IBS Network

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?!

3 Replies

Oh. My. God. I would change Dr if poss. It's amazing what doctors yrs ago wrote in our notes. I've also been noted down as someone whose problems are all in the mind. I've even done their bloody CBT courses 5 times with no improvement. Last year it was discovered by chance I carry a faulty gene that is known to be present in majority of people with a certain auto immune disease. So not in my mind, but in my genes... Still had to fight to get referred to specialist as you can have the gene and not get the disease. Thank goodness my husband was with me and pointed out v forcefully that I had all the symptoms of what is a fairly obscure disease and so I should be referred pronto! He's useful sometimes 😀

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Oh my goodness, change your doctor. There is no way that you should be treated like this, it's disgusting and I really feel for you in the way you have been suffering for a very long time. You have every right to insist on a referral!!

If you don't I would get back to the doctor at A&E and let him/her know what you doctor has said to you, it's not right!!

Very best of luck and I hope that you manage to find another doctor.

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At one time I had regular depression during my menstrual cycle. It got severe and my husband rang up and made an appointment to see a gynecologist because he was very worried about me.

The gynecologist sternly told me off for wasting the space of someone "who was really ill". And I got very angry with her. That is the professional world we are living in, the "you don't fit in my box" one.

Unfortunately most doctors do not seem to realise that we are not just a body. We have a mind, a body, emotions and energies that all work together.

It's not because they can't work out the physical cause of your condition that it makes it a mental health problem.

If you have the possibility of going and seeing a holistic doctor I really would.


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