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  • Writer's pictureClare C. Chan

Regression Therapy Series (11) — The Pain of Practicing Medicine

This case revolves around a doctor, who we'll refer to as Queenie (a pseudonym). Queenie's emotional struggles and the therapy she underwent are closely related to her profession, and with her permission, her occupation is disclosed here.

Queenie is a very conscientious, compassionate, competent, and ethical doctor. Throughout her academic journey, she has always been a diligent and high-performing student. Her hard work paid off when she was accepted into a medical school in Hong Kong. Despite the journey being fraught with stress and challenges, she managed to cope and received recognition from various superiors, who all agreed she was a commendable doctor.

However, after completing her medical training and formally starting her work in the hospital, she inexplicably started experiencing intense anxiety and depressive feelings. Initially, she attributed these feelings to excessive self-imposed pressure and attempted to alleviate it. But instead, her feelings of anxiety and depression worsened, significantly impacting her work performance. Consequently, she sought psychiatric treatment and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, warranting the use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications to manage her daily work. Unfortunately, these medications did not mitigate her depressive and anxious feelings. She constantly fretted over potentially missing any symptoms, doubted her own performance, and harshly blamed herself even for minor mistakes. This constant state of fear and tension persisted for a long time.

The tipping point came with the death of a patient that involved some medical mishaps from other individuals. Even though she wasn't directly responsible, she blamed herself deeply. Her emotional state plummeted into a deep abyss of pain that she couldn't escape from for a long time. Thereafter, her emotional condition deteriorated rapidly, despite an increased dosage of psychiatric drugs. However, high doses of medication only exacerbated her depression, leading to self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Eventually, she was compelled to switch from full-time to part-time work and eventually quit her job as a doctor entirely, taking a break from work.

Queenie shared that even after resigning, just passing by the hospital where she used to work would make her heart race, filling her with anxiety and fear. Consequently, she often felt that she could no longer be a doctor, a thought that caused her great distress and made her feel worthless.

When Queenie first scheduled a session with me, it was a long time after she had stopped working as a doctor, and she was preparing to reduce her medication with the hope of stopping it entirely. Since she had ceased her doctor duties for a significant period, the work-related fears, anxieties, and depression had been put aside. Therefore, our sessions over the past year were focused on dealing with her other emotional issues. Coincidentally, Queenie had to take an examination for a medical course she was attending. Queenie had almost completely stopped her medication, and her mental condition had significantly improved. Therefore, everyone thought that this exam wouldn't be too difficult. However, on the day of the exam, the fears and anxieties resurfaced when she began preparing to go to the examination venue, causing her to feel extremely shocked, fearful, and desperate. During the process, she was constantly afraid of encountering her former superiors at the examination venue. Just the thought of it brought a tsunami of panic and anxiety, forcing her to resort to anti-anxiety medication again to cope with the exam. She felt that the emotional disorders she had been overcoming had relapsed, which made her feel very desperate and fearful.

Also, this experience rekindled Queenie's past anxieties about being a doctor, so I suggested she try regression therapy to handle this work-related anxiety and fear.

By connecting with this fear and anxiety, Queenie directly journeyed to her past life. In her past life, Queenie was a male doctor in a small town in China. He came from a poor family, and his father worked hard to send him to a big city to study medicine. He carried the expectations of his fellow villagers, and after completing his medical studies, he returned to practice in the small town, becoming the town's only doctor. He worked hard and helped many residents. However, a plague occurred in this past life. In his memory, the entire hospital was filled with seriously ill people, and he was the only one dealing with it. Because the plague was unknown, he felt helpless and panicked. This feeling was deeply imprinted in his heart.

Seeing more and more patients in the hospital, all expectations were placed on him alone, and he had no support. He was left alone to support the entire hospital and the whole town, with feelings of despair and helplessness spreading in the air. Later, patients' conditions worsened, and one by one they passed away in front of him. The patients' families blamed him for not being able to save their loved ones and rebuked him, further intensifying his self-blame. Eventually, doctors from the large city, including some foreigners, arrived and informed him that the plague was incurable and patients could only be given sufficient fluids, relying on their immunity to fight the plague. After receiving this support and understanding of the disease, he helped many patients survive the crisis. However, after going through this plague, he was disheartened, burdened by heavy self-blame and a sense of powerlessness, causing him to completely lose confidence in himself. In the end, he decided to leave his job as a doctor and took up letter-writing for others in the small town as his profession. He carried this regret and sense of failure with him until his death.

During the process of regression therapy, Queenie not only understood the source of her fear, anxiety, and depression about being a doctor but also released the troubling emotions from her past life and forgave herself, understanding that her past life self had done her best. In the process of regression therapy, Queenie's emotions were completely released and resolved.

Originally, Queenie did not plan to return to her position as a doctor in the short term, as she always felt that she couldn't become a doctor again. Therefore, we did not know whether this regression therapy would help her with her fear, anxiety, and depression, so we planned to put it aside for now and observe a few years later. By a twist of fate, Queenie's family member fell ill recently and was admitted to the hospital ward where Queenie used to work. Queenie was forced to return to her previous workplace every day to visit her family member and had the chance to meet her former colleagues or superiors. Before entering the ward, Queenie was slightly apprehensive, knowing that she was very afraid to return to this scene. But unexpectedly, when she returned to her previous work unit, met some former colleagues and superiors, and even stood next to the bed where the deceased patient had once slept, the emotion Queenie felt was calm. This feeling was beyond her expectations, and a thought emerged in her mind: "I can be a doctor again!"

Queenie's sharing inspired us all and once again made us feel the powerful healing power of regression therapy. Queenie did not believe in past lives initially. During this regression therapy, she understood that her subconscious was using storytelling to help her release emotions, and the therapy was equally obvious and effective. Whether our consciousness believes in past lives does not affect the effectiveness of regression therapy. Queenie's example made us understand that whether you believe in past lives or think that this is a way for the subconscious to help you treat your emotions through storytelling, the result is very positive. For me, I believe more that this is an experience of a past life, because this past life experience very reasonably explains that when Queenie becomes a doctor again in this life, it rekindles the emotional troubles left over from the past life. Ultimately, it is necessary to go back to the memories of the past life to release these emotions from the past life in order to thoroughly treat the emotional troubles in this life caused by emotions from the past life.

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