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jacque6977
@jacque6977

Posts: 19
Joined: Jan 31, 2017

Psychosomatic Illness

Posted by @jacque6977, Jun 24, 2017

Has anyone had any experience with Somatoform Disorder which is characterized by physical symptoms without a physical cause.

REPLY

Hi Jacques,
It can be discouraging to hear that physical symptoms are inconsistent with or cannot be fully explained by any underlying medical condition. @dizzydude and@cannonr wrote about their frustrations with the declaration of somatoform disorder a while back. I take it that the search for answers for your wife’s symptoms continues with few answers. If the doctors are suggesting that it is psychosomatic illness, what are the next steps?

The problem is the doctors have not made the diagnosis, they just say her physical symptoms have no physical cause. None of them want to say it is psychosomatic, but they just hint at it. Right now she has the constant urge to urinate, but, since she is in rehab recovering from a broken tibia, she has a catheter in so she is always urinating and has no reason to have the urge to urinate. The diagnosis, thru massive research, has been made by me. I am having difficulty convincing the doctors to quite treating a urinary problem with Flomax and treat a Somatic Symptom Disorder with SSRI medication.

Is your wife open to the idea of seeing a psychiatrist? Or would she need that suggestion to come from a health professional rather than a family member?

I’ve found that having a catheter in is irritating in itself and can feel like you have to urinate. SSRI medication has its own problems. Is it possible that a different catheter would be less irritating? It’s probably a Foley. Maybe a smaller balloon? Or less fluid in the balloon?

Please keep us posted as to your wife’s progress and wishing her the best.

Hi @jacque6977,

A disorder associated with somatoform or somatic symptom disorder is conversion disorder: a condition in which you show psychological stress in physical ways. Here is some information from Mayo Clinic:
http://mayocl.in/1xGVl8B

I’d like to invite @sherwood @pattis @es6903 @ditim @soitis4590, as they have all discussed having or knowing someone who has suffered from conversion disorder. You may also wish to view their conversations on Connect:

Conversion Disorder http://mayocl.in/2tcWEAB
Conversion disorder with pseudoseizures (PNES) http://mayocl.in/2u9mwKe

@colleenyoung

Is your wife open to the idea of seeing a psychiatrist? Or would she need that suggestion to come from a health professional rather than a family member?

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She has a psychiatrist, but she is dealing with his PA in the rehab facility.

@traveling

I’ve found that having a catheter in is irritating in itself and can feel like you have to urinate. SSRI medication has its own problems. Is it possible that a different catheter would be less irritating? It’s probably a Foley. Maybe a smaller balloon? Or less fluid in the balloon?

Jump to this post

She had the catheter out, but the urge to urinate continued so, to keep the nurses from constantly answering her need to pee, the catheter was reinserted.

I assume she has been tested at least once for a unitary tract infection. Even if she tested negative, the use of a catheter always carries the risk of infection. Too bad the nurses chose to use a catheter rather than answer her call bell. I think it would be better for her to use an incontinence pad with the instructions for her to urinate in it rather than to put her at risk with cauterizations and then an indwelling catheter. At least the tibia should heal and she’ll be able to go to the toilet again on her own.

@traveling

I assume she has been tested at least once for a unitary tract infection. Even if she tested negative, the use of a catheter always carries the risk of infection. Too bad the nurses chose to use a catheter rather than answer her call bell. I think it would be better for her to use an incontinence pad with the instructions for her to urinate in it rather than to put her at risk with cauterizations and then an indwelling catheter. At least the tibia should heal and she’ll be able to go to the toilet again on her own.

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She is in a full leg brace with a broken tibia so it is a major task for the nurse or CA to take her to the toilet with a non weight bearing leg. Her urologist has recommended the catheter with constant checks for infection.

It sound like all avenues are being explored by the doctors. This must be extremely frustrating for your wife and for you. However, having had the same miserable experience with a catheter, if it were me, I’d ask to have the catheter removed and a slipper pan be used instead for urination in bed.

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