Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Doctor said I "might" have a "mild" case of bi polar II

So it was my first time going to a psychiatrist, and he didn't ask anything too much about me and just asked a series of questionnaires regarding the last 2-3 weeks.  It was kind of hard to answer it correctly and I didn't want to mess up.  But at the end he said it looks like i "might" have a "mild" case of bi polar II.  I mean how could he conclude taht based on asking me some questions over a 15 min period?  The thing is I thought there's a chance I might have some other problem like depression, ocd, or even schizophrenia.  I do have a history of addiction/substance abuse.  

He prescribed me lamictal.  
4 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Well, depression is a necessary criterion for BP II, so if that diagnosis is correct, you do have depression, but you have hypomania as well.  The problem with getting the diagnosis is that it's almost entirely self report, since most people don't go to get help during hypomanic periods.  Anxiety can come with bipolar, or be a separate thing.  I recommend you go to psycheducation.org to read more about BP II.  For schizophrenia, you need to have some pretty major symptoms in the absence of mood swings--things like hearing voices, usually commentating on your life or saying nasty things, catatonia or major lack of affect, delusions (you utterly believe something patently false or bizarre), paranoia, etc.  A lot of the treatments for bipolar actually overlap with schizophrenia treatments, although Lamictal wouldn't help with schizophrenia.

Anyway, if it is BP II, Lamictal is hands down the best drug to try first.  As long as you don't get a rash, it has a much lower side effect profile than other anticonvulsants and the atypical antipsychotics, and it's great for depression, which is the main issue for BP II.  I'm on it and I love it (I'm BP II).  The chances of some sort of rash are about 1/10, but only 1/1000 for a dangerous rash.  

But by all means, you can go in and ask the doctor to justify the diagnosis and bring up your concerns about the possibilities of other diagnoses, and ask them to explain it to you so that you can understand, and say you aren't comfortable taking the meds until then.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If younhave doubts, get a second opinion or see anotherpsychoatrist. Personally, I can't see how anyone could make an adequate diagnosis from 15 minutes of talk and questionnaires. In the very first visit, it usually takes an hour of talk, and that is the norm. I saw 6 psychiatrists of different backgrounds, gender, med culture, etc., etc., and they all took an hour to interview.Even mental health insurance subcontractors to the major health insurance companies allot that much time and a laergermpayment for the initial "exam and assessment." A 15 minute assessment is usually done when it's emergent and action is required quickly, then it is usally followed by the more indepth assessment  and exam when the patient is more stabilized or able to talk. It goes for therapy with a non Md therapist and any medical doctor in any field, nurses, and other health professions. 15 minute ornlessmis for paramedics and first liners, and that is simply for a stabilizing someone and then, they get referred or lined up for more diagnostics, histories and physicals.

I always say if a red flag pops in my head, it's time to check it out and get another opinion, whether it's a car mechanic or a doctor. I've never even heard of anyone saying something like a mild case of bipolar, btw. It's not like it's influenza or a cold. I would have asked questions like what makes it mild, why do you think I have bipolar illness, etc., is it just bipolar disorder I got is there concurrent diagnoses? I figure if he can give you questionnaires, he can reciprocate by answering your own.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
It seems a bit strange that he gave you medications when he said you "might" have bipolar. Ask for a proper diagnosis and let him know your concerns about other illnesses as well and/ or check with a second psychiatrist. I was prescribed prozac for major depression before being diagnosed with bipolar and it made everything 3 times worse... So I think it is important to be sure what your problem is before treating it.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have to agree with Persephonedemeter. The pdoc is suppose to get your history, last month, last yr etc. Not a 15 min visit discussing the last 2-3 weeks only. This is not normal. If I were you, I would go to another Pcsychiatrist for a normal, thorough assesment. It is very important to know what the dx is so that you can be given the proper med. We will be here if you have more questions or need additional info. If you do have Bipolar there are many things in addition to meds (if you choose) that can be implemented into your life to help you.
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Bipolar Disorder Community

Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.