I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in the nineties after years of suffering the indignity of connective tissue pain, headaches, severe fatigue, brain fog and several other sometimes debilitating physical and mental problems.
I was eventually diagnosed with celiac disease, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's disease and pernicious anemia. There are all autoimmune diseases that though common, are often overlooked. Doctors who at first treated me like a hypochondriac were more than willing to label me with fibromyalgia and put me on anti-depressants, muscle relaxers and other expensive medications instead of looking beyond the horses to see that there were a herd of zebras in my metaphorical corral.
Although the fibromyalgia diagnosis wasn't helpful for me, it was not nearly as bad as being accused of hypochondria early on. This affected my relationships with nearly everyone in my life and the taint of that mistake still stains relationships I have with family and friends, who prefer to believe their suspicions about my desire to get well were justified than to admit I was actually quite ill (and could have used their support).
I am now writing a book on the destructive impact on a patient of an improper hypochondria diagnosis and would love to hear stories of people who have been through that experience. Even if you haven't been officially diagnosed with hypochondria, perhaps you feel you've been suspected of it and mistreated because of it. Please contact me with your stories at kitkellison at G Mail dot com. Put "hypochondria" in the subject head so I can discern you from spam.
Thanks again. We will never be taken seriously as patients unless we stand up for ourselves. Let's do this thing!