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Every doctor in clinical practice is familiar with the patient who presents with multiple 'soft' symptoms. Where organic pathology cannot be demonstrated, there is a tendency to apply psychiatric labels. Indeed, it has been suggested that the risk of psychiatric disorder increases linearly with the number of presented symptoms. In psychiatric practice, the mere absence of an organic cause of disease is often regarded as adequate reason to invoke a psychological mechanism. However, this action precludes the possibility of any other diagnosis, and thus constricts therapeutic management to the psychiatric realm. Such psychologization of illness is commonplace, overworked and infrequently challenged. This highlights the longstanding controversy over multiple allergy and the role of psychiatric disorder.