What To Do When the Doctor Says It’s All in Your Head

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A frustrated doctor should never tell you that a problem is all in your head — even if it is. The brain often causes illnesses with real-world symptoms, and some symptoms defy common medical expectations.

Try not to get angry after being told it’s all in your head. You should follow a practical approach to get to the reasons why you are having health issues by taking these steps.

”All in Your Head” Might Not Be a Value Judgment

You shouldn’t assume that an “all in your head” comment means that your doctor doesn’t believe you or thinks you’re a hypochondriac. The doctor might be considering disorders caused by conditions in your brain. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Doctors Don’t Know Everything

Doctors often can’t diagnose conditions on the spot, so you should try to understand your doctor’s frustration. Understand that doctors don’t know everything.

Try To Work With Your Doctor

Try to work harder with your doctor to explore other options — such as mentally caused conditions and common disorders that aren’t well understood.

Get a Second Opinion

If you remain unsatisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis, seek a second or third opinion. You have every right to do so. You may even need to see a specialist.

Ask for a Psychiatric Referral

If the problem is rooted in your brain, your symptoms are still valid. Ask for a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Choose the Doctor Who Seems Correct

You don’t have to keep working with the first doctor. If you’ve been to a specialist or had a second opinion, you can continue treatment with the doctor you think best understands your concerns.

Consult a Patient Advocate

It’s helpful to consult an unbiased third-party who only wants the best for you. Patient advocates can help you review your steps and record them to get a correct diagnosis.

Consider Special Conditions

There are many conditions that aren’t well understood, and one of these could be causing your symptoms. The following conditions are often misunderstood and misdiagnosed:

Fibromyalgia

This disorder causes pain throughout the body and generates sleep disorders, tingling in the hands and feet, fatigue and even cognitive problems — such as memory loss.

Lyme Disease

This malady is transmitted by tick bites, and the symptoms include headaches, fever, fatigue, and skin rashes. These symptoms are caused by so many disorders that your doctor is unlikely to suspect lyme disease.

Endometriosis

This condition occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside of it. The symptoms might include only cramping, but a urinalysis can determine whether you have the condition.

Interstitial Cystitis

This disorder mimics a urinary infection with symptoms that include bladder pressure that makes you feel like you need to urinate constantly.

Lupus

This disorder of the immune system affects multiple organs like the lungs, kidneys, heart, skin, joints, blood cells, and general health. It’s difficult to diagnose because it requires that your symptoms meet a specific set of conditions.

Multiple Sclerosis

People with MS experience an attack on their immune system, which disrupts signals between the body and brain. The disease progresses by attacking the myelin sheath, a protective coating that surrounds nerves of the brain and spinal column.

Doctors who tell your illness is in your head cause great anxiety and affect a person’s physical and mental health negatively. Pulmonary hypertension is a condition that doesn’t make people look sick, and it doesn’t show up in standard blood work or x-rays.

Knowing When To File a Malpractice Suit

Trying to work with your doctor is the best practice, but when they tell you conclusively that it’s all in your head, you might have a case for filing a lawsuit. Examples of medical malpractice include not identifying a real condition that causes you pain and problems living a normal life.

If your doctor is unwilling to proceed further to diagnose your condition, find another doctor. If the second or third doctor diagnoses a recognized condition, you possibly have a case against the first doctor for medical malpractice.