Suffering from any physical or mental health illness can really get you down, but what would you do if the doctor was dismissing your very real pain because they can't find a cause?

Chronic fatigue syndrome 

Chronic Fatigue sufferer

“All in the mind” is the verdict of some in the medical profession when it comes to conditions like CFS. But try telling that to the sufferers!

They’re often beset with persistent exhaustion that sleep doesn’t improve. Last year the US National Institutes of Health released a report, which laid out in plain language that CFS actually exists. Cognitive behavioural therapy and medication for pain may be helpful.

Read more: Avoid being misdiagnosed by learning how to talk to your doctor

 

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia sufferer

Sufferers have muscular pain all over their body, poor-quality sleep and exhaustion. It affects more women than men.

There’s no cure, but antidepressants, painkillers and cognitive behavioural therapy can offer relief.

Read more: Discover treatments and remedies for insomnia

 

Morgellons

Man with a very itchy back

Morgellons is not recognised as a disease in the UK, but last year it was announced that singer Joni Mitchell is a sufferer. Symptoms include skin-crawling and biting sensations, itchiness and skin sores with tiny fibres emerging from them.

Many sufferers claim to see microscopic fibres coming out of their skin.

It’s often considered to be delusional, though research has found that the fibres are made of human skin cells. A healthy diet and exercise may help.

Read more: The comprehensive guide to caring for your skin

 

Somatic Symptom Disorder

Somatic Symptom Disorder sufferer

Symptoms include widespread pain due to extreme anxiety—usually caused by worrying about the disorder itself. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) amnesia, diarrhea, headaches, paralysis and altered vision.

With no identifiable cause, doctors are led to believe it's entirely psychological, although there are theories that claim the condition is rooted in neurocircuitry.

Psychotherapy and medication may help this condition.

Read more: How to cope with anxiety

 

Retired Husband Syndrome

Elderly Japanese couple

This one is specific to Japan. Its symptoms include ulcers, polyps, rashes and headaches and it all occurs due to the increased presence of the husband in the home.

In spite of research around the phenomena doctors have only been able to reduce the physiological symptoms down to those associated with psychological stress.

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