“Your Tests Are Negative. There’s Nothing Wrong. I Think You Need A Psychiatrist.”

Health Tips / “Your Tests Are Negative. There’s Nothing Wrong. I Think You Need A Psychiatrist.”
Controversial Diagnosis

I hope you never have to hear these words from any doctor. Dismissive and ending anything useful you hoped from a consultation. You scheduled this appointment months earlier. You wanted help for longstanding and unexplained symptoms. But you’re also not stupid. You actually have an idea what might be wrong. You’ve read a book or two or three, or found something online, and you might be on to something. Wanting to make the most of your visit, you’ve brought a book or an internet printout with you. You might be carrying lab test results from other physicians either unable to help you, or simply didn’t know what to do with the results.

Now, armed with evidence, your appointment has arrived. Then, your appointment is over. At check out, forking over a small fortune for the visit (the doctor doesn’t take your insurance), “it’s all in your head” ringing in your ears, you can barely restrain bursting into tears of anger and frustration.

Just so you don’t feel isolated as you descend the elevator to your car, thousands of patients have had this experience of conventional medicine every year. It’s “Blame the Patient”, describing the doctor incapable of making a diagnosis, and unable to confront his lack of knowledge, turns the tables and blames her. “It’s all in your head…see a psychiatrist.”

Sometimes the diagnosis termed “controversial”, although it’s mainly controversial to herds of doctors who haven’t bothered to learn anything about it. I’ve listed the commonest controversial diagnoses below. An interesting corollary is the anger of the herd against the outlier physicians, the alternative practitioner (M.D., chiropractor, naturopath, nutritionist, etc.) who goes against the grain. It’s very Frederich Nietzsche-ish, “Whoever deviates from public opinion will stand apart and have the whole herd against him.” “Let’s call any doctor who treats either a quack, deluded, or incompetent. Let’s dismiss as the latest ‘fad diagnosis’.” And, of course, let’s send to psychiatrists all the patients who have deluded themselves into thinking they’re victims of it. I well remember when I opened WholeHealth Chicago almost thirty years ago, the Chief of Medicine of the long gone Columbus Hospital pointing a threatening finger in my face with a, “Are you going to be one of those ‘Candida Quacks’?”

I liked the title: David Edelberg, M.D., C.Q.

Although seemingly and completely unrelated to each other, these controversial diagnoses have more in common than you might think.

Here’s what they all have in common:

Symptoms are chronic, coming and going, first for weeks and months, then for years.
Although symptoms can be disabling, there are virtually no diagnostic tests accepted by conventional physicians that either confirm these diagnoses or verify a physical basis for these symptoms.
Not a single one of these conditions is mentioned in medical school or during residency training. If a student or resident dares ask a question, the professor will dismiss the question with withering sarcasm.
All of these conditions have generated books or online articles that conventional physicians adamantly refuse to read. Occasionally these books are the first means of disseminating information about the condition itself. (Hypoglycemia: “Sugar Blues”, Candida: “The Yeast Connection”, Fibromyalgia: “From Fatigued to Fantastic”, Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: “Dangerous Grains”).

To conventional physicians, that these books preceded any medical journal articles is proof that the diagnosis is simply a fad, and the knowledge gleaned from the book is worthless.

Patients encounter the group-think of conventionally trained physicians, as, “If I didn’t learn about it in medical school, it doesn’t exist.”

And the group-think corollary: “If there are no tests (tests that I consider valid) to prove your condition, it doesn’t exist.”

And lastly, “If all the tests I order are ‘negative’, then you are physically well and if you don’t believe me you need psychiatric help.”

What a mess. I mean this sincerely: what a mess!

Here’s what should be occurring:

The medical profession really needs to stop dismissing their patients as being victims of the latest fad diagnoses. Instead, they need to open their minds, educate themselves, fund research, and follow new developments in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

Medical journals need to open their editorial doors to papers from chiropractors, naturopaths, clinical nutritionists, and the physicians they dismiss as outliers.

Conventional doctors should also appreciate that the treatments of these “fad diagnoses” are usually very safe, generally much safer than the Big Pharma drugs they prescribe on a daily basis.

Patients, yes, you, should simply walk out of an office when you hear, “There’s no such condition” or “See a psychiatrist.”

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. In the past there was not only no light, but no tunnel. It’s a slow process but…

These “controversial diagnoses” are not, strictly speaking, “diseases”, but rather triggers of “dysfunctions” in the body. Conventional physicians are trained to look for “disease” and patients with these symptoms need “functional medicine practitioners”, which (unfortunately) is an unrecognized specialty by the AMA.

However, practitioners can receive extensive training in Functional Medicine and have access to an astonishing array of tests unavailable from the so-called ‘major’ medical centers. Click here for a sampling.

At the five WholeHealth Chicago offices (plus our newest in Melbourne, Florida) practitioners are trained in both Functional and conventional medicine and have access to dozens and dozens of diagnostic tests.

It’s unfortunate for you, the patient, that the vast majority of physicians are still reluctant to accept the existence of chronic candida (yeast) overgrowth, chronic fatigue, adrenal and/or thyroid fatigue, chronic Lyme disease, food sensitivities, and heavy metal overload. With almost zero intellectual curiosity about other diagnostic possibilities, the miseries of Morgellon’s syndrome is written off as “delusional”.

Until doctors “get it” and stop blaming you for your illness, you may find yourself leaving their office with a prescription for an anti-depressant and a referral to a psychiatrist. You’ll either be holding back tears or shaking your head in disbelief as steam pours from your ears. But don’t give up.

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

6 thoughts on ““Your Tests Are Negative. There’s Nothing Wrong. I Think You Need A Psychiatrist.”

    I have the Musical Ear form of Tinnitus and have also been told to see a psychiatrist, who offered me an anti psychotic. I declined and left. I am into my 7th month of hearing music. My internist says there is no cure.

    Jeanmarie DiNoto
    Posted December 19, 2023 at 3:40 pm

      Hi Jeanmarie,

      We are so sorry to learn of this. Our providers would be happy to see if we can help! Feel free to give us a call at 773-296-6700.

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted December 23, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    I would like to see information regarding autoimmune diseases especially related to skin issues.

    Posted December 4, 2023 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Bonnie,

      Thank you for the suggestion!

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted December 23, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    Yep. Thanks for being a great doctor, Dr. Edelberg!

    Mary Parisoe
    Posted November 29, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you Mary!

      WholeHealth Chicago
      Posted December 23, 2023 at 12:22 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *