Vital Signs: A Stress Case or a Serious Disease?

A dermatologist treats an anxious patient for her stress-induced lesions, but new symptoms signal a more serious, and very real, disease.

By Robert A. Norman|Saturday, September 17, 2011
Mary was waiting for me in the examination room. A mildly plump 55-year-old, she looked at me nervously as I came in, waiting for her chance to spill out all her aches and pains and concerns. “Hello, Mary,” I said. “How have you been?” “Not so good,” she replied, handing me a sheet of paper with a long list of medications written on it. I had seen Mary many times over the last five years in my dermatology office, so I was no stranger to her lists or her wide variety of ailments, real and imagin...

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