Listen to This if a Doctor Has Ever Told You That a Physical Illness was All in Your Head


Manage episode 220973862 series 2287210
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Most people with mental illness are diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 24. This means that many people managing severe and persistent mental illness – like major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia – have never faced serious physical illnesses before.

So what happens when someone with a long history of mental illness reports symptoms of a physical illness, especially if that illness is hard to diagnose, treat, or see? Is it possible that the symptoms we believe we are having are just symptoms of mental illness – or could it be something more?

Moreover, how do doctors react when someone with such a history reports these symptoms? Do they take our concerns seriously or do they suggest we follow up with our mental health providers? And are they wrong to think this way?

What happens when a person with an invisible mental illness develops an invisible physical illness? How do we get the medical community to take us seriously? We discuss this – and so much more – with special guest Rachel Star, a young woman who lives with schizophrenia – and who went to her doctor to report that she had the symptoms of the plague.

Highlights from ‘Doctors’ Episode

[0:30] Michelle and Gabe welcome the “Schizo Stunt Girl” Rachel Star to the show.

[4:00] Rachel tells us how, for the first time in her life, her physical health has failed her.

[8:00] Rachel explains how her doctors marginalized her concerns because she has schizophrenia.

[13:00] Was Rachel Star put in isolation because of physical or mental illness?

[18:00] Do people with mental illness struggle to get good physical health care?

Yes. That plague.

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