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There are several aspects of Christopher Ward’s editorial in the December issue1 with which one must take issue.
The first is his use of the technical psychiatric term “somatisation”, a word much used by some neurologists, but unfortunately almost always outside its tightly defined DSM IV context.2 Loose usage of a defined concept is never a productive way forward; it simply encourages a pejorative rather than a healing approach. Professor Ward follows this path by accusing neurologists of regarding functional symptoms as unreal. In this context, he uses the term “functional” to embrace symptoms not explained by a recognisable neurological (medical) illness, or considered by a physician as out of …