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Posted by Roman Sverdlov on December 01, 1999 at 20:17:03:

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 crying. 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. When I looked up manic depression in DSM 4 but I
didn't find it, but I found manic episod in the section of mood disorders. 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 labeled. 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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