Differentiating Psychosomatic, Somatopsychic, Multisystem Illnesses and Medical Uncertainty

There is often difficulty differentiating between psychosomatic, somatopsychic, multisystem illness, and different degrees of medical uncertainty. Uncommon, complex, and multisystem diseases are commonly misdiagnosed. Two case histories are described, and relevant terms differentiating psychosomatic, somatopsychic, and multisystem illnesses are identified, reviewed, and discussed. Adequate differentiation requires an understanding of the mind/body connection, which includes knowledge of general medicine, psychiatry, and the systems linking the body and the brain. A psychiatric diagnosis cannot be given solely based upon the absence of physical, laboratory, or pathological findings. Medically unexplained symptoms, somatoform disorder, and compensation neurosis are outdated and/or inaccurate terms. The terms subjective, nonspecific, and vague can be used inaccurately. Conversion disorders, functional disorders, psychogenic illness, factitious disorder imposed upon another (Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy), somatic symptom disorder, psychogenic seizures, psychogenic pain, psychogenic fatigue, and delusional parasitosis can be over-diagnosed. Bodily distress disorder and bodily distress syndrome are scientifically unsupported and inaccurate. Many “all in your head” conditions may be related to the microbiome and the immune system. Better education concerning the interface between medicine and psychiatry and the associated diagnostic nomenclature as well as utilizing clinical judgment and thorough assessment, exercising humility, and maintaining our roots in traditional medicine will help to improve diagnostic accuracy and patient trust. View Full-Text
Thank God for Dr. Bransfield – a doctor who continues to underscore the need to listen to patients.
Here’s a video of Dr. Shapiro, member of the Tick-borne Disease Working Group despite a loud protest by the Lyme/MSIDS community, in a 2014 videotaped interview where he describes the term“medically unexplained symptoms” and urges the medical community to develop ways to prevent “healthcare-seeking behaviors” by parents who believed their children may have Lyme disease.


“…it’s very clear that simply telling parents that Lyme disease is not the cause of these nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, various pain syndromes that is not sufficient and that we need a new paradigm to how to best manage such patients. Often it’s not the pediatric infectious disease specialists who doesn’t have an ongoing relationship with his patients who is likely the best but someone who can develop a trusting relationship with them. Very frequently these parents are seeking affirmation that these symptoms are real and in fact they are real it’s just that they’re not caused by Lyme disease…..”

Due to this man, patients have suffered for decades:

And here, a school nurse documents 19 cases that were misdiagnosed when the children all had Lyme/MSIDS:

Again, a huge, huge problem is that many patients do not meet the strict CDC criteria for diagnosis including an ancient serology test looking for antibodies when it misses over half of all cases:



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