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Self Advocate: Get That Second (or Third) Opinion

Updated on December 15, 2017
DulcyWarfield profile image

Mother of 3 humans and 7 fur babies. A wife, friend and aspiring artist, she has both personal and professional experience in mental health.

The Importance of an Accurate Diagnoses

Getting the proper diagnoses is critical in obtaining the proper treatment. If you are misdiagnosed, then improperly treated, the effects could exacerbate your illness.

An Example of Why It's So Important

Do NOT Self Diagnose

It can be a long and scary process, trying to find out why you don't feel right. Believe you can, and you will.
It can be a long and scary process, trying to find out why you don't feel right. Believe you can, and you will. | Source

Why You Need A Professional Opinion

We have so much information at our fingertips these days. I couldn't even begin to imagine, just how much of that information, is inaccurate or does not to pertain to what could actually be the problem. This is why it is SO very important to seek professional help. I do not have a degree in Psychology. There are so many variables and overlapping symptoms that it would be very easy to misdiagnose someone, even with knowledge.

A good example of why you should never attempt to self diagnose is the number of overlapping symptoms could really throw you off. For example:

Some Bipolar Disorder Symptoms are as Follows:

  • Mood: mood swings, sadness, elevated mood, anger, anxiety, apathy, apprehension, euphoria, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, or loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Behavioral: irritability, risk taking behaviors, disorganized behavior, aggression, agitation, crying, excess desire for sex, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness, or self-harm
  • Cognitive: unwanted thoughts, delusion, lack of concentration, racing thoughts, slowness in activity, or false belief of superiority
  • Psychological: depression, manic episode, agitated depression, or paranoia
  • Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or excess sleepiness
  • Weight: weight gain or weight loss

Some common symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder:

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
  • Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating. Please note: If these behaviors occur primarily during a period of elevated mood or energy, they may be signs of a mood disorder—not borderline personality disorder
  • Self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviors or threats
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by irrational fear of other people’s intentions
  • Feelings of dissociation, such as feeling cut off from oneself, seeing oneself from outside one’s body, or feelings of unreality

Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder. BPD is a personality disorder. As you can see for yourself, they have a lot of shared symptoms which makes them easily misdiagnosed, even by a professional. Unfortunately, there is no medication that effectively treats all the symptoms of BPD and if you are misdiagnosed, and treated for Bipolar symptoms, it can easily exacerbate your illness. These are also shared symptoms of a lot of other illnesses and disorders as well, which is why you should always see a professional for proper diagnoses.

Source:https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml#part_145387 & https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/

"Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle."

— -Napoleon Hill

Don't Lose Hope

Always trust your gut! If you think your Doctor could be wrong, get another opinion. It's perfectly healthy to get as much information as you can!
Always trust your gut! If you think your Doctor could be wrong, get another opinion. It's perfectly healthy to get as much information as you can! | Source

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Don't Let Yourself Get Bullied

Always remember, when you walk through that office door, the Doctor works for YOU. Don't ever let them make you feel like your feelings are valid. They are very important. In my experience, some (not all) physicians can tend to lose their empathy after years of service. They forget that I'm a person. I have concerns and feelings. My feelings need to be validated and so do yours.. even if you think they might be irrational. If you don't feel like you're getting the help you need, talk to someone about getting a new doctor, second opinion, patient advocate, case manager or whatever you need. There are lots of facilities who will help you and some, free of charge. Help is out there, you just have to take it and not feel guilty. You deserve to feel good. In time, you will.

Always Move Forward

Always move forward and things WILL get better
Always move forward and things WILL get better | Source

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    • DulcyWarfield profile image
      Author

      Dulcy Warfield 4 weeks ago from Kingman, Arizona

      You are so correct Michael. I hate to sound paranoid but I really do believe that some of these Drs, are given incentives to prescribe. I have BPD and there is no medication for that yet the Drs want to pile on the medication, rather than focus on behavioral thereapy. I don't want people to avoid medical expertise. I want them to go in there with knowledge. I'm glad you enjoyed my article!

    • Michael-Duncan profile image

      Michael-Duncan 4 weeks ago from Spain

      Much is being proven of the fact that medical treatments and procedures today are fuelled more by the desire to keep the trillion-dollar pharmaceutical industry afloat, than to actually save people's health. When profit and business take the place of the ethics of restorative compassion and care, the situation directly impacts on diagnoses which patients (many of whose ailments can be curbed by natural methods and lifestyle changes), receive from medical agents. I too was misdiagnosed for years and prescribed countless items of medication for IBS that I did not need and which even made things worse. Things turned around after making some natural adjustments in diet, lifestyle, etc. So thanks for sharing your enlightening experience and underscoring the fact that we need not trust everything we hear simply because we see the white coat and stethoscopes. Helpful advice. Cheers!