A holistic psychiatrist’s view on navigating life’s struggles.

You are not broken. We are not broken. One of the most common and frustrating things I see as a psychiatrist is how many women identify themselves as having something wrong with them. These women are successful, hard-working moms, PTO leaders, award winning employees, well-loved, and wonderful women. And yet, this deep belief impacts their self-esteem and limits the amount they enjoy their lives and loved ones.

These women and men come looking for a diagnosis, for an answer, for a reason, for a cure. I tell them there is NOTHING wrong with them. I do not dismiss what they are feeling or that they need support and help to address it. I do not want to contribute to a system that labels people, while only seeing the surface of who this person is and what they are capable of. I have been taught to take a collection of symptoms and complaints, assign a diagnosis, and offer a pill to change how they feel. While this may sound like an oversimplification, it is often, unfortunately, the only solution offered.

Recent studies show a shocking 1 in 6 Americans are taking a psychiatric medication*, while 1 in 4 women in their 40’s and 50’s is taking an antidepressant.** I believe we are doing a disservice by not challenging this status quo.

Part of the problem is that our system is overwhelmed and unsure how to help these women. Most doctors simply do not have enough time to get to the root cause of the problem. They can’t help these women find their way back to their true selves. We see advertisements on television for an easy solution in a pill, so why not take it?

Taking the time to allow yourself to feel your feelings and creating a supportive network allow you to see the bigger picture of what is possible. This requires being with people who have addressed their own deep difficulties and challenges. There is a powerful potential on the other side of this enriching journey. It brings a deep belief in yourself and your purpose and potential.

It is possible. Many women are doing it today. These women are inspirational and can be a model for us all.

What I ask of each woman today is to ask yourself, what if there is nothing wrong with me? What if I am not broken? What if what I am feeling is a sign that some things must change and come into a different balance?

How can you emphasize and see the positives and your strengths? And when you feel overwhelmed or that things are too much, reach out for support. Do not try to do it alone.

You are not broken, and you are not alone.

We are not meant to live in isolation. Our healing lies in allowing ourselves to reach out and connect to others. If you need more support, find a doctor, a therapist, a healer who believes in you and who has done their own deep work. You are not broken, and I hold for you to see your deep beauty and all you have to share in this world.

*Moore TJ, Mattison DR. Adult Utilization of Psychiatric Drugs and Differences by Sex, Age, and Race. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(2):274–275. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.750

**Laura A. Pratt, Ph.D.; Debra J. Brody, M.P.H.; and Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D. (2011 October). Antidepressant Use in Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2005–2008.

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N E X T by Maureen Magauran, M.D.→ A Simple Emotional Model of Depression, How looking at things simply can bring profound shifts.

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Originally published at medium.com