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Peripheral neuropathy, suggested pain clinic to deal with psychosocial issues. Psychological problem?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy although my doctor read the report from the neurologist.wrong with my legs, however he is going to send me to the pain clinic to deal with the psychosocial "issues XXXXXXX Is he saying that it is all in my head ? He knows that I see a therapist, so he may be judging my cause, already.
Posted Tue, 2 Oct 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 2 hours later
Hi and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for writing in...

Medical problems coexisting with psychological problems is not uncommon. When a person who already has known psychiatric problems or who is already under treatment is newly diagnosed to have a medical problem, usually a psychiatric review is asked for. The common reasons for this are:
1. To ensure that the pre-existing psychiatric problem is under control and that the person is doing well.
2. To find out if the current medical symptoms may be related to the pre-existing psychiatric problem.
3. In terms of medication, to check if the current medical symptoms maybe side effects of the psychiatric medication or to check if medication for the medical problems can be taken safely along with the psychiatric medication.

In your case, Peripheral Neuropathy is indeed a genuine medical diagnosis which needs further evaluation and management. However, it must also be remembered that peripheral neuropathic pain is usually chronic and there is no quick and once for all remedy for it. Moreover, chronic pain itself can lead on to psychological stress and easing the stress can significantly help in dealing with the pain better. This relationship between psychological stress and pain holds true for any person, even without any pre-existing psychiatric problem.

So, I don't think you should be too much worried that since you have been referred to a pain clinic, your medical problems have been "written off". It may be with the intention of viewing your medical problem with a wholistic perspective and helping you deal with it better. However, during further treatment, if you feel that your medical problems are being completely ignored or not being adequately evaluated, you should discuss this freely with your doctor.

I hope I have clarified your doubt. Kindly close this query if you have no further questions.

Wish you good health...

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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