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Can someone talk me through the process of actually being diagnosed

(4 Posts)
LilyC121 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:34:40

Hello
I suspect I have bipolar or bpd, have a big family history of bipolar and something is not right with me. I went to the doctors Monday and told him I wasn't depressed and he prescribed my zoloft and told me to come back in two weeks as may need to raise the dose as I'm on 50mg.

I went back Tuesday as I wasn't happy that I had been prescribed anti depresents and she just said that even if I was diagnosed with bipolar then I would have to take them anyway. She said she would refer me for a psyc assessment which could take a month or two.

I just feel like I'm being let down or brushed off. I am not depressed and I would like a propper diagnosis not just to be brushed off by everyone as that's what it seems like. The doctor told me they can't diagnose conditions like that they have to refer to specialists.

I want a propper diagnosis appropriate medication and therapy if needed. Will this happen?? I just feel they're brushing me off as if it's minor or if I'm a little bit depressed.

At the assessment what will happen? Will I be given a diagnosis then medication? If I need to see a doctor after a diagnosis will it be a gp or a specialist?

I just really need to get this sorted. I have two kids who need me sane. My dad has bipolar, didn't get diagnosed till 2 years ago when he was put in to rehab as he was and still is an alcoholic who has self medicated with booze throughout the years. Really do not want to and can't end up like him.

BigginsforPope Thu 11-Aug-16 07:43:47

Hi OP. This is what I know about the process after a good friend of mine has been diagnosed with BPD. Firstly you will need to see a specialist for a diagnosis. Secondly it may still take some time. So you will see the specialist a number of times before they give you a diagnosis. Thirdly, they will offer a variety of medication and treatments until things start to improve. This will be during the diagnostic process and afterwards.

devilinmyshoes Thu 11-Aug-16 08:26:04

Have you been referred to a psychiatrist? Psychiatrists never consider just one possible cause for someone’s behaviour – they must consider how biological, psychological and social factors influence a person’s actions. A psychiatrist would also need to consider the effects of another medical illness – for example thyrotoxicosis, traumatic brain injury, heavy metal toxicity, and even rarities, can all affect personality and behaviour – as well as the effects of drugs or alcohol. Of course not every action or feeling we don’t understand is the result of mental illness.

erinaceus Thu 11-Aug-16 09:30:14

I agree with devilinmyshoes. Mental health care on the NHS is difficult to come by because it is underfunded. However, it is possible to get support. There might be a wait though.

The doctor told me they can't diagnose conditions like that they have to refer to specialists.

Is there a reason that the doctor did not refer you to a specialist? Maybe they did?

In your position the first thing I would do is contact the practise manager at my GP surgery and find out which GP at the practise - if any - has a special interest in mental health. If there is no GP with such interest, I would consider changing surgeries. Then, book a double appointment with this GP, write down all of your concerns and try to make some sort of structure out of them, take these notes with you to this GP and ask for an appropriate referral to specialist services in your area. You might have to insist a bit. In particular, make a note of the symptoms you experience and how you and your family are affected by your concerns. You may well have to jump through a bunch of hoops in order to access the help you need and/or have to wait quite some time for assessment and/or treatment.

Another option is do you have private health insurance, for example, through your employer?

I agree with devilinmyshoes as well that symptoms that you experience may be a result of bipolar disorder or another diagnosable mental illness, or a result of anything from hormones being out of whack to the aftereffects of a physical injury to a lingering virus. A psychiatrist knows how to screen various things in or out and/or to refer you on to other specialists as they deem appropriate.

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