Bridget works with leading specialists around the world to educate medical professionals and tackle the common misunderstandings, not only about patients with functional disorders, but also about diagnostic error and the coding crisis. She has a diverse and unique approach to this field, which she has gained through advocacy work with patients.
Bridget became interested in functional illness after she experienced how the various psychosomatic labels impede patient care. When her medically unexplained puzzle morphed into a medically explained picture and she finally received proper treatment, Bridget transitioned into the medical world, actively engaging as a patient advocate.
Bridget spends most of her time advocating for the right to care for FND patients and discussing communication barriers between patients and doctors. She is an active particpate of the Stanford FND Consortium. Fall of 2015 Bridget was invited by Emory University Ethics department to participate in a consensus conference entitled Controversial Labels and Medical Uncertainties. She gave the closing remarks at an FND training seminar in Birmingham, England. While in the UK, Bridget met with leading researchers in the FND field from Scotland and England, holding patient support meetings throughout the UK.
She has submitted commentary to the relevant work groups connected with DSM and ICD coding changes, and a response in the British Medical Journal advocating for those with medically unexplained symptoms. In an article published by Mad in America entitled ‘Turning Patients Into Numbers’, Bridget uses her unique perspective to discuss the diagnostic stigma associated with FND.
Bridget is a wife and mother of three. She feels passionate about spreading awareness and bridging the gap between what is known and what is believed about medically unexplained symptoms.
The conference titled Controversial labels and clinical uncertainties: psychogenic disorders, conversion disorder, and functional symptoms took place at Emory University Center for Ethics.
PRIMARY GOALS OF THE CONFERENCE:
- Outline key challenges and value conflicts in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with functional disorders.
- Generate a high profile publication highlighting priorities for future research, training, and clinical care.
Bridget participated in the 2-day conference advocating for FND patients. She gave opening remarks and was involved in the many discussions.
The Stanford FND Consortium meets monthly to collaborate on ways in which to help FND patients. The FND Consortium has four main missions:
1. AWARENESS 2. TREATMENT 3. RESEARCH 4. TRAINING for professionals
The following is a response to ‘The new somatic symptom disorder in DSM-5 risks mislabeling many people as mentally ill’ published in British Medical Journal March 2013.
BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1580 (Published 19 March 2013)Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1580
On behalf of those with a Functional Neurological Disorder which has been listed under the Somatic Symptom and Related Disorder heading, we are admittedly against the the SSD section in the upcoming DSM-5. We have actively voiced our concerns over the past year with our pleas falling on deaf ears. Read More