Dysautonomia and POTS

Dysautonomia (POTS): Professional bias or mysterious illness?

Doctors learn from evidence, experience, education, and their patients. Of course, professional biases exist. You may have heard “I don’t understand your illness; therefor you are not ill” or “You have too many symptoms, you report your symptoms as too severe, you act too diabled, etc; therefor you are making things up” or even “This is too mysterious to be a medical problem, therefor it is a psychiatric problem.”

It is estimated that over one million Americans are impacted by a primary autonomic system disorder. Autonomic dysfunction can occur as a secondary condition of another disease process, like diabetes, or as a primary disorder where the autonomic nervous system is the only system impacted. These conditions are often misdiagnosed.

While some physician will tell you “it is all in your head” there are some conditions of Dysautonomia and POTS that are best treated by psychiatrists.

How can Dysautonomia (POTS) be something for a psychiatrist?

Like any disease, physicians often measure the disease perspective and how it is uniquely presenting in the patient. Psychiatrists are also uniquely trained in measuring the different dimensions of you; your personality, how you conduct yourself, you life experiences, and then combining that information with the science of available medicines and technologies.

When a psychiatrist can help with someone with Dysautonomia (POTS)?

When something looks like POTS and masquerades. When something overlaps with POTS and co-exists. For example, patients who are “tired” can also have depression, patients who are “anxious” can also have an anxiety disorder, patients who are “foggy” can also have ADHD or a learning difference, and patients who are “sick and tired” of being sick and tired can get demoralized.

Why is it important to see a psychiatrist with knowledge of Dysautonomia (POTS)?

You are not your illness. Physicians with insights into Dysautonomia (POTS) know the importance of managing the illness. They recognize that diseases require treatment, personality dimensions require guidance and behaviors require modification. These providers recognize the role of autonomy in living all aspects of your life.