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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: slccom on December 15, 2012, 09:00:16 PM

Title: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on December 15, 2012, 09:00:16 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/mislabeling-medical-illne_b_2265198.html

This is just scary.
Sharon

Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on December 15, 2012, 09:04:36 PM
That is, Somatic Symptoms Disorder.
Sharon
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: irish on December 15, 2012, 10:46:27 PM
I agree with you. The only thing is----they already considered most of us to be "mental cases" cause they would not take our complaints seriously. Actually, after being physically ill for many years and also having depression, my psychiatrist told me to apply for disability cause I was physically ill.

He figured that out long before a bunch of other docs did. Just goes to show you that we should not shun mental health evaluations cause when we are chronically, physically ill we do develop a certain amount of depressive issues and this is only normal.

If we have a psychiatrist on our side we are many steps ahead of the game. Sooo, our psychiatrist can be our livesaver at a time like this. It really is better having a psychiatrist managing our antidepressant meds if at all possible. That is not to say that a GP is no capable, but having another opinion helps us. Irish
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Loribelle on December 16, 2012, 04:45:47 AM
That IS scary! Speaking as someone who worked in mental health for years, I can say that yes medical illness and mental health do sometimes overlap, however, medical illness should NEVER be mistaken for mental illness! Once those "labels" are officually placed on someone it can be very damaging!
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Tivia on December 16, 2012, 09:14:10 AM
Oh dear god what is that, its like something out of an Orwellian story. I have never even heard of this DSM-5. Tell me that dont sound ominous? Like some secret operation out of new world order /tinfoil hat


No but seriously something isnt right about that, and when you do more research on DSM-5 it does look like some kind of conspiracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM-5  They call it a task force overseen by a small group...hmmmm
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: THE BRIT on December 16, 2012, 12:36:01 PM
  The basis of the old one is a text book that is used to assess mental illness and level of functioing.  You go through the booklet which looks at things how stable your condition is, whether you can function in society like holding a job.  The are then 5 axis and part of the results are assigned to them the fifth is your overall level of function.  I got told by a couple of people that I was around 50 in that axis which means they do not think I function very well.  They said the medical side probably pushed it that way, but I was still upset.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: susan on December 16, 2012, 02:18:01 PM


That was definitely worth the read! Thanks for posting:)
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: kellyk on December 17, 2012, 04:54:11 AM
this is very scary

When I was looking for a dx for my weakness.. I had a  Neurologist try and say I had Conversion Disorder..  even tried to send me to a Shrink...

Its hard enough to find answers to medical problems then you throw in this and some cocky bone head dr ... It becomes dangerous. and we have a host of people with potentially treatable issues taking the wrong kinds of meds.....

Lucky for me my other drs didn't buy it and they knew someone was really wrong.. and treatment is helping me ...

Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on December 17, 2012, 04:27:46 PM
Not surprised in the least to see this, been pigeon-holed many times in my life already.  I can understand fully now why people who've lived with multi-illnesses just stop going to doctors. 
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Joe S. on December 18, 2012, 08:54:11 AM
Pack up your bags for your nearest Concentration camp (FEMA treatment). Enjoy the train ride while you can. You know it is for your own good that we have to separate you from the general population.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on December 18, 2012, 03:42:30 PM
I brought this article up with my mental health therapist today.  She attended a training last week about the DSM 5 and thinks the Huff Post article is more of a media spin issue than anything.  She also feels that the new criteria will help diagnose and treat in more comprehensive ways.  Just sharing her feedback.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on December 18, 2012, 07:05:24 PM
Well, I guess that she has not suffered under the tender mercies of the PsychoNazis in England who have been abusing and even killing Brits with chronic fatigue syndrome. They have decided that it is all mental illness, and are forcibly exercising them.

Sharon
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on December 19, 2012, 02:32:24 AM
Sharon, I've no idea what goes on in the UK, but know that my CFS diagnosis carried a lot of stigma and negatively affected my life.  I had one supervisor, during a time when I didn't know cognitively what was going on, who said to me "They don't even know if CFS really exists."   So it was a .... rollercoaster kind of nightmare where I work.  Now with SjS diagnosis, it is better because I don't talk to supervisor about it.  She wouldn't understand it any better than she did the CFS. 

My mental health counselor is a real No B.S. person and has great empathy for her patients.  She's been in the job 30 years.  So maybe she will remain a strong advocate for patients regardless of new guidelines.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: LizPetillo on December 21, 2012, 09:08:44 AM
The DMS-IV is much better.  I don't know why they changed it.
Also .. they dropped 'passive aggressive' as a disorder ...
I bet no one who wrote the DSM has had a passive agreessive mother to deal with!

UGH. 

Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on December 21, 2012, 11:47:31 AM
The DMS-IV is much better.  I don't know why they changed it.
Also .. they dropped 'passive aggressive' as a disorder ...
I bet no one who wrote the DSM has had a passive agressive mother to deal with!

UGH.

I know what you mean! Plus, my MIL is an overt aggressive alternating with passive.  The best thing we did was immediately move 2000 miles away from her  (MIL).
Sharon

Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: keithmarty on December 21, 2012, 08:54:38 PM
Apparently, there will be a whole lot of changes with the DSM-V. In the "Autism World" (my son has Autism), everyone is up-in-arms because the changing criteria will incorporate two similar dx into the 299.0 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Many fear that they will no longer fit any criteria and will lose their dx, which means losing services, etc. Specifically, Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and PDD-NOS are separate dx in DSM-IV, but do not exist in DSM-V as they supposedly fit under ASD.

I haven't read the article in this post yet, but one of the replies mentioned the difference in "medical illness" and "mental illness". That distinction seems clear enough to me.  Does the article say that SJS will be included in the DSM-V?  Or is it a similar dx that one might "fall" into instead of SJS?  How would qualifying for disability with the SSA be affected either way (easier or more difficult)?

In my case, depression, anxiety, and migraines preceded my noticing symptoms of SJS. Had they not, I can certainly see how living with SJS could have brought them on!
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on December 22, 2012, 02:34:21 PM
Apparently, there will be a whole lot of changes with the DSM-V. In the "Autism World" (my son has Autism), everyone is up-in-arms because the changing criteria will incorporate two similar dx into the 299.0 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Many fear that they will no longer fit any criteria and will lose their dx, which means losing services, etc. Specifically, Asperger's Syndrome (AS) and PDD-NOS are separate dx in DSM-IV, but do not exist in DSM-V as they supposedly fit under ASD.

I haven't read the article in this post yet, but one of the replies mentioned the difference in "medical illness" and "mental illness". That distinction seems clear enough to me.  Does the article say that SJS will be included in the DSM-V?  Or is it a similar dx that one might "fall" into instead of SJS?  How would qualifying for disability with the SSA be affected either way (easier or more difficult)?

In my case, depression, anxiety, and migraines preceded my noticing symptoms of SJS. Had they not, I can certainly see how living with SJS could have brought them on!

God Bless you, keithmarty for that last paragraph!  About the only thing I have going for me right now is a PCP who said to me on Friday "I know you've had bouts of depression in your life, but I do believe it is worse now due to dealing with this (SjS) long term, I don't see your symptoms as caused by primary depression."   It makes all the difference in the world to be understood and believed in. 
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Chrisb on December 22, 2012, 04:46:54 PM
My gp said I was anorexic and that's why I was so thin. She also said I was imagining that my hair was falling out and my eyes and mouth were dry. She said I had a mental disorder and I was chemically imbalanced. Nich eh?
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on December 22, 2012, 05:23:55 PM
My gp said I was anorexic and that's why I was so thin. She also said I was imagining that my hair was falling out and my eyes and mouth were dry. She said I had a mental disorder and I was chemically imbalanced. Nich eh?

Your GP sounds like the one who is mentally disordered!
Sharon
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: anabanana on January 17, 2013, 08:38:59 PM
I saw this post and can relate.
The first neuro, from the first appointment, suggested a prescription for ssris and shrink into the picture. Neuro kept pressing me on it every appointment afterwards and I refused. Then one time, when I was crying in response to being scared of my circumstance feeling like the dr didn't want to press further testing, the neuro said, Would you like me to write you a prescription to feel better.
I stopped cold and told Neuro that normal people cry when they are terrified when they are experiencing symptoms of a disease, a normal response, not something a drug will fix, only answers. Never went back...Then the second Neuro I saw was a big joke neuromuscular specialist, who sided with the last Neuro, who was a colleague in the same group so he wouldn't have to do much work. He was much more interested in my social history, what I did for a living to evaluate in his mind how stupid or smart I was, my private life, and was trying to imply something because I didn't have children. Must be that female hysteria, I thought. He brought up somatization/conversion BS, and I almost went to a psych so dr would get off my back, but then I changed my mind because it was a lie.
Never went back to that one, but went to his senior colleague. I got a better response, but this neuro kept pushing counseling, actually threatened me that no more tests would be done until I saw someone in psych. So I went for a few sessions and vented how disgusted I was with these neuros, never returned back. Then our neuro relationship was terminated, in not so many words other than, we are done he determined and abandoned me. Just sickening, I hope these doctors suffer like what we are going through...so that's my story. I will never go back to that group again, they call themselves specialists, with no compassion at all. The next neuro that suggests this I will decline immediately and tell them to focus on my physical illness, not some imaginary one...
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: irish on January 18, 2013, 08:14:23 PM
The lawyers are waiting in the wings folks. They will be watching this like crazy as there are going to be some lawsuits without a doubt. We may find out just what the medical community is made of.

I, for one, think that there are also some very upset psychiatrists out there right now. Nothing worse than the government telling a doctor how to practice medicine and then opening them up to legal action if they don't comply. This is going to get very, very interesting. Irish
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: slccom on January 21, 2013, 12:02:23 AM
Really bad news, folks. It is in the DSM-V.  Despite all the comments against it.
Sharon
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Linda196 on January 21, 2013, 03:21:27 AM
All we can hope is that as much attention and compliance is paid to these guidelines as to those for the diagnosis of Sjogren's, because no two doctors appear to agree on which of the criteria for SjS mean anything!
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on January 21, 2013, 07:01:36 AM
Ana, I've posted on this issue already, but to update...will say that there are doctors in my town that I will never recommend to anyone due to how they responded to me, early on, with this illness.  One PCP told me that "until you get hold of this depression you will not be healthy"   and offered no testing, no listening to my history, and am assuming didn't look at any of the Too Long Questionnaire I'd filled out in her waiting room.  Each visit = money out of our pockets and too often, disrespectful treatment.

First rheumy experience was prime example:  my problems are post menopausal and depression related.  He said very early on that being ss-b positive I should have no more symptoms than dry eyes/mouth and maybe some dental issues.  I'm serious.  Quote "Most people with Sjogren's have only dry eyes and mouth but I guess you're different, huh?"   and it was not an acknowledgement, it was a dismissive comment.  When I gave him history on GI tract problems, skin rashes and hives, and flares of weight loss he really wouldn't discuss them.  Tell me what all that is about...?  It's about the patient in the next room, and a goal of seeing a certain number of patients per day.  I was sure if my blood work was positive, it would be "a breeze" finally to find the right kind of medical support and treatment.

I saw a therapist for a few months recently but have stopped due to money and because regardless of what SSDI wants to "see", I am not first & foremost depressed ... and medical bills precede counseling ones for me.   

I do find the research interesting on Sjogren's induced CNS  depression & mood disorders, would seem to me that this would be something in our favor.  Luckily I have a PCP who is listing depression as a by product of chronic medical illness. 
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: SjoDry on January 21, 2013, 09:05:44 AM
I see a recurring pattern that is bound to get worst with this new label.

Out of curiosity...how many of you have been told to seek mental health treatment/counseling for your issues?

I was, by the last amazing (I was told) diagnostician that I saw. He never examined me, diagnosed Fibro from across the room and
then told me that sometimes we just "have the perception" of dryness. I might wish to consider seeing a counselor.  Whatever.

SjoDry
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: anabanana on January 21, 2013, 10:09:49 AM
So everyone, if we ever come into contact with a doctor who brings up depression/ mental illness, what are some good thing we can say to them to shake them up, it would be useful to be prepared?

Unfortunately, I am now on constant psych guard for doctors bringing this up, because it takes focus away from the real problem. Which makes me even more stressed when going to see a new doctor...

I am at a point where, even if my illness and lack of diagnosis is now causing me anxiety and feeling depressed that my life has stopped, I will never admit it from fear that it will be twisted.

Any thoughts on any of the things I mentioned above?
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Joe S. on January 21, 2013, 10:51:05 AM
Ask the doctor to see his pych certification or where did he get his degree in psychology. Suggest that it is time for him to see a shrink.

I like to antagonize pompous blowhards that think they are gods or god's gifts.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: SjoDry on January 21, 2013, 10:56:26 AM
I think statistics are good. I might reference the fact that it takes the average patient
7 years or more to become diagnosed. Part of the reason is that the physician focus is put on one or two symptoms such as depression,
instead of looking at the patient as a whole, thus, delaying a diagnosis and proper treatment. If there is a 'mis-diagnosed' statistic available,
that would be great. Unfortunately, the doctors who shoot from the hip & don't take time to look at everything, probably won't care about a statistic either. :-\
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: anabanana on January 21, 2013, 10:58:11 AM
Thank you Joe. Sometimes I am afraid to really say whats on my mind because I'm scared that they will not help me after that...but then I am reminded that if they were really doing their job, they would stop trying to be a psych and really use their brain...I think it's disgusting how truly sick people are treated, because pulling the psych card takes the focus away from the drs inability or laziness and puts blame on the patient for feeling what they are feeling...
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: anabanana on January 21, 2013, 11:04:23 AM
Sjodry,
Exactly, because they are not interested in helping us, its just a bs excuse to get us out of their office after a pricy consult, so it won't matter what we say, but we can put them in their place anyway. If we know that it will be the last time we see a bs doctor, we should just let it rip...say what's on our mind about their tactics...at least that will be somewhat therapeutic.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: crmak on January 21, 2013, 03:58:09 PM
I thought we were supposed to be getting farther away from the Dark Ages, not closer.  >:(
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: THE BRIT on January 22, 2013, 08:29:28 PM
  I have also had the fun of neuros pushing it back to psych.  The trouble is I do have a history of depression and bipolar for over 30 years so it is really easy for them to go that route.  If you feel seeing someone might help then try, but I have found that they see one little psych drug on your med list and it is an instant that is the reason why.  That is why I like my little rheumy so much because he accepts that this is a part of me, but that I have AI as well. When I was seeing an APRN for my psych meds they worked together and he thought she was great. What is it with neuros?  Why are they the worst, I know they go to med school a longer time than others so I guess they think they know everything.  It is so frustrating and at times you just want to bounce their little heads on the wall until they see the light.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: gold55 on January 22, 2013, 08:41:24 PM
I had a neuro surgeon who was supposed to be assessing my back problems write in a letter that I didn't have SJS and my back was that of a 58 year old.....he said I was relating all my nerve and joint/muscle pains to SJS and (without seeing my + bloodwork for SJS) stated that this was all most likely to somatization issues.  Ha!  then why are my doctors checking all my bloodwork every six months for organ problems and why do they have me on meloxicam and why did they send me for a nerve conduction study??  Actually, a lot of the pain is coming from serious back issues and some of my meds are keeping my back in check, according to my rheumies.  The neurosurgeon basically said there was nothing in my back worth operating on and that other 58 year olds don't have....degenerative disc disease, two herniated discs resting on the nerve roots of my legs and severe spinal stenosis.  Ha!  That's a walk in the park!!!  I don't plan to ever see that dope in the future unless I end up with something very serious that he could have prevented by attending to my back issues.....I'll be happy to see him in court!!!! 
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: irish on January 22, 2013, 10:37:38 PM
I was treated like a "mental case" for close to 40 years. At one big clinic in my state I actually had some really heated conversations with doctors. I would tell them that "this is not psychiatric, it is autoimmune" and they can placated and documented all this psychobabble about me.

When I got to my immunologist he looked at my previous documentation and just shook his head and said " I can't believe they had the nerve to even document this". There are a lot of really weird people out in the world who are not very stable, and a lot of them are doctors.

When I got all my diagnoses I wrote an 8 page letter to this clinic and filled them in on all the stuff that they had misses. They misses my sjogrens, my myasthenia and my low t-cells cause they had felt I was nutz. Years earlier I had 2 episodes of severe back pain between my shoulder blades after eating pork. I just rolled in bed several hours in agony and felt that it was gallbladder. The doc told me I needed a referral to psychiatrist. I told him, "no thanks" I see one now for depression and this is not depression.

Needless to say, I stay away from that clinic and it makes both me and them happy. Irish
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: MaryBee7 on January 23, 2013, 01:42:45 AM
"Ma'am, you're depressed."   

It's depressing, all right.  Being in your office depresses me.  I really enjoy losing hours of life sitting in your waiting area, filling out papers that you'll never read...and paying specialist fees that I cannot afford. 

Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: LoopyFlowers on May 20, 2013, 05:42:37 AM
I am really upset I have Primary Sjogrens with RA and all the positive blood results for antibodies Ra, Lo , High ESR, ANA positive. positive biopsy of saliva glands, low lymphocytes, Severe Vit D deficiency and iron deficiency and I am depressed due to crippling fatigue and joint stiffness and pains. I asked to see a psychaitrsit who has labelled me with Somatisation disorder due to non specific aches and pains. He knew nothing about Sjogrens and could not think outside the box. What can I do to get this challenged I feel more depressed thsn ever.
loopy flowers
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: odie on May 20, 2013, 10:16:39 AM
I am really upset I have Primary Sjogrens with RA and all the positive blood results for antibodies Ra, Lo , High ESR, ANA positive. positive biopsy of saliva glands, low lymphocytes, Severe Vit D deficiency and iron deficiency and I am depressed due to crippling fatigue and joint stiffness and pains. I asked to see a psychaitrsit who has labelled me with Somatisation disorder due to non specific aches and pains. He knew nothing about Sjogrens and could not think outside the box. What can I do to get this challenged I feel more depressed thsn ever.
loopy flowers

Did the psychiatrist prescribe anything?  If all you got out of the visit is a label and you don't agree with it write a letter to the shrink detailing why you went to see him and demand that it be included in his report as part of your medical record.  And then seek another shrink who will listen and help you.  It wouldn't hurt to provide him with some literature about Sjogren's to educate him.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: Linda196 on May 20, 2013, 11:44:37 AM
If you have RA, you have secondary Sjogren's, not primary; and if you have lab documentation of abnormalities, you have a physiological diagnosis.

It may be time for a new rheumy, and probably a new therapist.
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: anabanana on May 21, 2013, 08:38:49 AM
I dont know...
My opinion is, stay away from metal health...
You may want or need to talk to someones, and think that these people will help you...
But bottom line is, you never know how they will perceive you, just because you cry and shake from stress, related to your health problems or the lack of answers about your health...
I feel like these people are trained to look for mental disease, and seems that these days, everything can be twisted into a mental disease...
Even doctors are trying to be psychiatrists, and worst, neurologists...trying to tell you, that its anxiety, somatization, BS,...when all you are experienceing is the stress of the physical illness, the unknown of what your disease is...

That has been my experience, and even when docs suggest going to mental health to help cope, I am suspicious of it....the only way I can begin to cope is when someone tells me what the heck my disease is...then, I can find a support group, plan my life better, hopefully get on some meds...
All that mental health therapists do is push drugs (my experience) immediately, and give advice that anyone could give you...which doesnt help much...trying to focus and be busy with other stuff, well...that only does very little...

When you dont have answers, that anxiety, stress, despair is always there...my 2 cents...
It is easy for people who have no idea what its like to talk about it...to sit in their cushy chair, go home, and live their extremely well paid life...
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: odie on May 21, 2013, 09:40:00 AM
the only way I can begin to cope is when someone tells me what the heck my disease is...then, I can find a support group, plan my life better, hopefully get on some meds...
All that mental health therapists do is push drugs (my experience) immediately, and give advice that anyone could give you...which doesnt help much...trying to focus and be busy with other stuff, well...that only does very little...

When you dont have answers, that anxiety, stress, despair is always there...my 2 cents...
It is easy for people who have no idea what its like to talk about it...to sit in their cushy chair, go home, and live their extremely well paid life...

SPOT ON!!!  You summed it up supremely. 
Title: Re: New DSM-5 criteria for "somatization disorders" could label us Mentally Ill
Post by: daisymae on May 21, 2013, 11:01:42 AM
This is a very difficult issue and it seems that for every medical professional, there always are bad apples that we need to recognize and then find the good ones.

I am bothered by the stigma of a "mental health issue".  It is not just an "issue", it is equally a disease along with any of our physical diseases and symptoms.  Some of the reaction is a continuation of this stigma.  We have to learn that we need to treat our minds and mental health as much as we need to treat our bodies.  For example, depression is so common amongst those with a chronic illness, and SJs itself has a direct link to depression with CNS involvement.

Professionals who want to classify everything as a Somatoform Disorder, however, are biased and ignorant.  I truly believe that very few people are capable of making themselves this sick, nor would people want to make themselves sick.  It takes a very unusual mental health disease to make someone hurt oneself so dramatically.  To get to the bottom of this, it should take many hours of professional sessions to determine if there is a Somataform Disorder rather than physical disease.

Have we so little trust in people's knowledge of their own bodies and minds that we cave to these professionals who, in minutes, come up with far-fetched mental health diagnoses that could not be substantiated on proper evaluation?

I am a strong proponent of counselling and treatment for real mental health diseases.  Stigma be d..med! And I'm a believer in persistent self-advocacy.  Fire the bad apples; search for new and better health care providers; get second and third opinions; ask for copies of your medical records (reports, lab results, etc - they're your files); research and become informed; take an advocate with you to appointments - a friend who is in the health care field, or just someone who won't be bullied; be firm but polite as I believe becoming defensive and reactionary will only be met in kind.  If you have been seriously wronged and this has cost you financially, and if you have the energy, write letters to the professional's governing boards to outline the mistreatment and costs.  You may not get anything from it but it does get read by the professionals.

I will get off my soap box now...  :)