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Unread 10-01-2017, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default Facing a Somatic Symptom Disorder Diagnosis

New here and am hopeful to find some people who have experience with this nightmare I am in. Long story short, I started having pains in my hands and wrists which kept me from working. The pain is brought on by repetitive or continuous hand movements. It is always brought on by the same thing. I have gone to over 80 appointments since then and have had a diagnosis that didn't quite fit, along with several failed surgeries. Even with the diagnosis, I was constantly referred to other doctors and specialists for more tests and ultimately there is no clinical reason for my chronic pain. Doctors continue to treat me like they don't believe me or don't know what to do with me. The last one I saw, about a month ago, actually said I was above his pay grade. In my disability hearing, it was suggested that I may in fact have somatization, and it has been suggested by an orthopedic surgeon as well. I am waiting to see a new mental health professional to get a confirmed diagnosis, but it fits perfectly.

It was pretty damn hard to hear that my inability to use my hands may be because I couldn't handle stress (and I had a lot at that time of my life and it has only gotten worse since I stopped working) but I am hopeful that with an actual diagnosis, I can find a cure and become able to function again.

I suffer from depression and anxiety, but its only in respect to the fact that I am no longer functional, and have lost nearly everything behind this pain.

I don't really have any questions, other than, does anyone relate? The appointments alone, are so emotionally draining and painful that I spend days in tears before and afterwards. It all leaves me feeling so hopeless and useless and now with it being my own brain that has failed me, I feel crazy too.
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Unread 10-17-2017, 05:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Facing a Somatic Symptom Disorder Diagnosis

Hi mjwhite1.
Im very glad I came across your post. You've had a tough time of it, that kind of pain that influences your life to such a degree can be so debilating not to mention the secondary problems that come with it like the anxiety and depression you mentioned. My younger sister suffers from something very similar to you except it had to do with her gut. She basically became lactose and gluten intolerant due to her mental distress. It took a very long time to be able to correlate the two and realise that one was in fact causing the other. For a long time we believed that the intolerance came first and next the mental health problems. As mineal as it sounds to change her diet, it had a profound effect on her and that was why we assumed that it occurred in that pattern. After a long time and a lot of dissecting we realised that her 'intolerance' coinsided with some fairly big life events, our mother died, she failed her exams, didn't get accepted to college and a plethora of other things. Sorry, if I have gone on a rant, I just want to get as much relevant info as possible so I apologise if it seems like I'm talking in circles.
Basically once she knew the causation of her problems lay in her mental health rather than any hard physical diagnoses, she was able to look at her 'intolerance' in a completely new light. She started talking to a psychologist and they focused on her time before she became intolerant and directly after. This helped a lot (I was surprised to the extent it helped actually), she is no eating cheese and bread again. She still gets pains in her stomach and likes to be very close to a toilet but it's improved no end.
On a side note, one of the hints that sparked that this wasn't a wholly physically problem was that she never reacted to foods that had 'hidden' gluten or lactose levels, it was only the obvious ones such a milk, bread, pizza ect ect.
Anyway, I think it is defiantly worth looking into as it seems you've been through the mill with this already with so many appointments and specialists and you never know, you could have just started your journey of being free of this.
I wish the best if luck to you and don't for a second fee like you're 'crazy', what is crazy is the power our brains have and how unwitting we may be to what it does.
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Unread 10-21-2017, 08:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Facing a Somatic Symptom Disorder Diagnosis

You aren't crazy. Nor are you alone. Your body is redirecting the overload of stress via another conduit rather that what you would expect.

I am sorry that you are in pain. I find it helpful to ease the pain in my neck, from somatic issues after very hard muscle spasms by putting a heat pack on it. I wonder if that you maybe able find some kind of relief by treating the pain as you would from any other organic issue.

There is so much that the medical/psych professionals don't know yet. Hang in there.
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