Am I the victim of patient profiling?

Since around the age of 16 my GP's have been speculating that I may have mental health problems although I have never presented with concerns of my own (I turn up with a cold and they suggest counselling or anti-depressants - obviously I'm exaggerating but that's how it feels), it is my firm belief that this is due to my mothers medical history which includes Bipola Dissorder.

I have endometriosis and periods of vomiting during my mentsrual cycle as well as having IBS & suspected Pelvic floor dysfunction.

When the vomiting first presented (pre-endometriosis diagnosis) I had tests to "rule out anything sinister" and all came back normal which meant the cause for the vomiting was, at the time, unknown. Yesterday my GP told me that in the notes from that period, it was written that it was "a mind illness rather than a physical one".

My most recent visit to my GP was advised by a doctor who treated me at A&E for dehydration caused by the vomiting and "severe constipation", which he believed could have been the cause of the vomiting (I hadn't made a BM in almost 3 weeks). It was his belief that my IBS and vomiting should have been being managed better with the help of a gastroenterologist and he advised me to speak to my gp to get a referral although he felt this should have already been something that had been done by now & even suggested considering changing GP.

Taking his advice, when I had recovered, I attended an appointment with my GP and explained the doctors suggestion. She responded by saying she didn't have the authority to make a referral so she would speak to a more senior dr and call me in a couple of days. Today was the day she called.

"After speaking with a senior here and after looking back through your notes, I seen that you had some tests in the past and you seen a doctor about your vomiting in 2007, so as your symptoms haven't changed much since then I don't think referring you to a gastroenterologist would be the right thing to do. Would you be happy to see a mental health worker?".

I replied by telling her, when I was last seen (a decade ago) about my vomiting symptoms, I didn't have the bowel problems which I now have and which influenced the doctor at A&E's advice, nor the weight loss (which started almost two months ago). Again, in a highly patronising tone she said "like I said, I'm happy to refer you to a mental health worker and in the meantime while you're concerned you can pop in to have a chat with me. I'll make you an appointment for Friday".

Am I the victim of patient profiling, it certainly feels that way?!

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4 Replies

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  • Hi Kall27,

    Stay strong and resilient. You are doing fine as your own advocate (which is the best way to manage your health imo). It's difficult to climb into your GP's shoes re whether they are profiling you.

    However clearly your relationship with your current GP isn't that productive. I can't fault your logic and you explain your situation clearly and I'm surprised your GP hasn't followed the A&E advice. I'd explore changing your GP and practice. Are you able to afford a private consultation? My understanding is that if you're paying your GP is duty bound to refer you. However if you go down this route research the best local gastroenterologist accessible to you.

    Best of luck.

    Peter

  • Sorry to hear about this. I’ve certainly been through similar treatment myself 😡

  • Some people just don’t listen and believe that because they have the title they are right. Putting to mental illness isn’t necissarily the best thing to do, because if you feel well in yourself and are shocked that they even think that then there is some sort of Mis-communication. I’d say to ask to see different Doctors and see what they say, maybe walk-in centres and other medical practices until you find an answer you’re happy with. I went undiagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma for far too long, it was a lengthy process and without my parents pushing for me to see numerous different doctors. Who knows when they would have found the real problem!

    I hope you find the answers you are looking for! I wish you good health and hope that something is done very soon!

  • I don't know anything about patient profiling, but suggest you take somebody with you the next appointment you attend. It might also be an idea to see a different doctor, perhaps the head of the practice wo is qualified to refer you, or change practice altogether. Do you know anyone who can recommend a GP?

    You seem to have a lot of digestive issues. Whilst your waiting to sort out a referral for help with this, seeing a mental health practitioner may be useful if they can tell your GP that your issues are physical, or help you to understand why your GP has decided you need their help. Both good & bad stress plays havoc with my digestion, so the fact that you are worried, & not getting the help you feel you need is going to impact negatively on both your physical & mental health.

    There is a lot you can do to help yourself with regard to IBS symptoms, such avoiding processed foods ~ especially artificial sweeteners & other toxic chemicals, & completely removing gluten from your diet. Eating a good probiotic such as kefir has been proven to heal the digestive system & calm the vagus nerve which connects this part of the body to the brain.

    I follow an American functional medicine practitioner, & find his dietary & general health advice very good, as well as being free. Here's a few links to his articles & e-books:

    chriskresser.com/gut-health/

    chriskresser.com/category/d...

    chriskresser.com/kefir-the-...

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