I think I have discovered a new syndrome, well I say new but really its been around for as long as politicians have lied. I had a patient see me the other day who was feeling down in the dumps. Being a kind & caring GP I patiently sat and listened to her tell me her life story of how she has no money, no job, an abusive boyfriend, a young baby to feed and how its all making her feel a bit, well, shit. Believe it or not but I don’t have a magic pill that can fix this, I asked her why she came to the GPs but she wasn’t sure, she didn’t know what else to do. She has a syndrome that I am seeing more and more nowadays. It consists of low mood caused by adverse life circumstances. Otherwise known as “Shit-life Syndrome”.
Depending on where you work you’ll probably see a few of these cases. They are easy to recognise. About 5minutes into their history you mind will start to wander, perhaps thinking about what you are going to have for lunch or how that bid for an ivory back scratcher is going on ebay. Several minutes later your mind will wander back the patient who will still be telling you about all the terrible things that are going on in their life. There isn’t really much you can do, you ponder that if your life was going as shit as theirs you’d feel pretty depressed too. What about counselling? “Nah, tried that before doc and it was rubbish” (Waiting list is vast anyway). Ok then, what about antidepressants? Won’t change a thing but will make the drug companies happy.
I know! Exercise, going for nice walks, going out with your friends? Gyms too expensive, have you seen where I live doctor, and I’ve not got money to go out are the 3 rapid replies. This patient has “shit life syndrome”, nothing you can do for them other than listen. Maybe sign the odd ‘fit-note’ so they can get a bit of extra cash to help pay for the 50 inch flat screen telly every feels they have to own.
What’s the solution? Perhaps society needs to concentrate less on accumulating wealth and more on accumulating happiness? But we live in a consumer-drive society with an economy in nosedive so this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Oh well, lets just cut benefits, raise taxes and penalise anyone else who happens to have shit-life syndrome (aka the Daily Mail solution)