Tagged medical advocate

Hospital PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not exclusively a wartime condition. There are innumerable events that can cause the disorder. Personality traits and emotional leanings also contribute to the likelihood of developing PTSD. For centuries, trauma was treated as a momentary cut instead of a deep scar. Today, we realize that lifelong mental distress can be caused by even a single traumatic event.  It may seem counterintuitive to claim that medical spaces and hospitals in particular can cause PTSD. Unfortunately, it is true. The process of recovering from a hospital visit is lengthy and multifaceted. Being out of control, having your…

It’s all in your head

Over these last few months, there have been a number of news and medical publications making the claim that past trauma is the cause of difficult and uncontrollable physical pain. This isn’t a new idea nor is it a conclusive proclamation of why all pain manifests. Of course, it is catchier for journalists to summarize the story using biased language instead of explaining the actual study breakdown in full.  There is no definitive proof that historical trauma causes intractable pain and pain disorders. There is no way to accurately measure pain. This makes studying pain and its root causes very…

Tricky symptom speak

When you walk into a doctor’s office with acute symptoms, they want to know three things: What are the exact symptoms, what were you doing when the symptoms began, and how bad are the symptoms/pain (often using the ineffective 1-10 scale)? When you walk into a doctor’s office with chronic symptoms, they want to know three things: How long have you been experiencing this symptom, what have other doctors said about this, and are you mentally sound? Through my many years navigating doctors and hospitals, I have found that using highly descriptive language is most effective way to express symptom…