If a psychiatric disorder is diagnosed after thorough workup of a patient with unexplained physical complaints, the first step is the presentation to the patient of the diagnosis and its implications for treatment. This is usually done by the primary care physician, sometimes together with the consulting psychiatrist. It may be of help to have family members present when this summing up takes place, to avoid any miscommunication. The physician should explain that the patients complaints do, indeed, have a cause: stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever term is most accurate and acceptable to the patient. The physician may wish to reiterate that there is no doubt of the patient's suffering despite the absence of a medical or surgical disorder to explain it. Many patients with psychiatric disorders who initially cannot be reassured about their health are best treated by their own physicians.
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