I write to you in a personal capacity to advise that I found Dawn O’Shea’s contribution to your July issue (‘Time for psychiatry to join the 21st century’) quite compelling.
Over the course of very many years, our professional lives quite frequently intersected. This occurred when I was a medical reporting colleague, the editor of a weekly doctors’ newspaper, and later when I was commissioning medical writing.
At no stage was I aware of the pervasive, debilitating and unrelenting self-doubt that she battled virtually every day. It’s chastening to be made aware of this.
As Dawn was doubting herself daily, all around her (including myself) regarded her as an exceptionally talented professional, a most admired colleague and an extremely likeable individual.
I am supportive of Dawn’s challenge to the medical community on a lack of clinical progress driven by a cross-over between psychiatry and neuroscience. Hopefully other readers more knowledgeable that I will be in a position to offer insightful perspectives on her request that psychiatry researchers do more to increase our understanding of the biological pathogenesis of psychiatric illnesses.
If this is the case, I will read their contributions with interest. In the meantime, Dawn’s article provided me with a timely reminder that those around me are frequently dealing with the most serious of challenges, that often these battles are not externally visible, and that being proactively supportive of peers and friends is one of life’s great ongoing responsibilities.
I wish Dawn continued success professionally and personally.