Special Cases: Sick Doctors and Ethnic Presentations of Psychological Illness
By the 1980s, two particular concerns had begun to catch the attention of those interested in mental health. The first was the realisation that medical professionals (and GPs in particular) appeared to be particularly vulnerable to mental ill health and addiction to drugs and alcohol. The second was a growing concern about the psychological health of those who had emigrated to Britain in the decades following the Second World War. They are explored here because together they are illustrative of many of the broad themes already explored in this book, and serve to advance the core arguments put forward in earlier chapters. Concerns, for example, surrounded the working practice of doctors and the provision of support should they require it. Alcohol consumption among doctors, too, heavily influenced the approaches taken towards patients who presented with possible alcohol addiction. Among ethnic minorities, discussions explored sickness absence and absenteeism, reflecting many of the debates explored in Chapter 2. Among both groups, in different ways, the ability (or otherwise) to recognise psychological illness and the willingness to report it further elucidate our knowledge of male psychological illness. Although their experiences are very different, their stories bring together much of what has been revealed thus far.
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