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What is Diagnosis Syndrome?

April 19, 2010

I feel compelled to write about this topic as it seems to be a growing issue in our community.

“Diagnosis Syndrome” is a term I use to describe a condition where a person becomes so attached to a particular diagnosis that they leave little hope or plan for resolution.

Here’s the scenario…  You have been dealing with a symptom (pain, discomfort, etc) for a period of time and it has caused enough disturbance in your life that you decide to go to the doctor. While you are at your appointment, the doctor asks you a series of questions and maybe runs some additional tests to find out what’s going on.

When it’s time to review the results, the doctor comes in and informs you that you have “XYZ Disease.” He gives you some pills to help alleviate the symptoms, and you drive off hopeful that the problem will go away.

Shortly after the diagnosis… you contract another disease, “Diagnosis Syndrome.” See, the doctor (an authority on these matters) told you that you have this particular problem. You then interlock your identity with this diagnosis… you make it known to everyone you encounter. People start thinking of you as “Fibromyalgia Betty” or “Degenerative Joint Disease John.

I encounter this problem in the clinical setting all too often. We get so comfortable with our diagnosis that we stop looking for reasons why it happened in your body and how to get rid of it. Instead we continue down a path of acceptance… Then you begin to justify its existence and “learn to live with it.”

While there is no fault in the process of looking for and establishing a problem or diagnosis, the problem is when you choose to accept your condition as who you are.

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