Saturday, October 22, 2005

Psych Referral

Seems like the major part of my doc visits the last few years have been psych centered. Several years ago I told my long-time physician I thought I was bipolar. I have a bipolar son, he's exactly like me, and the doc knows my boy is bipolar. In fact he did the initial diagnosis. Doc asked me a few questions, something like did I spend all my money (yes, but not all at once), could I hold down a job (for the last 15 years, but questionable before that), and so forth. In about 2 minutes he declared me not bipolar.

A few years later, I went in for depression. The first time I've ever consulted anyone about depression. I told him I thought I was bipolar, and he asked me the exact same questions. 2 minutes later he told me I wasn't bipolar, and wrote me a prescription for Zoloft.

Several other visits, same scenario.

This last time, it was about discontinuing Cymbalta. I told him the same thing, he asked the same questions, and I stopped him. I went down a list of things, him clucking and writing. He checked out a few more things, consulted his Palm Pilot, and told me not to be concerned, but he was thinking I might have bipolar disorder.

Ya think?

He told me he wanted me to see a psychiatrist. Oh, wonderful, more time away from work, and more deductibles to pay. OK, I'd put this question to bed one way or the other.

I make the appointment, and in the mail get a questionaire from the psychiatrist. You may know the type, several pages about medical history, family history, substance abuse, then the questions:

Check all that apply in the last 6 months.

Change of appetite. I just finished a bout of stomach flu - does that count?
Worried about weight. Doc told me to lose 20 pounds, who wouldn't worry?
High energy. Let's see - several hypomanic episodes a month for 6 months...
Low energy. The time between hypomanic episodes...
Sexual issues. Due to medication, virtually no activity for 4 months, then 5 times in 3 days...
Difficuly Concentrating. Not during those few days a month when I'm not hypomanic and not depressed

Virtually every one of these questions applies, and not just once but sometimes daily or weekly. But I think this is probably the case with most of us.

Oh well, he'll earn his fee on this evaluation.


Lisa said...

Sounds like Bipolar Disorder to me and I'm not even a psychiatrist.

Go for the evaluation :)