Dr Dhanji is my GP. He has not been my GP for long, around 12 months I think. My previous one apparently decided he had had enough of the red tape and emigrated to Canada.
It took me 6 months before I felt comfortable enough to approach my new Dr about my depression but when I did I was blown away by the compassion and understanding he showed me.
About 5 or 6 years ago Sheryl was suffering from depression, knowing now what I do I can clearly see that her symptoms were classic depression symptoms, and she went to see her GP.
The response she received angers me to this day, her Doctor told her that she was not depressed she was “suffering the stresses of life” and sent her on her way. No sympathy, no follow up appointment just thanks for coming see you later!
My uncle had the same sort of treatment from his GP who was meant to be the mental health specialist in the surgery. All he wanted to do with my uncle was write him another prescription and get him out the door. We usually spent more time in the waiting room than we did in his room.
The problem I have with my GP is that it is impossible to get an appointment in a decent amount of time. My area has had around 800 flats built over the past few years which puts a massive strain on my health centre as there are now 100s of new patients yet the PCT (primary care trust) which covers the funding of my borough has decided that they cannot employ anymore doctors as they are already “over subscribed” with doctors.
***WARNING POLITICAL RANT***
Budgets being constantly cut by the government, and not just the current one as those with short memories will have you believe, do not help but its ok, we can send troops to invade other countries at a cost of countless lives and billions of pounds rather than put the money into the national health service. And don’t even get me started on the money we send abroad in aid to countries that would not spit on us if we were on fire, Pakistan being an example. The country that harbored the most wanted man on the planet but as soon as they need money we drop our trousers, hold our ankles and let them get on with it.
*** OK OVER IT NOW YOU CAN LOOK AGAIN***
Back to my GP, he is such a great guy. He always comes across as being really interested in how I am doing and is always concerned when things are not going well. I feel like I could tell him anything and he wont judge me or lecture me like my old GP’s in the past have done.
I am one of the lucky ones though, it appears there are many more doctors like my wife’s’ and uncles’ when it comes to mental health issues. A lot of people don’t speak up because they feel unable to approach their doctor. If you are such a person and reading this please do not accept defeat, keep trying to get through to your GP or ask to see another one.
The feeling that you are alone will not help you with depression, it is scary enough to admit we need help without having to be told, and make to fee like, there is nothing wrong with you.
To Dr Dhanji, who I know has no free time to read this but hope one day he will Thank you for everything you are doing to help me recover!