About: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

(as the patient),

Over the years I have suffered several episodes of depression. Each time, after trying to cope for weeks by improving sleeping, exercise etc. trying to think cheerful thoughts and everything that would normally raise energy, lift a mood etc. I consulted one of my practice doctors.

Each time I was treated sympathetically, asked questions about my basic health and advised that most people feel a bit down sometimes, and that we shouldn't have expectations of constant happiness. While I know this is probably reasonable, I am an educated 55 year old with a career and senior responsibility. I think I understand the difference between feeling a little bit down and waking up morning after morning wishing that I had not wakened up. Feeling no joy in anything including longed for things such as my daughter's graduation and feeling no enjoyment or relief from a weekend away in some lovely place.

The fault is neither mine nor my doctors. The fault is that they do not and cannot know me as a person amongst their thousand or so other patients. On my side, I am ashamed and reluctant to discuss symptoms that I blame myself for and do not want to "bother" people with. In a 7 minute consultation we get nowhere near the problem. I leave feeling embarrassed and no better having cost the tax payer for blood tests that are precautionary but probably inappropriate. My real issues are unaddressed and a further cost to the tax-payer in reduced productivity. I have full admiration and respect for my excellent doctors but am dismayed that the GP service has become nothing short of a routing service to specialists if the problem is easily diagnosed, and out of the door if it is not.

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Response from John Hamilton, Head of Board Administration, Board Administration, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Thank you for posting your message on Patient Opinion. We were sorry to read of your difficulties and concerns and frustrations. We would suggest having read your comments that in the first instance that you ask your GP to refer you to your local Primary Care Mental Health Team (PCMHT).

We do believe that will help you. The PCMHT offer a range of services to people with common problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. Referrals to the service are usually via GP, Community Mental Health Team and in some cases self referrals can be made. The service offers support to people who are unemployed, in work, employed and on sick leave.

Living Life to the Full Online Self Help Website is www.livinglifetothefullinteractive.com

Also an online tool may help. The Living Life to the Full Interactive is a self help life skills training package based on the proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach for those with mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

Scottish Recovery Network Website www.scottishrecovery.net

Action on Depression for Scotland Website: www.dascot.org

Action on Depression is the only national charity working specifically with and for people affected by depression in Scotland.

We hope this helps and would reiterate our advice in the beginning of the note - please ask your GP for a referral to the PCMHT.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your concerns,



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