Personal Views

Tackling stress in ourselves

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 23 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:784
  1. None Given

    I can still see the headline on the front page of the paper, “Local doctor on drugs charges.” My father was in court charged with obtaining diamorphine by deception. He pleaded guilty. It was just a step along the way, almost mid-point in over 10 years of chaos. Looking back, it is hard to see when his problems started. Some things in his background made it more likely that he would come to grief—distant parents; unhappy years at public school; wild student days playing rugby and drinking hard; the culture of the officers' mess during national service. Then, with a young family to support, came the pressures of general practice. There was no vocational training. He plunged straight into full clinical responsibility with busy nights on call. He soon felt out of his depth. The senior partner did little work but took the lion's share of the profits. It was not long before my father found the strain too much. He turned to alcohol for relief. When …

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