Answered by TheDepressedMedStudent
I’m going into my final year of Medical School and have had significant difficulties with my mental health. In my first year, I was hospitalised with severe depression with psychosis.
On its own, medicine is hard work with all the lectures, placements and revision to do. Having a mental illness on top of that obviously does make things harder, but not impossible. In my opinion, having a mental illness on its own does not mean that someone is unable to do medicine or won’t be able to balance it. During medical school, I’ve been able to pass my exams with distinction and won a research prize from the Society for Endocrinology during my intercalated BSc. I say that not to brag or anything (I’m nothing special) but rather, to say that it’s perfectly possible to get through medical school despite struggling with mental illness.
My biggest piece of advice would be to ask for help when you need it, and to be open about your struggles with tutors at the Medical School. In my experience, most are very willing to help you when you ask for it and this help can be invaluable. None of my tutors have ever suggested that I won’t be able to become a doctor. If you want to study Medicine, go for it!
TheDepressedMedStudent is a final year medical student at Imperial College London. He runs a blog aimed at spreading awareness about mental health issues amongst medical students.