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So, I just started seeing a new therapist a few weeks ago and within the time frame of the first session she had already come up with a working diagnosis of Bipolar 2 and ADHD. I am somewhat unnerved by these ever-changing diagnoses that I have gotten in the last 2 1/2 years.

My previous diagnoses include: Mood Disorder NOS, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Personality Disorder NOS, Dissociative Disorder NOS, Unspecified Depressive Disorder, Bipolar I, and GAD. 

am extremely frustrated with this entire process and getting new diagnoses because it seems like whenever one diagnosis is starting to make sense more are added on that contradict the previous one or it is completely taken away and replaced with something that makes no sense. 

Has anybody else had to deal with getting changing diagnoses and are simply confused by as well as frustrated with it all?

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My diagnoses are all in my profile. I've had a lot. I think my current psychiatrist finally agrees on my current diagnosis, which I was originally given at age 18 during an inpatient stay. It is tough, to say the least, to have so many people have so many different opinions.

 

I wish you luck Ang, and I hope things work out for you. 

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It's frustrating. I don't ask about dx anymore. 

 

Treat the symptoms, and don't worry about the dx so much. That's how a good doc should do it. 

 

I'm sorry it's so confusing for you. I went through a period of different opinions and different dx's thrown around.. its frustrating as hell.

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It is very frustrating. Since age 14 (I'm 28 now) I've had these diagnoses, most of them I've had multiple times: Major Depression, Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, Depression w/ psychotic features, Dissociative Disorder NOS, Borderline Personality, and now Schizoaffective (again). I've had my current one for approximately 2 years and my 2 doctors and I think it fits. We'll see. I've quit caring about it as much as I used to and just focus on the meds, although it has been nice to have a dx that I think is right.

 

Good luck to you.

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It's frustrating. I don't ask about dx anymore.

Treat the symptoms, and don't worry about the dx so much. That's how a good doc should do it.

I'm sorry it's so confusing for you. I went through a period of different opinions and different dx's thrown around.. its frustrating as hell.

Completely agree with this ^

I've had a few different ones also. I like to have a diagnosis of some sort because I just like to have a name for what is wrong with me but at the same time, I try not dwell on my diagnosis too much and instead just try to focus on my teeatment. I look at a diagnosis as just a starting point to figure out where to start with treatment options and go from there.

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I agree with treating the symptoms.  But it is nice and helpful to have a diagnosis though ... makes things better for me at least ie something I can read about and relate to others more about.  Like it is narrowed down, so it isn't just a bunch of symptoms that are jumbled up or something.  If that makes sense.  But in the end treating the symptoms is what is more important, IMO.

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I agree with treating the symptoms. But it is nice and helpful to have a diagnosis though ... makes things better for me at least ie something I can read about and relate to others more about. Like it is narrowed down, so it isn't just a bunch of symptoms that are jumbled up or something. If that makes sense. But in the end treating the symptoms is what is more important, IMO.

Completely agree. I like to be able to read about my problem and learn about it.

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Beliah, comorbid disorders are not "American style." One would think one would hesitate to hold up the UK (or Scottish) mental health care services provided by the NHS as a positive example of good care. It is not exactly known for its successful treatment regimens. Which is not to say the US doesn't suck. But let's just say, we hear the same horror story over and over again when our UK members are seeking treatment.

 

Also, some members here include every diagnosis they have ever had in their signature. Some cross out the ones that were eliminated, some just leave them all up.

 

I have GAD as well as BP illness. It is true that certain moods can make you anxious, but I am anxious even when I am not having mood swings. Very anxious. I was anxious even when my BP was in remission.

 

And I've never heard that bipolar and OCD can't be comorbid. Comorbidity of neurological and mental illnesses is really common.

 

ADHD in particular can be a precursor for BP illness. And, ADHD is common in families with a bipolar family member, even among members that don't develop BP.

Edited by crtclms
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I did preface that comment by stating "I'm not saying one version is more correct than the other." In any case, I think we can both agree that due to the American health care system, patients are often over-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses (when the depression, anxiety or stress may be temporary) so that insurance companies will pay for the consultation and therapy.

 

 

No, actually, we cannot agree on that. In America, patients are sometimes given diagnoses by doctors who know that a certain diagnosis will make a needed medicine fall within the coverage guidelines of a given insurance company-because insurance companies will do damn near anything to get out of paying for psych meds in particular, as they can be wildly expensive.

 

And furthermore, for people with bipolar disorder, monotherapy is very rarely successful. A cocktail usually works best, and finding the right cocktail can be a miraculous life change after years of misery,

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Beliah, comorbid disorders are not "American style." One would think one would hesitate to hold up the UK (or Scottish) mental health care services provided by the NHS as a positive example of good care. It is not exactly known for its successful treatment regimens. Which is not to say the US doesn't suck. But let's just say, we hear the same horror story over and over again when our UK members are seeking treatment.

 

I did preface that comment by stating "I'm not saying one version is more correct than the other." In any case, I think we can both agree that due to the American health care system, patients are often over-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses (when the depression, anxiety or stress may be temporary) so that insurance companies will pay for the consultation and therapy.

 

It's definitely a cultural difference too. British television has used the American cocktail of treatment style for shock value tv programmes, in much the same way that it does by covering the American obesity epidemic. 

 

Sorry, I tried to post this documentary earlier although only part 4 is available on youtube. It's called America's Medicated Kids.

 

 

 

I feel that both outlooks are crappy but I cannot see how one would use monotherapy strictly for all patients. Treating illnesses is not a one-size-fits-all. l do think it is a good first step but to deny that people may need more than one medication is as to say that somebody who is lactose intolerant only needs dairy.

It is true that kids tend to be the most overmedicated group but sometimes they need it.  My nearly 5 year old baby sister has such severe hyperactivity and inattentiveness problems that she has nearly been kicked out of kindergarten 5 times so far this year. However, due to health care professionals being leery of diagnosing ADHD before age 5, she cannot see a doctor to get a diagnosis until February. 

If one can do well with monotherapy and function with the rest of the world, that's great but many cannot. 

 

 

I did preface that comment by stating "I'm not saying one version is more correct than the other." In any case, I think we can both agree that due to the American health care system, patients are often over-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses (when the depression, anxiety or stress may be temporary) so that insurance companies will pay for the consultation and therapy.

 

 

No, actually, we cannot agree on that. In America, patients are sometimes given diagnoses by doctors who know that a certain diagnosis will make a needed medicine fall within the coverage guidelines of a given insurance company-because insurance companies will do damn near anything to get out of paying for psych meds in particular, as they can be wildly expensive.

 

And furthermore, for people with bipolar disorder, monotherapy is very rarely successful. A cocktail usually works best, and finding the right cocktail can be a miraculous life change after years of misery,

 

Agreed. My mother died due to negligence within the mental health care system and if her Bipolar had been handled with more care and vigilance, she might still be here today.

 

 

I did preface that comment by stating "I'm not saying one version is more correct than the other." In any case, I think we can both agree that due to the American health care system, patients are often over-diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses (when the depression, anxiety or stress may be temporary) so that insurance companies will pay for the consultation and therapy.

 

 

No, actually, we cannot agree on that. In America, patients are sometimes given diagnoses by doctors who know that a certain diagnosis will make a needed medicine fall within the coverage guidelines of a given insurance company-because insurance companies will do damn near anything to get out of paying for psych meds in particular, as they can be wildly expensive.

 

And furthermore, for people with bipolar disorder, monotherapy is very rarely successful. A cocktail usually works best, and finding the right cocktail can be a miraculous life change after years of misery,

 

 

The retired psychiatrist, Allen Frances, who was the chair behind the DSM-IV believes that over diagnosis is such a problem in America that he wrote the book, Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life (2013).

 

You can read reviews here: http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Normal-Out%E2%80%94-Control-Medicalization/dp/0062229257/

 

My previous pdoc read that book and said it was a load of garbage. I'm not saying it is but I am not going to read it if even my psychiatrist thought it was nonsense.

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P.S. The NHS mental healthcare is WIDELY known to suck, ask Nick Clegg (whom I know is a dope, but he still counts as a politician). So the standard "All the worst cases come to CBs" argument doesn't work in this case.

Edited by crtclms
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I'm not debating the whole NHS VS USA thing, but I am poor and receive medicaid. I pay absolutely nothing to see pdoc, tdoc and I think I pay a total of $4.50 for my monthly meds. That is just my psych meds. I pay $3.00 for one and $1.50 for the other. Although I only pay $4.50, my meds cost my insurance over $1000. a month. Even though I mostly go to low cost/free clinics, I have been perfectly happy with all my docs. I have had a high turnover of med providers, but I've been lucky in the fact I've liked all of them. So, I've just accepted the fact of not to get used to them, they will soon be gone, but I've been lucky that all have been good. Of course, I've been pretty stable and there's been no changes on the med front, but I'm sure if I needed it, they would be competent. I could, with my insurance, go to Vanderbilt University for my psych needs (one of the top hospitals in the country), but I choose not to, mostly due to traffic and time constraints, though I have been tempted, just to see what the difference is in private and low cost.

 

When I was first diagnosed, it still only took a couple of weeks to get me in and medicated and I was in definite crisis. I would hate to think that I would have had to have waited months, because I was really in bad shape.

Edited by AnnaBanana
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Interesting debate. I don't know much about the American system in terms of psychiatric care, but I do know that the NHS sucks.Up until a while ago I was lucky enough to have private healthcare here in the UK, which was absolutely fantastic. But now I am under the NHS and it's just been a shambles.

 

While my GP was happy to refer me to the mental health team, they've been rubbish. I have to wait and wait and wait. I had to wait six months just for an assessment for therapy. I've been turned away from A&E after a suicide attempt - being told I'm "not the right sort of person" to qualify for a psychiatric bed. The crisis team (who come out to your home if you are in a mental health crisis) discharged me while I was still suicidal - hence the later suicide attempt. 

 

And I'm even lucky that I had an understanding GP - I know so many people who've simply been told "everyone has bad periods, you'll get through it" when they went for depression.

 

And as for it being free what a ridiculous thing to say - we all pay taxes don't we?! 

 

Don't get me wrong I think the NHS is a brilliant idea, but in reality it doesn't work. 

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