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BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 14 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1560
  1. Jean Fooks

    How the health service deals with severe mental illness which might pose a danger to others is always a matter of concern to the public. But it is often overlooked that it is the sufferer who is at the greatest risk. My daughter, who suffered from manic depression, received no treatment and committed suicide, aged 26, in September 1995.

    I have been trying to ascertain what went wrong, how she could have been helped, and who is interested in preventing such tragedies in the future. So far I have had little success. It seems as if general practitioners are not as well informed about mental illness as they might be. My daughter had registered with a general practitioner in the south of England on starting a job there towards the end of 1994. She presented with severe weight loss and gastric disturbance; in January 1995 I …

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