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Old 10-21-2005, 10:03 AM   #1
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can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

we have been having problems with our daughter for many years. she is 9 now, she has been to many doctors, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrist sand has been diagnosed with a different mental illness each time. The current diagnosis, which is the second doctor to say this is, adhd with depression. She is currently taking zoloft and it has worked for her tantrums and irritability. she is still very hyperactive and is having difficulty concentrating at school. She is also very defiant. A previous doctor just two weeks ago said bipolar, before that it was add, before that anxiety disorder. Now this doctor wants to try her on ritilin. I havent given her any of the prescriptions from the other doctors because I am afraid that none of them are correct and I will make it worse. She is suppose to start on ritilin sat am but i am reluctant because what if she is bipolar instead? Or something else not even mentioned yet. Not to mention the doctors only spend one session with you and give you a drug!
I could have a cupboard full by now! What should I do for those of you with experience with this? thanks! michelle

 
Old 10-21-2005, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

What exactly are your child's symptoms? Perhaps you are interpretting normal child behaviour as mental illness and that's why psychiatrists are having a hard time finding the right diagnosis. Mental illness in children certainly does exists, but is usually pretty obvious even to the casual observer. I suggest talking things over with a child psychologist or a pediatrician, and let them make the decision wether your child needs to see a psychiatrist or not.

 
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Old 10-22-2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle3030
we have been having problems with our daughter for many years. she is 9 now, she has been to many doctors, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrist sand has been diagnosed with a different mental illness each time. The current diagnosis, which is the second doctor to say this is, adhd with depression. She is currently taking zoloft and it has worked for her tantrums and irritability. she is still very hyperactive and is having difficulty concentrating at school. She is also very defiant. A previous doctor just two weeks ago said bipolar, before that it was add, before that anxiety disorder. Now this doctor wants to try her on ritilin. I havent given her any of the prescriptions from the other doctors because I am afraid that none of them are correct and I will make it worse. She is suppose to start on ritilin sat am but i am reluctant because what if she is bipolar instead? Or something else not even mentioned yet. Not to mention the doctors only spend one session with you and give you a drug!
I could have a cupboard full by now! What should I do for those of you with experience with this? thanks! michelle
michelle,

May I ask why you ask the opinion of doctors and then don't follow through with giving medicine to your daughter? Are all these different doctors under the impression that your daughter is actually trying these drugs and they don't work? I'm sure you are trying your best to find an answer for your daughter, but please keep in mind that all of the disorders that the various doctors have suggested can only be diagnosed as "if nothing else fits, then the problem must be X". There is NO blood test or definitive physical sign that any of those diseases is "it". So if they are under the impression that a medicine for disorder X isn't working, they may, as a part of trying to pin down something that will work, say "then let's try the next medicine" -- but if she isn't receiving ANY medicines, then that part of the diagnosis is leading them up wrong paths.

What I'm trying to say is, please work with one doctor for a while, and give a particular medicine a try. Or at least be honest with the doctors that you are not willing to medicate your daughter, and then they will have a clue that they have to go in another direction.

Best of luck,

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-22-2005, 02:42 PM   #4
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

your all right, I guess what I really have wanted all along is some help with my daughter, not drugs. It just seems that this is the only answer I get when I take her to the doctors. They should be spending more time with children, more than one session before medicating them. I am now going to see about family counseling, and go from there. Thanks for all your responses

 
Old 10-22-2005, 11:16 PM   #5
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

michelle,

You're welcome! Sometimes it helps to have something mirrored back to us to see what we're thinking all along.

If you are really against trying drugs at this time, then going to a therapist who isn't legally qualified to prescribe drugs will allow you to explore other options (like family counseling) first. Doctors (MD's and even psychiatrists) are taught to diagnose bodily ills, so they look for a physical solution ("here -- try this drug!"). Emotional issues, like family dynamics or someone's fears or neuroses or just plain bad habits, require too much time to deal with in one office visit. It takes a lot of courage on your part to take this harder and longer route. Later, when things have become a little clearer, drugs MAY be a help, but they certainly are not all by themselves the answer.

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-23-2005, 12:28 PM   #6
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelle3030
we have been having problems with our daughter for many years. she is 9 now, she has been to many doctors, psychologists, therapists, psychiatrist sand has been diagnosed with a different mental illness each time. The current diagnosis, which is the second doctor to say this is, adhd with depression. She is currently taking zoloft and it has worked for her tantrums and irritability. she is still very hyperactive and is having difficulty concentrating at school. She is also very defiant. A previous doctor just two weeks ago said bipolar, before that it was add, before that anxiety disorder. Now this doctor wants to try her on ritilin. I havent given her any of the prescriptions from the other doctors because I am afraid that none of them are correct and I will make it worse. She is suppose to start on ritilin sat am but i am reluctant because what if she is bipolar instead? Or something else not even mentioned yet. Not to mention the doctors only spend one session with you and give you a drug!
I could have a cupboard full by now! What should I do for those of you with experience with this? thanks! michelle
Well IMHO only, from what I have read on the subject, it is possible that the original problems were not mental illness but just behavioral or emotional problems, but then when drugs are given they change brain function and have side effects; for example, zoloft can cause mania in some sensitive people which makes sense, after all serotonin is an excitatory neurotransmitter, a pre-cursor to adrenaline.

Some people can handle it, some can't (we all react to drugs and even other things in life differently) so if your daughter is becoming manic maybe the AD should maybe be tapered off of eventually (very slowly) . The problem with meds that target certain brain receptors is eventually the brain tries to adapt, usually by the shutting down or dying off of receptors effected by the drug which could lead to a shortage, which ends up requiring more or higher doses of medication and a definate problem with discontinuing the drug even after withdrawal some problems can linger for awhile but eventually the brain can recover.

Counseling is a great idea ;good luck!

 
Old 10-25-2005, 09:37 AM   #7
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Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

it has been a while since i have gone through the med and school hell. but here are some things that i hope will help you.

1 it is the school responsiblity to get your d tested. no they will not do it on thier own, it is too costly and it is much easier just to complain to you. you need to request for a behaviorl assement (bascially they watch her and see what happens before she acts out , during and after, they figure out what the problem is, let say she always becomes defiant right when the teacher says get out your math book, it could be she is having trouble with math, that is kinda easy one but many are hard to spot and take a professional eye to see and decipher SO MAKE SURE A PROFESSIONAL DOES THIS ASSEMENT AND HAS DONE MANY OTHERS , DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK.

2 get an iq test done, this is through the school too, it is more than knowledge they see how your d learns is she visual , verbal etc... this can tell you alot. again professional here

3. meds are tools not cures there is no magic bullet. the med will only give you a few minutes or sometimes seconds to find a physcial way to help. dont be afraid of meds, i have been through some with my son that had bad effects , we just stopped them JUST REMEMBER START LOW AND GO SLOW, AND KEEP A JOURNAL, YOU WONT BE ABLE TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU SEE THE DOC 30 DAYS LATER. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING. FROM MEALS TO WHAT THEY DID THAT DAY ETC. AND NEVER EVER START OR STOP 2 MEDS AT THE SAME TIME ALWAYS 30 DAYS IN BETWEEN, SOME DOCS JUST SWITCH, AND SWITCH (THEY DID THIS WITH MY D TILL WE DID NOT KNOW WHAT WAS DOING WHAT AND WE FINALLY WOUND UP HAVING TO DO A MED WASH)

4. stay in contact with teachers , they tend to be more forgiving and helpful with your child when you take part in their well being. make it a point to call at least once a week to check in.

5. spend time with your d to talk about how she feels, draw pictures to help her communicate. you know what anxious means but she does not. so showing her a picture of a face or person looking anxious it might help. same with sad , happy you get the point. dont think she can communicate feelings she probably does not understand them or how to explain them, this sometimes turns into acting out it is like a cry for help but sometimes they dont even realize why they are crying out. they think everyone feels the way they are feeling so they just think it is them.

6. reward good behavior , even the smallest thing a day without talking back should mean a special treat. then move it up to week. start a token jar when she gets enough she gets to turn in for a toy or eating out etc... this dpends on her age and maturity level on how you do this. she gets enough trouble at school and is probably punished enough by her peers and teachers, take a different approach at home and encourage teachers to do the same. a week of homework done means a extra 10 minute recess, or snack etc...

7. call for an IEP or 401 ( i think that is the name of the second one i cant remember i have only done IEP's) if she is having lots of problems with school, again they wont unless she is failing horribly.

8. feeling stressed cant deal with all this , call your local dept. of mental health and find a advocate, they know all the ins and outs (we hope if you get a good one) they will help you and daughter they are your voice and can get you all those thearpies your looking for.

good luck i know it is hard but you will make it.

ts

 
Old 10-26-2005, 03:37 PM   #8
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michelle3030 HB User
Re: can psychiatrists actually diagnose a disorder?

thank you for all of your inputs, its been enlightening and helpful!

 
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