Withhold judgment: “Diagnosing and judging can sometimes be confused,” noted Charnas. Do not diagnose your patient with a somatic disorder until you have exhausted all other options. “Wait until you really know the patient and withhold judgment.”

Stein agreed: “Save the SSD diagnosis for patients who are unquestionably extreme in persistent health-related concerns and activity.”

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Put yourself in the patient’s shoes: “We are trained as psychiatrists to be good listeners,” Stein observed. “This enables us to see things from our patients’ perspective. Listening deeply and being empathetic are the foundations of our profession.”


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