A psychiatrist shares his story of how the psychiatric field has helped him find purpose and balance.
Life often takes us on unexpected journeys and leads us to places we never anticipated. One such twist of fate brought me to psychiatry, a field that has profoundly enriched my life even though it was not my anticipated career choice.
As I reflect on my journey, I realize that my favorite title in life is not my professional designation, but rather “dad.” Psychiatry has gifted me with the ability to be fully present in my children's lives, never missing a moment that truly matters, be it a baseball game, a band concert, or a swim meet.
Moreover, the practice of psychiatry has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others, all while unexpectedly enriching my own existence.
Finding Purpose and Balance
Becoming a psychiatrist was not part of my original plan. However, life has a way of leading us toward our true calling, and that is precisely what happened to me. The field of psychiatry allowed me to blend my innate empathy, compassion, and love in order to understand the human mind. By helping others navigate their mental health challenges, I found a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Being a Present Parent
One of the greatest gifts psychiatry bestowed upon me was the ability to be a present and engaged father. As a psychiatrist, I have been able to create a flexible schedule that allows me to prioritize my children's activities and milestones. Being there for every event has not only strengthened the bond I share with my children but has also provided me with countless cherished memories.
Understanding the Inner World
Through my work as a psychiatrist, I have gained a deeper understanding of the human psyche. This understanding has allowed me to connect with others on a profound level, providing them with solace, support, and guidance during their most vulnerable moments.
Witnessing the transformative power of therapy and witnessing individuals regain control of their lives has been awe-inspiring. Each person I have had the privilege of helping has unknowingly contributed to my own personal growth and gratitude.
Self-Reflection and Growth
The practice of psychiatry has granted me the opportunity for continuous self-reflection and growth. By encouraging my patients to explore their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, I have been compelled to examine my own life and uncover my truest self. This introspection has led to personal insights and a deeper connection to my own emotional well-being.
In turn, this has allowed me to become a more authentic and present individual, not only in my role as a psychiatrist but also as a father and husband.
Although psychiatry has given me the privilege of enriching the lives of others, it has simultaneously enriched my own existence in profound ways. Every interaction, every breakthrough, and every positive outcome has reminded me of the transformative potential we all possess within ourselves.
Through the therapeutic process, I have witnessed lives being reshaped, relationships mended, and hope restored. The sense of fulfillment and joy derived from making a meaningful difference in the lives of others cannot be understated.
Although I never anticipated embarking on a career in psychiatry, it has been a journey that has undeniably enriched my life. By allowing me to be fully present as a father and guiding others on their path to mental well-being, psychiatry has given me purpose, personal growth, and immeasurable satisfaction.
The unexpected rewards I have gained from this profession continue to fuel my passion and reinforce the belief that the greatest payments in life often come in the form of love, connection, and the ability to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Dr Ajluni is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Wayne State University in Livonia, Michigan.
From the author: I would like to acknowledge the helpful contributions of ChatGPT in the production of this article. However, I emphasize that I assume full responsibility for the content, including all ideas, arguments, and conclusions presented herein.