Help! Previous dismissive Neurologist

Hi everyone I am 52 years old and have been having many neurological symptoms starting 5 years ago. This was only pins and needles then but gradually balance problems, some numbness in lower half of my face, altered swallowing sensations, painful spasms in legs, and terrible burning nerve sensations across the back of my neck and down arms into both hands. my right hand curls inwards then later the same day gets better, The latest symptom is causing me so much problems is when I’m walking my feet don’t feel like the ground is where it really is and I have terrible problems trying to explain these sensations and feelings to my GP. About 18 months ago I saw a neurologist who was so nasty and dismissive I was upset for weeks afterwards. I have had depression for many years, and an burn injury which caused me to have pain so am on welfare benefits. Having read about other neurological disorders I strongly feel that the neurologist did not take me seriously because his very first question was “tell me about your mental illness” and from that point I knew I was not going to be taken seriously. It has been a constant struggle to get anywhere and in the meantime I am becoming less independent to the point of stopping driving with foot numbness and staying in the house crying telling completely hopeless. It had been suggested I see another neurologist and I know there is something seriously not right, be it MS or something else. How do I get the Dr to take me seriously? Has I gone else experienced similar difficulties with the medical profession? I feel it is so unfair to be dismissed and presumably considered a liar or mad because of depression when the reason I am currently depressed due to lack of answers. I am on a strong therapy for my skin which can cause neurological symptoms so for the time being the dermatologist has stopped this for three months to see if anything gets better. Thank you so much for reading.

Not sure how this site works so I have sent you a message directly Janie1966 - Over the space of 20 years 2 different Neurologists declared after very basic physical exams they could see nothing wrong but luckily the second one ordered an MRI, 2 scans later I have been diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS. Absolutely always worth getting a second opinion, and definitely worth having a scan (or 2!)

Hello Janie

It sounds as though you’ve been having a really tough time of things. Having long standing depression can mean you have trouble getting doctors to see past mental health issues and look just at your physical symptoms.

What I would suggest is that you write a list of your physical symptoms, including dates when things began, how long they lasted and whether anything has recovered completely or partially.

Take this list to your GP, explain what happened last time you saw a neurologist and ask for another referral.

When you see a neurologist (hopefully a different doctor to last time), again use your list to explain what’s happened to you physically. I’d expect that after the doctor has taken a verbal history, s/he will do a physical examination and then possibly refer you for tests, maybe including MRI.

If you feel you are getting the brush off again, you could ask the hospitals Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for assistance. That’s what they are for. You can find details of PALS on your hospitals website.

Best of luck.


Thank you for your comments. I’m sorry that you had to wait 20 years for a diagnosis. I will definitely itely be seeking a second opinion after reading the forum posts. Thanks again everyone is very friendly here. :slight_smile:

1 Like