As we discover new diseases of the brain that present with psychiatric symptoms, it remains incumbent upon us to remember the experience of patients and their families in the context of society at large.
While the process of diagnosing is common to all fields of medicine, this article specifically addresses missed “medical” diagnoses in patients who present to or are being followed by psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians.
DSM-5 categorizes PNES as a functional neurological disorder or conversion disorder with seizures. It is essential that neurologists, psychiatrists, and other clinicians coordinate care to ensure that patients with PNES receive a prompt diagnosis.
The recognition of a wide range of traumatic experiences-physical or sexual assault, motor vehicular accidents, natural disasters, terrorism-has implications for understanding the vulnerability to vicarious trauma inherent in a clinician’s practice.