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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Palmolive Offline
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Being Diagnosed. - February 10th 2013, 12:33 PM

It's something I'm terrified off. The psychologists and psychiatrists I've seen have mentioned BPD, eating disorders, PTSD and psychotic depression but I've never been diagnosed by my psychiatrist but it something I've spoken to the crisis team and my CPN about. Even though I'm scared about having a diagnosis, I think in some ways it may be helpful to have one.

I'm wondering how long you had to see a psychiatrist for to be diagnosed with a mental health illness? I know for people I know it's taken from several weeks to several months but I was wondering about you guys and if it helped you?

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Last edited by Palmolive; February 10th 2013 at 01:19 PM.
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Re: Being Diagnosed. - February 10th 2013, 09:18 PM

I've found that being diagnosed has helped to work out what treatment I should be getting. It's also a lot easier to speak to my employer about things when I have proper diagnoses. I feel like he takes me more seriously if something has been officially diagnosed. To be honest, I'm not sure how long I was seeing my psychiatrist before I got my diagnosis, because I didn't know I had a diagnosis of BPD until he gave me a letter to give to my GP which said I had BPD. I still think I need a diagnosis for my anxiety, but that is ongoing with my psychiatrist. I think the best thing is to make your diagnosis work for you. My manager is great with my mental health. I am currently working part time as I'm going through a rough patch and I have people at work who can let me know if they see any warning signs that I'm getting worse.
just remember, the diagnosis isn't you. Treat it the same as a physical illness, you wouldn't expect a broken arm to become you, so why let a mental illness become you?
I hope this makes sense
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Re: Being Diagnosed. - February 10th 2013, 11:19 PM

When I first saw a psychiatrist with an adult mental health team, I received a diagnosis of ADHD on the spot. Anyway, that diagnosis was incorrect. (Manic + frontal lobe injury = presents as ADHD, but is not.)

It took a few months before I received any further diagnosis, and they added an interim diagnosis of potentially Bipolar II and started treating accordingly.

A few suicide attempts later (about 6 months) I was swapped to a different community team who changed my diagnosis to BPD. I felt that it wasn't correct but I also felt they weren't listening to me, so I stopped attending appointments.

At the beginning of 2011 (nearly 5 years from the ADHD diagnosis) I was referred once more to a community mental health team, who were hesitant to diagnose me but worked with an interim diagnosis of potentially Bipolar II and borderline traits. It was whilst with this team I did some tests that confirmed I have some functioning difficulties from the head injury but not ADHD. Then I got basically put in the "hard" basket near the beginning of 2012, and changed to an intensive community team, who changed my diagnosis BACK to just BPD. However over the next few months they clinically observed both depression and mania, and so taking into account the head injury my main diagnosis is now Mood Disorder due to a General Medical Condition . . . which presents as Bipolar I, not Bipolar II.

But if you look back over the history of my diagnosis before it was solidified (BPD is still on there, by the way), you can see they had some idea what was going on - the next few years were just a matter of confirmation and clinical observation.

If your notes got passed over correctly when you switched to adult mental health services, then it's likely they have a pretty clear idea of what's going on. If you want to seek a diagnosis, it can be beneficial in explaining things for example, in a workplace or study situation if you need time off. However if you feel that you're receiving appropriate treatment even without a label, then it might not be worth seeking one just for the sake of it.

So yeah . . . I was diagnosed with a mental illness immediately, but it took six years for them to have a confirmed, solid diagnosis that is unlikely to change again. This isn't uncommon - if you talk to Rick (Inspire), his diagnosis has been changed a fair few times as well.

Good luck with whatever you decide, and remember, a diagnosis is just a name for some of the things that happen, it doesn't change who you are or what you're capable of.
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