General Question

girlofscience's avatar

What kind of doctor would be best suited to address this undiagnosed, bizarre issue?

Asked by girlofscience (7532points) December 6th, 2008

Stress-induced state of nonsense: slurred words, blank stare, incoherent sentences, nonsensical speech.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

40 Answers

lunabean's avatar


Schenectandy's avatar

I’d say your best course of action would be to self-diagnose on Wikipedia, narrow it down to a list of ten potential causes; of these, it is the most severe and incurable malady.

girlofscience's avatar

@lunabean: Yes, that is what I was thinking.

augustlan's avatar

I’d send a PM to Shilolo and ask him what kind of doc you need.

SuperMouse's avatar

My first thought was a psychiatrist.

figbash's avatar

Definitely a Neurologist.

gailcalled's avatar

Stress usually produces back-aches, head-aches, shoulder and neck aches, stomach aches…these are neurological symptoms.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Dr. Of Mixology if it is truly stressed related.

gailcalled's avatar

Not to be an alarmist; but…

Brain tumors

… Symptoms of brain tumors (which are often the same symptoms for brain metastases) include:

headache (when a tumor presses on surrounding brain tissue)
nausea and vomiting
seizures (
speech problems, impaired vision, weakness in parts of the body and trouble walking, general confusion (when a tumor affects these functional areas of the brain)

Symptoms of spinal cord tumors include:

pain or numbness
motor problems
difficulty controlling bowel and/or bladder function
Because symptoms produced by a central nervous system tumor often resemble the symptoms of other diseases, careful evaluation and diagnosis are critical to determine the cause of these symptoms.

girlofscience's avatar

Thanks, Gail.

That’s certainly a concern, especially considering the person previously had a benign spinal tumor removed.

gailcalled's avatar

Many brain tumors are benign also, but the symptoms should be checked tomorrow as soon as Doc’s office opens. I have a young family member who had a benign b/t. Her first symptoms were strange feelings in her teeth, I think.

nikipedia's avatar

You might also want to start with a GP, who can give you a referral for a neurologist and any other relevant specialist.

queenzboulevard's avatar

It could just be that they have a mild case of Wernicke’s Aphasia and so it’s only expressed when they’re under stress. Wernicke’s Aphasia is caused by a damaged part of the brain, so neurologist.

nikipedia's avatar

Wernicke’s aphasia would manifest as difficulty comprehending/constructing the content of speech rather than the ability to speak, so it would not explain the slurring or the blank stare.

jessturtle23's avatar

Sounds like my mom when her ammonia levels get too high. You pretty much have to go to your regular doctor first and then they refer you to a million specialist. My doctor told me to stay the hell away from

shilolo's avatar

Agreed with above: neurologist and or psychiatrist.

mrdh's avatar

When I first read the question, I was about to say Dr. House ;D
But, yea, you should see your GP first, see what he/she says and which specialist he/she refers you to.

cdwccrn's avatar

Psychiatrist willbe able to help manage stress/ anxiety issues

Supergirl's avatar

My father, the doctor, says get yourself into a psychiatrist, STAT.

Flavio's avatar

Does this person abuse substances? Are these symptoms caused by how she/he deals with stress?
I would definitely check with a GP first to make sure that if this problem has several etiologies, the care is coordinated and rational and your friend doesnt end up being ping ponged between specialists. (=expensive and bad care)

RandomMrdan's avatar

I’d call Gregory House before it gets too far out of control.

shilolo's avatar

Not to sidetrack, but House is probably the most inept doctor on TV, and that is saying a lot.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Shilolo, you are my hero. Anyone who bad mouths the most annoying character on television is ok by me!

shilolo's avatar

@Supermouse. I have to look over my shoulder for one of the moderators, who may censor my comment…

gailcalled's avatar

Physician, Moderator, heal thyself.

bpeoples's avatar

Skimming this, I’m going to reiterate the starting with a psychologist. I had similar symptoms, but not quite so severe (mostly anomia, switching nouns, and strangely spelling words).

The psychologist should be best set to figure out if your condition is psychological or neurological. The neurologist is likely to just send you to a psychologist for a separate eval.

shilolo's avatar

^ I think you mean psychiatrist. They are not the same as psychologists.

bpeoples's avatar

@shilolo Good point, but I’m generally opposed to medication by default, so I would hit the psychologist first, since they can’t prescribe you brain drugs.

If you actually hit a good one, they’ll refer you to a psychiatrist if they feel you need the drugs. =)

Beans4life's avatar

it sounds like you could be experiencing anxiety my little cousin has it and it sounds a lot like what she has, you should go see a phsyiatrist

Jeruba's avatar

It sounds similar to something my mother went through when her electrolytes were out of whack.

There seem to be many possible causes. Isn’t it likely that it will take some medical detective work to know which one applies? I don’t think performing this sort of diagnosis is a job for amateurs or something a person ought to try at home. I’d start with a family physician and let him or her decide which specialist to see, rather than picking one myself. Specialists typically find something in their own area to treat, whether it’s the cause you’re looking for or not.

augustlan's avatar

@GoS: Did this problem ever get resolved? How is the individual doing these days?

shilolo's avatar

@Jeruba. With respect to specialists, that isn’t always true. I’m an infectious diseases doctor. I get referrals all the time for patients who are suspected of having infections. Sometimes we find the problem is an infection, but many times, the problem is an autoimmune disease, cancer, or something else entirely. I think it is a broad generalization to say that “Specialists typically find something in their own area to treat, whether it’s the cause you’re looking for or not.”

Jeruba's avatar

@Shilolo, I grant you that this statement is not always true, which is why I qualified it with “typically” and did not express it in universal terms. I certainly do not mean to malign specialists as a group, and I know that many are indeed responsible practitioners who will refer you elsewhere if they can’t help you.

However, I have had many frustrating experiences of this sort that have led me to generalize in this way. Sorry if I offended you.

Mr_M's avatar

You could be having a Petit Mal epileptic seizure. Neurologist ASAP!

girlofscience's avatar

@augustlan: The problem has been resolved, and he is doing well! Thank you!

shilolo's avatar

@girlofscience Oy vey! So cryptic…

gailcalled's avatar

@GoS: What was the problem, nu?

girlofscience's avatar

Bah! Personal! Not at liberty to disclose. (You know how men are with health issues.)

In any event, it’s been remedied completely. <3

ShanEnri's avatar

Personally I would go to my (or their) family physician. They can send you in whatever direction you need to go.

Futomara's avatar

Hmmm…. Maybe a rehab? Symptoms sound like inebriation.

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