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  • Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

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    Old 12-13-2004, 08:45 PM   #1
    ScaredyKat
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    Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    I've been having panic attacks for about 3 months for no apparent reason whatsoever other than significant work-related stress. In a desperate effort to find the cause of this problem and hopefully a solution, I recently went to a psychiatrist -- knowing I would at least get another prescription of xanax so that I could make it through the day. This psychiatrist diagnosed me as BP II after only 45 minutes and a blood test that ruled out any hormonal imbalances.

    Is it really possible to accurately diagnose someone with BP after their first visit or am I just one more in a long line of cattle through his revolving door? Maybe I'm just in denial. But it's confusing and upsetting nonetheless.

    I've spent thousands of dollars paying for out-of-network specialists and holistic medicines in the past 3 months with few results. Is it time to give in and travel down the path of long-term medication?

    Thoughts?

     
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    Old 12-14-2004, 02:13 AM   #2
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    Re: Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    Hi 'sk'

    Welcome. For a 'good' Psy Doc, yes it IS possible to diagnose in that time frame, although it's generally following a trail of illness that leads up to this point.

    No offence intended what so ever... BUT... Denial is one of the BIGGEST factors with Bi-P sufferers!!!!!(self inluded)

    MY advice, stick around, read the boards, go BACK about two pages and click on ANYTHING forwards from there, that either 'interests you' or 'sounds like you' this will give you an idea of type of people, symptoms, moods, problems, etc. Compare yourself and see what you think? It won't cost anything.

    Hedge.

     
    Old 12-14-2004, 02:38 PM   #3
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    Re: Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ScaredyKat
    Is it really possible to accurately diagnose someone with BP after their first visit or am I just one more in a long line of cattle through his revolving door? Maybe I'm just in denial. But it's confusing and upsetting nonetheless.
    Thoughts! Oh yeah, I got thoughts!!

    This is an issue I've long had trouble with and I'm apparently mostly in denial. I've been diagnosed three times as bipolar. I feel it's over-diagnosed and the "bipolar spectrum" now includes everything except being in exactly the same mood 24 hours a day, neither smiling nor frowning, laughing nor crying.

    If someone told me I had a brain tumour because I have a headache, I would be in denial about that also. If my moods were a headache, I would have been diagnosed with everything from a fractured skull to an upside-down brain by now, simply via some questions from across the room about when and where my head hurt.

    If bipolarity IS over-diagnosed, then a large percentage of people who are told they have it don't have it. They may figure this out, and say so. Yes, yes, says the doctor, denial is extremely common with this disorder. Being in denial and not having it have similar symptoms, don't they?

    I don't know if I have it. Depression, I know I have that. Anxiety yes, definitely. Social phobia, yeah. Bit of obsessive thinking, compulsive actions, not major, just sort of amusing. Anorexia and bulimia for a few years, yup. I've been diagnosed with the first 2 in addition to bipolar, diagnosed myself with the rest, but I can read and read about bipolar and I don't really see myself, except in the "subtypes" that don't seem to me to be anything more than moody.

    Really. When is moody not bipolar? I think I fit an inattentive attention deficit diagnosis almost perfectly but I've never been diagnosed with that either. And I don't think it's a disorder, it's a personality type that is good for some things, not for others. I have no problem with drugs for anything which is disrupting one's life, whether it's a disorder or a personal quirk. Fix it. But if the drugs fix my bipolar disorder, are they just flattening me out to fit better into society, rather than curing a mental illness?

    I agree there is often little time spent getting to know a person before diagnosis. And keep in mind everything you tell the doctor is self-reported. How objective are you about yourself? When you say "panicky," would someone else see it as "uncomfortable?" I think I give some crucial yet not quite true answers to the questions in those 45 minute examinations, and they ask very leading questions. I think sometimes I exaggerate my behavior, or don't recall it well. I can't remember when things happened, how bad they were, how long they lasted.

    I am a binge drinker who took a lot of drugs in my youth. I am not always asked about that and it can affect one's behavior severely. I am not often asked about my past. I am asked questions that end with "very often?" "a lot?" I'll say a lot. I mean once a month. They mean once a day.

    What I think is that I am immature, self-destructive, impulsive and perhaps lazy. It IS possible to have a weak or bad character without it being a chemical problem in your brain. I think I do need drugs for some things. Also maybe, at 40 years old, I need to grow up.

    I go for help every few years, when "angry depression" is very bad -- for me that's depression with a constant feeling of "doom," outbursts of rage and very close to violence, constantly sleeping, wracked with guilt, living in a constant barrage of repetitive bad memories, hoping they will have something new. But... a slightly less severe version of that is as close as I can come to describing my "normal self." All over the place, unhappy, occasionally driven or excitable.

    I don't KNOW what my normal "mood" is. I get antidepressants that don't work, and/or tranquilizers, and never feel I've been helped, and trudge back into the non-world I non-live in. 3 out of the 4 times I've done this, I've been told I'm bipolar. I have refused lithium or other bipolar meds until now.

    I agreed to take lamotrigine this year, in addition to Wellbutrin (which seems to help me.) Mostly I feel a bit flat. Apparently this is my goal. I am willing to stay open-minded about things these days. I feel honestly I have nothing to lose. I have been floundering all my life. Am I bipolar and in denial, or what? I still don't know. I'd call my behavior childish more than anything. Is that a disorder or a lack of self-discipline? I don't know.

    I have a suggestion for you: Try keeping a mood chart (I find it incredibly difficult to remember to fill it in each day.) I am doing this to see for myself if there are patterns to my behavior.

    Try this: Every day write down the following - how up and how down you were each day, how many hours you slept the night before, your worst anxiety/irritability level, what drugs you took, both meds and caffeine/alcohol, events that happened that day... as much info about your moods and behavior each day as you can fit in. Maybe the results will be interesting or surprising or comforting. I don't know. I am humouring my doctor by taking the medications. I am interested in whether I am bipolar, just not very convinced.

    Good luck... it is very frustrating sometimes trying to figure yourself out.

     
    Old 12-15-2004, 02:17 AM   #4
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    Re: Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    Hi there 'B'

    Welcome to the boards.

    I understand what you are saying. WHY should we all conform to the diagnosis from someone who doesn't even know us? WHY should we all take the 'personality altering' meds without questioning them? WHO decides what is NORMAL?

    These are ALL very good questions, but ones that must be answered to our own satisfaction before we can individually come to terms with it. Having gone through that particular process, however long it takes, it gets easier on the other side.

    Personally, we have more than a few similarities and I like your openess, stick around.

    Hedge.

     
    Old 12-15-2004, 05:59 AM   #5
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    Re: Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    Bexicon ~

    That IS (hands down) the most fluid and concise "newbie" post I've ever seen, here !!!

    My socks are knocked off !!!

    Your honest appraisal of the "system" and yourself are a breath of fresh air around here !!!

    Not to over-beat the same drum (mentioned in a different thread), but I would highly recommend William Glasser's 2003 text "WARNING: PSYCHIATRY MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH"...

    You've already shown enough insight and open-minded thinking to fully appreciate where Glasser is coming from...

    Welcome aboard, and good luck with ALL !!!

    PS ~ A 1999 study indicated that approximately 28% of the adult population in these United States qualify for a DSM IV classification/diagnosis... Maybe the system is a bit too self-serving (PS - it's time for our meds now, so follow the music and ingest quietly anything the nice ward-nurse hands us) ...

     
    Old 12-18-2004, 04:26 PM   #6
    ScaredyKat
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    Re: Just diagnosed BP - this is BS!

    Thanks for your honest responses.

     
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