Sunday, December 16, 2007
Psychiatrists in the mission field
I went on a mission trip to Ecuador with the folks from Maranatha and Adventist Midwest Health in January. I expected to help as a support team member as much as I could in the medical and surgical endevours but I was surprised how busy I was practicing psychiatry. In my short-sighted, narrow view I didn't think there would be a need for my specialty services. I was faced with the reality that mental illness knows no limit to region, culture or language. I saw people with depression, bipolar, alzhiemers, OCD, ADHD, panic attacks, people who had experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, etc. I saw pain and suffering like I do in the states with an added twist: poverty and lack of resources, both for therapy and and medications. I'm not sure of the follow-up the people will have or if they responded to the medication I started them on, but I prayed that the consultations sent them in a positve direction, that the medications helped and that they could continue them and improve the quality of their lives.