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weird doctor diagnosed me with bipolar !?


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a few weeks ago my dad told me he wanted to get a FOURTH opinion on my diagnosis. (my dad's always doing this..he's never satisfied) I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, depressive type by three different doctors. Anyways,. i agreed to go to this appointment and be evaluated by this doctor, thinking she'd probably diagnosed me with the same thing...i was wrong. She chose to diagnose me with what she called a "Bipolar Spectrum" she said even though i've never had any manic or even hypomanic episodes, she thinks i have some sort of bipolar disorder because i don't respond well enough to antidepressants....in other words, i'm on antidepressants and even though im not depressed anymore, im not really happy either...i told her that for the most part, my mood is flat and i still have low energy. So she said that's the reason she concluded that im bipolar

this makes no sense to me. First of all, i've never had any manic or hypomanic episodes, second....i've had severe psychosis for long periods of time WITHOUT any mood symptoms, and third....couldn't my flat affect and low energy be due to having schizophrenia....it's one of the negative symptoms from what i've read.

Well, i don't agree at all with this doctor, but i was wondering what some of you think of all this?

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It doesn't surprise me to hear this. My girlfriend's son was diagnosed as schitzoaffective by one doctor, then bipolar by another...back and forth back and forth for years. Each time they changed his diagnosis, they changed his meds. This seriously fucked him up and he finally ended up in an institution. After 5 years of this crap, he just got his GED, has been working, and is ready to get out and get his own apartment. He was finally stable after they stopped changing his diagnosis and just concentrated on treating the symptoms. (His dx is now officially sz)

I know it can be hard to tell the difference between these conditions sometimes, but honestly, does it really matter what they call it? The important thing is getting the best treatment with the fewest possible side effects. It's all fine and good to conclude you are bipolar...but how does that effect your meds? treatment plan?

And why does your dad need another opinion? I can understand getting 2 or even 3....but 4? Did he want the new doctor to tell him you just have a cold??

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I'm wondering what criteria she used to diagnose you. For Bipolar I, you have to have had at least one manic episode. A Bipolar II diagnosis requires you to have been hypomanic at some point.

Check this link for diagnostic information for Bipolar I and II, in accordance to the DSM-IV:

http://www.allaboutdepression.com/dia_05.html

You'll have to scroll down a bit to get to the information.

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Seems odd to me, first off main clue or for me was taking ssri's alone and going all agitated, then manic, it was HELL!

I told lawyer just other week because was in hospital to finally get on something more than just Topomax to stabilize mood, and sleep disorders, that i was once again dx w/ bipolar 1.

He said I could have told you that from day 1 of meeting you.

That made me feel great, like that obvious, sign on my forehead?

I only told him thinking it might effect my case, but he seem all smirky happy about it.

Well now on stabilizer, so calmed down to point of sooo tired, he won't have wack job on stand, hope he knows that.

Aly

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I agree with Wifezilla although I think we all "just want to know" at one time or another. My dd has psychosis all the time, even now with the moods stabalized, and they've got her pinned bipolar schizotypal (I think that's how you say it). Here's the deal, her frequent hallucinations put her into the schiz catagory but she doesn't really have the other symptoms to any significant degree that couldn't also be rationalized off to BP. Flat affect and low energy sometimes comes from depression and definitely can come from mood stabalizers. As a matter of fact, dd was just saying that she doesn't feel like she can cry even though she wants to and feels like she needs to. I'm not sure if that is "flat affect" but she thinks the meds now are "too controlling" and not letting her get low (she takes Effexor, Trileptal, Geodon, and Cogentin). She doesn't get all that excited but definitely laughs, animated, and has a good time and, as she so convincingly demonstrates, can get really pissed off so I don't think she's totally emotion-less!

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She chose to diagnose me with what she called a "Bipolar Spectrum" she said even though i've never had any manic or even hypomanic episodes, she thinks i have some sort of bipolar disorder because i don't respond well enough to antidepressants....in other words, i'm on antidepressants and even though im not depressed anymore, im not really happy either...i told her that for the most part, my mood is flat and i still have low energy. So she said that's the reason she concluded that im bipolar

this makes no sense to me. First of all, i've never had any manic or hypomanic episodes, second....i've had severe psychosis for long periods of time WITHOUT any mood symptoms, and third....couldn't my flat affect and low energy be due to having schizophrenia....it's one of the negative symptoms from what i've read.

Well, i don't agree at all with this doctor, but i was wondering what some of you think of all this?

1. from what you say, that is totally insufficient criteria for bipolar. first of all, you did respond, and second, there are plenty of major depressives who actually do not respond to antidepressants. they're called refractory MDD. in these severe cases, total nonresponse can be a tiny hint of "is there a bp and mania we didn't know about?" Even getting manic on an ad is once again only a hint (albeit a much bigger hint) and doesn't necessarily mean bipolar. and hello! psychosis w/out mood...

2. antidepressants aren't supposed to make you happy. that's ridiculous. no psych pill is supposed to be a happy pill. if you do get happy and it's stable (not mania), you got really lucky!!! What ad's do is lift you out of depression by helping you modulate better or something like that. sometimes this modulating can leave you feeling flat. flatness can be a side effect of ad's. check the ad board and you'll see how often this happens.

3. as for the low energy, have you tried something dopminergic like wellbutrin, or provigil. i am not recommending these drugs, btw. they're just examples. Also, the low energy could be a result of some of your antipsychotics or other meds. some ad's also have sleepiness/sluggishness as side effects. You might just need to readjust your meds.

4. in conclusion, it almost seems like she's trying to jump on the latest fad, without knowing anything about it. even a quick read of dr. phelps spectrum explanation for laymen would set her straight. and she's a pdoc? i would run, very fast.

but like everyones says, treat the symptoms, the dx will makes itself known--but in your case, i think it already has. you dad's just stubborn. he seems to think he can change reality just by getting some dr. to tell him what he wants to hear.

good luck,

7

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She chose to diagnose me with what she called a "Bipolar Spectrum" she said even though i've never had any manic or even hypomanic episodes, she thinks i have some sort of bipolar disorder because i don't respond well enough to antidepressants....in other words, i'm on antidepressants and even though im not depressed anymore, im not really happy either...i told her that for the most part, my mood is flat and i still have low energy. So she said that's the reason she concluded that im bipolar

this makes no sense to me. First of all, i've never had any manic or hypomanic episodes, second....i've had severe psychosis for long periods of time WITHOUT any mood symptoms, and third....couldn't my flat affect and low energy be due to having schizophrenia....it's one of the negative symptoms from what i've read.

Well, i don't agree at all with this doctor, but i was wondering what some of you think of all this?

1. from what you say, that is totally insufficient criteria for bipolar. first of all, you did respond, and second, there are plenty of major depressives who actually do not respond to antidepressants. they're called refractory MDD. in these severe cases, total nonresponse can be a tiny hint of "is there a bp and mania we didn't know about?" Even getting manic on an ad is once again only a hint (albeit a much bigger hint) and doesn't necessarily mean bipolar. and hello! psychosis w/out mood...

2. antidepressants aren't supposed to make you happy. that's ridiculous. no psych pill is supposed to be a happy pill. if you do get happy and it's stable (not mania), you got really lucky!!! What ad's do is lift you out of depression by helping you modulate better or something like that. sometimes this modulating can leave you feeling flat. flatness can be a side effect of ad's. check the ad board and you'll see how often this happens.

3. as for the low energy, have you tried something dopminergic like wellbutrin, or provigil. i am not recommending these drugs, btw. they're just examples. Also, the low energy could be a result of some of your antipsychotics or other meds. some ad's also have sleepiness/sluggishness as side effects. You might just need to readjust your meds.

4. in conclusion, it almost seems like she's trying to jump on the latest fad, without knowing anything about it. even a quick read of dr. phelps spectrum explanation for laymen would set her straight. and she's a pdoc? i would run, very fast.

but like everyones says, treat the symptoms, the dx will makes itself known--but in your case, i think it already has. you dad's just stubborn. he seems to think he can change reality just by getting some dr. to tell him what he wants to hear.

good luck,

7

thanks everyone. Seven, i especially agree with every word you said. That it's more likely the AD's have caused my feelings of numbness, that no psychiatric drug is a "happy pill" and that it seems like she's trying to jump on the latest fad.

My dad asked me the other day what i thought about her. I told him i thought she was incompetent and her diagnoses made no sense. He made some kind of sarcastic comment to me like "yeah, Jessie because you've gone to school for years just like she so you really know your stuff" and im thinking, it doesn't take years of going to school and becoming a doctor to know that i don't fit into the criteria of bipolar disorder.

I don't even fit the criteria of what she diagnosed me with--"soft bipolar disorder" i've been reading about it and apparently people with this so-called soft bipolar disorder have rather short periods of depression and then recover for a while....when im not on meds i have very long periods of deep depression and i don't come out of it without meds. plus, there's the whole issue of psychosis which this doctor didn't even touch. I was having psychosis long before i ever became depressed or had any kind of mood problems, and after i was treated for depression, my psychotic symptoms continued to get worse. I was psychotic for over a year without having any depression or other mood symptoms. ...I remember durring the appointment this doctor made some comment like " We can agree that she doesn't fit into the "schizo" catergory" ...im thinking what in the hell makes you conclude that!

well, sorry for my complaining. It just irritates me so much when i meet a docter who tells me they've been in the business for 30 years and have taught psychology and all kinds of crap like that and then they make a very uneducated diagnosis.

And i know lots of people say that it shouldn't be important what you diagnosis is, just that the symptoms be treated, but for me it is important to have a diagnosis so i can know what it is that's wrong with me.

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