The Day I was Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Why It Was a Horrible Experience
When I first started this blog, I wrote a post about the problem with accurate diagnosis (I was originally diagnosed with ADD at the age of seven. I have been re-diagnosed a half dozen times over my life, with each new diagnosis worse than the previous one). It was a detailed look at the day I was diagnosed with Manic Depressive Illness (or Bipolar Disorder)- a very stressful and unnerving day, that caused me a tremendous amount of pain and emotional suffering. My psychiatrist was horrible, he treated me like crap and laughed at me for being manic-depressive. I am re-posting this story so that if someone is in the same situation they can see that they are not alone. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad doctors out there that care more about money then the wellbeing of their patients. I’m going to stop writing this introduction and present you with my story:
“A little over a year ago my life changed. After going through numerous mental breakdowns (please see my previous post, for a detailed description of my various mental breakdowns, that led me to quit all of my jobs and give up on life) I finally decided it was time to seek medical/professional help. With the support of my parents I began looking for a psychiatrist as well as a therapist. It didn’t take long for me to find a psych who would accept my insurance and before I knew it I had an appointment (At the time I did not realize how bad/shoddy/ignorant this psychiatrist was. Had I done some research, I would have avoided the pain I was about to go through. The problem was that I was very manic and obsessively determined to fix my “problem.” In doing so, I hastily found a psychiatrist without the proper due diligence).
About a week later I went to my first psychiatrist appointment. The office building was located in an upscale area of Long Beach. The lounge was large- filled with numerous patients, desks covered in magazines, cheap art and worn-out chairs. I signed in and took a seat in the back of the lounge. Thirty minutes passed and still had not been called. Impatient I walked over to the receptionist desk and asked if the psych was still in. I was informed that Dr. A was still in a session with another patient and would be with me shortly.
Two hours later I was finally allowed to see the psych. His office was in the back of the building and it was filled with artifacts from around the world. Dr. A sat behind a large mahogany desk and he was covered in gold and platinum jewelry. He told me to sit down and informed me that he was the only psych in the area who could diagnose a patient in less than five minutes. (I know this might sound ludicrous, but this actually happened to me. He was a very sleazy man. Not only did he have a large platinum and diamond cross around his neck, but he also wore a rolex and numerous gem rings. On top of that he was ignorant and made numerous comments that degraded people with Bipolar Disorder). And he was right, he diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder the moment I began describing my symptoms. I was put on depakote, however, that did not work as it made me insanly depressed. Then I was put on Abilify which lasted all of three days, but those three days were hell as I could not sit still or concentrate as I was constantly overcome with tremors. Next I was put on tegretol (oh and another thing, he was never available when I called his office. I always had to leave a message with his secretary. And it was always his secretary who would call back with an answer, as Dr. A was too busy to call me personally) and that seemed to work. However, as the week progressed I started to become very manic and very depressed. I began to realize that Dr. A was not the best psychiatrist for me, so I stopped seeing him. This was a very hard decision for me, as I am usually very scared of change as well as mortified by other people’s response to my actions (will I offend the psych if I no longer see him).
I am glad that I was able to break free from this psych and move on to someone new. It was around this time that I had started seeing a therapist and he suggested a psych that was highly regarded in the area. My therapist was right, the psych was amazing and within two weeks we both were able to workout a med cocktail that balanced my mind. I am still seeing this psych, as he is very empathetic and knowledgeable.”