I have been considering, for some time now, whether I should continue doing what I do in terms of what some refer to as ‘activism’. My interest is in ethics, science and professionalism but my drive is no doubt related to my experience as Peter (SRRI dependence and withdrawal) and all that I have witnessed as an NHS psychiatrist of 25 years. All of this has led me to take a wee shift of stance when it comes to science [for much of the last two centuries the humanities have been considered as separate].
I am struggling to cope with the “wars” and “battles” by professionals in relation to over-medicalisation and the potential for significant harm resulting from this. This has particularly been evident on social media, a situation that seems to be getting worse. Readers of my blog may recall that I resigned from the Royal College of Psychiatrists over concerns about this and in relation to concerns about competing financial interests. The Royal College has never replied to this letter.
Next Monday, 20-1-20, I will retire as a doctor and intend to leave my ‘activism’ behind.
I am proud that I have tried my wee best even if I have not always gone about it in the right way. To be honest I am not sure that there is a right way!
I am proud of raising a petition for Sunshine Legislation and that the Scottish public agreed this was necessary. The Scottish Government should be ashamed of ignoring the voice of its public on this matter.
I am proud of advocating a timely approach to the diagnosis of dementia even though it cost me my job at NHS Forth Valley. The NHS leads and Scot Government, who resisted considering my arguments (as they had a TARGET for early diagnosis to be met), later adopted it when a Europe wide declaration endorsed the timely approach that I alone had advocated.
I am proud of being Peter who is interested in all sorts of stuff but above all my family.
In my early retirement I intend to do more voluntary work and would like to be considered as the Artist that I believe that I am. I want to drop the “doctor” title all together.
I will continue to post my creative work here on Hole Ousia.
[the above drawing was made by my daughter in 2005 when I was in hospital as a result of dependence on and withdrawal from an antidepressant]