Doctor D found a great blog by a patient with lots of physical maladies who used to be reporter for the Associated Press. Now she is "Sick Momma" and blogs on her life as a chronically ill mother and wife. As D was enjoying her blog and came across this post about some conditions he'd never heard of.
Apparently Sick Momma believes that many doctors suffer from a mental disorder which causes us to attribute symptoms we don't understand to a patient's mental state. Whatever!
Patients expressing unfamiliar complaints to their physicians often induce the "It's All In Your Head" (AIYH) or the "That's Impossible" response in doctors suffering from these behavioral problems and personality disorders.Excuse me? I'm the doctor, so I'll decide what is a disorder and what isn't!
Physicians fixated upon the metaphysical belief system of "If we don't know about it, then it doesn't exist" are suffering from a mental defect or psychological condition known as "Doctors with Unexplained Medical Beliefs": D.U.M.B.
And I've never heard of these "behavioral disorders," which leads me to suspect they don't exist! Since I have no idea what put these crazy ideas in Sick Momma's mind, I shall diagnose her as depressed and put her on Prozac. I shall continue to add psychoactive medications until she learns not to challenge my god-complex!
***Actually this is an interesting problem: What should be done about symptoms that make no sense? Lots of patients and doctors end up these situations.
The doc is thinking, "This doesn't sound like any disease I know about. All these symptoms are subjective sensations. Maybe it all is in this patient's head?"
The patient is thinking, "This doctor doesn't know what is causing my symptoms! What an ignorant doctor! If my doctor has never heard about this it must be something rare and horrible!"
It is a tricky impasse. Each can't help but have these impressions sometimes. We all want to prove we aren't ignorant or crazy, but then again we all want to be agreeable. Often these situations end up with either unnecessary antidepressants, unnecessary testing, or both.
We need better ways of discussing strange symptoms. Hence, in next week's reader question Doctor D shall provide some answers! (or perhaps some humble suggestions)
Until then, what do you think? Has a doctor ever told you your symptoms were all in your head? Have any of you healthcare providers ever had a patient who had nutty symptoms? Doctor D would love to hear your stories!