What if people don’t believe me?

You may feel that you are not believed by your friends and family and by doctors and nurses. Many people believe that symptoms such as your attacks must have a physical cause. It can be difficult to understand that attacks can be caused by stress. This could lead people wrongly to believe that you can just stop having the attacks at will.

Most people are familiar with the idea of people fainting when they are shocked. You may also have heard of examples of people going blind or deaf after a trauma. Like in NEAD the cause for these conditions does not show up on a brain scan, but they are known to be linked to stress.

Severe or ongoing stress is known to cause physical symptoms of illness which can lead to disability. NEAD, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, FND and irritable bowel syndrome are all examples of conditions, which can be caused by stress.

It is important for others to remember that people with these conditions have real physical symptoms. You are not faking or putting it on and you are not going crazy.

See the section 'What do I tell people' for ideas of things you can say to your friends, family and co-workers about your attacks.

Talking with a hairdresser