Hello, I know it’s been quite a while since I have written anything of use, but today something caught my attention in the OT world that I had to sit and get my thoughts out on “paper” so to speak. I happened to see a post on Facebook from someone with whom had a recent encounter with Dr. Diego-Torres. I myself met Dr. Torres almost 2 years ago and this question or post jogged my memory to his discussion of possible causation of Orthostatic Tremor. The suggestion was that OT could be a mental type phobia of a fear of falling. I’ll repeat that: The Facebook posting suggested that Dr. Torres is seriously considering that OT is akin to mental illness!
Now bare in mind that I have no access to Dr. Torres to confirm that this is truly the path that he and his team are now following, but this would be a travesty for all the hard work that many in the OT community have been raising money for and spending many hours working for. To lump this into the mess, no pun intended, of mental illness, is almost like giving up. We can’t find any concrete answers, so it must be in people’s heads.
I personally don’t believe that Dr. Torres is this kind of man or human being in the conversations that I have had with him. He is very caring, sincere and really is trying to make headway into this difficult problem. Everyone of us has some sort of mental illness, whether you want to admit it or not. People with chronic conditions like OT deal with them everyday. No one sick or not is immune to depression and anxiety. If some one says they are then they are the delusional ones.
My tremors and the pain associated with the aftermath, have never, ever been associated with any fear of falling. Now a fear or anxiety of being somewhere and not having a place to sit or lean, that’s a different story. The fact that in his own research it was found that OT patient’s fall less than the average person is further proof that we are at a standstill in finding first, a cause and secondly a treatment for OT. My Neurologist summed it up pretty well at our last appointment, saying “the wires in your nervous system are all misfiring”. They don’t know why, but attributing it to mental illness is utterly absurd.
My belief is still to keep yourself in the best shape possible. Keep moving!!!!!!! The greatest scientific discoveries have happened in an alarming amount of mistakes or side effects of other studies. With all the money being poured into Parkinson’s disease and other more prevalent neurological conditions, I think this is where our hope lies. I hope Dr. Torres continues to fight on for us and find a new way of thinking around this tremendous problem. There is so much that we do not know about our nervous system that even the best and brightest Neurologists can not explain. So it is up to us to stick together and learn from each other each and every day!