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A character trait?


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A quick backstory: I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. My pdoc really suggested hospitalisation, I agreed. In the hospital I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now, every time I bring up an anxiety issue (recently I've been having panic attacks when going to sleep) my pdoc and pdoc at hospital i've been to say it's just a character trait. However, I don't agree with them. What's the best way to deal with it? I'm afraid everyone will just just repeat what my pdoc says because a psychologist during my hospital stay said that high anxiety and sensitivity are my "character traits"....

Edited by libellula
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I'm also an extremely emotionally sensitive, anxiety prone person. These things are pathological for me because they were character traits intrinsic to my young self, but they were amplified and twisted out of proportion by environment, predisposition, etc. 

I think high intrinsic sensitivity has benefits, but I understand the ugly ways it can intersect with trying to have a life. I amputated my sensitivity at the knuckles (SPD), which has been...effective...for one definition of that word, but of course it just mutated the problem, it didn't solve anything. 

If I could change anything for my child self, I would have put that kid in therapy at a very young age to try and learn to safely reconcile its feelings with environment. 

Therapy might also be helpful for you. Helping yourself learn ways to cope with this that you find agreeable, and can do long-term, will go a long way toward "fixing" the problem without drastically altering the parts of being emotionally sensitive that you might wish to keep. 

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2 hours ago, libellula said:

I'm afraid everyone will just just repeat what my pdoc says because a psychologist during my hospital stay said that high anxiety and sensitivity are my "character traits"....

I agree with you that anxiety and panic attacks, and sensitivity are not character traits (IMO).

Is there any possibility to see another pdoc for a second opinion?  If so, personally I would not go into the 2nd opinion DR appt telling them anything, especially the "character trait" thing.  If they ask questions, I'd just answer them, but I wouldn't bring up the "character trait" thing. 

I agree that therapy would help, if you aren't seeing a tdoc already.

Edited by melissaw72
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I think I phrased my post poorly. I may have come across dismissive when I didn't intend to. 

What I'm trying to say is that even things that may have started out as character traits, can still become problematic; and that just because something might have been part of your emotional makeup before any mental illness became prominent, that doesn't mean it's not a problem/not worthy of consideration. Mental illness doesn't happen in a vacuum; it's a slow outgrowth of behavior in response to environment/circumstance. 

And when it's an ingrained behavior that's problematic for you, therapy is the best answer. You are the judge of what you find problematic, because it's your life that's being affected. 

I would also seek a second opinion, if that's an option. 

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Don't worry Czernobog, I didn't think of your post as dismissive, you really explained why it becomes a problem. It indeed starts out as a trait and then it goes out of proportion.

Melissaw72, thank you! I'm going to a tdoc soon with a friend because i'm too anxious to go on my own. I think it's because it's hard to find a good one. Right now I'm stuck with the pdoc who treated me at the hospital because I take part in a trial, but as soon as it's over I'd love to get another opinion on this. Sometimes anxiety goes through the roof and i can't even take any meds now except for Latuda.

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2 hours ago, libellula said:

Sometimes anxiety goes through the roof and i can't even take any meds now except for Latuda.

 

2 hours ago, libellula said:

because I take part in a trial,

Are you not able to take any anxiety meds except Latuda because of being in a trial?

If not, is there a reason you can't?

Want add that I am glad you will be going to a tdoc.  And having a friend go with you I think might be helpful.

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melissaw72, I'm taking part in Latuda trial (unfortunately, it's STILL not approved worldwide), so i can't really take a lot of meds. At least i can use painkiller during migraines, at first i was afraid that my pdoc will say no to all other meds. Actually, maybe I can use something for anxiety, but i need to ask the pdoc first.

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It seems odd to me that they would dismiss something causing you problems as just a "character trait." I mean, when it comes down to it, it's something you'd like help dealing with. Whether it's a full-blown disorder or a personality trait, they shouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. I would bring it up again, or, as was suggested, get a second opinion.

My therapist told me I had a sensitive personality. She said that it was why I'm so effected by the things that happened in my life. But that doesn't change the fact that she's trying to help me deal with my sensitivity. Maybe not remove it, as it's a part of my make-up, but cope with it better. That's what I would ask for from your docs, if you want to. Ways to cope.

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I think what your doctors said is really dismissive and awful. If you're experiencing anxiety attacks, they need to do something to help you, like prescribe Klonopin or something similar. Panic attacks are totally not a character trait, or people wouldn't be so freaked out when they see me having one. The world spinning, hyperventilating, throwing up... None of that is my sparkling personality shining through. I'd talk to another pdoc stat. Sorry you're in a trial and can't get one right now, but as soon as it's over, definitely try to find a good one who will take your concerns seriously.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/19/2016 at 2:49 PM, heilmania said:

I think what your doctors said is really dismissive and awful. If you're experiencing anxiety attacks, they need to do something to help you, like prescribe Klonopin or something similar. Panic attacks are totally not a character trait, or people wouldn't be so freaked out when they see me having one. The world spinning, hyperventilating, throwing up... None of that is my sparkling personality shining through. I'd talk to another pdoc stat. Sorry you're in a trial and can't get one right now, but as soon as it's over, definitely try to find a good one who will take your concerns seriously.

^ what she said

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  • 4 months later...
On 19.08.2016 at 5:00 AM, huntforbravery said:

My therapist told me I had a sensitive personality. She said that it was why I'm so effected by the things that happened in my life. But that doesn't change the fact that she's trying to help me deal with my sensitivity. Maybe not remove it, as it's a part of my make-up, but cope with it better. That's what I would ask for from your docs, if you want to. Ways to cope.

Thank you so much for your advice huntforbravery! I'll bring up that issue with my new tdoc soon.

heilmania, thank you so much for your support! Luckily, anxiety attacks stopped when my pdoc lowered the dose. 

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On 8/13/2016 at 0:52 PM, libellula said:

melissaw72, I'm taking part in Latuda trial (unfortunately, it's STILL not approved worldwide), so i can't really take a lot of meds. At least i can use painkiller during migraines, at first i was afraid that my pdoc will say no to all other meds. Actually, maybe I can use something for anxiety, but i need to ask the pdoc first.

Are you still in the trial?  If it has ended, how did it go?

FWIW ... Latuda is approved in the US, and has been since 2010.

https://www.drugs.com/history/latuda.html

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melissaw72, it ended this month. I had teeth clenching for 2 months, but at least i feel stable for the last 3 months or so.
Thank you for the link! I don't live in the USA, so it'll take several years until Latuda will be available in local stores. My pdoc said I should switch to Depakote when needed.

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1 hour ago, libellula said:

melissaw72, it ended this month. I had teeth clenching for 2 months, but at least i feel stable for the last 3 months or so.
Thank you for the link! I don't live in the USA, so it'll take several years until Latuda will be available in local stores. My pdoc said I should switch to Depakote when needed.

Oh, ok ... You're welcome for the link ... I hope it gets approved where you live; it seems like it really helped you.

Just got to thinking ... was the trial that you were in part of a study where they are testing Latuda ... so it will hopefully be available to you where you live?

 

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