As a young woman, I was told more than once that my severe res­pi­ra­tory symp­toms were per­haps “psy­cho­so­matic,” caused by stress or anx­iety. Being sick enough to be in the inten­sive care unit was chal­lenging enough; having my cred­i­bility called into ques­tion while I was strug­gling simply to breathe made the sit­u­a­tion that much harder.

When biop­sies con­firmed that I had a rare genetic lung dis­ease called pri­mary cil­iary dysk­i­nesia, I had “proof” that my phys­ical prob­lems were just that—physical.

Unfor­tu­nately, not every con­di­tion lends itself to biop­sies and con­crete diag­nostic tests, and that ambi­guity leaves a haz­ardous gap that could soon be widened by a new psy­chi­atric diagnosis.

Read the article at WBUR →