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Feeling crap about seeing a psychiatrist.


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I was discharged from Early Intervention back in June/July because apparently they only see you for three years. Thank goodness, i always felt like crap each time I went to see her and I had no choice because here we have the NHS and most of us are stuck with the psychiatrist we get. I should be grateful for the free care, and for the free medication. I know most people do not have this privilege.

 

A year before i had the psychosis I was extremely depressed or were these negative symptoms i do not know. I was also very paranoid that my colleagues hated me and didn't want me to work there which led me to quit two jobs. it was in my third job where the psychosis took over.

 

She diagnosed me with schizophrenia, paranoid type. She was going by what the reports said when I first entered psychiatric care. She never saw me in an episode. I was not hospitalised. I was initially seen by the brief treatment team and medicated before I went to see her. I was the one who took myself to occupational health because i realised something was very very wrong.

 

 

She denied me a second opinion. So i had to pay £350 for a second opinion who asked me what my diagnosis was and then proceeded to diagnose me with schizoaffective bipolar type. I know this was a legitimate mood and psychotic disorder specialist because I used to work in mental health as an administrator and knew the treatment centre was legitimate. But I do not believe i have schizophrenia or bipolar for that matter.

 

I could not afford further appointments so had to stay with original psychiatrist.

 

I am due to see another psychiatrist this week and I am going mad worrying about it. What if she refuses to listen to me? i really do want to try without meds but I'm worried she will not allow me to. My GP is the best she actually listened to me and said she hopes i won't have further problems and referred me to her in hopes that she will help me come off them.

 

I just want to know how to prepare myself for this assessment. And what happens during an assessment? I have not had a psychosis in almost four years and that was my only one. I do not remember much about what happened during my first few assessments so I would appreciate some insight.

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I'm not sure what assessments are like in the NHS, as I'm in Canada. But I'm imagining it's probably the same as most assessments. The psychiatrist will ask you a lot of questions, you'll probably fill out some forms. I had to fill out the Mood Disorders Questionnaire, my family history of mental illness, that kinda stuff. Stuff about my current mental state, history of moods, and any psychotic symptoms. 

 

What does your GP think about the schizophrenia/bipolar diagnoses? Why don't you believe the schizophrenia and bipolar diagnoses? 

 

I think being symptom-free for four years is great! If you want to try coming off medication with the help of a doc, that's your choice. Honestly, you sound like you're going about it responsibly and in an informed manner. 

 

I hope you have a productive assessment and can work out a good treatment plan, even if that involves getting off meds. 

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I'm surprised to hear your psychiatrist refused you a second opinion- you're entitled to one, and I know it's too late now, but if ever you get refused again then contact the patient advice and liaison service (PALs) and put in a formal complaint.

 

Usually an assessment involves lots of questions being asked. In an outpatient assessment I've never filled out any forms, but that might just be the way my Trust operates. It might be that your psychiatrist wont diagnose anything until they've seen you a few times. They'll probably read some of your notes, so if you don't agree with your diagnoses you should mention why at the start otherwise they will probably base some of their opinion on previous notes.

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Thanks for the replies guys :) Well, I went today and the doctor ( a trainee doctor) told me I should stay on them forever but then I got a call from her after she consulted a psychiatrist and I was told I can come off them after six months. The reason they said six months was because firstly 5mg Abilify is not effective anyway, secondly because I have a spending issue and they're not sure if it's linked to my illness. I was honest to them that I was not taking regularly so they said give the meds six months taking them on a regular basis and see the affect they have on my spending before I can stop taking them. They also told me to talk to my parents and let them know my triggers and warning signs so they can be on the look out. Yes I am very happy :D

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Thanks for the replies guys :) Well, I went today and the doctor ( a trainee doctor) told me I should stay on them forever but then I got a call from her after she consulted a psychiatrist and I was told I can come off them after six months. The reason they said six months was because firstly 5mg Abilify is not effective anyway, secondly because I have a spending issue and they're not sure if it's linked to my illness. I was honest to them that I was not taking regularly so they said give the meds six months taking them on a regular basis and see the affect they have on my spending before I can stop taking them. They also told me to talk to my parents and let them know my triggers and warning signs so they can be on the look out. Yes I am very happy :D

 

Glad to hear you're happy. :) Sounds like a reasonable approach!

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