A functional disorder is a disorder where no structural or physiologic abnormality is found. This can be challenging for doctors used to observing physical abnormalities. If we are to understand functional disorders, we must use logical reasoning and rigorous science so that we can find the physical abnormalities which underly these ‘functional’ disorders.
Sometimes when a doctor is unable to understand a disorder the doctor’s brain transfers the blame to the patient’s brain. The patient is deemed to have a ‘somatoform disorder’. This perception persists in spite of innumerable failed attempts to correct these presumed somatoform disorders with antidepressants and other psychiatric interventions. If we don’t understand a functional disorder, we should try to figure it out, not blame someone else for our lack of knowledge.
If we adopt the maxim A functional disorder is an organic disorder we don’t understand we can make progress.