'I felt that I could not be trusted and was a failure'

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The Independent Online
DORIS KEMP, a nursing manager for a London health authority, was ill with depression in the middle of December. Her line manager sent her a note: 'I hope you are enjoying yourself doing your Christmas shopping.'

'At the time I was in hospital. When I came back after five months I was moved. I felt I could not be trusted and was a failure,' she said.

Mrs Kemp's depression started in 1982 due to her first husband's alcoholism. She took early retirement in 1991 at the age of 52, but felt that more could have been done to keep her in her job.

'I had thoughts of suicide and lacked self-confidence. I had a feeling of loneliness - an internal feeling of being totally alone.'

Getting ready for work every morning became a problem but Mrs Kemp usually struggled in, using migraine as an excuse if she did not make it.

'My immediate reaction was to turn to the wall and shut out the world,' she said.