How do you decipher between symptoms of burnout and depression?
This question and more is discussed on this podcast featuring Dr. Candace Drummond. She is a psychologist on a mission to improve the occupational and mental health of moms and mompreneurs everywhere. During this recording we discuss her background and the events in her life that shaped her current endeavors. Mental health is health and we dive deep into the importance of tackling stigma and symptoms of shame in order to normalize these lived experiences thereby allowing more people to get help when they need. We end our discussion focused on role of focusing on the present plays on optimizing one’s mental wellness.
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Dr. JB 00:08
Hi everybody, welcome back to the Hope4Med podcast. I’m your host doctor JB and today our featured guest is Dr. Candace Drummond. She has a mission to improve the occupational and mental health of moms and mompreneurs everywhere, featuring services offered by the Avid Intellectual Inc and her momescapades brand. As a long time mental health and psychological service provider she is uniquely aware of the self-care and financial challenges that push most moms and mompreneurs to burnout, and she aims to fix it. Welcome to the show.
Dr. Drummond 00:49
Thank you so much for having me, Doctor JB. It’s a pleasure.
Dr. JB 00:54
So, Dr. Drummond, can we please start from the beginning? Can you share with my listener your origin story?
Dr. Drummond 01:02
Sure yeah. So I actually grew up in Jamaica and I moved to the United States in my early teens. That’s significant for me because at the time when I moved, you know, it was like middle school and I don’t know if anybody knows, but middle school can be brutal. And I came into middle school with a very thick Jamaican accent. I got picked on for it and things like that also, you know? Different, just different cultural norms that I had to get used to. I had never shaved my legs before and, you know, I didn’t know that was a thing until I got here. And again, I got bullied for that. And so it was, you know, it was a kind of a traumatic time for me. And when I got into high school, I actually started to suffer from depression. It wasn’t until my second year of undergrad that it actually kind of all came to a head. And I actually attempted suicide in 2003 and that was when I was finally diagnosed with major depression. But I was actually misdiagnosed for several years still, and I completed my bachelor’s degree and decided that I wanted to go into mental health. I actually started working with a school for severely emotionally disturbed youth straight out of undergrad. And I had a, you know, undergrad in what it was in psychology and biology. And so, you know, I thought I knew it all. I understood everything about how people tick and what makes them work and but then once I started working with these kids, I realized understanding wasn’t necessarily enough. Like I didn’t have any tools or interventions or anything to actually make change once you kind of know what’s going on. And so that led me to actually start my masters degree. About a year and a half after I finished my undergrad and I did my masters in mental health counseling, I graduated in 2008 and I was first licensed in I think like 2012 So I have actually been in the mental health field for almost 17 years. And so I really, I’m really familiar with all of the INS and OUTS and I went back and kind of helped myself. I finally got accurately diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder, which explained the major depression and why it was so cyclical for me, and it didn’t seem to just be all the time. And so i used that to really help others. For years I worked in the prison system, I worked in homelessness, I worked in substance abuse, residential substance abuse treatment. I’ve worked in foster care I’ve worked in. With juvenile, sexual, sexual, predators, all of those sorts of things, you know? And, Umm, i’ve had tons and tons of experience at kind of brings me to, you know, when I finally got my doctorate, my daughter was born and that changed everything because before that, you know, I worked two jobs. I went to school like, you know, I’d get up at 4:00 in the morning and get back home at after midnight. And, you know, it was no biggie, no problem. And then now there’s this person that you know completely just stops you in your tracks. Like, you know, 6:00 in the evening comes and you just you can’t leave the house anymore, you know? And so i realized that I really had to become. An expert at juggling and creating time for myself, finding the right job that would allow me the right flexibility creating my businesses and that really led me right as like I said, down the path to creating my mommy, me time course. So that’s where I am.
Dr. JB 05:11
Wow what? What a story. What a journey.
Dr. Drummond 05:15
Yeah, yeah. Mental health is very personal for me.
Dr. JB 05:21
So if we go back to the beginning. Of your story and of your of your journey. And you know, you talked about that you had symptoms of depression for a long time. Can we explore that a little bit? Like how would somebody know if they are feeling depressed?
Dr. Drummond 05:41
So depression, of course, you know there’s the sad or unmotivated mood, right? So it’s just kind of like nothing matters. You’re not motivated, have limited to no goals that you know to speak of. So you lose pleasure in activities that you previously enjoyed. So you used to enjoy going out with friends you used to enjoy. You know, like for me, i love projects working on some sort of. Project and I would just kind of lose interest, lose direction. On top of that, you know, there’s disturbances in sleep and appetite. So again, either over sleeping or not sleeping because you’re going to have some people have insomnia, some people have hypersomnia and again there’s disturbances and appetite are pretty much the same, either overeating or undereating because there are some people that eat for comfort, you know, that provides comfort. And other people like myself that tend to just lose their appetite. Completely and stop eating. So I’m more hypersonic and anorexic when it comes to my depressive symptoms. But also, you know, on top of that too, there’s just difficulty concentrating. You can’t really focus. There’s no clarity. And then that also leads to the feelings of hopelessness and hopelessness is probably the number one factor when we talk about depressive symptoms, you know? If there, if there is hope, then, you know, then we can, we can move in and move forward, you know. But when we get to that point of hopelessness, a lot of times, you know, that’s where we really have to start and look for therapeutic intervention.
Dr. JB 07:29
So you know, I could see one of my listeners saying, well, I am a healthcare professional and I know how to identify if somebody else is depressed. But myself, I’m not depressed. I just been working too long and I’m just feeling really tired. So if what would you say to those people?
Dr. Drummond 07:51
Yeah so, you know, there’s fatigue and burnout that occurs a lot of the times that we’re not only talking in employment, right. We see, you know, we see burnout. Like you said, I’ve just been working too hard or working too long. And what we see there is more of a going through the motions, you know. So when in the, you know, initially whatever job or role that you were playing, it brought you some sense of purpose, some sense of joy, you know, in your life and over time that just kind of. In a way, to the point where you’re just, like I said, going through the motions. When we see that, that’s probably one of the major, again, major caveats or major signs of burnout. And we can see that in parenting too. We see that in stay at home moms. You know, stay at home moms are often very isolated. They have very little adult contact and meaningful self-care built into their roles because they have so many responsibilities. During the day. So then it just really just becomes, like I said, going through the motions almost robotically, and we see an increase in irritability, we see an increase in anxiety, all of those sorts of things, because again, we’re not living in our purpose anymore.
Dr. JB 09:09
Ok so. How would I know if I just need to sleep for 8 hours or 10 hours or I just need a weekend vacation versus I need to speak to somebody, you know, because I may be depressed?
Dr. Drummond 09:26
So like I said, with burnout, where you seeing like, you know, the routine just kind of becoming more monotonous where you see that increase in irritability, but you still have hope, right? You’re still like, man, I really wish life were better. I really wish this were like this. Like you could still see and envision what you would like your life to be like. Then that’s when you want to make those changes. If you can see and you have an, you know, yeah. I really need a vacation. Take a vacation. You know, I really need a nap. Take a nap. The thing about us as women is that we neglect ourselves so much to the point that we don’t even notice those things anymore. We say, OK, I need a nap, but I’m not going to do that because I got things to do. You know, and you know, but the baby needs a nap. And what do we do when the baby needs a nap? The baby gets a nap.
Dr. JB 10:23
Not only does the baby get a nap, but you don’t wake up a sleeping.
Dr. Drummond 10:26
Baby, you don’t wake up the baby, OK? You see? So again, we need to start kind of looking at the way that we parent, the way that we manage. Other people are our subordinates, our children, our partner. How we’re able to care for them. And we should change that and care for ourselves in the same way. And so if you’re feeling neglected, you’re feeling, you know, like I said, just like I said, burnt out. That’s really when you’re going to want to make those, you know, get a bubble bath, get a massage, you know, scheduling the manicure, pedicure, all of that good stuff. Now when we get to the, like I said, the point of lack of motivation, hopelessness. Where we’re just like, I don’t even want to try anything because nothing is going to help, right? You know, you, you’ve given up you you’re just like, I I’m not even getting out of bed anymore. This is where we definitely need, like I said, some therapeutic intervention. Now at that level, we could have just talk therapy. And I always tell people to kind of think of mental illness like depression, anxiety, bipolar. Think of it in a in a similar way to like Type 2 diabetes right you know, we are predisposed to have it if we have different. In situations that come in our lives, it may exacerbate it for whatever reason. And for, you know, for some of us, we may need medication to manage it right and for some of us that medication may be something that we can take for some period of time in order to teach our body how to do what it needs to do while we get this talk therapy on the side again to work on those maintenance goals. And then after a while we can taper off of the medication while there are going to be some of us that are going to be required and dependent on this medication for the rest of our lives. And that’s not a problem either because the same way that an insulin dependent person. Is not. An addict is not. Is not weak. That’s the same idea if I take an SSRI like Wellbutrin for the rest of my life. I’m not addicted to an SSRI and I don’t have any addictive properties, but for whatever reason, like I said, the stigma around the word dependent, you know? But we’ve been using insulin dependent for hundreds of years, right? But that, for whatever reason, when we talk about mental health meds, you know, everybody starts to get away, you know? That sounds like addiction. I don’t know. That’s not definitely not the same, right. So I always try to get people to understand that therapeutic intervention comes in levels, right? It comes, you know, you’ve got, like I said, talk therapy, you’ve got some of the more high tech, you know, E MDR for trauma, these different techniques and then you have the medication management and all of it is a package deal to make you better so.
Dr. JB 13:38
If we go back to something you mentioned earlier in the statement of, you know, women are very good at this saying, oh, I feel tired of taking a nap, but I have so many things I have to do. He just pushed through it to the point where you, these spots become more fleeting. So how do you stop that? Or reverse it.
Dr. Drummond 13:58
So I mean, to me, the most important thing is to become more aware of your thoughts, become more aware of your needs, and actually actively schedule, intentionally schedule time for yourself. Like, this is going to be the same way that we schedule time out with the girls, the same way we schedule date night, the same way we do all of these other things that we keep on our schedule. We need to schedule in me time, and that’s actually a big part of my mommy, me time, of course. My mommy and me time, of course, really teaches you how to design your schedule around ways that work for you as well as getting your kids, your partner, all of these people that are involved. Comply with these new requirements, really by giving them a little bribe later on, right. So they do what you want. And we have a whole list of preferred activities by age range that we can use to dangle a little carrot and say, hey, if I get my me time, if I get this nap without any interruption, you know, we’ll go for a bike ride. Or like I said, with the teenagers, you know, hey, I’ll give you an hour of. Driving time, you know these are these are activities that will resonate with these different age groups as things that are desirable.
Dr. JB 15:25
So can we talk a little bit more about self-care and me time? And what exactly does that look like? Does me time mean me time? Nobody else, just me by myself?
Dr. Drummond 15:40
I would say initially, yes right you wanted to be just you. So when I say that I, you know, where we can talk about me time being anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour at what you can carve out initially. And what we’ve got to do with that time is actually, like I said, be more intentional, be more mindful, right. So if we get a full hour, that’s all by ourselves. It needs to be used to reflect and relax. So if we’re going to do a bubble bath, we’ll probably play. Some sort of guided imagery or peaceful music or sounds, you know, in order to, you know, they talk about brown noise, pink noise, white noise. All of these different things have different resonating effects on the brain and on the body. So if we’re going to take this time, this 15 minutes, this hour, then we need to, like I said, be very intentional about it. And yes, it does need to be just you alone. The thing about sharing me time. Is that as women? Not even necessarily as moms, as women, we often tend to cater to the other person to some degree. Even if we’re, you know, we’re going on a spa day with the girls, it’s like, you know, what do you guys want to do first? Right so again, it’s a, it’s a, it’s almost a catering to the needs of others rather than, you know, well, I’m jumping in the in this Whirlpool right here because this hurts. So initially it’s very important to do it alone and that way you actually start to discover what works best for you, what’s most meaningful to you, and what you really want to build into something that’s going to be long-term and ongoing. And later on, maybe you can share some of your self-care activities with others, but by then it’ll be your activity to the point where you know, whether they come or not is really immaterial umm.
Dr. JB 17:47
So with that being said. If we take some of this information and go back to the beginning when you talked a little bit about how. You felt depressed, right? And you were depressed in middle school. That’s where your story began. But is that where the symptoms of depression began for you?
Dr. Drummond 18:11
I would have to say yes, i did not experience any sort. No it didn’t. You know when, i don’t like competition, I don’t like the potential of losing. And I remember the first time that I did, like I said, have some symptoms of depression. I was probably in the fourth or fifth grade when there was an election that was coming up for the head girl of the school and. I thought there was a potential I might lose and so I withdrew from the race. I didn’t even give anyone the chance to vote for me. And I remember just feeling like there’s no way that I could win or that people really like me, or if it was just it was a whole negative self perception. The spiral, I think it actually started when my mother left Jamaica. My parents. My mom came to America a year before me and my dad, you know, to set up and get everything situated for us. And I had a serious regression that year. And I think that was really when the depression symptoms, the low self worth, the low motivation, the eating disturbances, the sleeping disturbances, all of those things started. But you know, it’s funny because I never. And never looked at it in a in a clinical way before right now.
Dr. JB 20:03
Well, thank you. I do what I what I can. You know, even though my training is not in, you know, mental health, I’ve been emergency room position everybody, but I ask questions.
Dr. Drummond 20:15
So absolutely. I mean, i remember that being a very traumatic time for me. My parents made the decision without me. So I literally just came home and my mom was gone and, you know, there was a whole lot of abandonment issues and it was just. It was yeah. It was very. I felt small. I felt impotent, powerless. It was awful. So, yeah, that was probably the beginning. And it developed. And like I say, you know, i didn’t know anything about mood disorders, mental health, anything at all for many years. And my parents, coming from a Caribbean background, weren’t on board with that being a thing. And so, you know, it was much more acceptable for me. Go to school for mental health, then to get mental health treatment.
Dr. JB 21:10
So when did you first start getting mental health treatment?
Dr. Drummond 21:16
After my suicide attempt. That was I was placed in a in a facility. For I think it was two weeks that I stayed there and even upon release, you know, they were requested that I continue with outpatient therapy and my parents refused. There’s nothing for you to be depressed about, but I was still in undergrad and still trying to just kind of make my way. And so, like I said, when I had the opportunity to figure out my next step, I was like, you know what? Like I said, I understand that. Like I said, by the time I got out of under undergrad, I kind of understood myself. Like i could i got it. But I couldn’t make any changes. I couldn’t fix myself. And so that was really, what, you know, part of that. And like I said, working with those. Kids and again, not being able to actually do anything. That’s really what put me in and when I got to my graduate program, I started seeing therapists on and off. You know, the college counselors and you know, that sort of thing. But like I said, it took years before I was properly diagnosed years. Because the depression was far more pervasive. Well, it’s far more noticeable, right, with bipolar 2 disorder, the manic portion is only hypomanic. And so really for me, it just looked like me doing well. You know, i would study hard, I would stay up all night working on projects. I would, you know, feel really good about a test that I had coming up or something like that. And so it really just looked like. You know, like I said, like me doing well and so all the only part that was noticeable was when I became depressed and suicidal almost every time it goes, it goes all the way down and I was just like, I can’t, I can’t live like this. And I took. At SSRI antidepressant and it sent me into a manic episode and that was when they were like, Oh yeah, this is this is not the right stuff, but I don’t think it without the meds, I don’t think I would have ever realized what was really going on.
Dr. JB 23:47
You know. Do you mind if we talk a little bit more about your suicide attempt?
Dr. Drummond 23:53
No, not at all.
Dr. JB 23:55
So could you walk us through like, what led you to say, you know what? I just can’t do this anymore and I don’t want to live anymore umm.
Dr. Drummond 24:08
So I started college with 50 college credits, right? I graduated high school with 50 college credits because I was valedictorian in my high school. And so my first year of college that summer, right after the first year, I actually took an additional 22 credits at nearby university that and transferred them in to the university I was attending. And so by the time that I started the first semester of my sophomore year, I was classified as a senior. And I think I just simply broke, you know? There was. I was running too hard, too fast, for too long. And i got to the point where I was abusing Adderall and Nodos and all kinds of stimulants in order to stay up to study. And i was doing this, like I said, for pretty much that whole year from the last year of high school through that first year of college and. Yeah, I just, i just cracked. I think I stayed awake 11 days straight. And when I came down, the depression was. Literally deadly. So I overdosed on sedatives because, again, i wanted to sleep, but I didn’t want to wake up. So I was. I was actually found by I actually picked up my little brother. I don’t remember this, but I actually picked up my baby brother. At the time, he was barely one year old. I picked him up from daycare. I brought him home to the house I shared with my parents. And I woke up strapped to a bed in an emergency room with, you know, charcoal in my stomach. And apparently, you know, my baby brother was trying to wake me. I wasn’t waking up. He was crying. My parents came home. They found me unresponsive and called 9-1-1 yeah.
Dr. JB 26:41
Aye, all of us are so fortunate that. It was unsuccessful, right?
Dr. Drummond 26:42
yeah, so that. We are able to have this conversation. And then you went on to. You’ll specialize in the field of mental health. Having had this experience. Now, having gotten to the point where you just felt like you didn’t want to wake up or you felt like you were completely hopeless, right? I would believe or assume that it allows you to form deeper connections with. Your patients. Is that a fair assumption?
Dr. Drummond 27:32
I think so. You know, I remember when I was working in the prisons. A lot of my clients had a hard time connecting with the therapist because, you know, a lot of the therapists had never really had any kind of personal issues that they had gone through. And for me it was just very easy not to judge, you know? I mean, I always tell people, you know, substance abuse and substance use, things like that, those aren’t the problem like, they are people’s attempt to solve. The actual problem. And so you know, when because I was able to realize that I was, I was much more able to just kind of see past a lot of the things that people do in an attempt to feel better. You know, it could be like you say, it could be substance use, it could be, promiscuity, it could be kleptomania, it could be literally anything that, you know, people high risk behaviors just so they could feel something or, you know, cutting behaviors. All of those sorts of things are to me, I think, you know, they’re almost understandable, you know. So I think that, like you say, for me it was. Very easy to connect with people. And I always used to tell them, you know the only thing that separates me from you is a right instead of a left. Like literally like I you know I probably just turned right and the police were there if I had turned left. You know what I mean? So it’s the I think that you know, like I said for the grace of God, you know there goes I you know and i have been able to connect and really understand. And like I said, since becoming a mom, that’s just even like even more that there’s just so much that can mess with your heart and with your mind and with your hopes and with your dreams and I think that like, as like you said, it’s just easier to acknowledge and understand and really feel for people, genuinely empathize. When, yeah, when you had your own share of struggles.
Dr. JB 30:01
And you know what you said is true. Not everybody has those same experiences. So if you are somebody who hasn’t ever found themselves in that position where they felt completely hopeless. And they are interacting with somebody else or a peer who may be experiencing that. What are some things that they could say that would be beneficial?
Dr. Drummond 30:35
Umm, I think it’s best left to the professionals if you if you see someone that you really think is in need of help, you know, send them to a hotline, send them to a local community mental Health Center, send them to the EAP program at your employer. You know, say, hey there, there’s definitely someone that can help you know. I don’t know. If it’s me, I don’t think it’s me, you know, because I don’t know this sort of thing, but I know it’s out there. I know someone that can, you know and that’s where it kind of builds that first seed of hope for them. You know, it’s like this person in front of me is like knowledge being that my problem is beyond their capabilities, but in the same token. So again, they’re validated, right? That’s the first thing. They’re validated. They’re like, all right, yeah, my stuff is tough and they agree. And by the second token that there is like I said, there is hope there is someone out there with the expertise with the experience with the know how that can take you to the other side of that. And they say, you know when you’re going through hell, just don’t stop in.
Dr. JB 31:59
You know, and I think that the other thing that’s really important is to. Just be present. But I think before that though, before that, truthfully is you should know yourself, right? and. In knowing yourself, if you know that you’re not able to be present with them. Then definitely. Direct them to where they can go ahead and get help right. Because if you know yourself and you being present is going to be trying to solve the problem for them. That’s not going to be beneficial no.
Dr. JB 32:46
If it’s going to work.
Dr. Drummond 32:49
Like is that people who have not experienced that that’s their go to they’re like why don’t you just X you know and the other person on the other side is like why don’t you just die right. Like it’s so it’s just it’s not helpful like you say it’s not helpful at all but like you said I think the first thing to do like you said is acknowledge your own skills and your own setbacks and your. Own limitations, you know, because, like you say, if i if I’ve never experienced it, or if I literally don’t understand it. Then i can’t imagine or expect to be able to fix it. I mean if somebody calls me somebody. It says, hey, I need i really you know, i’m having some serious problems with my AC, you know? Are you going to be like, hey, why don’t you just take out the duct work? No one’s going to say that. No, everyone’s going to say call the AC guy.
Dr. JB 33:53
That’s right. You know, unless you happen to be Lacey that guy. Then you know. But even then, you may still call somebody else depending on your relationship. But it’s true like. I think it’s important to know. What you as a, as a, as a friend or colleague or whatnot can handle or can take on. But in addition to that, you know, acknowledging, right, acknowledging where they are and you know, really, you know, validating exactly that. It’s tough. You know, you’re in a tough position. You are going through a lot. And these are some numbers or some resources available to you at your disposal for you to use and.
Dr. Drummond 34:51
Dr. JB 34:53
Can, right? Because not everybody is able to. And that’s perfectly fine, right? But if you want to do even go beyond that, then just know, just let them know that you’re here for them. That I’m here, I’m just a phone call away. And I’ll be here, willing and able to be present and listen.
Dr. Drummond 35:17
And listen yeah. Sometimes a listening ear can do more than people know so.
Dr. JB 35:33
Going on with your story, so. You have that suicide attempt. You woke up in the hospital? And what? What was that like?
Dr. Drummond 35:50
Well, like I said, I was strapped to the bed because I guess I was a danger to myself. So I felt like a criminal. I was on a bedpan, so I felt like I was wetting myself. Again, very impotent very useless. Ah, you know it was bad, however. Those two weeks. In that in that facility. We’re probably the best. I had it a long time umm. That, you know, that was back when they still allowed cigarettes in hospitals. So, you know, we had a little smoke area outside and we had, you know, like, you know, it was just it was camaraderie, like all these other people who had, you know, similar issues. We had group therapy. We had art therapy. I mean it was it was great. I was in isolation for the first two days, but after that, you know, it was great. It was the first time I could openly and honestly talk about how I felt and what I was doing without someone saying to me like my parents saying you know what do you have to be depressed about you have a good life you know and it was the first time where i could just be honest and I was listening to and you know I they didn’t medicate me again after the first couple of days where I was. On sedatives, you know, to kind of keep me calm, but they didn’t medicate me at the time, you know, it was just it was really kind of like a, you know, I guess like a suicide hold until I was deemed. Ready to reenter society. And it was a really i wouldn’t change that was the first time I realized that there were people out there who could help me, and I had never known what their names were, what their titles were, what any of that stuff was until I went there. And so that’s when I was like, you know what? This is what i need to find. This is what I need to learn. This is what I need to do. And so it gave me direction. Gave me hope.
Dr. JB 38:22
And then you went on and now you are a psychologist.
Dr. Drummond 38:30
That’s correct. I am a doctor of clinical psychology. I graduated back in 2017 so I’m almost at my five year mark of being a doctor. Go me. Yeah, I mean, it was important to note that. In order to get my mental health license, i had to have been out of crisis for a period of at least five years. And so I didn’t start my masters until 2008 So, you know, that was five years from my suicide attempt. And so it was, it was a good time for me to be able to then kind of focus and do what I need to do. That’s one of the caveats. For mental health to maintain our licenses. You know, we can’t. We can’t go into crisis. We can’t let it get that far.
Dr. JB 39:34
So we go down that path in terms of, so you’re a mental health professional now, right? But you’re still human and you still have your human emotions and you still have your live life experiences, right? And in addition to that, your job is to be with other humans who also are having their own mental health crises or whatnot, right? And one human topic. Not the human. It’s very difficult for whatever this human is experiencing, say human A, to not rub off a little bit on human B, right? Their therapist. So knowing this as a mental health. Professional what resources are available at your disposal to help you?
Dr. Drummond 40:25
Yeah so again, one of the major things that they talk about, especially during school and beyond, is our own therapy. There is what you kind of described. There is something we call Vicarious trauma. And so it’s like you say, i’ll almost experience the trauma for my client. But throughout the training and the reason that I think therapists are so much more valuable sometimes than coaches, especially in a severe mental health situation, is this vicarious trauma. You see, we are trained. How not to kind of, you know, how to release some of that, like how to not let all of that seep into our own being, how to how to, how to separate empathy from sympathy and all of those sorts of things where like I said, we have an extensive training on it. That was a big part of my mental health counselor training. And so it’s very important, like you said, that you have the right training to make sure that we’re not kind of letting that seep in. And then too, having our own therapy, it’s important because when the things do touch us, we kind of need, like I say again, the outlet, and not only when our work touches us, but when our lives touched us. I was a survivor. I am a survivor of domestic violence. And so there was a time where I had an acute stress response to the act of violence. And so I had to, like I said, get therapy of my own. And ensure that I maintain a good level of a mental space. But I also took some time off from seeing clients for about two months in order to be, you know, to ensure that my own life stuff wasn’t going to be bleeding into my clients needs and I was able to be present like you said.
Dr. JB 42:32
So I think that’s interesting that. Mental health specialists are encouraged to get their own therapy right because and in some realms of. Health care. It’s a little bit not really spoken about, but kind of. Challenging for others to. Umm, what am I trying to use to utilize services? Right, because of, well yeah, stigma is a big one, right? We talked a little bit about stigma, but the additional hurdles they may find themselves having to jump through if they acknowledge that indeed I’m a human being who needed some additional help processing, releasing, etcetera. Do you know what I’m talking about.
Dr. Drummond 43:28
I do. It’s, you know, I see that a lot. I get, I get patients that come to me for testing all the time privately because they don’t want to use their work insurance to get therapy because then the employer is Privy to whatever diagnosis. Is provided to the insurance company. You know, all that they need is insurance and I mean sorry, diagnosis and dates of service, that’s all that they get. So you know they can look at whatever diagnosis, which may or may not be accurate because the provider myself needs to put insurance payable diagnosis in order to receive reimbursement for the treatment and so they have to sometimes. You know, put the highest level of whatever is going on with the client. While if the client were to see someone in private practice or pay privately, they would not necessarily need diagnostics codes, they wouldn’t necessarily have this paper trail that follows them, and the job definitely wouldn’t get any sort of information. And so I do see that happen quite often that, you know, either, like I say, either for test. I do mostly psychological testing. But I see them, you know, after we test them, you know, I refer them out a lot of times to private pay providers. And again, open Path Collective is a website where it offers licensed therapists like myself for I think a Max of like 60 bucks per session. So it’s always low cost therapy. You can go on there and get, you know, 2030 dollars a session if that’s what you need and they’re definitely, and they’re all licensed providers. So it’s really. It’s a it’s a service that some of us choose to do. We will put aside a few hours a week for low cost and then also, you know, a community mental health is actually a good way too to avoid the paper trail back to the job and stuff like that. You know, I live in Broward County in Florida. There’s Henderson behavioral. You can get therapy services there for 3 bucks and on so. Three next session, so it’s like and again you can even get medication management for 3 bucks a session, you know. So again that’s that, those are, those are other like I said resources that can that can give people a little bit more confidence. In taking care and checking on themselves without the risk or the concern of, you know, it getting back to the wrong people or people seeing them differently because again, like I said, your employer gets a diagnosis that, you know, says schizoaffective disorder. They are not mental health professionals. They’re going to, you know, look at this thing, Oh my God, he’s crazy, you know, and it’s just so you know. People are like, you know, yeah, I don’t really want even a diagnosis, you know? So those are those are things just to consider as well.
Dr. JB 46:46
So that those are legit concerns. This isn’t just something that’s like, you know, a fairy tale fiction, you know, what are those called? Old wives tales or whatever. These are like legit stuff that can happen to people absolutely i get wives of police officers that are victims of domestic abuse. Who do you call when the police are beating you? Right like you can’t call the police. Your husband, the abuser is the police. That’s one. That’s one that I get often. Substance abuse in hospitals. Right, you’re a nurse, you’re a surgeon, you’re a resident, and you know you’re using whatever in order to get you through. But now you want to quit, but you need help, but you can’t tell anybody that this is even happening. And I guess i could go on like you says, these are not wives tales. These are real life situations where you know sometimes the insurance coverage you get through your job is just not an option.
Dr. JB 48:07
So, you know, what would be the path to change that around altogether? Like why would, why do people have to just kind of like go these, you know, the long way around versus just change it so that we can all use our insurances and that there’s no, you know, bias or, you know, we’re not treated any differently for coming out and just being real?
Dr. JB 48:33
The medical model just doesn’t allow for that. The medical model that we currently work in is a disorder model. So if there is no disorder, there’s no need for treatment. While you know we want to work from a more Wellness models, you know, so it’s you know, we’re all of the time that we go in for any sort of treatment. It’s in an attempt to become more, well regardless of where we’re starting from, we’re going into treatment in an order to become more well. But really they only allow that once per year. And once per year you’re allowed to get a well visit, right, where you can just go and get more well. Otherwise, there has to be a disorder. And again, when there’s a disorder, really, regardless of the disorder, there are going to be people who have certain. Like you said, certain ideas about what that means or what that what that entails. You know, even if I say to someone, you know, I have gout. You know, the people that don’t really understand what that means, they’re like, oh, my God, you can’t walk, you know, like all of these things. And so it’s like, you know, well, we don’t want you know, you can’t work here. You know, like it becomes it could. Like I said, it’s not even necessarily just mental health, although we are, you know, it is more prevalent in mental health diagnosis. But it’s not only, I mean an HIV diagnosis is still a protected status for the same reason that. You know if someone finds out at your job that you’re HIV positive all of a sudden, you could be fired. You know, and they’re like, Oh no we don’t want him in the break room because you know he might drink out of the same cup as someone else and you know all of these ridiculous things that, like I say, you know and it and again it it’s just based on the model that we adhere to in this country. That model is. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, umm, wow so really, if you want to if you want to work on yourself without classifying yourself as broken. It’s going to come out of pocket.
Dr. JB 51:00
And that is where we are today. But there is hope that will be in a different place tomorrow. That’s why whole comments all about, you know, really instilling that hope. Because that’s the reality of things, and it’s true.
Dr. JB 51:17
Yeah, i look at the medical models are the treatment models in different countries and compare them to, you know, the United States. The, you know, the Pharmaceutical industry is very, huge, here it’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a beast of a problem, you know. So it’s difficult to attack from anyone from any one area. You know we can’t really necessarily attack it from just the hospitals because like I said then we have the pharmaceuticals, we can’t necessarily attack it from just the pharmaceuticals because now we have the providers, we have the insurance companies, we have the payers, we have and you know and they all work. Together to maintain the system as it is because it’s working for them. You know, when we look at countries like, I think Finland and Sweden, Norway, you know, a lot of those countries have harm reduction programs as their model. And so instead of criminalizing a lot of behaviors, you know, they have needle needle exchange points for heroin addicts. They have, they have actual handout, you know, dispensaries for various drugs and stuff like that in order to keep. The people more healthy that are drug users so that they’re not getting these additional diseases and disorders that come along, hep C, all of these sorts of diseases can actually be reduced or eliminated by these harm reduction models. But yeah, again, in the United States, you know? Really the medical system wants more people would have to see because more people would have seen means more people that need to take their meds means more people that are in their hospitals, more people are paying. It’s you know, like I said, it’s a, it’s a beast, it’s just it’s a beast. But I would say the best thing to do is really look at models of healthcare, models of Wellness in various countries around the world, especially the more developed ones that have socialized care, socialized medicine, those sorts of things. And we can actually see. Different ways that this could work.
Dr. JB 53:36
All right. Yeah, we call it multi factorial no.
Dr. JB 53:44
So it’s a multifactorial problem. So with that being said, if my listener wanted to find out more about you, how can they do so?
Dr. Drummond 53:55
I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all of those at Doctor Candance Drummond, so you can find me a doctor. Candace Drummond on like I said, Facebook, c Twitter, all of those places I don’t necessarily post often, but you can find me.
Dr. JB 54:16
I love it and you know, I thank you for being so open for allowing us to dig deep during today’s recording. I think that your story is really going to be very beneficial for many listeners. And I thank you again for being so open and honest with us.
Dr. Drummond 54:36
Like you said, I think that it the less that we put shame around these normal lived experiences, then the more people will actually be able to get help when they need it.
Dr. JB 54:53
So, in closing, do you have any pearls of wisdom? I know you’ve given us a lot already, and yes, I’m asking for more, but do you have any pearls of wisdom that you would like to leave with my listener?
Dr. Drummond 55:08
You actually mentioned something about staying present. When we go too far back, we get depressed. When we go too far forward, we get anxious. It is very important to try and stay as much in the present. What can you do now and in the next few hours in order to make yourself feel better? That’s my it’s my closing thing. Don’t go too far back. Don’t go too far forward. Stay in right now.