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Bipolar or not - panicky and need diagnosis asap - any good online tools?

(22 Posts)

After nearly 2 decades of MH issues I was finally completely honest with a GP last week. She told me that my symptoms fit a diagnosis of bipolar 2 and is referring me to a psychiatrist.

It was such a relief to be told that I am not mad, irretrievably screwed up etc but that there is a reason for the way I am. However I've since been told by posters here that the GP hasn't made a diagnosis, that only a psychiatrist can do that, and that I just need to be patient. (All good advice, I know).

I can't. I was so relieved when I came home and googled bipolar 2 - a lot of the symptoms match my experience of MH. I was incredibly relieved to be told that this may be a treatable condition, that I won't always have to be like this. I have no idea how long it will take to see a psychiatrist and now I feel like that ray of hope has vanished.

I feel really panicky and lost and I can't stop thinking about it. I know that online tests aren't as accurate as seeing a psychiatrist will be but it might give me some indication of whether or not the GP is right, and whether I can start to tentatively hope or not.

twentythirteen Wed 23-Jan-13 17:22:57

Step away from online tests and be very honest with the psychiatrist when they meet with you. They use either the DSM or the one published by the WHO, I can't remember what it's called. The DSM has an online search engine. Remember 1) very few people meet the criteria exactly so it's possible to get two different diagnoses from two different psychiatrists and 2) people change over time and most diagnoses do as well.

Good luck.

SnowyMouse Wed 23-Jan-13 17:28:30

Twentythirteen has expressed it better than I could - diagnosis is more of an art than a science, and it's common for people to be switched between diagnoses.

Mynewmoniker Wed 23-Jan-13 17:38:19

Have you thought about how you may react if the online says you are not and you haven't got the support of a professional at that time? BE CAREFUL thanks

Thank you. I know how irrational I'm being so thank you for responding kindly!

Crawling Wed 23-Jan-13 17:47:53

Online tests wont disstinguish between borderline and bipolar two as the symptoms are very similar just the cause and treatments are different. Online diagnosis tools are not very accurate because often a person thinks they are hypomanic when in fact they are just feeling normal after feeling depressed a while (not saying you do this)so online tools wont give you any answers.

twentythirteen Wed 23-Jan-13 18:10:49

You're not being irrational, you're curious, and want answers, totally reasonable, I would too. Hope you get your appointment quickly.

Thank you. I stupidly didn't think to ask the GP how long the wait would be!

Thanks Crawling. Rationally I know you're right and I need to wait until I get properly assessed but my mind keeps racing and is full of what ifs and maybes and worries that the GP was wrong and then wondering if she was right and there's that faint hope that actually I might not have to feel like this for the rest of my life... Just impatient I guess. confused

Crawling Wed 23-Jan-13 19:21:53

I understand I looked at a few myself but I scored high on so many illnesses I realised they dont work. You will likely wait between 3-6months but I doubt you will be diagnosed on first appointment. I was you a few years ago and I do know how horrid waiting is smile I hope you get answers soon.

shock That long?! I guess I shouldn't be surprised, it's the NHS and there are a lot of people who need to be seen but shock

Crawling Wed 23-Jan-13 19:59:42

I was 3 months but I suffer pychosis. I have heard of people waiting longer than 6months sad Its terrible that people suffering have to wait this long.

onepieceoflollipop Wed 23-Jan-13 20:06:21

it depends where you live as to how long the wait is. Where I work it is about 3-4 weeks for a routine OPA. You could ask at the surgery which psychiatrist/clinic you have been referred to. After that you coud ring and ask the relevant medical secretary for a rough idea of waiting time. I would echo what others have said re avoiding an online diagnosis.

I know the name of the clinic as the GP mentioned it, I'll see if I can find a number for them.

Feeling panicky at the thought of possibly waiting so long, which is ridiculous as I've had these problems as long as I can remember. They've got a lot worse in the last few years though.

funnymum71 Wed 23-Jan-13 23:04:30

I have a dx of bipolar 2, more than happy to PM if you want info.

Thanks funny

snowbanana Thu 24-Jan-13 19:53:42

I went back to GP after I was referred. She called someone and I got an apointment in one month.

I had been referred the previous year and then the waiting time was three months. I withdraw the referral.

I spoke to the clinic today. They said that once they receive the GP referral they try to have a first appointment within 28 days so hopefully I'll see someone before the end of February.

WithanAnotE Fri 25-Jan-13 20:29:26


Some GPs do take additional MH qualifications. I appreciate that other posters have different views, but a GP is a specialist doctor in General Practice and is (or should be!) able to provide an initial, indication of potential diagnosis.

Since c.2008 all new GP have to complete the RCGP qualification in addition to the MBBS medical degree. Sadly, although this post grad qualification has been around a very time, a lot of existing GPs haven't furthered their professional development though completing this.

In short, many acute and chronic illnesses require you to see a specialist.
Yes, their are some totally crap GPs out there, but there are also some damn good ones. They also see lots of of MH patients every day.

If you are comfortable with your GP why don't you go back and discuss concerns and ask more questions. My GP has no problem telling me if she doesn't know, but there is a lot she does know, both from a qualification perspective, experiences with other patients and knowledge of the healthcare system. If you can, go back and chat some more with your GP while you're waiting.

Thank you With.

Crawling Mon 28-Jan-13 10:02:21

Im glad your app wont be to long.

My appointment is on the 14th February so not long.

Scheherezade Sat 02-Feb-13 20:51:56

FWIW I've never waited longer than 10 days. I have bipolar 1 and have mania, so my episodes need immediate intensive treatment.

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