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For those who don't know what a GAF score is it is a Global Assesment of Funxtioning done by a dr such as a pdoc. Here is a link that explains what the numbers and categories mean. WWW.gafscore.com

I recently found out my current GAF score because of some loan deferment papers that my pdoc filled out. And I don't know what to think. it was lower than I expected. I don't think I'm that bad off. Others certainly have it much worse.

Anyone else experience this kind of shock? Did you agree with your score? Can I get mine changed?

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Pay very little attention to the GAF/GAS.  There is very little reliability among raters of this.  It's a well-intentioned measure, but at the end of the day it's pretty worthless.  If it could be employed accurately, cool.  But it tends to be one of those measures that is entirely subjective, and is often used inappropriately (e.g. you won't qualify for a given service unless your score is <50...wtf is a 50?).

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I want to say that my pdoc (maybe tdoc too) did one every time I had an appointment. At least I saw a couple in my file...55 was one. Not sure what my lowest was, probably pretty far down there. I learned what it all meant in a psych class (abnormal psych) but was always fascinated with how they came up with it in such a short amount of time. I'm also baffled as to how my doctors don't take many notes during sessions. My previous pdoc rarely took notes. But yet tdoc would find a whole page about my appointment when she had my file (they are in the same office).

 

Now that I looked at the website, pretty sure I would have scores in the 20's at times.

Edited by forgetmenot220
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It's probably because the GAF is an easy way to "measure" outcomes. If you're getting services in a community mental health setting, medicaid rules specify that tdocs and pdocs must assess "progress" toward treatment goals at every meeting. The GAF is one way to 'measure' those things, though as vanderk states, it's not a very reliable measure... two people assessing the same person could give very different GAF scores. 

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I started a thread about this a while ago because my GAF score shocked the crap outta me.I've only had it revealed to me twice so far though (every 6 months is when my tdoc goes over our progress & treatment plan)I went up on my 2nd score but I have a feeling our next assesment will be lower again because my tdoc finally gets just how bad I feel most of the time.But as the others have stated...I wouldn't take it for gospel-2 different people can score you completely differently.

That's interesting that some people get one everytime. Does anyone else get a GAF after every visit?

Edited by BlurredBoundaries
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In the space of two months, I received a 65 from one physician and an 85 from another - and I was in mostly the same state.

 

My psychiatrist now doesn't even record them for me - I have only ever seen them when I have requested a physician report with a DSM multiaxial diagnosis.

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Thanks for sharing my peeps.

I'm glad to know that it can be readministered. I didn't think of that.

I also find it fishy that my pdoc did this after one meeting with me. I mean, dont get me wrong I am very grateful he signed deferments to my loans because we are too busy with medical bills ATM. And you guys are right that the GAF score can be different from different providers. That would only make sense. That makes me feel a lot better too. Thanks.

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i've had it done as a "right now" assessment, so i'm unsurprised your doctor did it at one meeting. i think that's why i don't think it is used as a stand alone marker. i've have a huge range between my highest and lowest (the highest i recall is maybe fifties...but i've also been assessed as 10-20 more than once)

 

 

EDIT: oops! i already replied to this....

Edited by mellifluous
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I don't find it fishy that your pdoc did a GAF after one meeting.

 

GAF is meant to be a snapshot of your level of functioning at any one moment in time. Until the DSM V it was part of the five-axis diagnosis that a trained clinician or pdoc should be able to come up with at the end of a structured or semi-structured clinical assessment.

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when I first saw my GAF that my tdoc gave me in october of last year it was 50, I was pissed. I knew GAF and I did not think I was a 55. When I simmered down I looked at it and it was an acurate picture of me at the time. I think when I was IP I was somwhere between 25-42 it was not pretty. I also think that my tdoc gives a lower score sometimes to prove the need for continued treatment ( I have no evidance of this, I just speculate on this becuse sometimes my insurance company can be a turd).  I think now that I have a seriousley improved GAF overall but it changes everyday, like the barametric pressure! Try not to think so much about it.

Edited by Rowlena
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  • 3 weeks later...

My lowest GAF score to my knowledge was 20. I didn't think I was a 20 but this was done inpatient. My highest in the last year was 50 released from the hospital, they give 50's to everyone at this particular hospital whether they are or not. At this place I go to with a case worker and fun activities (long ago there was a socialization group and we got to go places all the time) the maximum GAF you can have is a 50 so I know that is the highest I have been since going there. I don't know what it is now though, probably a 30 because I am slipping back into more psychotic behavior, anxiety getting worse in every way. I checked the scores it says "sometimes incoherent" and I do on and off throughout the day, night is better though, "difficulty in reality testing" even though I believe I am in touch with reality my doctors and family says that I am NOT, lately I have been sleeping most of the day and its not because of my meds because its just the last few days and been on the meds for awhile, I don't have a job, and sometimes I wander away from home because of a government mission. I guess that is the "behavior that is considerably influenced by delusions or hallucinations" part. 

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