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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55 (2013) 6, 447 - 451

Case report

A psychiatrist is not always the one and only specialist needed by patients with psychiatric symptoms

C. Kahlé, R.M.F. Sorel, A.G.M. Borggreve, G.M.F. Ruinemans, R.R. Ploeger

We present three cases in which psychiatric symptoms were misinterpreted and somatic investigation was incomplete. Some of the symptoms encountered in mental health care such as anxiety, confusion and even attempted suicide, are caused by an underlying somatic disorder. In most cases, particularly when patients have a known past psychiatric history, insufficient attention is given to possible somatic causes of psychiatric symptoms. Since psychiatric and somatic symptoms can clearly overlap, we believe that health professionals, particularly psychiatrists, should take a broad clinical view and give close attention to the possibility that a patient’s psychiatric symptoms may have somatic causes.

keywords psychiatric symptoms, somatic screening