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Another "Official" diagnosis


John Smith
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While "Somatoform disorder" is considered 'mental', it is important to look beyond the surface.

First, HPPD is a 'mental' disorder (it is defined in the DSM-IV which is 'mental' stuff). Any alteration of mental function is a 'mental' disorder including obvious things such as behavior changes from stroke or head injury.

Since you took a neuropsych test, they were looking for 'mental' things. If you took a neurocognative test, they would look for more 'organic' (physical) things. Note that brain damage from solvents (a toxic encephalopathy) features "psychiatric symptoms of organic brain damage, including high somatic distress, depression, anxiety, and concentration difficulties." - Differential Diagnosis in Adult Neuropsychological Assessment, page 203.

The primary characteristic of Somatoform disorder is high somatic distress, but with reasons unknown. "In people who have a somatoform disorder, medical test results are either normal or do not explain the person's symptoms" - http://en.wikipedia....toform_disorder

Remember that HPPD does NOT show in an EEG, MRI, or CAT scan. This gives medical professionals latitude to call it whatever they see fit (and this will be biased according to their training). Therefore, it is important to consult with 'experts' familiar with HPPD. Even doctors who treat brain injury exclusively often are not familiar with HPPD - HPPD falling under the 'psychiatric' category.

The important thing at this point is, what do the doctors expect you to do now? How are they going to treat you? If it in antipsychotics, that is unlikely to help. Find a doctor who knows or will accept (learn) HPPD.

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