The Most Overlooked Sign of Mental Health Struggles

Beyond the GP: what’s going on?

Karen Nimmo
On The Couch
Published in
4 min readMay 20, 2024

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Image by Freepik

“To be honest, I don’t want to see you,” my new client said.

She’d been referred for psychological assessment and treatment by her GP. He’d suggested she work on her stress levels, rather than her physical health, and she wasn’t happy.

“ I’ve been sick so much this year — colds, flu, sore throats, weird aches and pains. Physically I’m struggling — and he’s acting like it’s all in my head.”

Turns out the doctor had referred her for bloods and a raft of other tests. All were inconclusive. He’d suggested her physical ails might have an emotional or mental origin.

It was highly likely he was right.

“A major contributor to the genesis of many diseases… is an overload of stress induced by unconscious beliefs…To find health, and to know it fully, necessitates a quest, a journey to the center of our own biology of belief. — Gabor Maté

The body doesn’t forget

My client’s presentation is a common one.

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Karen Nimmo
On The Couch

Clinical psychologist, author of 4 books. Editor of On the Couch: Practical psychology for health and happiness. karen@onthecouch.co.nz