Greetings! I would like some input on a situation we are dealing with.
Patient X has lately been denied their disability claim, because they refused to attend the court hearing for the continuation of the benefits. The disability claim reason is reportedly agoraphobia. The patient states that they are unable to attend the hearing because the location of the trial requires them to travel over a bridge and into another city. They state that their agoraphobia won't allow them to go to the hearing. They further state that they have tried to speak to the disability board by telephone but, "they hung up on them when they could not stop crying".
Patient repeatedly requests that Doc write them a note that states they cannot attend. Doc's position is that if the patient can stand to leave their house to come to the clinic, then they can go to their hearing.
Some other tidbits...
*The patient was seen by the entire office eating out at restaurant, in no apparent distress.
*The patient has two children that always accompany them to appointments, with various excuses about why they are not in school. (We are currently making inquiries regarding a truancy violation.)
Is agoraphobia selective? Can it be that the patient is comfortable coming to clinic and eating out, but for some reason can't tolerate a courtroom?
We are of the opinion that the patient simply does not want to put forth the effort, and is using this complaint as a crutch. However, having limited experience with this particular diagnosis, I would be very glad for some other views. Thank you.