I was suffering a second episode of depression after some personal issues had arisen. I had finally decided I wanted to do something about it and booked an appointment with my NHS GP to get a referral to therapy.
As usual the surgery was running late and was rushed. When I finally got called in, I told the GP that I had been feeling really low again. She interrupted me, saying she noticed I was overweight (oh, really? how insightful) and that could affect mood. She asked if I had considered losing weight? Of course I’ve considered it, and I’ve tried, but I’ve been fat my whole life (and not depressed my whole life). Being depressed I really didn’t have the energy to do much about it right now. I told her this, and she asked if I had tried a weight loss drug, Alli. I told her no, that’s one thing I hadn’t tried and asked how it worked. She told me it stops me from absorbing fat (but neglected to tell me that it makes you poop/leak orange oil and basically deters you from eating). She wrote the prescription, and then acted as if problem solved, appointment over.
Fortunately I did press the issue of therapy, so we returned to the actual issue of depression. By this point we were nearing the end of the allocated time for the appointment so she was rushing. She gave me a self-referral number, and asked me “you haven’t thought of jumping off a bridge or anything, have you?” – what a sensitive way to ask a patient if they might be suicidal. When I told her no, she said “good good”, thrust the Alli prescription in my hand, and sent me out the door.