To think that SOMETIMES nagging a patient about their weight isn't the priority?

(161 Posts)

Like, for example, when they are in your surgery because their depression has returned full force, they are desperate, and they have reached a low enough point to drive them back to the doctor to plead for antidepressants.

I know I am overweight - the mirror tells me that, my clothes tell me that, my aches and pains tell me that. But that isn't why I was at the GP this morning - and yet I was barely a minute into the consultation before my weight got mentioned.

Is it daft to think that, faced with someone in a state of black depression, nagging them about their weight is hardly likely to help, and might, actually, make them feel worse? And given that it probably WILL make them feel worse, maybe you could lay off them about their weight, and could focus on their mental health issue instead?

I had to be in floods of tears, on my feet, ready to walk out of the consultation, before my doctor accepted that maybe he should not be referring to my weight in every second sentence he uttered. And even then he kept referring to it as 'The Thing We Are Not Allowed To Mention'.

puntasticusername Tue 04-Mar-14 11:49:30

That sounds completely unhelpful. Could you have a word with the practice manager about him - and in the meantime, see a different doctor?

Sorry to hear of what you're going through at the moment too thanks

JackNoneReacher Tue 04-Mar-14 11:50:37

Agree, unhelpful, very bad timing.

Is there another GP you could see?

I've got a psychiatrist's appointment for later in the week - luckily dh has health insurance through his work, so I can get to see someone quickly. I don't think I will be going back to that GP either - though maybe my reaction this morning may have made him stop and think for a moment.

I will consider having a word with the practice manager about this - I suspect it is all to do with NHS targets, and there's not much they could do. Though they could have a word with their doctors about there being a time and a place for health advice.

Lottiedoubtie Tue 04-Mar-14 11:58:17

Definitely speak to the practice manager (or write if its too much to talk about), The GP was rude and unnecessary.

I used to be overweight and it was mentioned to me by one doctor once, when it was directly relevant to the health problem we were discussing.

Request a different GP.
If you are being treated for depression you need to develop a rapport with your GP and by the sounds of it, it will not be a good rapport with him!
You need to be with someone you are comfortable crying in front of, someone who won't judge you.
Don't go on mertazapine for depression if you struggle with your weight, it increases appetite smile

Nocomet Tue 04-Mar-14 12:06:10

YANBU
My DM's health has suffered because she simply gave up going to the GP because he went on about her weight.

That is useful advice about the mertazapine, EverythingsDozy - I will bear that in mind when I see the psychiatrist on Thursday.

Nocomet - you are spot on - I avoid going to the GP if at all possible, because I know my weight is going to be brought up. A previous doctor at the same practice (who has now retired) used to get me to have fasting blood sugar tests every time he saw me - it felt like he was convinced I deserved to have type 2 diabetes, and was going to go on testing until he proved I had it.

soulrebel63 Tue 04-Mar-14 12:20:05

Try exercise, it's good for depression and will help your weight too

Nancy66 Tue 04-Mar-14 12:20:49

that's unprofessional.

If you were there about a bad knee or something then, fair enough, you could argue that your weight was a relevant factor. But you weren't and GP should be a bit more thoughtful.

I agree. See another dr.

apermanentheadache Tue 04-Mar-14 12:22:57

Totally and utterly ubhelpful - YANBU at all, but you know that, I hope sad

The last thing you need when depressed is to be fighting with the person who is supposed to be looking after you. Is hard enough to seek help in the first place.

When I was in the depths of depression once, a particularly useless GP said to me "surely this is not the worst thing you have experienced in life?" and then later implied I might feel better if I had sex with my husband more often. Some of them (my regular GP) are totally brilliant. Others are abysmally bad.

candycoatedwaterdrops Tue 04-Mar-14 12:27:36

YAB and bit U but he didn't handle is very sensitively, jumping in with it at the start. It should have been presented in a very careful way e.g. "healthy eating and exercise is an important part of managing your mood". I do see where doctors are coming from, anti-depressants are not the be all and end all. They are part are parcel of working on the psycho-social issues. I do understand where you're coming from though.

I get it for being underweight. Every new doctor or locum thinks all of my ailments must be a result of my weight, I'm sure some are but I'd like to talk about my uti/ depression/ anxiety/ bug rather than my weight!

Get a new gp that you feel able to talk to. Hope your appointment goes ok op.

bragmatic Tue 04-Mar-14 12:32:47

That Thing We Are Not Allowed To Mention?

Well, that makes him a dick. Feel better soon, OP.

Sirzy Tue 04-Mar-14 12:34:26

I agree with candy. So often weight related issues do impact upon depression and I don't think that can be ignored - if should be handled sensitively though

pluCaChange Tue 04-Mar-14 12:35:34

And even then he kept referring to it as 'The Thing We Are Not Allowed To Mention'.

Snide bastard.

I've had back and foot issues over the past six months, so have seen a few people, not just the GP, and no-one has raised the matter of weight, even though I am a bit overweight. Even the French one has been very diplomatic (?) and concentrated on recommending strengthening exercises, rather than reducing any strain from weight. I have found this a bit weird, but it's the opposite of demoralising! (Also, I'm not up for wrecking my back/foot with panic-exercise!)

Lottiedoubtie Tue 04-Mar-14 12:35:59

But if dealing with a patient with MH concerns what is more important than dealing with the whole picture sensitively? Nothing.

GP is a prat.

Candy- when a service user is sat weeping, begging for help, lectures on weight loss/ gain can wait till another day. Yes it'll help but by mentioning it every two minutes indicates that the gp isn't listening to the patient, the gp is guessing a 'reason' or trying to suggest a solution without knowing more about his patient. Maybe if he'd at some point asked about sleeping, eating and exercise as part of the appointment it'd be ok, but not to base the whole appointment on what he wanted out of it.

skinoncustard Tue 04-Mar-14 12:41:01

I feel your pain. It doesn't matter why I go to the doctor, excessive bleeding, other gyny problems, ingrown toenail. It always comes back to weight! I am a bit overweight not off the scale by any means. I was also given fasting blood tests on 4 separate occasions for diabetes- all clear, At the fifth test I refused to play the game anymore! Whilst I agree there are lots of problems with being ( excessively) overweight there are too many in the medical profession who see the weight and not the person. Good luck , I hope you get the help you need.

Germgirl Tue 04-Mar-14 12:42:48

My GP is exactly the same. In fact apart from one, all the GPs at the surgery are the same. I truly believe that if I turned up with a broken arm I'd be told it's because I'm overweight.
A couple of years ago I was very depressed, diagnosed as bipolar - although I don't think I was. And I eventually found a GP who didn't constantly harp in about my weight. It was such a relief to find someone who didn't put every symptom down to me being fat. Before I found him, one GP said to me 'I'm not surprised you're depressed, I would be too if I looked like you'. I was speechless!
Can you change your GP OP? You need support, not a snide idiot who makes you feel worse.
Take care. Hope you feel a bit better soon.

My cousin complains of the same thing. She goes to the dr with a sore finger... "Well you are very overweight". Aching shoulder..."well you are very overweight". Eye infection... "Well you are very overweight".

Luckily my dr isn't a dick but it seems that plenty are.

Sillylass79 Tue 04-Mar-14 12:46:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Soulrebel - at this point in time, I can just about manage to get myself out of bed and have a shower. Sometimes I don't manage the shower. Every single other thing in the day is a struggle - physically and mentally. I have barely enough motivation to care for myself on the most basic level, and cannot conceive of having enough motivation to go out and exercise.

Hopefully, if the treatment works, and I do start to improve, I will be better able to take more exercise, but at the moment, it is a sheer impossibility.

And anyhow, I don't care about myself or like myself enough to do it. My weight might be a form of self harm.

Sounds awful for you, maybe see another GP?

In their defence (GPs), did you know that if you are overweight or obese, a message flashes up on their screen that they MUST talk to you about weight? They have to click it away (tick it off) before they can get on with the task at hand.

GP's are put under a lot of pressure to help in the fight on obesity.

hope the psychiatrist appointment goes better!

Good luck, look after yourself.

CailinDana Tue 04-Mar-14 13:07:32

Sorry to hear you're so unwell SDT. I've seen you around a lot and like your posts.

I've been whee you are. It sucks. Apart from horrid nasfy GP what sort of day are you having?

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