Trust and Mental Health Treatment (Part 1): Why Do Doctors Assume I’m Going to Answer a Mental Health Screener for Strangers?

Like gun ownership, what has all this got to do with a UTI or Lymphatic Filariasis? The whole system is quick to label us all these days. Maybe I own a gun because coyotes prey on my chickens! Maybe I don’t have enough natural Vitamin D and feel tired but not really depressed.

Lavender and Levity

Medical professionals have started asking me questions as they take my vitals like, “How often do you feel bad about yourself – or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down?” This whole blog isabout how often I feel like a failure, and how I’d like to feel like that less often. The answer is, more likely than not, “more than half the days” in the past two weeks. These screeners still generate anxiety, even though I expect them now. I was at my GP the first time, about a potential sinus infection, and it was shocking and scary to be asked deeply personal mental health questions by a disinterested nurse, whose name I never learned. After the visit, I looked up the questions. Doctors are being encouraged to give community mental health screens during all routine medical appointments. Apparently, they received the…

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