"Ignored and belittled"
I want to preface this by saying that I had absolutely no problems with the reception staff who were always incredibly helpful, or my actual GP as they were brilliant, listened well and was very helpful when it came to explaining the diagnosis.
Another doctor on the other hand, was none of those things. I was referred back to my GP by A&E for mental health reasons this time last year. This doctor, in what I thought was a sensible decision, chose not to prescribe me any medication as they did not feel comfortable doing so. They then referred me on again to psychiatric care, but neglected to tell me that the practice's psychologist had left and there was a backlog.
I only discovered this when I chased it up with her months later. They said they would contact the psych team again and now, just about a year later, I still haven't heard anything from them, or any concern from the doctor who diagnosed me with a serious mood disorder that they felt was too dangerous to treat. They were also incredibly condescending and made me feel very stupid. Granted, this may have been partly to with my mood at the time, but I'm not sure telling someone who's moods have been extreme all their life that "a bit of fluctuation is normal but when it fluctuates a lot, that's when it might be serious" (while drawing a series of lines to demonstrate fluctuation) is very informative or necessary.
While I recognise that I should have been more forceful and probably could have chased this up sooner, the nature of depression is one of uncaring detachment, and when I started to feel better I didn't really think about going to the doctors to sort it out because it had sorted itself out. Obviously, this is not the case and going through a manic period followed by another minor depressive period has made this blindingly obvious to me.
I don't know if it is common practice to leave mood disorders untreated, but I'm sure that I will be making the move to a different GP now that I have the time (and the ability).