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  • Natasha J. Thomas, MD

Our First Anniversary - The Hope Grove Psychiatry Website Celebrates its First Year

It was the evening of March 31, 2018. I sat staring at my laptop screen, glued to the phone, talking with my web developer . I was anxious. It was our "launch day", our "go live" moment. It was the time one of my longest desired dreams began to manifest. I was becoming a writer.

If you follow my blog, you know that I've been working in psychiatric private practice since 2010. I can honestly say I have never regretted my choice of career, or selected field of medical specialty. I believe in life purpose. I was born to be a psychiatrist - there's no doubt.

Psychiatry, to me, is not simply a medical specialty aimed at diagnosing and treating mental, psychological, and developmental disorders. Instead, when practiced at its best, it's a field that can give people the clarity and emotional healing necessary to live up to their fullest potential - free of limiting self-concepts, unbearable emotional scars, and lack of life direction. Frequently ridiculed in society and minimized amongst physicians, the truth is psychiatry is essential to the world of medicine. Without the support of a healthy mind, what "health" can a person truly achieve?

Now, this may sound strange, but in the summer of 2017, I began to feel a scary lack of fulfillment at the time my psychiatry practice was reaching heights I had never imagined. My long-term patients will tell you, I put a lot of myself, and love, in my work. So this new feeling truly worried me. I felt I needed to "give birth" to.... something. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but I felt as if I was being called to deliver even more than what I was giving everyday, despite having a completely packed schedule of lovely patients.

It was a weird feeling, and for a second, I almost felt I was being selfish or silly, or worse, ungrateful.

But instead, I realized I was being called a bit higher into my purpose. If you ever encounter personal dissatisfaction at the height of your achievements, look around! It's an indication you have MORE to give - but you just have to discover HOW you will do it and what path will best suit your gifts and talents.

For me, that urging to give, do and be more gave birth to the Hope Grove Psychiatry website and blog. I remain concerned about the state of mind and emotional dis-ease the world faces today - with a scarce number of practitioners to care for everyone. My goal in creating this website was to reach as many people as possible to let them know seeking support for mental and emotional well-being is not something for which they need to feel ashamed.

To date, the website has its highest number of readers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, India, Nigeria and the Philippines. It has had thousands of visitors from around the globe. That amazes me at times! I am helping people in parts of the world I never even knew existed, growing up as a shy, daydreaming kid in Daytona Beach who liked writing poetry and listening to people. Aside from helping people around the globe, my writing has breathed new life and joy into my clinical practice. It's been a "win" all-around!

I share my experience on living my purpose so you can feel confident in living yours! If you have a dream, go after it! And if you may be a person who has a dream to help others live out theirs - please do! There is no inherent value that I hold that is more than any human being on this planet - but I do acknowledge I have had opportunities others may not have. Let's help each other realize who we can truly be!

Thank you, Hope Grove Family, for supporting the website over this past year. Your questions and engagement have challenged and inspired me. You give me meaning, and for that, there could never be enough thanks. I'm looking forward to the journey we take in 2019 and beyond!

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