The dangers of normal

Research output: Contribution to journalNewsletter ArticleResearch


[Extract] ALL medical practitioners have patients we consider anxious and very unlikely to have much wrong with them — the ones we describe as the “worried well”.

It is hard to deal with many symptoms that have no diagnostic fit. Many words have been coined to enable us to vent, terms such as diagnostic dilemma, medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS), somatisation and heartsink.

An inexplicable mix of symptoms generates anxiety in the doctor as well as the patient in all types of medical practice. Tests on such patients are often ordered as a triage tool without any clear diagnosis, or specific physical findings — “just in case, to make sure we are not missing anything” that could be the cause of such “illness” in a patient.

Cite this