What causes stress?
Stress, anxiety and depression are frequently central to many problems suffered by members of our profession – a sort of end point that can have many initiating causes.
This group of pages covers some of the core issues which are involved as factors, not just in the relatively high suicide rate of the veterinary profession (which is why this website was set up) but in the immense amount of human distress of which suicide is the tip of the iceberg.
Stress, anxiety and depression are frequently central to many problems suffered by members of our profession. These pages set out to give you a grip on what they are, what factors special to our profession cause them, some of the dangers and some of the solutions. Because these problems are so important to many people, there is a wealth of information available on the Internet and beyond. These pages point to many sources of help, information and advice both within our profession and beyond.
The group of pages on Addiction & eating disorders deals with the group of issues that come under the general heading of addiction. Addiction has often been described as an inappropriate (and potentially damaging) way of relieving pain. This can be mental and emotional pain resulting from stress, difficult working relationships and the need to combine a high level of clinical skills with handling the inevitable emotional fallout that comes from working with animals and their owners. It's so easy to go home at the end of a long hard day and get stuck into the gin and tonic. The message in these pages is loud and clear – people can and do recover.
The page on Sickness and Disability Rights is there to remind you that if you ever get physically or mentally ill or disabled, you have rights in UK law and this page gives you links to sources of information on your rights to financial and other forms of support.
The Relationships section highlights the fact that we live our life through relationship – partners, children, work colleagues, clients and all the other people we interact with on a daily basis. Relationships can hold the key to tremendous support, friendship, camaraderie or, when they go wrong, deep and damaging distress. The first years after graduation can be especially difficult in terms of isolation and loneliness – all of a sudden you have moved from the environment of a close-knit group of friends to being on your own, the bottom of an occasionally unsympathetic pecking order and working long days with little or no recourse to the friendships which supported you before.
This section offers specific links to help for women, parents and people in same-sex relationships. It also links to information on topics such as divorce mediation, domestic violence, bereavement and especially, bereavement due to suicide. This is a section of the website where many of the important subjective issues get covered. Please also see the "Professional issues" section which addresses some of the more objective issues.