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An insider's guide to depression

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 27 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1011
  1. Kay McKall, general practitioner
  1. Ipswich

    Iwonder if you are as inept and uncomfortable at handling depressed patients as I am. Or as I formerly was, before I found myself the unwilling occupant of a psychiatrist's couch, a couch it seems to me I've barely left in the past five years, apart from comfort stops and cups of tea. Thus did I become the reluctant insider of the title.

    Refuse to see us as the useless rejects that we think we are

    In the course of obtaining this superb basic and advanced training in depression, I've become sensitive to mistakes that other doctors make when managing me, and I have translated those mistakes into corrections in how I myself manage people with depression. The point of this article is to share these with you.

    Although I have bipolar affective disorder, I continue to function successfully as a general practitioner, albeit stuffed to the eyeballs with medication. My partners and a large proportion of my patients know my hideous secret, but I still seem to be here, dishing …

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