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My medical record says "somatoform"

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by sickntired771, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. sickntired771


    I am really aggravated and offended by a doctors medical record that says my chronic pain and fatigue is a "somatoform" condition. He basically is using other language to suggest it's all in my head.

    While I am really pissed off I do goto this Dr for another condition and not my ME/CFS and he is a good Dr in that regard but I want this shit removed from my record. I am not a mental patient nor a hypochondriac, I am sick of being sick and tired. How dare he?

    Is there anything I can say or do for him to take this fatigue and pain seriously and not label me a hypochondriac and remove that from my record?
    Kati, Jennifer J, helen1 and 3 others like this.
  2. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

    Cornwall, UK
    What country are you in?
  3. ahmo

    ahmo Senior Member

    Northcoast NSW, Australia
  4. sickntired771


    U.S. I think I could ask him to remove the reference but I feel he is stubborn and may refuse/and or threaten not to treat me for the other condition or just add more to the record further validating his claim that somehow I am imagining all my symptoms.
  5. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

    hi @sickntired771
    You could give your doctor this article from Annals of Internal Medicine. It is written by his peers, and clearly states why ME/CFS is a real illness.
    There is a catch though... Somatoform Disorder is a word that can be twisted whichever way its user wants. So although it does imply it's 'all in your head', there's doctors who still interpret this as being a 'real illness', just that it needs the same treatment as other 'real mental illnesses'. As long as me/cfs cannot be proven by a simple blood test, some doctors will not accept it as a physical illness.

    good luck. I get your frustration. :mad::(
  6. Asa

    Asa Senior Member

    Maybe someone could recommend a good psychologist/psychiatrist in your area? Explain what's going on to that professional and ask for a statement that clears you of the somatoform label. Use that then to back up what you say to your primary physician when asking him to remove the somatoform label from your record. Maybe it'll even spur him to consider different and better treatment options? :)
    Valentijn and sickntired771 like this.
  7. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    sickntired771 likes this.
  8. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

    Left Coast
    If you call the AMA I think there is a way that you can write a letter to dispute what the doctor has said and have it in your file. Or your state medical board. I do not believe docs are allowed legally to change medical records.

    I recently saw an immunologist/allergist who wanted me to have a psych eval before IVIG. I refused. I wrote a letter and addressed each one of the things he said by twisting my words and have it in my PCP's file.

    Seeing a shrink who may or may not know anything about CFS to support your claim is IMO a very bad idea in so many ways, one being the good ole boy network, to start. Not to mention it could be one more person documenting exactly what you don't want in writing.

    Stick with your rights as a patient. Oh i've had plenty of docs try to say i was depressed or my stuff was psychosomatic. They're idiots. Who cares what they say?. It only matters if you are trying to get disability. In that case you need someone to give you an accurate diagnosis. Spend your energy doing that.
    helen1, Valentijn, SDSue and 3 others like this.
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Be careful with DSM-5. CFS is easily classified as psych due to very loose definitions. It was one of the major criticisms of DSM-5 before it was even released. Indeed, now 10% of healthy people can get diagnosed as psych with just one of their labels. They are not required to prove anything, its all checklist diagnosis.
  10. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

    Hi @sickntired771 I am so very sorry this is happening to you. It is absolutely upsetting and I certainly encourage patients to check out their consultation reports.

    Changing medical records can be difficult especially when the dr has made up his mind about a diagnosis.

    Personally I avoid these drs.

    I wish I could be more helpful but I am going through this nightmare myself. :(
  11. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

    Legally, a medical record cannot be changed, even if new evidence points to everything being wrong. Changing doctors and finding one who will work with you and not use words like somatoform isn't easy, but that may be the best solution.

    What you or any doctor who sees you can do is submit an addendum to the medical record. I've done it a few times and the addendum was entered into my record, along with comments from the physician whom I originally saw. The simplest case was when a doctor wrote about the wrong medication in my chart. Legally, he couldn't go back and change what he wrote, but he prepared an addendum that is now a separate report in my chart.

    Does the clinic where you were seen have a medical records department? If so, ask if they have a form to correct information in your medical record. See the form I've attached here to get an idea of how it works.

    It once took me two months to prepare a response to a really confusing medical report made by a pain doctor. She didn't understand how some injuries occurred and she thought they were all related, which they were not. Her response to the addendum was kind of huffy but I let it go since the important thing was to document when and how certain injuries occurred.

    Although this is written for providers, some parts might be helpful:

    Attached Files:

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