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Studying Medicine Abroad & Staying Mentally Healthy

How many times have you thought about how to take care of your mental health while studying medicine abroad in Europe? The question should be asked as the following: Do you know what’s the accurate meaning of mental health? Well, let me help you in answering this question starting from applying it to myself as a medical doctor who studied medicine in Europe. Mental health is not just limited in the way we think, study or the way we analyze things. It is something way bigger than that. Mental health is related to the way we think but it’s about how we think of taking care of our brain and how to look after it. So, if we think that mental health is only applied to ideas, studies and thoughts, we will be limiting the definition of mental health.

Mental Health & Studying at University

Mental health is related to every single thing we do in our lives. Starting from the smallest thing or what usually people think it is a small thing which is the way we study medicine in a foreign country, learn and read. The way we study relies indeed on our mental health. How? Well, the first step to answer this question is simply related to that studying is like any action we do so we think about before doing it. Let’s take me as an example when I think about what to study, or when I think about not studying because I’ve just studied and I’m knowledgeable. Thus, it is thought about and it is related to in the student’s brain.

However, it is not just this much or this simple, we think about it before we do it but when it comes to choosing between studying anatomy or physiology during our medical studies abroad, we prefer the easy subject since it is easier on the brain. So, here our mental health plays its role. We either think of our responsibilities as a student so we study or we just go with the flow and respond to the stimulus.

Impact of Studying Medicine on the Brain

The second step of answering this question is that when to choose to study medicine or dentistry you are helping your brain to be active and thus helping yourself to be motivated and energetic. So, the way you study has a great impact on your brain (mental health). This shows that studying relies on our mental health and mental health relies on studying!

To explain more, if we know the impact of accomplishing our responsibilities on our brain and we consider it, thus we have a good way of thinking. So, we start to choose to study over being lazy. This is how the way we study medicine relies on our mental health (the way we think). On the other hand, when we study and become disciplined we help our brain to function faster, longer and to be younger. So, this is how our mental health depends on the way we act as students. In summary, the way we think is related to the way we study and vice versa.

Student Life & Coping with Stress

Mental health is not just about the way we think about studying and the way we choose to do it and so on. Mental health is also related to many other things. Basically, when we say mental health, or someone who is mentally healthy this means that this person has their priorities straight, is physically healthy and performs their study duties, knows how to deal with pressure from school, stress and how to face academic obstacles and solve problems no matter how effective they are or how much in quantity they are.

The way we study is thought to be how we read the material, how we understand it and how we apply it. However, how we study is about how much stress during studying we can face and how we deal with it, in what duration of time we can analyze and also apply that material while in stress and under pressure. This is all called “Mental Health”.

One more thing that is related to our mental health is the way we behave as medical students and doctors, we think about everyone and everything, the way we respond to things and how we react and so on. Like, when we fight with a student and he/she tells us a bad word for an instance, the way we react to that tells it all. Let’s say this person is not a stranger we saw at university and had a disagreement with him/her because of some student-related issue or something like that…etc.

Let’s say this person is someone we admire and living with that he/she is a very close person. So, after this person tells you the bad word during the disagreement and after the “Reacting Phase”, comes the “Thinking about This Person Phase”, the “Treating This Person Phase” and the “Feeling about This Person Phase”. All those phases are related to our mental health and our mental health relies on it.

Difficult Situation at Medical School

In the first phase we react, then we start to think about this person may be in a bad way so we overthink ourselves and we start to treat this person the way he/she treats us. Thus, we start to lose feeling to that person and here come the mental diseases to say “Hi!” which is depression, mood swinging/switching, bipolarity, schizophrenia, etc.

In short, our mental health is something that relies on and is relied on. To maintain it and avoid mental illness, eat healthily and live a disciplined lifestyle, stay healthy physically and be committed to medical school and studying, and think positive all the time no matter what.

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