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Mental Health as a symptom not the diagnosis

There is nothing more frustrating to a patient than having to censor themselves during a consultation. It’s counterproductive to finding a solution, but becoming more necessary for self advocacy. Let me unpack the last two sentences….

I was at the rheumatologist two days ago because I have cobalt chromium molybdenum implants leeching toxic ions into my bloodstream, and as a well informed patient, I know that my depression and altered mental state are a direct result of that process. I know this because I watch the immunology conferences at the FDA, involve myself in support groups with other patients, read clinical studies and published reports, and I have become a central hub for all of my doctors. I link together valuable information about my medication, radiology reports, operative reports, and integrate dental, medical and psychiatric professionals together so that I have continuity of care and so that no one kills me because they weren’t aware of what another doctor was doing.

So when I see a new doctor because my treating physician is unavailable but wants me to come in for bloodwork, and the new doctor decides that my tears and hopelessness are signs that she should inquire about whether I am a danger to myself- I get frustrated. Not because I think she is insensitive to my physical pain, but because I know that my emotional stay is a manifestation of my physical condition.

So, kicking the can down the road to the psych ward without digging into the root cause of my depression is negligent and borderline reckless behavior. I am close to calling it malpractice, but I think it’s closer to naivety and inexperience than intention.

New doctors have become so programmed to believe that everyone just wants to commit suicide they forget to consider that depression and suicidal ideations are a symptom of neurological problems created by metal toxicity and a host of autoimmune problems and drug induced side effects. So please try to look a little harder before you label a patient mentally ill. Sometimes the emotional rollercoaster you are witnessing is actually a symptom of a physical illness.

If doctors expect honesty from patients, then patients must be able to trust that their transparency will be used to make informed medical decisions and not hasty deductions based on fear of liability.

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