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I visited the ******* surgery, Brighton yesterday afternoon and saw Dr ************. I was visibly terrified as it had taken me a lot to book the appointment. My partner who accompanied me explained that I had been feeling incredibly low the past month, maybe more, and that I had completed the online NHS depression self test, which I have later discovered is the same test used the the practice. He informed her that i got a score of 22/27 advising me to see my GP.
Dr ********** spoke to me in a very patronising tone, saying it would help if I spoke to her, which I understand however it's something I have barely come to terms with admitting to myself let alone someone else.
I mustered up the courage to talk to Dr ********** when she asked me general questions about my life such as "am I a student". when I replied yes to this question she told me to go and talk to my university's services and wrote down a link to a website to get more information on depression (which was one of many I had already read).
She asked a few more questions such as "do I self harm?" To which I told her I do however I do not want her to see. She also asked if I had had suicidal thoughts to which I told her about an evening a few nights before the visit where I had a handful of painkillers and very nearly took them. It is only because my boyfriend noticed what I was doing and stopped me. She dismissed this as a "cry for help", telling me there are better ways to ask for support. It was not intended as a cry for help but a genuine thought of ending my life.
After this she still didn't take the issue seriously, dismissing it as "going through a rough patch". She made it clear That she thought I was attention seeking which was definitely not my intention. She wanted to send me away at that point.
It is only when we refused to leave with no help whatsoever that she gave a questionnaire to complete and bring back to her in 2 weeks time (this is exactly the same as the NHS online tool to which I had already told her my score.)
She reluctantly prescribed me 20mg Fluoxetine daily but with out much information at all on antidepressants. All she told me was they "lift your mood" and "should not be depended on" I knew more due to my own personal research. She gave no specific information such as side-effects or drugs which I shouldn't take with this. I later discovered from reading online, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen should be avoided, which I take for period pains and would have continued to do so if I didn't research myself.
After the visit I was physically shaking, crying and hyperventilating for at least half an hour, as she made me feel like I was making a fuss over nothing and that depression wasn't a real illness. My partner said he had never seen me in a state anywhere near that before, and I find it awful that the person I turned to for help could make me feel that low.
I want to make sure she does not treat anyone else in such a vulnerable state in the same way, as it could have severe repercussions.
Thank you for taking the time to read my email,
Yours sincerely ***********
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