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To be angry at my doctor for insinuating I'm depressed when looking for a genuine diagnosis

(56 Posts)
Lottiegal Fri 11-Jan-13 13:20:47

Probably should be in the health section I know but might pop along there in a mo. Brief history, I had some kind of 'crash' or chronic post viral thing while I was working 6 years ago, and ever since I've had some relapses when I get tired/run down. I haven't ever got a solid diagnosis of this from the doctors, even though I've moved a couple of times and been to different surgeries. I have also had three children in the interim (which I know is tiring) I'm now a sahm.

Since moving in the past year I have been ill on and off for months with various virus etc, but I have also been getting chest pains which have scared me. While I know this could be something to do with a virus, I wanted the docs to run some tests for heart problems and any other related things like thyroid/anaemia, and an ecg and chest xray, which was fine. They all came back clear.

Then over Christmas I was really poorly and the chest pains very bad so I went back and they still said they could find nothing wrong with me. That was almost three weeks ago and I still feel very tired as if I still have flu so went back to the docs yesterday and he was getting a bit shitty, listing all the things they have done to rule out anything serious, then he said are you depressed! He now wants me to do a test for depression and anxiety. I am in no way depressed (well only that I can't find out what's wrong, but anyone who know me would say I'm not, and I don't feel depressed)

I actually feel really angry with the doctor and feel like he doesn't believe I have genuine chest pain. Do you feel this is unreasonable? P.S I did have depressed as a teenager, which is his premiss for insinuating I have depression, but for that very reason that is why I know I am not depressed now iykwim.

TWinklyLittleStar Fri 11-Jan-13 13:23:35

YABU, depression is an illness and is a possible diagnosis, the depression can manifest itself in physical symptoms such as your chest pains.

Hope you get answers and can start to feel better soon.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:26:23

Well, depression can take on all sorts of forms so just because you felt one way when you were a teen doesn't mean you would automatically feel the same way again now.

GP's have to rule out everything so take the test and then that's another thing he can tick of his list.

YABU as he is doing his job and wouldn't be a good GP if he didn't rule out everything.

A full on panic attack with chest pains can feel like a heat attack btw.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:26:52


LifeofPo Fri 11-Jan-13 13:28:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lottiegal Fri 11-Jan-13 13:29:09

Well I did the test and I'm not depressed!

KenLeeeeeee Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:49

Being depressed doesn't necessarily mean you feel sad. It can affect you physically and tbh from the symptoms you've described, depression is not an outrageous suggestion for the dr to have made.

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:49

Good, so go back and let him know and he can explore another avenue.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChilliJo Fri 11-Jan-13 13:31:50

I suffer from anxiety and my symptoms are very physical; chest pains, palpitations, numbness/tingling and extreme tiredness for example. So YABU to completely dismiss it. I too have suffered from depression in my youth and I didn't get any physical symptoms with that.

When my anxiety/panic disorder first presented itself I was convinced there was something wrong with me/my heart and had all the medical tests which came back clear. It was suggested it was anxiety but I dismissed it out of hand, until I had a massive panic attack and it all became clear.

It's rare that I get an anxiety attack at the actual point of anxiety; they strike totally out of the blue and can be pretty constant for weeks on end. I can mostly control them now though, stopping the spiral into full on attacks, by reminding myself at the first symptom that it's anxiety and I'm not dying of a heart attack/having a stroke.

I hope you get some answers soon.

Glitterspy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:35:29

Sorry for your pains. I don't think there is harm in taking a test for depression (if that is ruled out as well it will force the Doctor to look elsewhere for a diagnosis, won't it?)

But with regard to the chest pain have you ever thought it could be muscular/skeletal? Maybe thinking about your exercise routine or how you sleep could help. Could be on a hiding to nowhere but best to rule out overdoing exercise, posture, working hunched over a desk etc. It happened to me, I genuinely thought I was dying but it was a pulled muscle! blush

Blistory Fri 11-Jan-13 13:36:50

I wanted the docs to run some tests for heart problems and any other related things like thyroid/anaemia, and an ecg and chest xray, which was fine. They all came back clear.

Clear is not the same as optimal. Did you get copies of the blood tests ? I never cease to be surprised at how women are given a lazy diagnosis of depression when there is an underlying physical cause for their symptoms. It diminishes what depression is but just as you can't prove you're not depressed, they can't prove that you are. Do the test, it's just some questions and when it shows that you're not depressed, ask for a referal which you're entitled to. And then insist on seeing your test results and the ranges used by the lab.

Pigsmummy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:38:16

I don't understand OP, have you done test today? Between first post and now? Or before you posted?

HecatePropolos Fri 11-Jan-13 13:38:36

You said in your OP that the doctor wants you to take a test.

9 minutes later you say you have taken 'the' test and aren't depressed.

What test? An online one? You can't rely on those.

Depression can cause physical symptoms. You can get actual physical pains due to anxiety.
you have had a multitude of tests - all of which have come back clear
You can't blame him for looking for other possible reasons.

you also often don't recognise or accept that you are depressed until you begin to come up out of the pit, so to speak.

As an aside - do you have any pain when someone touches you? Say, if I was to poke you in the neck, or the shoulder or something, not hard, would it hurt?

Lottiegal Fri 11-Jan-13 13:38:50

Thanks, I do think maybe in this instance it's the virus as it started with flu and the doctors thought it was most likely to be a viral infection/inflammation of the chest wall as it was not quite like the symptoms you have described as the pain was a constant ache like a pulled muscle. I was just following advice on the nhs website that said you should never ignore chest pain regardless. I was just annoyed that now I feel like I can't go back if it continues as he will just try and put me on antidepressants and my instinct says to me the pain's origin is not of that nature. Well I'll continue with the painkillers and hope it goes away.

Lottiegal Fri 11-Jan-13 13:40:39

Hecate Propolos it's a piece of paper with a few questions on with a rated score - eg if you score over 5 on so many questions then you are most likely to be depressed - a bit like the pnd one

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:40:52

Did you do an online test?

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:41:04

x posted

valiumredhead Fri 11-Jan-13 13:42:17

They aren't very reliable as people don't tell the truth, or put what they think they should be feeling. It can be a useful indicator but doesn't mean you aren't depressed.

HecatePropolos Fri 11-Jan-13 13:45:06

Ah, I know the type.

I lied on mine.

I wasn't even really aware that I was lying, I was that unaware of / unwilling to accept how I was actually feeling.

The ones where someone else also fills in based on observations give a more balanced view.

CrazyCatLady13 Fri 11-Jan-13 13:45:53

Fibromyalgia can present with chest pain, in fact people with fibro can often have a heart attack & mistake it for fibro pain! Also the flu like feeling etc is normally associated with FMS / ME, you mentioned that you had a post viral problem so is this worth looking into?

HecatePropolos Fri 11-Jan-13 13:46:49

grin that's why I was asking about whether she has any pain when touched.

CrazyChristmasLady Fri 11-Jan-13 13:47:09

I had this years ago. Got tested for the usual, anaemia, thyroid etc, came back clear. I had to see a few doctors before I found one I was happy with. Previous one wanted to fob me off with depression, neurologist wanted to fob me off with depression. I had had and have had since, depression. It turned out to be M.E./CFS. I didn't give up as I knew it wasn't right and I knew it wasn't depression at that time. However I did end up getting depressed at that time as I had been a previously very active healthy person and then I couldn't do anything and ended up giving up work because of it.

If you feel that there is something wrong, see a different doctor at your practice until you are satisfied that there is one who is taking you seriously. I knew I was in good hands when I saw a different doctor (and she was female as oppose to the males I had been seeing) and she said "if these more in depth tests (lupus and chest xray) come back clear, then come back and we will find out whats wrong"

Pigsmummy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:47:18

What other tests do you want GP to do? If you have a concern about an illness it's hard to get past it so suggest it to your GP? Have an honest chat about your fears, with another GP if it helps?

MorrisZapp Fri 11-Jan-13 13:50:34

He 'insinuated' you are depressed. Is this like people 'admitting' they are gay?

I understand that you may strongly disagree with the doc, but let's leave the judgemental tone re mental health back in ye olden days where it belongs.

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