Imagine your life turned upside down with chronic symptoms like fatigue, stroke-like symptoms, brain fog, sharp chest pain, coughing up blood … and doctors can’t seem to figure out what is wrong. Then imagine your feelings when one of the doctors decides that this spectrum of symptoms is psychosomatic or “all in your head.”
I felt persecuted from the moment I was given a psychosomatic label. I found myself hostage to a diagnosis that I hadn’t even known existed: “conversion disorder.” Even though the diagnosis was hidden deep within my medical file under piles of negative test results, it seemed to reveal itself at each new doctors appointment or ER visit. This diagnostic code was now part of me as if it were a scarlet letter on my forehead.
I was trapped not only by my pain and debilitating symptoms, but also by physicians who didn’t know how to provide effective care. In my most delicate state of mind and body, I was authoritatively told: I must trust and accept a mental health diagnosis in order to be cured.
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