Dr Simon Breidert: How Post Finasteride Syndrome changed his view of his specialty: psychosomatic medicine

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When Dr Simon Breidert tried to discontinue use of the hair growth medication Finasteride, he experienced a myriad of very disturbing and disabling symptoms in multiple body systems.

But the medical system doesn’t recognize Post Finasteride Syndrome and has labeled any one who says they experience those symptoms as hysterical. Dr Breidert was now confronted by his own profession’s deeply embedded medical bias. Simon was experiencing horrible physical symptoms, but the health care system had already decided his diagnosis is psychosomatic. Talk about major cognitive dissonance. Simon had to reconcile years of medical education that psychologizes everything it does not yet understand, with his own body’s experience.

Simon and I talk about how his body broke down, his hellish health care journey and the strategies he employs to manage Post Finasteride Syndrome. Simon also shares what he now thinks of the medical system, psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine, and how he’s leveraging the trauma of serious illness and medical marginalization and gaslighting, into growth by founding the charity PFS Research.

Connect with Dr Simon Breidert

https://twitter.com/simonbreidert

https://www.pfsresearch.org/

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Scott Simpson:

Counsellor + Patient Advocate + (former) Triathlete

I am a counsellor, patient advocate, and - before I became sick and disabled - a passionate triathlete. Work hard. Train hard. Rest hard.

I have been living with HIV since 1998. I was the first person living with HIV to compete at the triathlon world championships.

Thanks to research and access to medications, HIV is not a problem in my life.

I have been living with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) since 2012, and thanks in part to medical error, it is a big problem in my life.

Counseling / Research

I first became aware of the ubiquitousness of medical error during a decade of community based research working with the HIV Prevention Lab at Ryerson University, where I co-authored two research papers on a counseling intervention for people living with HIV, here and here.

Patient participants would often report varying degrees of medical neglect, error and harms as part of their counseling sessions.

Patient Advocacy

I am co-founder of the ME patient advocacy non-profit Millions Missing Canada, and on the Executive Committee of the Interdisciplinary Canadian Collaborative Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Research Network.

I am also a patient advisor for Health Quality Ontario’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, and member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Medical Error Interviews podcast and vidcast emerged to give voice to victims, witnesses and participants in this hidden epidemic so we can create change toward a safer health care system.

My golden retriever Gladys is a constant source of love and joy. I hope to be well enough again one day to race triathlons again. Or even shovel the snow off the sidewalk.

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