A patient with a message: Unacknowledged depression

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 22 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:i
  1. D C Owen, locum general practitioner
  1. Cardiff

    It was not clear from the notes what the initial complaint had been, but the story was depressingly familiar. The patient, a man born in 1946, had undergone numerous investigations since 1992. Several conditions had been identified, which were mainly laboratory abnormalities. The patient was used to relating his diagnoses, which he was now doing to me, his locum general practitioner.

    Firstly, there was the polycythemia, which after detailed investigation had been found to be “pseudopolycythemia.” The condition had settled when he stopped smoking, but he told me that he still needed to have regular checks. Then there was the hiatus hernia, which was no longer causing problems thanks to ranitidine. Thirdly, there was the hypertension, which had settled …

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