Could Ailments be Psychosomatic
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Q:  Could My Ailments be Psychosomatic

Ok here goes first off I have history of bi polar disorder and anxiety. In the last 6 months or so I have had many phsical ailments listed below:

1)a inner mouth gum pain where I once had a dry socket from an extraction, pain is everyday since june, feels swollen hurts very bad......

2)chronic ear infections and clogged all the time, pop when I swallow

3)chronic sore throats

4) various shooting pains,spasms, numbness: in arms, legs, top of feet and ankles

5) overall sick feeling, no energy, constant fear I have a illness and am dying

6)diarrehea or constipation

7)extreme gas, belching, hiccups, etc

8)lately recent thin is for 3 weeks now have had sever pain in testiccles, groin,stomach, lower back, cramps

9)latest (today) I have noticed I have a bunch of ulcerlike bumps in my mouth that look like pimples, only one hurts.

I have went to doctors 4 times and they gave me a cbc,rhp, flp and cholesterol test and found everything to be normal except that my tri glycerides or a little high (350), they are suspecting all these things are psychosomatic, is this possible or could they be missing something, can a cbc detect a problem with the body such as a virus, i am scared.

I look at diseases like lymes and hiv and sware i have all the syptoms just about....please help......

Dear Ron -- 
Trying to figure out "psychosomatic" (as though that were a real thing, which is misleading, but there is some phenomenon that is real behind it, just not what people usually think of when they hear that, which is "it's all in your head".  Rather, it may be "all" in how your emotion system and your energy system (like thyroid) and your immune system and your cardiovascular system are interacting) -- 

from "not psychosomatic" (as though there were such a thing, meaning physical symptoms that have nothing whatsoever to do with the emotion system, which is probably almost as absurd as the "all in your head" idea) -- 

is pretty tough for doctors.  Generally the best thing to do in my experience is to "proceed on both fronts at once":  look for Physical Causes, like thyroid problems and GI problems, etc.; and look at Emotional Causes, like your bipolar disorder being insufficiently controlled.  The latter means trying to find a better combination of mood stabilizers, and removing anything, if possible, that could be making bipolar disorder worse: alcohol, high caffeine, antidepressants, antipsychotics with antidepressant activity like Risperidone, sleep interferences like erratic schedules or travel, and huge stressors that have potential solutions (as opposed to those that don't, like recent losses of loved ones).   

I think it's easier to basically entertain multiple hypotheses and therefore proceed with multiple treatment efforts (as long as they don't conflict with one another, obviously) than to try to figure out "cause", in a situation like this.  Good luck to you. 

Dr. Phelps

Published November, 2001

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