Dating a Stressed, Depressed, Burnout

I read this article today in US News and World Report. It was a true eye opener. For anyone out there in a relationship with a medical student, resident, or attending physician, we often encounter situations where our significant other is truly stressed, tired or depressed due to the demands of medicine. I usually try to keep this in perspective when dealing with Future Dr. B after he has a hard day. However, this article really reminds me of the difficulties our doctor or doctor in training loves really deal with.

During Future Dr. B’s second year of medical school, I could really feel the stress of it all weighing on his shoulders. We definitely had a difficult time that year navigating through a long distance relationship, coping with the demands of medical school, and all the added stress of day to day life.  I think for us, talking about it openly, together, really helped get us through that rough patch. I think for Future Dr. B, just having an outlet to express his stress and frustrations helped curb some of the anxiety that came with his second year in medical school. He did not just start expressing himself willingly, however. I think checking in on him and reminding him that I was there to sort through some of the tough stuff helped chip away at the tough facade. However, sometimes it is also tough for the the doctor’s significant other to continually take on the added responsibility for all that additional “heavy stuff” coming their way. I truly felt like I had enough of my own stress to sort through, added with a layer of Future Dr. B’s problems and worries and my plate was over full. Somewhere in there, there is a balance. I am convinced of this! Sometimes we have it in our relationship and sometimes we don’t. I think striving for that equilibrium is what will keep the relationship as healthy as it can be, especially knowing you will most likely fall somewhere in between.

Its tough being the one to bare the weight of the world, for both physical healer and soul healing partner. What a good reminder for each one of us to put the other person’s perspective at the forefront of ours and be there for each other!

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