What if it is "All in My Head"?
I'm sure the phrase "it's all in your head" is very familiar to most Mayo Clinic patients. But how do you KNOW it isn't all in your head, or a psychosomatic condition?
I've been having chronic health issues since June. I had some definite abnormalities in the beginning with an elevated WBC count (although not outrageous), but now, I have weird test results (mostly on the infectious disease side, or non-specific markers like CRP or lactate dehydrogenase), but as time's gone on nothing that is like wildly abnormal or shouts "DING DING DING" or explains everything.
Mid-July, after a ton of testing and the only thing consistently abnormal in my blood work for two weeks was a slightly elevated CRP, my primary care doctor said if the multitude of specialists I was seeing didn't come up with anything else, I either needed to "just push through it" or apply to Mayo (the slightly elevated CRP could be from something as minor as gingivitis, she said). In August, after the results of my Upper Endoscopy biopsy was negative for H. Pylori (although that's another side story), the gastroenterologist suggested my gastritis could be caused by anxiety.
Ironically, I wasn't all that anxious until it was suggested that my problems were all the result of anxiety. I made an appointment with a psychologist specializing in somatic disorders (although I wasn't able to get in until 9/25), but I've been agonizing over that possibility ever since. That fear, as well as a feeling that "I'm not quite sick enough", is a large part of what kept me from applying to Mayo for so long despite urging from family, colleagues and two of my specialists.
I guess at what point SHOULD a person accept "it's all in my head" as the diagnosis? There's two totally different stories — person A persists through every "all's fine" diagnosis and finds out she has XXXX, or person B persists through every "all's fine" diagnosis and finds out she really IS fine, it's psychological. Is there a way to know before you run out of tests/money/disability and embarrass yourself in front of your friends, family and Mayo which you are? Anything that is a red flag for psychosomatic or psychological illness as a cause rather than physical illness? How do you stay confident that what you feel is real and you're doing the right thing?
Would appreciate any insights, especially from anyone with a somataform disorder or long journey to diagnosis at Mayo.