&me – Dr Caroline Reed O’Connor
Caroline is a senior trainee psychiatrist and psychotherapist working in South West London. She had recurrent episodes of depression throughout her twenties and when she experienced periods of high mood in her early thirties she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Her mental illness hasn’t stopped her from getting her dream job and has fuelled her passion for working in the field of doctors’ health.
Caroline says: “The worst stigma I’ve experienced over the years was the stigma I put on myself. Speaking out about my illness has helped me to feel less ashamed – I now feel incredibly proud of my experiences and the way I manage my mental health.
“I am open with everyone about my illness – it helps me and it helps them. From individual private conversations to speaking to a room of over 300 trainee doctors… I’m passionate about encouraging all doctors to talk more openly about our day-to-day struggles. Sharing really does kill stigma.”
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