Anyone been misdiagnosed with Bipolar?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I have been battling with Depression and Anxiety for many years and taking a range of Anti Depressants.

Recently having waited years before being referred to a Psychiatrist, I finally see someone. Being keen to have a specific diagnosis, so I know what I'm working with he agrees with my previous Psychologist, but when having waited 6 weeks and having asked repeatedly for a written diagnosis he puts "F3130 Bipolar Affective Disorder - Current Episode Moderate Depression without Somatic Syndrome".

I've felt like this particular Psychiatrist throughout a 3 sessions I've seen him is jut trying to get rid of me and see his next patient, he's never particularly engaged and has gone from a diagnosis of depression and anxiety to Bipolar.

Interested to hear if anyone else has been misdiagnosed and how common it is?

I've asked to see a new Psychiatrist, but so far the messages have not been passed on and nobody has called me when they said they would.

The toll it's taking on my health is unbelievable and on hearing that I was apparently Bipolar via a letter, when it was never even mentioned in out sessions, had a very bad affect of my current condition.


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  • Posted

    Hi J

    I am sorry to hear about your anxiety.

    It is fair to say that psychiatry is like economics as much of an art as a science (I once attended a lecture on economics concerning this).

    The first time I was admitted to hospital 30 years ago I was diagnosed with reactive depression - or treated for this.

    The next admission was 10 years later following which I was working part-time for a year and then given early retirement due to ill-heath. I must have been given a "diagosis" in my sick note because it requires that. I don't know what it was.

    Some years later I was at the regular appointment with my pdoc. I mentioned that I had seen a programme on TV the previous night about people with various mental health problems. One concerned a lady with manic depression in the area in which I lived. It must have given the consultant's name.

    When I told my doctor he said that the other doctor was a friend. It was apparent that I didn't know something because he said to me regarding md - didn't I know that manic depression was my diagnosis.

    Obviously, I didn't. I wasn't going to any daycentre, any group - although I was possibly seeing a psychologist. At that time it was less well known that Lithium was a treatment for bipolar (then manic depression) than now it is.

    Then 10 years ago I was at my GP and I was sitting alongside not my normal one such that I would see the screen. (My normal one wouldn't have let me as close as that). I saw the word Aspergers. I was very upset - I didn't know anyone with Aspergers and it had a bad connotation.

    It was just before I went travelling and I didn't have time to contact my psychiatrist. I actually emailed from a library abroad about this. He explained to me that they had been worried about me and that it was one of many things that they were considering.

    Then about 2 or 3 years ago I was visiting a physio, I think, at my local hospital. He was reading the letter from my GP, I think, and the word Aspergers came up. Even if the word had somehow remained on my notes he was the doctor who was supposed to be looking after my treatment, knowing what was wrong with me.

    I told the physio that no, that was not was wrong with me.

    I mentioned it to my psychiatrist and he agreed that I didn't have Aspergers (fortunately, if you like, I know people that have got it and I know that however geeky I might be that is not one of my many problems).

    But it clearly still remained on my GP's file. I might have asked the pdoc to write to my GP but I can't remember.

    And when I asked that GP about other matters of my drugtaking he would say that that was what the pdoc had prescribed. So he didn't take a view of care diff to my pdoc. I changed that GP for this and other reasons.

    The new GP will have that in my file, although they (there are 4 in the team) do actually listen to patients. I have 3 degrees (not in medicine) and therefore can have an intelligent and informed conversation with them.

    So like with myself to find out informally or accidentally that you were bipolar is upsetting.

    Having said that these days we are entitled to see the letter that our consultant to our GP after a consultation. Unless they tell you everything that they think you are bound to see lots of upsetting things.

    And if you choose not to read the letter then you are likely to hear something accidentally from the mouth of your consultant, GP or phsyio when you go and see them about a physical matter.

    Almost the most upsetting thing that I read in the letter to my GP was that he had seen this "dishevelled" man etc etc. Given that the pdoc knew that I would be reading the letter if he wished to make that point he should have told me that he was going to do so.

    Maybe a little less of the truth? I really don't know.

    But would it help for me to know everything that they might have been considering concerning me if the diagnosis was difficult. After all we are suffering from this or that anxiety disorder and knowing the most serious thing that they are considering might not be too helpful.

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  • Posted

    How cowardly and unprofessional of your shrink to not talk with you face to face about his diagnosis.

    Please try not to let this worsen your depression: not knowing whether or not it's a misdiagnosis must be stressing you out heaps.   If the letter was to your psychologist can you discuss it with him/her?

    Did the shrink suggest any treatment, or only a diagnosis?

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    • Posted

      Letter was too one off the GPs at my local surgery, where you see a different GP every time you go in, so never develop any kind of relationship with them.

      I'm currently on Citalopram 20mg & MIRTAZAPINE 45mg and he upped my Citalopram from 10mg in that session.

      After reading that I'm Bipolar he wrote that my next appointment would be in 3 months time, as opposed to the 6 weekly appointment we'd had a fewer times, which again seemed to show me that he just doesn't get it and am an inconvenience, as opposed to someone who genuinely needs help.

      I'd told him I didn't feel any different on 10mg Citalopram and in his letter he puts " he felt that it is starting to work " and then ups the dose.

      I read people pretty well and everything seems off to me. The problem is it's easy to doubt yourself because of what you're going through.


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    • Posted

      Hi J

      Do you not have a regular appt with your psychiatrist or care coordinator?

      Shy do you want an appt every 6 weeks?

      He migth get it and think that you are improving or that your condition is stable.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nick,

      The only appointments I've had are with my Psychiatrist, which have been every 6 weeks for the past 3 months or so. On receiving the letter with the bipolar diagnosis, he then wrote that my next appointment is in 3 months.

      I think it's clear that he doesn't get it, due to the fact that my condition isn't improving but rather deteriorating and v.unstable.


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