An open letter to my doctor’s receptionist


I had post natal depression, twice and have anxiety too. I manage this by taking anti depressants. It took me 3 years and a second baby to come to terms and accept the fact that I need medication to help me balance my jumble of thoughts in my head so that I can not only function as a mummy but be the best mummy I can be to my children.

Stepping into the surgery this afternoon I was already anxious. My prescription was wrong and I was 10mg short of my correct prescription. Now that might not mean a lot to some people but I know that can make a huge difference to me.

Only last weekend I was so distracted with family life I missed a daily dose of my meds. It was only after a number of hurtful arguments with my husband and seemingly uncontrollable outbursts I then realised the reason I had become a screaming banshee was that the hormone level inside my body had dropped dramatically due to me forgetting to take my daily dose of antidepressants. It shocked me to see that functioning, calm, part of me slip away so quickly.

So when I’m standing in front of you asking for this mistake in the repeat prescription to be rectified. Whilst my daughter plays in the waiting room and a queue of patients are lining up behind me. I do not expect you to look at my notes on your screen and try and make sense of them. Reading them outloud for everyone to hear and see that I am getting more and more uncomfortable with this situation.

You are not the gatekeeper to personal information and my circumstances to discuss my mental health in such a way. Nor are you qualified to question why I need to do this. You had no idea of my circumstances. The fact that I know how my medication and dosages can affect my mental health and the wellbeing of my family.

How dare you make me feel like I am a junkie needing a fix when all I needed was to rectify a mistake on my prescription.

I am quite frankly appalled at the treatment I received and am speaking up for all the other patients for whom just walking up to the reception desk in a doctors surgery might be the first and biggest step in their recovery process.


4 thoughts on “An open letter to my doctor’s receptionist

  1. Oh my goodness, I can relate! I’ve had depression on and off for years and running the gamut of tyrannical receptionists was tough. Don’t get me wrong, some were lovely and even allowed me to sit in a private area away from the waiting room due to anxiety.

    Some though did what happened to you; reading aloud my private medical details and worse, when I phoned in emergencies they would grill me as to why I needed to see my GP. I would explain I was feeling suicidal and they would still ask if I thought it necessitated a visit! Really!

    I hope your future experiences are with the type of receptionists I have met who are caring and understanding.


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