Why Psychiatry?

People often ask me 'why psychiatry?' I offer this example that God redeems my work:

"Dear Dr. Morairty,

I'm writing this from the (unit) in hopes of giving it to you when I'm released tomorrow morning. I wanted to thank you for admitting me on Tuesday night. If you remember me, it might surprise you to hear me say that. I wasn't seeing anything clearly that night, and I wasn't making it easy for anyone. But having been here these three days, I've realized that I did need this, and that frankly it is probably the best thing to have happened to me in a while. I think I will look back on this experience in the future and truly be able to say that it changed my life for the better.

Being here has given me a chance to step back from the turmoil, pain and craziness of my life. At first all I wanted was to get out, but as I accepted the fact that I wasn't going anywhere right away, I started to breathe. I was able to look at things more clearly and to understand that there were very major problems in my life, but that I could, in fact, do something about them besides giving up. I am making plans now to take time off work, rethink all my obligations and to make changes that are good for me. I have some thoughts now on how to move toward the kind of life I want without driving myself into the ground to the point of not wanting to live anymore. Before coming here no one would have been able to reason with me. This has been a wakeup call and a chance to plan my next steps from a place of safety and calm.

My family and friends have been coming in and showing their support to me; it has made me realize how blessed I am to have them on my side and how many people I would have hurt very deeply - much more deeply than I was able to recognize on Tuesday night - if I had succeeded in killing myself.

Admitting me here gave me another chance, and I'm going to do my best to make sure I accept that with gratitude and make good use of it. I'm sure you have saved many lives in your work and this is just one, but I thank you for it.