Thursday, February 2, 2023

She was accidentally diagnosed with a health problem and ended up in a place she never imagined: “I was trapped”.

When Hannah Farrell He lost the ability to speak and work, doctors thought he had a mental illness. but later, He discovered that there was a physical cause for his symptoms.

“I have a very vivid memory of my GP telling me, ‘You are mentally ill and you need to accept help so you can get better,'” she explained. Farrell was a healthy 20-year-old British woman studying psychology.

She was living with her family when she started having flu-like symptoms: “I went to see my doctor and he told me that viruses usually go away, that I just needed to stay home and rest, that I need to rest. “ His doctor thought he had glandular fever.

The Woman Had Lost The Ability To Speak And Walk, But Later Recovered
The woman had lost the ability to speak and walk, but later recoveredBBC

But although she felt very tired and her symptoms fit that picture, something began to develop in her. Change in your personality. Soon after, he lost his ability to speak.

“I had to ask my mother to come with me, sit next to me and talk to the doctor for me. I wrote my mother what I had to say to her,” she recalled.

was sent home with hannah antidepressant and orders a psychologist to see him. their symptoms worsened And a short time later, she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, where she was prescribed antipsychotic medication.

A psychiatrist examined her and ordered an MRI. In that examination, the doctors found cyst in his brain And he was referred to the emergency room for further studies.

“When I went to the ER, they checked for the cyst and said I was probably born with it, so it probably had nothing to do with the symptoms. But what they saw was that my blood test showed that I was fighting a type of virus,” he said.

More tests followed, and after three weeks, Farrell finally received a diagnosis: Encephalitis due to anti-NMDA receptor antibodies: “It’s an autoimmune form of encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain.”

Although An Mri Revealed A Cyst In Her Brain, It Was Not The Cause Of Her Symptoms.
Although an MRI revealed a cyst in her brain, it was not the cause of her symptoms.BBC

According to Professor Guy Leschizner, The fact that physical symptoms are confused with mental illness is not uncommon.

“Sometimes we see individuals with psychosis and severe behavioral changes and the initial diagnosis is a mental illness such as schizophrenia. But, in fact, as the days or weeks go by while they are in the hospital, It starts to become clear what’s underlying: that it’s one of those autoimmune conditions,” says specialist in neurology at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital from the United Kingdom.

It has been known for more than a century that damage to certain parts of the brain and tumors can Changes in personality or behavior. “In the past 20 years, we have begun to recognize that there are a number of conditions that are immune-based, whereby the immune system attacks the brain and damages brain function,” says Prof.

“In Pharrell’s case, it took weeks for doctors to recognize that it was a serious autoimmune condition that required treatment with very powerful drugs,” he said.

Professor Guy Leschizner
Professor Guy LeschiznerBBC

Farrell says she was later transferred to the neurology field: “I was completely dumb, I lost the ability to dress myself, bathe and feed myself. At this stage, I was really trapped in my own body,

was under Farrell immunotherapy treatment and 13 plasma exchange, A process in which blood is filtered before being pumped back to the body.

Although initially the treatment did not work and doctors told her parents that she probably did not have much time to live, after two weeks, Farrell wakes up. He managed to say a few words. In the next few weeks, he learned to speak and walk again. She says it was like learning to live again.

“I look back at the person they were before encephalitis and I don’t really know them. I just can’t connect with that person,” he thought. Five years passed. Farrell has recovered, although he is still undergoing immunotherapy treatment. This makes you more vulnerable to infection and can affect your fertility.

“I wish general practitioners knew more about encephalitis because they are the first point of contact for many patients,” he says.

“I wish my doctor knew more about it so he could get me on the right track. If I think of all the people who have had encephalitis and died in psychiatric hospitals or homes, I can’t sleep at night.” I won’t be able to.”

In Farrell’s case, encephalitis, a physical illness, was mistaken for a mental illness. But sometimes the opposite is true: “We know that the relationship between body and mind goes both ways. Physical problems can cause psychiatric symptoms, but psychological problems can also contribute to physical illness.

Professor Leschziner adds that he sees patients who have symptoms such as seizures, paralysis and numbness without any apparent physical cause. some are eventually diagnosed functional neurological disorder, or FND which is a problem with the way the brain receives and sends information to the rest of the body.

“We don’t fully understand what causes these conditions. It appears that one may be vulnerable to changes within the software that defines how our nervous system works.”

“We know there are certain risk factors. That is, particularly stress, anxiety, depression, past psychological trauma. But ultimately Anyone can develop these functional neurological disordersadded prof.

For Leschziner It Is Important To Understand Physical And Mental Health Holistically.
For Leschziner it is important to understand physical and mental health holistically.BBC

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people develop FND each year. Conditions like this and the experiences of people like Hannah have led some doctors to believe that we need to stop thinking of physical and mental health as separate entities.

“I think we need to stop defining diseases or disorders of the body or the mind. We know that in fact, in almost all cases, both contribute,” Leschizner said.

“Even in conditions that are thought to have a purely physical basis, we know that how people interpret their symptoms is important in terms of defining their quality of life. understand and Making sure everyone has access to physical and psychological therapies is really important for almost all conditions. That’s our health care system. It’s important for everyone,” he concluded.

bbc mundo

Nation World News Desk
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