for one total stranger to get a TRUE GRASP on another total stranger's life; their real personality, real history, real family dynamic, and real mental and emotional profile?

If you made an appointment with your doctor because you had a pain in your abdomen, would the doctor ask you a few questions and then send you home with a prescription? Or would he or she do some actual tests to find out what the pain is from? If you have pain in your abdomen and the doctor is not interested in the cause, you need to find another doctor, and quickly.

So why is the BRAIN, the most important organ in the human body, NOT being treated in the same way? The brain is an ORGAN, and is extremely complex. It's literally the organ that allows us to be IN this world, to be conscious beings that are living and functioning as human beings. WHY would a "care provider" behave as if it's the LEAST important organ? As if a couple of questions and a some pills are all you need? OR, why would a "care giver" treat a patient like there's no way to fix what's "wrong" with them anyway, like they're a "lost cause", so why try very hard? Is that how you would treat another human being who came to you for help or care? Even if you were getting paid for helping and caring for clients and patients?

Would you assume that you could assess a person by looking at them; their clothes, their hair, their shoes, their make-up and jewelry, or lack thereof? How about the sound of their voice? How about their speech pattern, or the slang they use or don't use? How about their gender or their race? Would you want someone to assess you that quickly, with so little actual information, and then proceed to TREAT you? Doubtful.

So why does the mental health (and medical health) community do this on a regular basis? Aren't they supposed to be the beacons of professionalism, science, and thoroughness?

They are supposed to be, and a few out there maintain this level of scientific and ethical standard. But you will be hard pressed to find them. What you will find today more often than not is someone who works too many hours, who is paying very high insurance premiums or working for someone who is paying very high insurance premiums, who does not utilize all the evaluation tools available or even a few of them because it's inconvenient, costly, time consuming or sometimes because they don't know how to use them. There is also more than one "school" of psychology; those who receive degrees do NOT necessarily learn them all, and in fact rarely do.There is actually a tendency for students to be taught one "school" of psychology as if it's the "right one" and that the other ones are "wrong", so they don't even consider them. Which sounds very un-academic and unscientific; that's because it IS.

There is even a "school" of medicine that teaches practitioners to treat the SYMPTOMS but NOT the CAUSE. (This way you can take medicine for what ails you forever, until it kills you. If you are cured, then you don't have to buy that medicine anymore, do you?)

A regular dose of humility and an injection of respect for clients. The cure for what ails us.