Psychiatry & Psychology--General/ethics followup


QUESTION: What I meant to ask is : Does anxiety cause pain? The way you phrased the answer it sounds like it does. I didn't

I copied part of the answer in case you didn't remember:

Since like an absolutely appropriate response on the doctor's part. "All over head pain" is NOT a neurological sympmtom -- no neurological problem corresponds to this complaint.  Rather, "all over head pain" corresponds to anxiety problems -- hence the referral to the counseelor was sound, and he probably only made the neurologic referral because you insisted -- this I think is the only error the doctor made. t know that. Her head could be hurting because of anxiety?

ANSWER: Anxiety causes somatic delusions, and a variety of psychosomatic illnesses; rashes, ulcers, hives, headaches, etc.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: First, I don't quite undersand what 'somatic' means. I know pyscosomatic is imagining problems, but does 'somatic' mean that she has real pain? If its real I don't quite understand why you said it sounds like anxiety.
I have her an appt with a counselor by the way but in the meantime, I am not as smart as you so I need explanation. :-)

Somatic means physical.  Yes, she has real pain, caused by psychiatric problems (which are real illnesses and cause pain). Anxiety is real -- your question seems to imply that anxiety is not real. ("If its real I don't quite understand why you said it sounds like anxiety." -- It is real, and it is anxiety.  Anxiety is as real as a brain tumor.)  This is the general prejudice against psychiatric illnesses -- that they are not real, positions held only by ignorant people.

Again, anxiety is real, anxiety causes pain, pain is real.  Treatment for anxiety will relieve the pain slowly.

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Daniel S. Harrop, M.D.


Dr. Daniel S. Harrop received his B.A. and his M.D., both from Brown, and his M.B.A. from the Edinburgh Business School, Scotland. Board-certified in adult and geriatric psychiatry, he is a past president of the R.I. Psychiatric Society and a member of the Committee on Medical Quality of the American Psychiatric Association and the Committee on Continuing Medical Education of the R.I Medical Society. He serves as a consultant to four of the top five major medical management companies, including OptumHealth/United Healthcare, Magellan Behavioral Health Services, ValueOptions and APS Healthcare, and maintains a private practice in Providence, R.I. He also serves as chief psychiatric consultant on the Medical Advisory Board at the R.I. Workers Compensation Court. He was formerly on the faculty at the medical schools at both Brown University and Harvard University.

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