As part as Channel 5’s ‘Mental Health Week’ this special episode focuses on patients with mental health problems who have come to the Farnham Road Surgery in Slough for help. The issues they face include: schizophrenia; ADHD; depression during pregnancy; anger management; loneliness; bipolar; anxiety and psychosis.
Dr Ameet Taylor’s first patient is Mum-to-be Myrsini, who is 21 weeks pregnant with twins and worried she’s slipping into a depression. When Dr Taylor asks if she’s had thoughts of harming herself or others Myrsini admits “sometimes I wish I wasn’t pregnant, maybe things would be better”. Concerned, Dr Taylor refers her for urgent help and support from the local mental health crisis team who can be on hand in as little as one hour.
Myrsini’s not alone, 10-15% of women experience some form of depression during pregnancy, and as Myrsini also has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, Dr Taylor makes sure she is under the care of a specialist team of midwives called the ‘Crystal Team’, who support vulnerable Mums-to-be throughout their pregnancy and after the birth.
Elsewhere in the surgery, Dr Georgia Allen’s reviewing the medication of another patient, Nigel. He’s recently been diagnosed with Schizophrenia - a long term mental health condition, characterized by hallucinations; hearing voices and muddled thinking. Nigel’s experiencing joint pain and a locked jaw, which Dr Allen suspects could be a side effect of the antipsychotic medication he’s been prescribed
Further down the corridor, Dr David Ward is seeing one of his long term patients; Kristian who suffers with a form of psychosis with features of paranoia. Things came to a head for Kristian just over a year ago, when he was watching a lot of horror films and struggled to separate fiction from reality. To reduce or minimize future episodes Dr Ward regularly reviews Kristian’s lifestyle and encourages him to exercise as a health body begets a healthy mind.
The team at Farnham Road know mental illness can affect a whole family and welcome joint appointments with parents, partners and siblings. In consultation room 2, Dr Nithy Nanda is seeing young adult, Amy and her Mum Jayne. Amy has Aspergers - a mild form of autism and struggles to socialize. Amy’s worried about her low energy and her Mum is more concerned about Amy’s lack of social life. Dr Nithy believes Amy’s low energy may be caused by depression as a result of her social isolation and encourages Amy to continue with talking therapies she has been prescribed and also sends her for blood tests to rule out other medical conditions.
Another concerned Mum is Sarah. She tells Dr Phillip Lee her young son Damien has been behaving badly both at home and at school and gets so angry he scrapes chunks out of his scalp. She wants her son to be tested for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Dr Lee explains that, because diagnosing ADHD is a complex and lengthy process, Damien will need to be seen by educational psychologists for detailed testing.
Over on the front desk, Reception manager, Alison has been battling with the faulty automatic check in machine and has given it one last chance before she throws it out the window. Can the surgery’s IT whizz fix it?