September 30, 2011

It's all in your head

I met friend of mine few days ago and meeting was long overdue.I had not seen her in years, but at the same time it felt like no time has passed when we last met. We had lunch, it stretched into a three hour marathon lunch with delicious food, drinks etc. Restaurant staff appeared very pleased when we finally left, and yes we did leave generous tip too. That's not the most important thing anyway... She asked me questions about patient confidentiality; does it apply to all patients?
Yes it does, all the time. Even when I speak about my condition to healthcare professional outside hospital environment? Well it still should, but because some news is just soooo impossible not to spread, it may not work. Depends on the person you talk to, and whether they know their mouths should stay shut. My friend had confided in her classmate PT, telling him about her depression- something that she had not forgotten, but had overcome it. Classmate of hers was a nurse, who apparently did not think the information he received was confidential, because couple of weeks later everyone knew of it.
Guess who would feel joy and happiness over that sort of news, and the fact that someone foolishly thought the conversation would remain inside those four walls- it did for a day or two and then spread like wildfire.
All I could say was I am sorry to hear this, it should not have happened, but some people just can't keep it to themselves. "Confidential, yeah, whatever, do I look I care."
Once again, social stigma of mental illness is still out there and yes, I know it is very different that breaking an arm or contracting sexually transmitted disease. Being depressed does not make one any worse than anyone else and definitely not justify this guy's actions.
I trust that what comes around goes around and one day Mr PT may find out that his depression or whatever is common knowledge. How does that feel?

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