I’ve watched my 13 year old daughter suffer the last 6 months because male doctors thought she was faking her symptoms. Said it was conversion disorder, get her psychological help. In actuality they missed a congenital artery abnormality on her CTA in her neck, that is the cause of her issues.

I’ve watched my 13 year old daughter suffer the last 6 months because male doctors thought she was faking her symptoms. Said it was conversion disorder, get her psychological help. In actuality they missed a congenital artery abnormality on her CTA in her neck, that is the cause of her issues.


Every time I read stories like these I'm reminded of something like this almost happening to my niece several years ago when she was around 10. She would rarely complain about any pain or illness, so when one day she complained about "very bad tummy ache" her dad took her straight to the hospital. The triage nurse on duty did the good old "it's just some cramps, you know, girls overreact all the time" spiel, but luckily a passing doctor overheard it. He instantly chewed her out on the spot that any kind of abdominal pain in women should NEVER be discounted, especially not in one so close to the age of starting to menstruate and ordered her to get my niece tested for everything they could think of. Turns out her appendix was about to burst while the nurse just wanted to send her home.


I always wonder when I read stories like this if the doctors who aren’t currently present in the patient’s care with the now correct diagnosis are aware that they fucked up and their assumption of it being psychological was dead ass wrong. Like do they ever find out? If they don’t, how will they ever correct their behavior when diagnosing?


I plan on getting her imaging copied and the official write up from the interventional Neuro radiologist sent to every doctor we saw.


Thank you for doing this. I read so many stories where people don't like conflict or don't want to cause trouble so they never address a doctor who missed something big. A hospital, doctor and anesthesiologist almost killed my son when he was a baby. They told me I was wrong and crazy. They were going to call security and have me escorted out. You can bet your sweet ass that afterwards when I had proof, I made appointments with ALL of them and sat down with the paperwork. I told each of them "you see hundreds of patients a day but I only have one child and you need to listen. When a parent says 'this could kill my child' you need to listen because I was 100% right." Next time maybe they will listen. Next time it might save someone else's child. This is how we change it. We make an appointment, we show them their diagnosis and we bring the receipts and we make them look us in the eye after they read it.


These stories are eerily similar to a friend of mine’s story. Her teenage daughter had a seizure, but one of the techs misread her scan and subsequently she was written off as “faking” and in need of psychological help, not medical intervention. If my friend hadn’t literally fought with the doctor and insisted on re-checking the scan, her daughter would have died within hours.


I know someone who works with paramedics. Apparently a bunch of paramedics they know were put under investigation because they accused a teenager girl of faking a seizure for attention and delayed treating her, and she DID actually end up dying. They feel bad, but it's too fucking late.


The way paramedicals, officers, and men in office often treat young woman with scorn and suspicion is heinous. I've been in mental hospitals as a young woman. Hospitals in general are fucking scary and do not leave your loved ones unattended. They are ripe for abuse. I have often found that doctors are abusive and generally dismissive based entirely off your sex and appearance. When I have called paramedics, they don't rush. Doctors act annoyed. They're all overworked and there's a lot of fucked up shit happening behind doors. Again, don't ever leave your daughter unattended in a hospital.


How did they react?


I want to know this too


I am vengeful AF. If it was me, I would warn them I am submitting formal complaints to their boards and health departments for improper care, and negligence in not catching her spinal/arterial defects at the time, because they were so hell bent on dismissing a teenager's symptoms without further investigation.


Sent? Dude, I'd be marching into their offices with the paperwork in one hand, and a stapler to the other. If they have such big brains, that just means there's plenty of space to staple it directly to their head


Finish the message with "It's your job to fucking pay attention to the reality of the physical state of your patients, not to make assumptions about their mental state. Shitshow, change how you operate because this ego masturbation gets people killed" or something along the lines.


"ego masturbation" amazing, and accurate.


Good idea , sounds like what they saw was a Dural Arteriovenous fistula of the spine , the best way to confirm would be a spinal angiography under direct fluoroscopy. Contact me if you want the name of a very good interventional neuro radiologist.


A good friend of mine (who's black) was recently told out of nowhere that her past labs show she has stage 2 kidney disease. We got in touch with a few more doctors, including a really fantastic nephrologist who we work with, and they all said that the previous doctor was completely wrong. So basically my friend spent a week freaked out for nothing. The other doctors have no idea why the first doctor thought she had kidney disease. Lucky for them we work in medicine, so she knows exactly who to complain to.




I had been feeling really fatigued last year so the doctors took my blood and sent it off. I got a call less than 48hr later saying could I come in immediately for another sample as there was signs of kidney failure, but with a big 'HOWEVER!' attached to the request. Apparently it's the easiest of all the base tests they'll do when they send your bloods off like that to show a false positive. Something to do with it being the most time critical. I went for a second set of bloodwork and it came back all clear. Sounds a lot like this doctor had a similar result and just massively jumped the gun.


I had the opposite situation in a way. I'm a man and had psych problems causing physical symptoms and it took me ages and ages before anyone told me 'hey you need to see someone'. I had neck and ear problems, had a multitude of scans and tests and all sorts of things. My ears were bleeding at night and spotting the pillow, and my hearing would lessen at times but not others. Couldn't find anything wrong physically, went on for months. One specialist after a series of tests held my neck and shoulders and asked if I felt tense. I said no, because I didn't, but he said my body was saying something different entirely and he recommended a very good therapist he knew. What he didn't say was "holy crap boy your resting background level of anxiety is causing you to tense everything up so much you're making your own ears bleed and you don't even realise" but that's what was happening. Undiagnosed anxiety issues, poor emotional learning as a kid and a high stress job was all piling on and I had zero mental tools to cope. Thought I was coping, but not enough parents take boys aside and teach them about emotions.


Right. Because doctors would never ASSUME that a man could get so worked up to make himself sick. Only women and their uterus hysteria do that. 🙄 I’m glad you got to attention you needed to get to the bottom of this. But I wish women received the same due diligence.


Tw: SIDS mentioned, infant death. My cousin lost her 6 month old to SIDS. She found him gone the morning after she put him to bed. The autopsy showed he was absolutely perfect, it was a true SIDS case. She had very obvious trouble sleeping and severe anxiety going into her other kids room to wake them up. She kind of said in her head "if I don't sleep then my kids wont die." Her body did not like this and sometimes we would text at 2 or 3 am. Meds didn't help. She was that determined to stay awake. She would literally only sleep when her body would give. The stress caused her uterus to fall out. Her kidneys and liver were trying to fail. She was stressing herself to death. She is managing a lot better now. She still back slides but has a wonderful support system with family and friends.


Funny how men aren't told it's psychological but women are so often told it is


I have been in this situation for most of my life. I've been in pain since I was 12 and it took a major health issue when I was 21 to finally get a diagnosis. My mom did the same thing you're doing for your daughter. She advocated for me So. Damn. Hard. and I finally got my diagnosis. She still advocates for me and helps me when I need it. What you're doing for your daughter is invaluable and she's so lucky to have you!


I had a bad reaction to some medication as a teen and started having suicidal thoughts. My parents didn’t believe me because they were told by the doctor that I was making it up for attention. The male doctor I had refused to actually talk to me, if I asked him a question he would look at the adult in the room and answer as though I wasn’t there. He also kept increasing my dosage despite my pleas to come off the medication. It sometimes felt like he was punishing me for complaining by upping the dose. Surprise, surprise, it eventually came out that this medicine causes serious suicidal ideation in kids and as of today is no longer prescribed for children. Luckily this scandal broke before I succeeded in killing myself. After that, I was taken more seriously and taken off the meds. But the asshole doctor didn’t wean me off them as recommended, he instead made me go cold turkey from an extremely high dose. It was brutal and I remember that I got zero sympathy when I went through the withdrawal. I was basically made to feel like I was exaggerating those withdrawal symptoms up as well. This medication is known for having a severe withdrawal effect, it’s one of the worst medications in its category for it. But because I was a teenage girl, I apparently didn’t matter and my suffering warranted no sympathy. I was treated with complete disdain by this doctor and his nurses. I now hate male doctors and zero trust in them. Edit: couple of typos


I hope your daughter recovers soon and power to you for fiercely advocating for her and not just believing it was some kind of problem with her emotions. For literal decades was told my racing heart and fatigue were 'just' anxiety and depression; then because I didn't 'get better' after therapies I must have this psychiatric disorder until they were saying I had a personality disorder because I was complaining about physical issues. Years later, I had febrile seizures and they said the ever increasing symptoms, difficulty walking, extreme pain etc was a 'functional neurological' or 'conversion' disorder but no mental disorder per se. While stress does have an enormous impact on the body this was not the cause, my veins were half shut! I have a systemic problem with all my veins, especially one in my pelvis. Years after being home bound and then increasingly bed bound and eventually being unable to walk... a GP had me checked for vein syndromes. They found extreme compressions and I was eventually stented in February 2019. This is very common in women of child bearing age, it is called May Thurner's Syndrome (I also have thoracic outlet syndrome and problems in legs etc.) After the stent I could walk without shrieking in pain. Slowly, the swelling (which was not extreme) reduced. I am now recovering. But for decades I was told this was in my head. Please keep advocating for yourselves and your families.


I am so sorry you and your daughter went through this. I stopped seeing male doctors when I got diagnosed with epilepsy 12 years ago. Switching from a male neurologist to a female one was night and day for me. I felt he patronized me when I had emotions about being diagnosed and talked down to me if I asked questions. The female doctor knew I did my research, I would come in with questions and we would talk them over together. It was nice that she respected my intelligence enough to do that.


I'm so sick and tired of doctors overlooking symptoms in women because "we're faking it", "being dramatic", "overreacting". Also, tired of symptoms being dismissed in women because they are not seen in males, who are usually subjects to studies and diagnosis are based on their symptoms.


I was told I was being overly dramatic when I hurt my ankle. I had tears in my eyes when the doc grab my ankle (swollen and bruised halfway to my knee) and twisted it hard. Seemed to think my pain wasn’t that bad, and they could move it, so it must not be broken. Had to fight for an X-ray. The woman that did the X-ray was so rude and clearly did not believe my pain was significant. She missed the fracture and told me to keep walking on it. Nearly a year later, a specialist insisted on an X-ray before exploring any muscle damage. He saw the break on the initial X-ray immediately and on the new one too. He could only guess that they dismissed it as a growth plate (I was 17 at the time) and thus dismissed my pain. Women seem to never be taken seriously - you rate your pain one number, they halve it and say you’ve never experienced real pain. Or you’re being overly dramatic. Or you need a prescription for anxiety medication instead of treatment for the physical program. If you need help with your mental health, that needs to be addressed. But if you come in with a physical problem or injury or whatever, being dismissed as dramatic and unstable means that not only your physical problem is unresolved, but you’re forced to see a therapist or psychiatrist and maybe even taking medication that you don’t need or want in order to ignore the real issues. I’m sick of being passed off to the doctor with the easiest way to discourage me and even push me to give up seeking proper care.


“they halve it and say you’ve never experienced real pain” Ironic considering a lot of these comments are from cis men who will never experience childbirth or deal with menstrual cramps on a monthly basis.


I had ovarian cancer undiagnosed as a teenager for around five years with various abdominal pain, urinary and fatigue symptoms. I was often told to “try really hard to pass gas” or “pray.”


Ever been fatigued from a fart? Clearly that doctor thought that was how women work. SMH. Some people shouldn't be allowed in medicine. I hope you reported him & i think you still can no matter how much time has passed


Fun fact, some obgyns who are women are completely dismissive of pain too. I had what was likely a ruptured ovarian cyst. When it happened I pressed so hard on the area, maybe maybe not because I was trying to reach though my skin and claw my ovary out, that I left bruises. I finally was able to get in to see the doctor five days later. I still hurt (probable from pushing on my internal organs so hard) but it wasn’t anything like it had been five days prior. Obgyn was nice until I mentioned I was childfree and had no intention of having children. Then after looking at the vaginal ultrasound they did, she said, well I don’t see any sign of a cyst so it’s probably just gas. No lady. It’s not gas. It’s been five days and it’s probably been reabsorbed. But sure, thanks for believing me, believing the bruising over my ovary, and dismissing me because I have made a conscious decision not to procreate. Awesome. Found a obgyn who listens to my concerns and he believes me and takes my pain seriously. So yeah, women doctors can be just as bad.


Oh my god .. 5 years?? I hope you managed to heal? That's enough time for a lot of people to have it reach late stages and become terminal


A medical doctor told you to "pray?" I would be enraged.


I'd take their advice.. and pray that they lose their medical license.


A friend of mine nearly died, because she overlooked a cough. Thought it's her medication or she is overreacting. Because doctors told her a couple of times before. When she finally called the hospital ( she was coughing blood by this time) the first one declined her & told her to come in a couple of days later. She called again and got another one on the phone. Told her symptoms and FINALLY someone listened. She was called in immediately... She had a focking pulmonary embolism, which is called "chameleon" .. Since you usually just noticed it, when the people get their autopsy. She is good now. But I got so angry, when she told me this. As this is not the first incident for all the women I know.


Repeated over and over, and studies that confirm it. Women also get sedatives, referred to therapy, get their pain meds later...and on it goes. Some infuriating reading: https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(21)00035-3/fulltext https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00289259 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1553-2712.2008.00100.x https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845507/ Basically if a dude says he's in pain, wholly crap it must be serious if he's admitting it. Sigh. I've even gotten some pretty powerful stuff easily for just saying "it hurts a little I guess".


Not to mention that women are the largest users of pain relief medications, yet the clinical trials are almost exclusively male. “Women weren’t included in clinical trials until the 1990s. While we make up 70% of chronic pain patients, 80% of pain medication has been tested only on men. Even in preclinical trials with cell lines and rodents, males have been favoured over females. Researchers have justified this bias by claiming that oestrous cycles in female rodents – and menstrual cycles in human women – would potentially corrupt results. If that were so, wouldn’t it be quite important to find out before selling the drug to women?” -Gabrielle Jackson


It’s boggling to me that even some drugs for women are tested for side effects on only men... And yeah “this human process half of humans have/had might change the results”...so let’s...be sure to ignore it?!


I’d have thought that might be pivotal!


There is also the ethical issue of women of child bearing age possibly getting pregnant so this age group is usually automatically excluded from clinical trials - this leads to skewing of results towards male bodies, and while there are some attempts to rectify this these days it's really hard to make an ethical case to test new medicines on people who could get pregnant. Even with perfect compliance to contraception mistakes still happen so unless you can find a celibate cohort of reproductive age females....??? Still, very little is known about how female bodies and hormones, let alone intersex bodies, process and respond pharmacokinetically to medications vs. male bodies.


I have a story related to this. My husband is in the military and had two co-workers sent to the clinic or hospital, I don't remember which. The man was bitten by a centipede and the woman busted open her knee cap and had to be helped off the flight line. Guess who got codeine for the pain and who was just given regular Tylenol. Granted it was one pill but still.


I guess that may be country specific, but in my region when a woman complains about the pain it must be completely mind-numbing roaring soul ache, because years under soviet occupation made painkillers and sedatives completely unavailable for general public. There was aspirin, paracetamol and morphine.


Agreed, I've also witnessed men and boys being considered more fragile when it comes to pain, but stronger when it comes to emotions. It probably has to do with males having a higher risk of death while young. But they they aren't told to tough it out, because people realize they could actually die. But females have to be the strong ones and ignore pain, because they have to go through more pain later when having children. My grandmother died after being diagnosed with late stage liver cancer, because she didn't want to "inconvenience the family" with her pain until it was too much and the lump in her tummy was solid to touch. Of course it was too late, she didn't even last the 6 months the doctors predicted.


It is totally infuriating. And to understand how bad it is, even men are often not really listend too. Don’t get me wrong please - this is totally worse for women, and I personally know many many cases of friends with female bodies who had massive issues getting through to doctors. The story that sticks with me emotionally is the story of my dad, though. My dad almost died because doctors didn’t believe he had a major artery rupture in his main aorta. Well it’s not that he pretended not to be in pain, he said he is in massive pain. They shrugged it off, and he „didn’t look like it“. Only my mother being present literally yelling at hospital personal for hours during the night (!) to take him seriously finally made them look again, put him on monitoring (which the declined to also for hours) and rescue him in an emergency operation. It’s lethal in 95% of the cases and he lived another ten years. Now consider a doctor who always believes to be correct (partly because it’s necessary to hold your world together when you don’t know much but everybody looks at you for definite answers - it is a difficult position) in combination with a projection that „females are the expressive emotional humans“. Sure the symptoms will be emphasized, likely psychological. As if it would not be easy to *just check to be sure* and not dismiss things. What really bugs me is that there are no mechanisms in place that deal with this on a structural level. The individual will always be subject to psychological fallacies, but there should be a system in place that trains personal to prepare against those fallacies. Like supervision, trainings and stuff.


Yeah.... and regardless if gender or anything else, I can’t imagine navigating the hospital or major illness experience alone. Both my wife and I have been critical as the advocate for the other, and caught a lot.




Yeh ffs this is getting ridiculous now. What will it take to have medicine take women seriously??


I wonder why it is that way? I "kinda" understand of it's some kind of gynecological problem but here it looked like some neurological problem and obvious damage due to the fall. I wonder if it was a male child would he be ignored too or not?


My theory is that boys pick this up watching their father dismiss their mother and other women and girls in the family. Children learn by imitation and this is what they learned, it colours their otherwise professional approach. It is also reinforced in school, med school and hospital by the older, respected generation of doctors who are the worst neanderthals.


It's also a matter of representation at the highest levels of medicine so that the culture also changes, not just for women but for intersex and gender diverse people, BIPOC, disabled people too. While the prejudices may be learned early, structures in society reinforce them and by getting more representation and opportunities for minorities we can get better informed treatment - and science - happening overall


Well, that's just unfair to neanderthals


True, I got carried away, we don't really know much about them.




Much less. My mother had pains after surgery and was told "this cannot be" ... she almost died of sepsis at the time. As a rule, this does not happen to men, I've never heard of a man being told that he is imagining pain after an operation.


this shit always happens. i dont trust any doctor but our family physician. im a teen, bit older than your daughter. pain is always dismissed for women. at this age its worse, because we're just "dramatic teenagers" fuck that. glad your daughter got the help she needed though. i hope she gets better.


Thank you! I was relieved to have found an answer at least. I can’t imagine if I just took their word for it and stuck her in counseling. In one of my groups about connective tissue disorders, women go years with getting told it’s in their heads before finally getting a proper diagnosis. It’s part of why I pushed so hard when they told me no. We can literally make her pupil constrict by turning her head and holding it. That’s not normal. But I’m not a doctor so I don’t know what I’m talking about.


Sending you some positive thoughts. Hopefully, your daughter can get this sorted out. But how infuriating it must be that without the kindness of that stranger you would've never been able to advocate for your daughter. I just want to say you're a great mom for pushing the doctors and getting the best care possible for your daughter!!


Thank you for fighting for her. I'm 28 and just got diagnosed with EDS this past fall, when I've had symptoms since early childhood. I too went down the "well I don't know what it is, so she just needs a psychiatrist" path - difference being my parents sided with my doctors. I have irreparable damage to multiple joints which could have been prevented by my parents just trusting me about what I was experiencing. Stories like your family's are horrifying - doctors blatantly denying reality is exhausting - but your path forward is a bright one. I hope further evaluation illuminates a path forward for her, toward improvement/resolution of her symptoms and prevention of further damage down the line.


Random father here - do you get any choice to see a female dr? My wife had been let down a couple of very serious times (one including a lump on her neck - ‘you are sleeping wrong’), so she will book with a female when she can (and if it is for our daughter).


I’m so glad she hopefully will now be getting treated as she should have been from the beginning. Like your daughter, I have neurological issues that got progressively worse and started when I was 14 or 15, but mine doesn’t have as clear or measurable symptoms as your daughter. Not-so-great insurance and limited options in the area I live meant I got stuck with doctors that were convinced it was all in my head. I cycled through so many trying to find a single one who actually believed me... took six years. I’ve not really found that there’s a distinction between male and female doctors when it comes to believing a patient, but I’ve not yet had a male doctor that has. Then again, I’ve been one of those people who have had more experiences with female doctors than males, I’m not sure if it was due to going to a children’s hospital or what... or perhaps my mother was insisting on such, not sure. Either way, one should never feel like their symptoms are being ignored and dismissed as being psychological. It really sucks that such seems to be like an automatic assumption, perhaps specific to adolescent females or even females in general...


If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend to check into craniocervical instability. CCI is widely unrecognized and causes a whole host of neurological issues. I stumbled upon it from a concussion group and they are some of the most helpful people I have talked to online. Complete strangers advocating for each other and trying to help anyway they can.


I think that was one of the things my neurologist looked into once I managed to get referred to her... I know she did an MRI when I first became a patient of hers. She ended up diagnosing me with fibromyalgia plus migraines and have been treating it as such. Tried a few medications and physical therapy, found a combination that I’ve been responding well to — everything is starting to look up, thankfully. Online forums and groups, even those here on Reddit, are definitely helpful for anyone going through any medical issue, or have a loved one who is. It’s so nice to see people advocating for and helping others... certainly restores ones faith in humanity after experiencing dismissive doctors and all.


Oh my goodness this was so hard to read, it felt like you were telling a portion of my family’s story. My 13 year old sister started experiencing the strangest symptoms, feeling extremely hot or cold at odd times, throwing up constantly, no energy no drive to eat. We took her to the doctors multiple times and they assured us that ... she was acting out for attention. That is what the doctor literally said. That she’s a teenage girl who is probably experiencing anxiety and acting out as all teenagers do. Then, a few days after New Years in 2013 my sister had a seizure, we called an ambulance and after many tests they found out that a huge brain tumour had shattered and spread around. It was the most painful thing my family had to go through and still deals with to this day. Definitely sue the practice that provided you with this false assurance, I didn’t know back then but I wish I had gotten justice for my sister. They didn’t perform any tests despite us pleading that they help us figure out what’s wrong with her. I really pray and hope that everything turns out for the better.


It’s so scary! The gentleman that looked at her imaging does this in one of the groups that I’m in. He is upfront that he isn’t a radiologist but has a lot of experience and has caught a lot of issues that were missed on scans. I’ve been asking for months why her c1/c2 spacing is the way it is. It appears further apart than it should be. Was told that I’m not a radiologist. Her quality of life has gotten bad. She can’t stand up without her heart rate skyrocketing and almost passing out. They said it was POTS from her concussion but now we are questioning it the vessels there are just getting too compressed with standing and sitting upright and causing blood flow issues. When she lays down, she is fine. Still have a long road to answers but we are finally getting somewhere.


That sounds a lot like maybe this clump is also obstructing the flow of CSF (cerebrospinal fluid). Many symptoms of Hydrocephalus lessen in severity when lying down.


Is your sister... dead? Or did she survive? Sorry for asking, if something like that happened to my family I would've lost it.


This is absolutely horrible but to enable her to advocate for her future health I would recommend she has some counselling to help her process and move past the trauma of being ignored during this situation.


that sucks so so much, recently happened to me too. lots of pain, cervical and headache, like I can't move anymore pain without medication which I should not take because the neurologist thought I already got headache from the painmeds. MRT was made weeks ago, radiologist wrote nothing wrong there, only slight degerenative changes which two doctors afterwards read/relied on without taking a look on the pictures themselves and said that can't be the cause also suggestet I seek psychological help, talk therapy. But I just felt something was wrong with my neck so I paid another private doctor who took a look at the pictures and immediately diagnosed a cervical disk prolapse. All that pain endured without meds until then, the horror, second opinions all the way and I'm deeply sorry for everyone who simply can't afford doctors/getting second opinions :(


Me, for 4 years: my stomach hurts Christian male doctor: there is no reason for this. Eventually, we go to the female OBGYN - petrified gallbladder.


That’s so heartbreaking hearing about her loss of trust in doctors but that’s great she’s doing better. I hope she has reason to trust them again in the future.


Is it possable to sue the ever living shit out of these quacks or at least run a media campaign to question if they are fit to be doctors? And i feel for you and your daughter. After being run over by a car i have very low opinion of docs


Florida has weird malpractice laws. You can only claim malpractice if there is permanent damage from a mistake. However, once we get everything all official and they determine what can be done, I’ll definitely be pursuing options. Because this has been left for 6 months, who knows if she has permanent never damage and what her quality of life will be once we can fix this.


If you can, speak to a lawyer about this for sure. Even an initial consultation (which generally should be free) may help you know what questions to ask and evidence to gather as you proceed. Your daughter is lucky to have you to advocate for her. ❤️


Definitely follow this up. They need to know they didn't take it seriously enough, and hopefully they'll question their beliefs and behaviour (though sadly, I doubt it).


Listen to ur gut people I was really sick when I was around 16, couldn’t stand up properly. Stomach cramps. Went the doctors he sent me straight to hospital. The doctor in the hospital said I was faking it. Thankfully my mum put her foot down and got another doctor. Who found a 15cm in diameter cyst on my ovary. Which need to be surgically removed Follow ur gut people Follow ur gut


Doctor here. Involuntary contraction of neck muscles is something that can respond well to Botox injections. A rehab doctor or neurologist should be able to evaluate her to see if that's appropriate. Also, I do want to echo some posters above who say that conversion disorder is a real, non-volitional thing and can be debilitating. It can respond to cognitive behavioral therapy and physical therapy. Though obviously organic causes for symptoms need to be ruled out before giving someone that diagnosis.


Your family's experience sounds absolutely horrible, and so preventable. Would I be able to ask a question about the diagnosis of conversion disorder; what was the role (if any) of a psychiatrist's input? I work in that field and get referrals from medical staff for 'conversion disorders', which come after a varying degree of investigation, and at times seem to be driven more by the frustrations of the medical specialists 'I can't diagnose this, therefore it must be psych'.


My mom went through a similar incident. It started with simple neck pain and some odd movement tics. Doctors dismissed her pain and issues for years, until she has gradually become completely bedridden and in constant excruciating pain. First she could no longer drive me to school, then could no longer walk very far, and finally could not even speak at times or sit up at all. After a decade or so, we reached a doc clear across the country and through a series of miracles were able to get her there for surgery. Sadly, for whatever reason, it didn't work and she is basically in the same condition but I feel like if it was taken seriously sooner or not pushed off as a "psychological condition" or some "crazy attention seeking behavior", that she could have been helped before it was too late. I grew up watching my mom's health slowly decline while starting to help more and more with my younger sibling. I would fall asleep listening to her screaming in pain at least twice a week in high school, to the point where I wouldn't even bother getting up when the paramedics were called. If I was in her situation I have no doubt that I would have ended my own life, and for a period of time fully expected to find her dead one day. We are lucky that my dad is able to work from home and take care of her after corona had him working from home since he would be out of the house for 60+ hours a week before. I moved out as soon as I could because it was so painful to wake up to that situation every day and I hate myself for being happy and not doing more to help. I still dream of her as she was, up and walking around and doing things with me, and it breaks my heart every time. ​ idk sorry went on a tangent there, I'm not sure if my story is terribly relevant, but, I guess my takeaway would be to fight. Doctors only their patient for a half hour or so at a time, you see what she fights with every single fucking day. It's frustrating between insurance, doctors, referrals, tests, and all the goddamn hoops our healthcare system makes us jump through, but persevering is all we can do.


For a medical system that costs so much, you guys on here sure don't have a lot of luck with quality medical care. This is crazy levels of malpractice... "she's just faking it"!?


25 years working in healthcare and I’ve never seen a true case of conversion disorder. It’s thrown around too easily by lazy doctors who cannot get to the root cause of someone’s symptoms.


If I ever need pain meds, I tell the doc I am reluctant to take opioids because "I don't like being high." They give me opioids.


I am so sorry to you and your daughter that this is happening to both of you. Unfortunately things don’t get much better unless you really press onwards to find better doctors (covered by whatever insurance you have), because it really does make a difference. I’m 21 now and have a variety of small little medical abnormalities that have slowly been coming together to *massively* impact my quality of life, and for near my entire life I have been told by doctors that I was “doing it all for attention”. If I have any advice for your daughter, as someone struggling with the same feelings regarding being distrustful of doctors now, I’d sincerely offer for YOU to be the person she tells. Make yourself known that she can be open with you about however she’s feeling, and make sure you’re with her throughout any and all checkups. If another doctor says she’s faking it, *shut that crap down immediately*. It’s so immensely unprofessional that if it is properly documented, they can get reprimanded for ignoring obvious/proper treatment.


I'm happy to hear she will finally get the positive attention she so rightfully deserves and needs. I'm so interested in her case. If you wouldn't mind sharing her films of what was missed and maybe the new ones? I'm just an RN, but I have a passion in all health care. Congrats to you both!


I have to add, don’t dismiss yourself as “just an RN”. One of our trips to the ER, a very kind RN sat with me as I cried because my daughter sat there uncontrollably spasmjng and we were told “everything is normal”. She told me to not give up searching. She said you are her mother, you know your child, if you say she isn’t faking, she isn’t. Keep searching and pushing. She believed my daughter and just said to keep advocating for her. That was back in January, our last ER trip. Once we get the official write up, I plan to send copies to the hospital and all the specialist that were wrong.


If you remember the name of the RN please let her know as well. Not an RN, but know it can be a very thankless job.


https://imgur.com/gallery/bwbiCUy This is the first part that he noticed was odd, it shouldn’t be like that around the c1/c2. 3D render shows the abnormality at the c1/c2 area. Hers is on the right and a normal example one on the left. We don’t have an exact diagnosis yet as they are working on getting an official read from a interventional Neuro radiologist. She will also need a Doppler ultrasound and probably an MRA, as this is from January. She is suspected of have LDS, a connective tissue disorder and vertebral tortuosity is a common feature with that. At the moment I’ve been referring to it as her blob 🤣. https://imgur.com/gallery/fethesu


Thanks for sharing that. I'm a training radiologist and I think I can see the abnormality - although it's single images! If you're willing to share it, I'd be interested to see the NR report when you hopefully get it!






I don't see anything abnormal on those images. It's a low quality angiogram with venous contamination, but not abnormal.


Do you have any more images you can share? Because I *am* a radiologist, and what you've shown so far looks normal. I want to stress that that doesn't mean everything is normal, just that these limited pictures don't show any evidence of something being wrong.


Absence of proof is not proof of absence. If a doctor claims that they can’t find a cause, and says that it’s evidence that the condition does not exist, then they do not understand the scientific method and/or they are protecting their ego. A proper doctor would simply state that they cannot find a cause, make a referral. Doctors, in my experience, use this psychological condition trope as a way to bailout their fragile egos; they aren’t psychologists, so they have no business making a diagnosis in a field in which they have no expertise. It’s malpractice.


The shameful reality is that ignorance has been grounds for dismissing the legitimate medical issues of women...really forever. “Female hysteria” variety of diagnosis are too-often the norm. I haven’d asked all the women i know, but i recall multiple women offhand who had a legitimate disorder that was poo-pood by a doctor or string of doctors. After constant pursuit often through YEARS of pain (very often starting around puberty till well into adulthood) there comes a diagnosis that catches the problem, and treats it.


Horrible. I've seen some videos from Black women in the United States who describe similar treatment. I'm so glad your daughter has you to advocate for her. You're a wonderful mom.


Sue the doctors, they shouldn't be practicing


I'm so sorry she had this experience. Very glad you kept advocating for her.


conversion disorder does not mean they are faking it. i don't know where you got that idea from, but its stigmatizing.


From the doctors, which makes that even worse.


Every day I become more grateful that I don’t live in the US


Conversion disorder is not faking, just to be very clear about this. It’s somatization of stress. It’s real. Any physician who told you that it’s “faking” should not be treating patients. I’m glad you found an organic cause to the disease. No pediatrician should be telling you that the symptoms are being faked, ever, for any reason. I’m a pediatrician. Are you sure that this is explicitly what the physician said, that your daughter was faking it? Did he/she use that word, or is that you interpreted it as? I’m just very incredulous but overall grateful you believe you’ve found the underlying cause.


I'm really sorry that that happened to your daughter. I understand her feelings because I've got a similar level of trust in doctors due to a silent stroke at 23 being all but entirely ignored. If you can afford it I'd recommend therapy because this level of helplessness and the distrust as those who you are supposed to rely on essentially call you a lair and an attention seeker is traumatizing. It may also be helpful for her to learn to how champion her own healthcare. I am glad that she has you championing her health of course, I gaurentee that is huge having someone believe you and trust you. But by championing her health she can gain some control as well as be prepared for the future for herself or others. By championing her health I don't mean get a MD or anything. Things like taking records of your health. Things like weight, BMI, resting heart rate, blood pressure, diet, etc. Learn how to monitor your stool. Make sure you are exercising and sleeping well. And if you can find a good family doctor to take the tests then some baseline tests for things like EKG and blood tests for hormones and mineral levels. If you've got a good doctor then these are useful because they are baselines so that when something does go wrong you've got something to compare to. But for her case it means that she can have something to trust in so that when a doctor tells her that shes fine, it's all in her head, would she like some anxiety meds? Then she can trust in herself and her body better because she has documentation. It may even help convince some doctors to take her seriously. Of course if she is obsessive over her health then that's not healthy and she should get some therapy. But from what you said she's instead becoming avoidant which is useful for coping in the short term but is potentially really dangerous if her health deteriorates. Oh and if a doctor dismisses her because they thing she has hypochondria because she is health obsessive the are likely the type of doctor that will dismiss her anyways so don't worry about them. Best of luck though and I wish her the best. I'm sorry that she had to go through this all too common experience so young


A woman died in Floriduh of a stroke because paramedics refused to believe that she was having a stroke. She died.


I’m so sorry this happened to your daughter!! I remember telling our male family practitioner about feeling very depressed at 16. He smirked and told me I should go see my school counselor...I didn’t seek mental health treatment until ordered to by the military when I was suffering from ptsd. Now I’m all about my mental health treatment but it’s sad how I was gaslit about something so serious. Especially with the rates of teens losing their battle with depression.




Op- the world would be a better, happier place if all moms where as tenacious as you. Man- the humiliations I went though when I became chronically ill bc my mom simply couldn’t be buggered with me. Your daughter is so so lucky! Also, see if you can find a local therapist who does EMDR- it’s helped me w/ my medical trauma so much!


The world would be a better place if medical negligence and gaslighting wasn't default treatment for specific groups of people. I'm sorry you had those poor experiences, everyone deserves proper medical care and good parents.


I'm glad you guys have an answer. It sucks that she fears doctors, now. Hopefully, you've found some good ones who will be much better help. I'm interested in her diagnosis. I've had similar symptoms, though not as severe, for years. It was just labeled as a neck injury that extends to my shoulder and I was sent to physical therapy to strengthen my neck and upper body in general. It helped, but I still have issues and I'm almost in constant pain. Recently, I've developed some other, "quirks," that I'm now thinking might be more connected than I initially thought. Once my MRI showed a few swelling discs, but nothing else, I felt like they just declared it as solved. I should have been more proactive. Anyway, good luck to your daughter!


Isn't this a rare edge case in which the pathway to a clear diagnosis is pretty difficult.


Yeah, I just hope the parents don’t get their hopes too high that an intervention here will relieve all the daughters symptoms.


Some of these posts sound pretty legit negligence stuff etc, but an even bigger number just sound like, simply put diagnosis is hard. There are a huge number of things that can cause most symptoms. The only thing you can realistically do is keep going to the doctor and getting second opinions until you get treatment that helps.


How hard is it really to do your job and evaluate every patient to the best of your ability? All that education and experience and some physicians choose to literally ignore patients because they're female or a poc or any other reason. I don't understand it. If I ignored customers at a retail job for those reasons, my ass would have been grass.


I'm so glad to hear that your daughter now gets the medical attention that she needs and that there is a (somewhat) happy ending here. How unbelievably sad that we now have to turn to strangers on the internet just to get to someone who takes female pain serious. Whoever that kind man is that offered you help and took some of his time to look at the images is a saint. He single-handedly saved my faith in humanity. I sincerely wish you and your daughter all the best for the future and that she can find a way to heal from this horrible experience.


I'm not sure how these doctors even think conversion disorder is possible if your daughter doesn't also have a dissociative disorder already? Like I've had conversion disorder (well, more akin to dissociative symptoms), because \*I've already got an underlying mental health condition that's not just "woman"\* and I'm also usually somewhat aware that these aren't quite \*real\* in the same way? It's more just \*I can't do this regular thing I usually do\* it's not specific, it usually isn't specific and the cause is usually just, not there. And it's almost always some type of like, spontaneous paralysis, or it has been in the 2 or 3 other people I've talked to, it's a sudden "I can't move" feeling that passes after some time. And even more than that \*there's no cause\* and \*all of the people who've actually had it have also had diagnosed issues with dissociation\* Any chance you can report these doctors to a board?


Tell your daughter she is a super star! She has joined the ranks of ladies creating change. Because every woman and girl that can advocate for them selves paves the way for other women to be heard loud and clear at the Drs office. She is not imagining it! I’m 39f and still advocating for my self. And every dr is held accountable by their patients will hopefully think twice next time the try to dismiss someone’s symptoms.


Why do male doctors think female patients symptoms are fake?


The fucking audacity to dismiss someone's pain and suffering with "They're faking it". I cannot _imagine_ what goes on in someones head to accuse a thirteen year old of faking her extremely distressing symptoms... That a complete _stranger_ had to point out an abnormality in a scan, is absolutely unfathomable. Omg I'm so mad, what the heck, that should count as malpractice. It's so ignorant and arrogant, why would you _ever_ dismiss something as faking without knowing anything about the person and without considering literally everything else first.


Omg I'm so sorry that you and your daughter had to go through this! But I'm glad you eventually found the cause. You're so brave for insisting to find what's wrong. I also don't like doctors that much. I have poor health and I had a terrible episode when I was 15 but the cause was never found. I had terrible headaches back then and I spent half a year in a hospital and then I had to be homeschooled for another half a year. When I had those headaches half of my face would go numb and sometimes I would "space out". I even lost my memory during that time and it only came back a couple of years ago when I was around 21. The doctors told me they didn't find anything and it was purely psychological and I'm overreacting. I always wondered if it's really the case. I did indeed have a lot of stress in my life back then. I was worried because my dad lost his job and my parents wanted to divorce. But in the hospital I said everything was good at home and in school. Fortunately, I only have those headaches once a year now, not everyday. I would prefer to not have them at all though because the pain is so bad I vomit and I even have blind spots in my eyes but it goes away. I wanted to continue to be monitored by a neurologist but I had to find one for adults when I was 18 and I met some grandpa doctor back then who told me that if I have those headaches once or twice a year then I don't need a neurologist. 🙄 I have been treated like I'm overreacting too and it was all while I have connections, since I have doctors, nurses and pharmacists in my family. I can't even imagine how it is for other people. Btw I don't hate doctors, I wouldn't be even alive if I hadn't met some good ones when I was born. I was born two months prematurely and they said I won't make it. But now I can walk, talk and be overall successful. Though, on the other hand, mum wouldn't have so many problems with her pregnancy if her preeclampsia wasn't ignored by a gynecologist. She could have died and I could too.


Ever heard of hemiplegic migraine? Check it out.


Not to be that person but horrible headache, vomiting, blind spots that go away sounds like a migraine? Look up ocular migraine for the visual problems that happen.


Yeah, I know, it does sound like this, but I never got that diagnosis. 😩 It would be great to get that diagnosis of it of they really are migraines. Then I could maybe get some treatment. And at least it's not something worse. But back then the doctors just said that I was just stressed out and that's it. Actually, they found one thing. A cyst on my brain but they said it can't cause the headaches and they won't do anything about it because it's more dangerous to do something than not doing anything. I really don't know.


Glad you kept fighting even when being told otherwise, hope she gets well soon.


Sue them for negligence


I second this, although I would say your first step should be to meet with a lawyer. It is extremely difficult to sue the medical establishment, no matter what deluded lunatics may think about it. My wife tried for years to find a lawyer who would take her case when worthless shitbag doctors missed a major fracture and punished her for being a drunk moron by sending her home with ibuprofen after she jumped off a ledge. Doctors are so fucking stupid it’s absurd.


Doctors are terrible... TERRIBLE to women, however old or young. My closest friend had horrific endometriosis that caused her to be suicidal for years because of the pain. She’d be begging for death when it flared, which was too often. The doctors insisted she’d want kids some day so they put her on four rounds of lupron (which you’re only supposed to do two in your entire life) and have caused her to have osteopenia and probably never have kids in the first place because she was essentially put into menopause four times. How many surgeries she had to remove tissue from her organs? Three or four? And finally the past year they did a hysterectomy. After so much torture. There are of course people who fake illnesses but it’s infuriating when doctors automatically treat women like they’re hysterical. I’ve seen it with my own health issues too. It took me having a major seizure and I stopped breathing for several minutes for doctors to take me seriously. She is so lucky to have you to help and advocate for her.


Honestly an AVM around c1/2 nerve roots wouldn’t cause the symptoms you’re describing


I had a similar experience 6 months ago. I had an accident where i hurt my toe. It was swollen. I had X ray and hey didn't find anything. So they just gave me pain killers and said nothings broken. There will be no pain and all those concern are just psychological fear. I still have pain when the toes are bend . I now hate doctors and haven't paid them a visit after that incident.


Report them.


whereas my husband was treated for physical symptoms for years for panic attacks


Sue them


Lawyer up. Your daughter has had to deal with pain and these symptoms for many more months because of their errors.


Even though a misdiagnosis is terrible, and must be even worse to handle for a 13 year old, and hopefully she will now get the care she actually needs; I'm curious: What is the relevance to include the sex of the doctors' into the title so explicitly?






i know someone with conversion disorder. thats something they really have. and its not "faking it" either. just because its psychological doesn't mean it isn't real or the symptoms aren't real.








I wonder what the answer is to your question. In most major metropolitan areas there are Women and Children hospitals that are staffed mostly with female doctors. [58% of pediatric doctors are women.](https://www.statista.com/statistics/1019841/female-physicians-women-specialties-us/)