Both sidesBMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7215.1013 (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1013
- Belinda Brewer, specialist registrar in accident and emergency medicine
- West Sussex
Iam a specialist registrar in accident and emergency medicine and a patient with mental health problems, and I have experienced both sides of psychiatric care. I realised that I was in the throes of a major depressive episode in January 1995. I was a senior house officer in medicine and had completed the membership examination of the Royal College of Physicians. Until this point everything had progressed smoothly. I was a young and successful doctor; I had completed all my postgraduate examinations and had the financial security of a professional job. I had hardly had a day off sick in four years.
I am not sure if I will ever unite the doctor and patient parts of me
But then I lost two and a half stones; my sleep was disrupted; I had early morning panic attacks; and I noticed a marked deterioration in concentration and memory. The turning point came in a lecture, given by a consultant psychiatrist in depression. I was horrified that I fulfilled all the criteria …