Getting the correct diagnosis is incredibly important! Getting the correct diagnosis from the appropriate professional is just as important.Family physians have somemental health education, but not near enough. Especially Compared to the those that go to school for it specifically. Psychiatrists and psychologists are trained to diagnose and treat mentally illnesses.
My Messy Diagnosis
Don’t make the mistakes I did. At age 16 I got my first incorrect diagnosis. I was diagnosed with depression by my family doctor. 4 years later, a different family doctor diagnosed me and treated me for adult ADHD. Two years down the road, anxiety was added to my diagnosis and I as treated for it by yet another family doctor. The medicine I was being prescribed wasn’t working because they were meant for illnesses I either didn’t have or treating them idividully instead of collectively. At this point my life had become completely unravelled. My downward spiral ended in the psych ward. I saw my first psychiatrist there and then I got my first correct and final diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder! Also anxiety, PTSD, and depression. I was perscribed and anti depressant, an anti anxiety medication, and a Mood Stabilizer and given a book called ” I hate you, please dont leave me” yo help me understand my disorder. They also set up follow up therapy in my hometown, called DBT ( DIALECTICAL BEHAVIOR THERAPY) for when I returned.
4 different doctors, 4 different diagnosis, 4 different treatments and med changes. And 10 years of pure hell! If I had just seen a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist in the first place, most of this could have been avoided. If only…
Psychiatrists and Psychologists
Psychiatrists and psychologists focus on diagnosing and treating mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. He/ or she may order labs and tests in the very beginning. He will want to know extensive family background and medical information, any family history of mental illnesses, your symptoms and behaviors, information about your work, home and social life, he will perform evaluations and fill out questionaires with you. After a complete evaluation, he will prescribe proper medication and discuss any follow up treatment you may need. It is extremely important to be completely honest and up front during the entire diagnosing procedure. It is also important to continue taking the medication as prescribed and to attend follow up treatment that is recommended.
Finding a pschyciatrist isn’t difficult. First you should call your insurance company, they will give you a list of approved psychiatrists and psychologists in your area. Your family doctor can also help in finding one and also give you a referral to see them.
Here are some resources to help you find one
American Psychology Association
It only makes sense to go to someone who specializes in psychiatry or psychology for mental illness. A family physician is not near as qualified to give a proper diagnosis, so why would you go see him? After all, you wousldn’t go to a dentist for a broken arm or a brain surgeon for appendicitis would you?
Dont cheat yourself out of the proper treatment. You deserve the very best. It might take more time, but its worth it to get these things right the first time. Once you are on the right track, things will start to come together. You will see that you can over come this. There is life after diagnosis. Start living and be happy any chance you get.
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