What to Do When Your Doctor Doesn’t Believe You

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You’ve been sick for a long time with mystery symptoms, but your doctor doesn’t believe you. In modern medicine, it can be difficult to get a doctor to really listen. You may find he treats you more like a set of symptoms instead of an actual person.

 

Many people who suffer with chronic pain and fatigue struggle with this. If you’ve been called a hypochondriac or told your symptoms are all in your head, you’re not alone.

 

 

 

Why Your Doctor Doesn’t Believe You

 

 

  • He’s Arrogant

 

There’s no other way to say it, some doctors are just a stick in the mud. They are absolutely convinced that if they can’t find something wrong with you, then there isn’t anything wrong with you. You’re just looking for attention. Arrogant doctors are very difficult to deal with. They barely look at you during the visit and, if you’ve been there many times, may act as though you’re bothering them with the same complaints.

 

 

  • He’s Frustrated

 

Doctors spend a long time in medical school studying disease and the human body. If you continue to present with the same symptoms over and over but he can’t find a reason, he may feel frustrated and impotent. You’re there in his office in that little Johnnie and the only thing he can do is tell you he doesn’t know what’s going on. That can be very difficult for a highly-educated person to admit. After a while, he may take this frustration out on you by accusing you of having a mental disorder.

 

  • He’s Been Burned

 

Another reason your doctor doesn’t believe you is he may have been burned by liars. You may really be in pain but dozens of his other patients are not; they’re addicted to pain medication. Doctors who prescribe narcotic medications are held to stringent standards. If your doctor has a history of over-prescribing pain medication, especially to someone with a known addiction, he may have gotten into trouble in the past.

 

  • He’s Scared

 

It’s hard to get a doctor to listen if he’s afraid of being sued for malpractice. It is estimated that 1 in 4 doctors are sued for this each year. The longer he goes without being able to diagnose you, the more worried he’ll become that by the time he does, your condition will be so serious, you’ll sue.

 

How to Get Your Doctor to Listen

 

In the conventional medical arena, the patient-doctor visit goes a little something like this:

 

You sit in the office for about half an hour freezing in a Johnnie, your butt crinkling on the paper and your legs going numb dangling off the exam table. Your doctor walks in, throws you a cursory “Hello”, opens your chart, and interrogates you with questions. He interrupts you when you try to talk, whips out a prescription pad, shakes his head and sends you on your way.

 

The more patients your doctor sees in a day and the more medication he prescribes, the more money he makes. It’s that simple. Because of this, he doesn’t have a lot of incentive to take his time. This is where you come in. To get a doctor to listen, you have to focus his attention.

 

First, tell your whole story. Even if you’ve been seeing your doctor for a while, he still may not really know you. Instead of just falling into the old “question and answer” routine, start from the beginning and tell him everything. This will force his perspective and help him get to know you as a human being instead of just a pile of frustrating, confusing symptoms.

 

When your doctor does ask you questions, resist the temptation to give short, cursory answers. Answer with narrative, being as specific and detailed as possible.

 

For example, instead of just telling him you still have that weird pain in your shoulder, describe it:

 

“When I went out walking yesterday, I decided to jog for half a block and that’s when the pain really started. Like a sharp, shooting pain that started in my chest and worked its way around to my back.”


The more detail you give your doctor, the more tools he’ll have to get to the bottom of your mystery symptoms.

 

Chronic Illness May Need a Different Type of Doctor

 

I can’t tell you how many doctors I went to before I realized I wasn’t going to get anywhere. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, I saw more doctors than my insurance company could keep up with. No matter how many visits I had or how many tests were performed, they could find nothing wrong with me.

 

 

The conclusion? It was all in my head. (Of course.)



It wasn’t until I booked a visit with a naturopathic physician in my town that I found a doctor who spent two hours with me. He went over my entire history and ordered a battery of tests the doctors I had seen never even mentioned. Fast forward a year later and I had started what would become a lifelong gluten-free diet due to celiac disease.

 

Had I not gone to that doctor, I would still be suffering and would probably now be as crazy as those doctors thought I was.

 

When you’re suffering with a chronic pain condition, neurotoxicity, or autoimmune disease, conventional medicine rarely works. In emergency situations, modern medicine is at the top of its game. When it comes to treating chronic conditions, however, it’s in its infancy by virtue of its methodology.

 

That’s why, if you’ve exhausted all possible avenues with your current doctor, it might be time to get a second opinion. An osteopathic physician is a true medical doctor who will treat you as a whole person, not just a bunch of symptoms.

 

An osteopath will get your full medical history and work with you to help you get to the bottom of the problem.

 

You can’t heal any type of chronic pain or autoimmune condition if ever trip to the doctor makes you feel as though you’re doing something wrong. When you book an appointment with an osteopath, you won’t have to worry about being accused of being “crazy” or a “hypochondriac”.

 

You’ll have a doctor who listens.

 

Also, unlike naturopathic physicians or chiropractors, most osteopathic physicians are covered under medical insurance.

 

If your doctor doesn’t believe you and you can’t get him to listen, you won’t get anywhere with him. You’ll only get more frustrated.

 

I work with an amazing osteopathic physician with 30 years of clinical experience treating people just like you.

 

No matter how long you’ve been suffering or where you are in the world, Dr. Craig A. Maxwell can help you through his private phone consultations.

 

Dr. Maxwell doesn’t just diagnose your symptoms. He treats you like a whole person and shows you how to help your body heal itself through a combination of dietary and lifestyle changes.

 

Don’t waste another co-pay on a doctor who refuses to listen to or believe you. You deserve to be taken seriously. You deserve a healthy, happy life.

Give Dr. Maxwell a Call Today

About Author: Jaime A. Heidel
  • Amy Susan Crohn

    Absolutely true, true, true! Went to 13 rheumatologists before I found the right one to work with me and my autoimmune disease.

  • Jaime A. Heidel

    Thanks for the comment, Amy. I’m glad you finally find the right doctor! 🙂