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Old 12-10-2000, 07:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User

In the fall 1997 semester I used to run in Cross Country team of
Berkeley High School. I was the top
boy runner in the school, while Laurien was the top girl runner. The
team was pretty bad, so even
though we were both the top runners neither of us was exeptional on
large range. I ran above
average, but not much; Laurien was below average.
Anyway, Laurien has a learning disability sinse she was 6. She claimes
it is because she was born
legally blind. Her vision problems were recognised when she was 6.
Because of this, her brain
was affected. Because of that brain defect, she can't see well even
when she wears glasses; she
also can't learn well. This year she developed depression and had been
diagnosed with the Major
Depressive Disorder. She said it is due to hypotheroidism. I don't
understand it- in DSM 4 they
said specifically that the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder is not
given if the disturbance is
due to hypotheroidism. Please tell me in comments how could doctor
give her such a diagnosis.
Despite her depression, she looks pretty happy when she communicates
to people. She often has
little smile on her fase and says words fast; it happends regardless of
the content of conversation.
For example, she might talk about her learning problems with such
little smile. In some cases she
appears to be sert of proud of herself and of me as top runners, but I
don't see there anything to
be proud of sinse we are not that good on large scale. In some cases
she is very impulsive to say
something. For example, ones I was asking history question to one
person on the team who came
from history class. She ran into me, interrupted my question and blured
out an answer. She
looked real exited for me to stop. She used to claim that her medicine
made her look happy on
her outside, while she is still sad on her inside. However, any time I
see her by herself, she allmost
cries, even though she has no tears, her face expression is similar to
the one when one cries. Her
crying expression in a way look similar to her smiling expressioon, and
when I observed her
changing settings, like moving from personal setting to lonely setting,
her smile grew naturally into
that crying expression. Her smile is small, it shows little happinness,
but still has a shadow of
Then she tried ones to stub herself. After that she went to the
psychiatrist who changed her
diagnosis to manic depression. Now she said she was hyper not
because of her medications, but
because of manic depression. The doctor changed her medication that
would make her less
depressed as well as less hyper. I know manic depression is the same
thing as bipolar. A person shifts from manic episod to depressive
episode. Even though some manic depressives cycle really fast, they
still meet full criteria for manic episode at one point and for depression
at the other. Its only that there is 5 minute interval between those
points. But Laurien doesn't seem to develop any of those two episodes
at any point what-so-ever. After all, manic episode requires happiness
both on the inside and outside. So since Laurien is ALWAYS sad on her
inside, she never meets full criteria for manic episode. This is about
elevated mood. Since she
is depressed on her inside, clearly, manic episode is not her diagnosis.
Perhapse manic depression
is labeled differently in DSM 4, please tell me in comments how it is
Another think is that ones she said that in some cases she knows the
material, but she can't do an
assiment. I have a suspition that she has ADHD rather than learning
disability. In learning disability
you can't learn. She learned the material, so its not learning disability.
If she can't do assignment it
means that either she can't get it to completion because she can't
concentrate or she makes
careless mistakes. Both of the baove are simptoms of ADHD. Moreover,
her impulsiveness also
suggest ADHD. She also has changing mood. For example, when I
teased her, she said that she is
not gonna talk to me any more. Later, in some situations she held that
promise, while in the others
she impulsively engaged into conversation with me. Those all are
simptoms of ADHD. Tell me on
comments why is it actually learning disorder.
I also want to know what can happen to the brain because of her
blindness that she no longer can
see well despite glasses.
Because she was legally blind and had learning disability, she was in
special ed school last year.
She claimes that even if she didn't have learning disability, she would
still go to special ed school
because she is legally blind. Just curious: if legally blind person who
doesn't have learning disability
goes to special ed, intellectually it would be too easy for him. How can
they let him do it? Also, if
someone else is legally blind who doesn't have brain problem, he might
fix it by glasses, why
should he go to special ed school. Another question: Laurien was
dihidrated because of her
antidepressant, so she went home, entered Berkeley High. She is not
on special ed. How can she
handle it?
I am really curious about those things, please answer as much
questions as you can.

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Old 12-10-2000, 10:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: usa
Posts: 16
clouds HB User
Re: Laurien

is this the roman from autism forum from mgh ? this is clouds . i been here about 3 weeks and you come. how are you? mgh is boring dont you think?

Old 12-10-2000, 10:09 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: long beach, ca usa
Posts: 12
Olivia HB User
Re: Laurien

Hi my name is Olivia and I just read your post. I really don't know anything about what your friend has as far as the learning disabilities go. I just haven't had to deal with that issue at any time in my life in very much depth.
As far as her diagnosis of hypothyroidism and dsmIV , maybe she has both. She may need medication for both conditions.
Ask the doctor to clarify----Does she only have hypothyroidism or does she have both disorders? I'm not sure about the bipolar either. Sometimes meds can make you do impulsive things , so if she was really hyper, impulsive and just too happy at times before the meds started I would say yes, if not , I would say it was most likely med induced.
You are a good friend for caring so much about her, hang in there.
Olivia<p>[This message has been edited by Olivia (edited 12-11-2000).]

Old 12-11-2000, 05:32 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User
Re: Laurien

Hi clouds, sure, I am that same Roman from MGH. Have you been diagnosed as depressed as you are in depression forum? Well, MGH is both interesting and boring in its own little ways.

Olivia, I got your point that the same phenomena such as depression or hyperactivity can be caused by to separate things: a brain difference that is there anyhow and meds or hypotheroidism. So if meds is not the only cause, then she might still have depression.

But here is the thing. Laurien said she felt depressed BECAUSE of her hypotheroidism and that she felt manic BECAUSE of her meds to treat symptoms of hypotheroidism.

just to clarify something, I don't consider Laurien to be my friend. My questions are more intellectual then anything else. I just know her from Cross Country team at fall 1997, thats all. I have graduated from Berkeley High School spring 1998 and this comming spring am graduating from UC Berkeley and going to grad schools at Physics. So I can't find Laurien or talk to her doctor. I am really just cast my mind into past and cut and pasted one of my posts that I posted when I was still in high school as many of my questions weren't answered. I didn't bother editting it too much so some of it might sound like I am talking about THIS year, but this is really a year 1997-1998.

Olivia, I got your point that the same phenomena such as depression or hyperactivity can be caused by to separate things: a brain difference that is there anyhow and meds or hypotheroidism. So if meds is not the only cause, then she might still have depression.

But here is the thing. Laurien said she felt depressed BECAUSE of her hypotheroidism and that she felt manic BECAUSE of her meds to treat symptoms of hypotheroidism.

<p>[This message has been edited by Roman S (edited 12-11-2000).]

Old 12-12-2000, 06:43 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 55
Blueeyes HB User
Re: Laurien


Just thought I would add my $.02.

Treatment for any type of thyroid disorder results in all kinds of problems and issues. It's very hard to regulate the thyroid medically and the side effects are usually very severe - depression, mood swings, along with a very long list of others.

I just wanted to add that. I know that treating a thyroid disorder is very sensitive until the doctors can figure out the right dosages and medications.

Old 12-12-2000, 06:14 PM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User
Re: Laurien

BlueEyes, I buy that they cause SYMPTOMS OF mania and depression. But according to DSm 4 it shouldn't be diagnosed as manic depression.

Old 12-12-2000, 11:56 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: West Texas
Posts: 110
TrickyDick HB User
Re: Laurien

Hey Roman,
It makes little difference some time what the official Diagnosis is.
It makes more difference if the proper treatment is started, stayed with and completed in order to determine if it will or is helping.
What you or I think is not going to make much difference unless we can convince a medical professional to look in a direction that we suggest.
You state that she is not your friend. You state you do not even know where she is. If you are concerned for some reason, I suggest that you find her if possible.

Old 12-13-2000, 12:44 PM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User
Re: Laurien

TrickyDick, here are few points I want to make (I NUMBERED THEM&lt; SO MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL OF THEM)

1)I agree that one of the importance of diagnosis (and I stress ONE of the...) is that it might help determine appropriate treatment. For instance the coach of that very cross country team had Major Depression (!!!) and Prozac helps major depressives, so he was taking prozac.

However, I think diagnosting goes beyond that. We have diagnoses that aren't treated by medication, such as Personality Disorders, being listed in DSM 4. Just as with all other diagnoses, DSM 4 drew a very shapr line to say exactly how many symptoms one should have in order to have a particular personality disorder. We all know that PDs are very vague, they aren't black-or-white diagnoses such as Downs and there isn't really a well defined treatment. Yet DSM 4 draws the line.

i think DSM 4 is more like a rule all the psychiatrists have to obey in order to qualify or disqualify a person from particular service, and, as any laws in constitution, DSM 4 is very precise and its rules have to be obeyed.

2)Even from the point of view of treatment, if Laurien's depression is due to hypotheroidism, then it is very different condition on the chemical level, so it requires a different treatment then ordinary depression, and it has to be labeled differently.

3)I am not concerned of trying to persuade doctor to treat Laurien differently. I am sure her doctor knows more then I do regarding treatments. And during that whole semeseter I was asking Laurien and squeezed out of her the most she could say. MY QUESTIONING IS PURELY ACADEMICAL, so there is no point in finding her.

Old 12-13-2000, 02:25 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 55
Blueeyes HB User
Re: Laurien

Just a few personal questions, if you don't mind.

How old are you? Are you in school? If so, what level?

Also, what is it that you are trying to figure out? You sound obsessive about it. I don't know if you'll ever find the answer here.

Old 12-13-2000, 04:10 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User
Re: Laurien

I just entered 21 years old (dec. 9th was my birthday). Yes, I am senior at college, double majoring in Physics and Math. I will start my Ph.D. on physics next fall. I am planning to do theory-- probably quantum gravity. Here are the questions I want to get answer on

1)How could Laurien be diagnosed as major depressive (on the first place) if it was due to hypotheroidism?

2)How could she get a new diagnosis of manic depression if her manic episodes were due to meds?

3)Maniic episode requires one to be happy both on inside and outside. Depressive episode requires one to be sad both on inside and outside. So manic depressive is supposed to alternate between all-happy and all-sad. But Laurien is half-happy half-sad: she is happy on outside and sad on inside. So she doesn't have either episodes and can't have manic depression. So why did they diagnosed her with bipolar instead of, say, Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified?

4)Why do people who are legally blind qualified for general disabled school (instead of *just* a school for legally bilnd). Since they aren't disabled, all classes will be too easy for them.

5)When she came back home due to her dihydration and had to go to normal school, how come she (presumably) didn't fail her classes?

6)Why would every legally blind qualify to special school. Laurien would, of course, since she had brain defect that caused her to be legally blind. But how about OTHER legally blind who are *just* nearsighted. Can't they just put on glasses?

7)Why she did NOT get diagnosis of ADHD? I outlined in the article a lot of ADHD symptoms she had. Also the fact that sometimes she knows material but can't do homework suggests ADHD.

8)Why did she need a special permission to get into cross county team as a result of being legally blind? What do legs have to do with eyes? Or if her vision were corrected with lazers, would she still need a permission?

I know you can't answer it specifically as you don't know her, but I hope you can give me few possibilities.

P.S. I have Asperger's Syndrome, whicch is the mild form of autism. Thats where my obsessiveness is comming from.

Old 12-13-2000, 11:09 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: West Texas
Posts: 110
TrickyDick HB User
Re: Laurien

I don't think your going to find the information your looking for here. This board is for people that are suffering from
(stupid expression) going through a living hell and trying to get by each day doing as little harm to everyone (including themselves) as they can.
If you REALLY want to know the answers or info you state, you should address them to the medical and state gov. communities.

Old 12-14-2000, 10:29 AM   #12
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 7
Roman S HB User
Re: Laurien

TrichyDick, this board is to provide information AND support about depression. So by posting here, I am not nesseserely seeking support, I might be seeking INFORMATION, which is what I am doing now. Laurien has depression, so my questioning is appropriate here.

Now, how do you expect me to contact medical commitee in any real way? Actually half a year ago I did find some kind of medical commitee via the Internet, and asked them about someone else's diagnosis, but they never replied.

As you might notice, on this board people are not just letting their emotions out, but also ask a lot of medical questions, such as what meds to take and what side effects are. So we do have some knowledgeable people here who are able to answer.

Old 12-14-2000, 11:07 AM   #13
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: long beach, ca usa
Posts: 12
Olivia HB User
Re: Laurien

I would suggest you try to stop worrying about what Laurien has or doesn't have.
You say she's not even a friend so who cares?
I can't give you the answers you are looking for. You sound a lot more intelligent than most of us here if you're going for a Phd in math and physics.
If I knew this person I may be able to give you some insight but I doubt it.
I would suggest you try to find a psychiatrist you can talk to. Possibly he/she can answer these questions that you are obsessed with. You may want to seek out help for ocd as well.

Sorry about this but it's like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip.

I don't want to hurt your feelings but I don't
think we can help you here.

Maybe someone else with the same form of autism would be able to give you some answers because your minds work in the same way. You may want to go to an autism board and ask around there.

I hope you had a happy birthday anyway-


<p>[This message has been edited by Olivia (edited 12-14-2000).]

Old 12-14-2000, 11:10 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: West Texas
Posts: 110
TrickyDick HB User
Re: Laurien

Your so right...this is a place to ask questions and get information. My mistake to think that you really wanted informed, educated, official answers to a specific set of questions about a specific person in a specific situation. By all means we will try and tell you of our situations, our feelings and our fears and our questions.

Old 12-14-2000, 12:24 PM   #15
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 55
Blueeyes HB User
Re: Laurien


What you don't seem to understand is that we're trying to help you, but it seems like you won't quit until we give you the answers you are looking for. You seem to know what you want to hear and you seem to be asking the same questions over and over until you get an answer you like.

We're giving you all the information we can. We certainly don't have all of the answers and don't claim to either. Whatever we suggest comes from the heart with no bad intentions. You seem to be able to contradict whatever advice we give you.

Regardless of how your friends depression is classified, she has it. Of course there was something that caused it. So, whether or not it was caused as a result of her medication for another illness or if it was caused by something that might have happened in her life or if she was genetically predisposed to it - she has it.

You're basing your diagnosis on what she told you. How do you know what she told you is medically correct? I can go to my doctor and tell him that I have a cold because I'm sneezing all the time and my nose is running. He does tests and tells me that I don't have the common cold, what I do have is allergies. I can still turn around and tell you that I'm not feeling well because I have a cold. Do you understand?

I think Olivia said it best when she said you're trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. Does Laurien's problem consume your life? It sure sounds like it to me. You just keep going on and on about the same thing and it just seems to me that you're waiting for someone to answer your questions using the answers you want to hear.

I sense your frustration and I think you're frustrating all of us here too.

I'm not trying to sound angry, but I'm frustrated with your questions. I don't think you're going to find the answers you are looking for here. I do think that you know what answer you are looking for and you want someone to state it for you.

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