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Old 02-14-2008, 12:57 AM   #1
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seaturtle HB User
Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Hi everyone,
I am wondering if others here have had this same experience.

Since I started seeing a T in 1995, I've been diagnosed with:

BP
Anorexia
Agoraphobia
Panic Disorder
Major Depression
Major anxiety Disorder
DID
OCD Features

Now, lastest: I needed a letter from pdoc in order to apply for special funds for dential work I need. Got a copy of it today, and added to the list is now Peronsality Disorder NOS with Borderline and OCD Features.

I never had the Borderline label before. I don't SI, explode, lie, manipulate (to the best of my knowledge). I pride myself on taking care of myself and not turning to others unless absolutely necessary.

The T I see now says: DID, Bipolar, Major Depression, Anxiety Condtion, AGoraphobia.

Where is all this coming from? I feel especially bad about the addition of Borderline. And the more I go to therapy, the more diagnoses I get. I'm still the same person. Each therapist diagnoses with something different.

I feel as if I must be a complete mess in their eyes.

Has this happened to others - how have you coped? I feel terrible.

Thanks,
Seaturtle

 
Old 02-14-2008, 08:54 AM   #2
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Sea,

I'm not suprised you feel terrible. I sometimes feel the best thing to do with doctors, therapists, analysts etc is to keep them gagged and bound in cupboards so they can't make people feel like this!! It is very confusing and I found it meant I had no faith in anyone that I saw as each said something different; it made me feel like I couldn't trust their advice or recommendations, which I found really hard.

It's been several years for me now since receiving different diagnoses (and I didn't receive such a high number as you have been given as well). There are two things you could think about doing:

(1) Write to your doctor. Explain, very calmly, that you have now been given multiple diagnoses and that you are finding it very confusing and a little upsetting. Ask the doctor to re-examine the information (list all of the disorders you've been told you have) and to write back to you giving a clear indication of what your current status is. It might be worth pointing out to him/her that you feel, in particular, that you lack some of the symptoms regarding the Borderline diagnosis and asking for clarification regarding this. Put it in writing rather than doing it over the phone and ask for a letter back so there is no grey area. It is not completely beyond the realms of possibility for doctors to muddle their patients up; it could just be a clerical error. I don't think doctors review notes either; often they don't bother to check what's been diagnosed before and so give conflicting opinions.

(2) I have found a more holistic approach to the whole 'disorder' scenario easier to deal with. The diagnostic procedures are subjective; I know there are specific criteria but whether a person fits those criteria can differ depending on the perception of those criteria that different doctors have. The criteria do change as well, and doctors aren't always up-to-date with changes, plus there do seem to be 'fashions' about diagnoses (there was a post on here a while ago about the ever increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with bp). I found it easier to think about my symptoms, rather than what someone wanted to call them. The labels are helpful when you are talking about your condition (if you say I suffer from OCD when you talk to someone they will have some inkling of what that means) and when you are filling in forms etc, but generally they don't really mean anything - if you suffer from depression, insomnia, irritability, a need to wash twenty times a day or whatever, it doesn't matter so much what you call it as how you deal with it. I developed two 'diagnoses' if you like - if people asked I told them I had bi-polar, but when it came to how I dealt with it, I knew that I had times when I got really anxious, times when I got depressed, times when I got 'up', couldn't sleep, slept too much, cried constantly, loved everybody etc etc and I found ways of dealing with those symptoms - it doesn't really make much difference what people want to call it. I'd be inclined to pick one that you feel 'suits' you if you need to give others any info and then concentrate on dealing with individual problems (which I Know you do anyhow!).

I'm sorry that's so long but I hope something in there helps a little. Don't forget who you are - you're not just a list of diagnostic terms, you're your own person so try not to get too fixed on what other people want to call you. I know it's really hard, but try and remind yourself that you're you whatever it is you've been diagnosed with - if you don't agree with what a doctor says you have then feel free to dismiss it in your mind. It doesn't have to be what you 'are' if that makes any sense? Sorry, I'm rambling a bit - need coffee!!

Take care of yourself and go and do something that makes you feel nice - try not to worry too much about all of this (I know, it's easier said than done!!).

Take care,

Janine

 
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Hey, join the club!

When I went to see the court appointed pdoc to recieve SSDI benefits, he said I have borderline personality disorder also. I pretty much had the same reaction, I was very upset. Since then I have done some research on the subject and spoken with my own pdoc about it, and I'm not too worried about it anymore.

I'm no expert on the subject, but this is what I've learned so far;
The symptoms for both disorders are very similar, and treated with most of the same meds. What causes a pdoc to decide that you have a dual-diagnosis has more to do with your life experiences, and childhood traumas from what I can tell. 'They' seem to think that if you were raised by abusive or alcoholic parents, or abandoned as a child, or went through any significant traumas that your mood disorder/depression and anxiety issues may be related to that instead of a chemical imbalance in your brain.

It makes sense when you think about it, that many different factors can contribute to these kinds of illnesses, and I think that once we get 'into the system' and are exposed to many different experts, that we are going to hear different things based on their own personal opinions.

Try not to let it get to you. My pdoc thinks I have OCD also, and she put me on meds for that last year, but it didn't work well for me at all. I figure that as long as I can live with my compulsions, and it doesn't bother my family or hurt anyone, then its ok. For a while there I was contstantly smelling my hands, and now I wash my hands too much, but it's under control...I just use extra lotion, and I don't catch colds like everyone else..

We can only waste so much of our precious energy worrying about what labels others choose to give us. You are you, and from what I have seen by your posts, that is a very caring, giving and kind person. Try and just focus on that.

take it easy,

~~lily

 
Old 02-14-2008, 03:56 PM   #4
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steamrollhehe HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Aww, Seaturtle, I'm so sorry!

I know it has gotta suck to have yet another label added on. I don't really know (I'm only bipolar) but I just wanted to let you know that I am rooting for you. It doesn't really matter "what" you are, just how you deal with the symptoms and how you lead your life.

I would ask your current doctor if he really thinks you are all these things and if he says yes and you don't think so, you can get a second opinion. And be careful not to lose yourself in your diagnoses.

Rooting for you,
--steamroll

 
Old 02-14-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Hello, all you good people,

I feel sooo much better, thanks to your replies. I am not the only one, as always, and how comforting that is!

The T I used to see is at the same agency as the pdoc who diagnosed me w/the Borderline, etc I wrote about, and his diagnoses are different. The T I see now, outside the agency, has a different one.

Yikes. That means they're all trying to "cure" me of different disorders.

I did call to get clarification, but no one got back to me. And it turns out the pdoc is away for 2 weeks (she also gave me a wrong prescription last time).

Your replies gave me the perspective I'd temporarily lost.

I also did a little reading about diagnoses on the Net, and if I have "Pesonality Disorder w/OCD and Borderline Features" and god knows what else they'll come up with, then the rest of the world can be classified this way, too.

Additionally, someone who works at this agency said "Change the diagnosis? It's the oldest trick in the book for getting extended insurance payments over time." Don't know if that's true, but they did receive a grant for treating Borderline, I found out. Huh?

I will talk to them, but not take them seriously, I guess, no matter what box they want to put me in this time around.

Again, you guys are a salvation, and I can't thank you enough for being there.

Fondly,
Seaturtle

 
Old 02-15-2008, 02:11 AM   #6
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Quote:
Originally Posted by seaturtle View Post
Additionally, someone who works at this agency said "Change the diagnosis? It's the oldest trick in the book for getting extended insurance payments over time."
Yep, that was exactly what I was thinking when I read your post yesterday (sorry I didn't have time to respond then). I'm betting giving us more diagnoses improves their reimbursement.

I'm glad that you are feeling better about this. You are who you are, seaturtle, despite what a piece of paper may or may not say. I think you are a great person and I sure haven't seen anything in your posts that makes me think "borderline personality".

I haven't run into that particular circumstance, but I'll tell you what I'm finding more and more embarassing - ALL THE MEDS THAT I'M ON. It's so embarrassing when someone (dentist, physical therapist, etc) asks what I take, and I have to list 4 different drugs - most of which they've never heard of. And, of course, if you explain they're mood stabilizers, they immediately decide that you are a NUT CASE. Hate it.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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Llama HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Dear sea, do not worry so much about the labels. They are just that. What is important to focus on is the treatment and if it is actually helping and working for you.

I agree with the others too in that it might be some kind of insurance trick. Who knows? Also, so many different docs have different opinions. It's so hard to keep them all straight sometimes!!!

And BTW from what I can tell by your posts, you do not seem borderline to me. You do not seem manipulative at all. I don't understand where this is coming from. You should really ask your doc about this to hear his/her opinion and rationalization.

love ya,
Llama

 
Old 02-15-2008, 04:33 PM   #8
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Thanks, fineanddandy,

Huh, yes, the reimbursement makes sense. Come to think of it, when they dx'd me w/DID, they had special funding for that, too, when it was the disease du jour. Ouch.

And boy, do I know what you mean about all the meds. My GP asks what meds I am on, and I have a list all typed out for him. He raises his eyebrows and says "Who prescribed THAT?"

There's also - what is someone like you, who has a graduate degree, doing on medication? Why aren't you out working?" (From a neurologist).

A few times, I've had to go to the ER for migraines and other pain. OF course, they have to list your meds (after, not before, you give them your insurance card, pardon my sarcasm), and their reaction is to indicate that anything I am telling them is psychological or that I am pulling Munchhausen's on them.

Yet, if we listed five meds we were on for MS, or diabetes, or cancer...no problem.

Sigh.

Take best care,

Seaturtle

 
Old 02-16-2008, 04:26 PM   #9
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sassy8 HB User
Thumbs up Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Seaturtle I really here you about the E.R. attitudes. Once they find out that your on meds for bipolar. Whatever problem you have is phychological. I do have ms. Because of my bipolar dx the doctors took along time before they would acknowledge that my sx were from ms. Not in my head. Tests proved it. Forget the labels the doc's give you. You know who you are. From the inside out. Sassy

 
Old 02-16-2008, 06:18 PM   #10
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

When i was in the ER I got meds right away. No questions. Just Meds for bipoolar. That is why I am not going to call for a n appointment for the reason I am so tired. I think it is from the meds anyway. When I was in the ER I got Zyprexa the kind that you can take in your mouth. THe foaming kind. I think>?

 
Old 02-22-2008, 06:12 PM   #11
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Seaturtle:

I have also had many diagnoses. At one time, I thought I had borderline personality disorder. So many of these "diseases" have similar symptoms.

There was one therapist who I thought I had OCD and he actually prescribed Lithium. I got dry mouth, and as a flute and piccolo player, that did not work out.

Most recently I've been diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. I often resign myself to the fact that I'll always be mentally ill because it's been over 30 years now.

Sometimes I think the doctors come up with these different diagnoses because they really don't know. I think that it is even worse when it comes to meds. How do they really know what med to prescribe?

I wish you luck with your doctors. I know how hard this can be. I'm not sure I totally understand the difference between bi-polar and borderline personaltiy disorder. Even those seem very similar.

 
Old 02-22-2008, 08:09 PM   #12
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Hi,

I think you're right. I saw three therapists in the past 8 years, and each one gave a totally different dx. P/doc, yet another. And when I questioned the p/doc about the Borderline label, she said she'd been tired and confused me w/someone on the same meds she'd just done an eval. for.

My T said evaluations are for insurance purposes (I am at a public facility and on Medicaid. He siad "I could just as well diagnose you with schizophrenia or something else. Insurance doesn't like us to treat someone for too long on the same dx. We have to change it to get funding."

Ouch, ouch. From what I've learning, much of the dxing goes on because of insurance, because they don't iknow what to do, or to justify meds that are used off-label. At least at this agency. I'm sure this isn't always true, but it is where I go.

Interesting view on mental health treatment where I am.

I, too, will struggle all my life with psychiatric illness. We're pretty strong people to do that.

Thanks for the good wishes. I send them back to you, too.

Seaturtle

 
Old 02-23-2008, 03:51 PM   #13
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Just a note - I do not in any way mean to be critical of the people who are helping me. If it were not for this community mental health center and the good people who work there, I fear to think where I'd be.

 
Old 02-23-2008, 08:33 PM   #14
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Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Almost all of our prescriptions are $50.00 now. Now not only am I going to be in therapy and taking meds, but I'm going to start my older daughter in therapy. I think we are both bipolar. I've been a mess lately so I'm going back to my meds doctor. He's going to try another "option" for my meds. I honestly think it is a crapshoot.

I cannot believe that your doctor had you mixed up with someone else. It just goes to show you though that even doctors make mistakes. The scary part is that doctors make mistakes on the operating table. But that's another issue.

Good luck to you and keep in touch.

Margo

 
Old 02-24-2008, 03:56 PM   #15
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seaturtle HB User
Re: Yet more diagnoses, I'm very upset, need some help

Hi, Margo,

Gosh, that's tough, your daughter, too. Do you think your being a mess recently has to do with the wrong meds? What are you on?
I am on Medicaid, so I don't have the expense for meds and therapy that you have. I have no money, either, but I need the help and am grateful I have this coverage.

Yes, a crapshoot, as is therapy, sometimes. They do their best, but it's not a science, it's a bunch of theories. I think the most I get out of therapy is just contact with someone I can trust to be confidential...and that doesn't always happen, either.

Sometimes, I don't understand what keeps us going. But we do.

I am sorry you're having such a rough time now. I will think of you with good energy coming your way. You keep in touch, too, let us know how it goes with the meds and your daughter. I think I'm lucky, in a way, not to have had children, though I'd love to have a family. I don't know whether I could do them justice, given my illnesses.

Anyway, enough for now. Hang in there, and thanks for posting,

Seaturtle

 
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