The musings of a final year medical student

Monday, 28 March 2016


My depression has come back with a vengeance. 

Despite my the Autumn/Winter term being pretty rocky following my double jaw surgery, I felt that in January 2016 I had really turned a corner. Everything was going well.

Now I feel crippled with self-doubt and self-loathing. Despite my grades being much better this year, I have lost all confidence in my academic capabilities. I constantly feel like I won't pass this year and that I'm not good enough to be a doctor. It feels pretty shit. I know that medicine is the only vocation I want to pursue and the thought of not being able to fulfil the biggest ambition I've ever had is frightening. I flit between moments of feeling 'This is the best job ever, I want to do this until the day I die', to 'I'm not good enough for this, it's too hard'. 

I want to be the best person I can. The best medical student, the best friend, the best daughter, the best sister, the best girlfriend, the best blogger, the best musician, the best athlete. I know it isn't possible, but somehow I am compelled to strive for nothing less. 

I thought I had got to a place where I had accepted my body, but I no longer feel this way. I split my jeans recently and I could have cried. 

In addition, some issues have come about at home and university that have left me feeling so alone, despite having lovely friends and a lovely boyfriend. I'm sorry for the ambiguity but I cannot share the explicit details. However, it has left me feeling disappointed in other people and so incredibly na├»ve. 

I hope that I can shake away the guilty feelings and low mood and press on with balancing my work and the people and things that make me happy. I'm trying my best, but some days that's easier said than done. 


Saturday, 12 March 2016


I think we should allow ourselves to take a break sometimes. Right now it's getting closer and closer to Easter, and so far 2016 has been going at a hundred miles and hour. I'm happy with how I am doing mentally, physically and academically, but we still get run down from time to time.

I don't know what I'm ill with, but for the last 3 weeks I have been so sluggish and tired. At the end of my hospital placement I started feeling a bit under the weather and I still haven't got out of it. I'm constantly sneezing, have a runny nose, and feel tired 24/7. I've been exercising regularly and eating much more healthily, but I still feel crap. 

One thing I've learnt from reading Dr Cantopher's book on depression is that when you have those burnt-out phases you have to accept them. Don't keep pushing through it, you need to succumb to what your body is telling you. 

This morning I set my alarm for 7.30am so I could go to the gym, but I slept through it and decided not to get up until I felt ready to, which ended up being 11.45am! 

I am really happy with where I am in life right now and how I am progressing, but that doesn't mean it's not a struggle! I'm getting there and I am very lucky in so many ways, but that doesn't make the day's chores easy. 

I am looking forward to the next two weeks to go as quickly as possible, so I can go home and recuperate/revise like a crazy woman. 

Kate x


Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Right now everything is going so well, and for some reason I'm still not happy. 

I feel as if I'm in one of those moods where you simply don't understand your own emotions. Recently my lovely, privileged life has been going really well. I've passed my exams which I am relieved about, I've been going out a lot with my friends, doing my French course, doing well in my piano.... My relationship is fantastic, my mum has got the all clear for malignancy, as she recently had histology taken from a basal cell carcinoma under her eye. Even the weather has got better, and we have had some lovely sunny days! Yet somehow I feel worthless. 

I am so glad that I am studying medicine, but I am not enjoying the cardiovascular module at all. I think it's because  of the electrophysiology and the calculations. I was so on top of my lectures until we began this module, and now I have no motivation at all. 

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to become more active. I am really enjoying going to the gym, but I have noticed that when I do classes or exercise with friends my self-confidence plummets. I know, I know, you shouldn't compare yourself to anyone but I can't help it. I thought I had finally got to a point where I was happy with my body but now I am beginning to loathe it all over again. I'm eating healthy and keeping fit, but seeing my thighs in lycra is shudder-inducing.

I'm currently writing a review of a new sports bra I've got, and have loads of ideas for blogposts. The trouble is just making myself get my act together and writing them...


Thursday, 3 March 2016


I've recently been pretty absent on the blog. I have lots of ideas I would like to share, but it has felt so difficult to sit down and type up a post, as well as getting good lighting to take some photos. So here is an update on where I'm at.

Mental health
Overall, my depression has got so much better in 2016. I cry much less, I have much better attendance at university and I am doing well academically. I really feel like the Sertraline has kicked in. I still take 50mg per day and it has done wonders in helping me sleep better and lifting my mood significantly. I have been taking it for just over six months  now and I expect I will continue them until second year is finished before contemplating weaning off them. However, I am by no means cured. I am also starting to think that I have anxiety, too. Looking back retrospectively, I was always a nervous child. I would be cool as a cucumber in important exams, but the thought of going to a big social gathering made me more nervous than sitting my A levels. I have started to feel more and more scared of doing things outside of the house. I still force myself to go out and get stuff done, but I do have to be ritualistic in my preparation and then sometimes my chest feels tight as I brave the outdoors. I am not going to officially self-diagnose myself, but I do feel quite certain that I have some mild manifestation of social anxiety. 

Uni is crazy. I know some people are far busier, but I am really struggling. Perhaps not in an obvious way, but I do find it incredibly overwhelming. If you look at my test scores I'm doing great, but in terms of how I feel it's another story. I am constantly panicking about deadlines. We've started the cardiovascular block and it's really not my cup of tea. And don't even get me started on understanding ECGs. 

I'm definitely going out more and doing more group stuff which has been amazing. My French course is going well, and I've been going to lots of new restaurants with mates. I really love spending time at new places, as long as I'm with familiar people. 

I am so in love with piano right now. I am playing so much Chopin, my favourite composer and it is absolutely wonderful. I've always wanted to get to the technical ability to be able to play his pieces and they sound magical. So satisfying. 

Gym and food
When I go out I eat crap, but when I'm at home I love taking time to make a nice meal. I think I'm definitely eating more healthily. I'm trying to get into the gym, but it's hit and miss. I love it once I'm there, but it just takes a while to get over the fear of leaving the house and looking stupid. 

I hope you're well and that you found this vaguely interesting!

Kate xx

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