Tag Archives: diagnosis

Adults on the Autistic Spectrum

2 Feb

It’s been one of those days, one of those weeks.  Where I’m frustrated that I don’t have an ASD diagnosis because I didn’t fit the criteria as a kid.  It’s been fucking with my functioning this week.  I’ve messed up a few social cues.  And I’m curious.  I have some Aspergers followers out there or people on the Spectrum that “cope” and appear normal enough.  I don’t mean this to come off rude, I know they took aspergers out of the DSM5 thats why I want to cover aspergers and the spectrum but I’m mostly referring to more of the higher functioning people who for lack of a better word pass as normal most time.

That’s me.  And I know the goal after you get an ASD diagnosis is therapy to help cope with daily living and be able to live productively, get social skills, don’t have meltdowns, learn to deal with sensory issues, etc. etc.   I just don’t understand that if I was forced to do this as a kid because of a chaotic home environment how I can’t have the diagnosis.  I essentially learned most the skills they try to teach out of necessity.  Now on my own, I’ve regressed a bit plus I’m managing a bunch of other shit so honestly I don’t have the energy for all that normative passing stuff.  But I’m still upset that the doctor won’t give me the diagnosis because as a child I didn’t meet the criteria till i was 11 or so.

 

Thoughts?

30 Day Self Harm Awareness: Day 25

16 Nov

Master List

25. Do you know any statistics about self harm?

Most of the statistics that I know have to do with Borderline Personality Disorder and not self harm is specific.  But here is one that just because a person engages in self harming behavior does not mean they have Borderline Personality Disorder and just because someone has Borderline Personality Disorder it doesn’t mean they engage in self harming behavior.

The Discharge paperwork Update

23 Oct

discharge paperwork

Here is a scan of part of my discharge paperwork packet.  Some interesting and new things.  My doctor uses SAD do SchizoAffective Disorder so that’s not social anxiety disorder or seasonal affective disorder, I was in a depressed episode.  BPD- Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD, for which this is the first time I’ve seen an official diagnosis on paper although I am told continually I deal with trauma.  These are under Psychiatric.  Under medial it says Hyper… which is high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, h/o GERD, and sensory d/o.   The Sensory d/o is a new diagnosis for me as well and I thought that it was a psychiatric diagnosis in kids with developmental delays.  I’ve done some researching since I’ve been home and the full name is sensory processing disorder and there’s a debate if it’s psychiatric or medical.  So I don’t know if I’m reading the terrible handwriting wrong or that’s what it says.  I have long had “sensory issues” as I like to call them, but looking it up I see clumsiness, lack of coordination, and even motion sickness can be related.  Under stressors it says Chr. Mental illness, yeah duh that’s been pretty stressful.  My inpatient psychiatrist was baffled that nothing seemed to cause this episode, maybe that’s why he put it on there.

meds

This is a list of my medication and it is very cramped and hard to read so I’ll translate.  He also put in parentheses next to each medication what it was for, he’s never done that before.  Maprotiline 100mg (mood), Vilazodone/Viibryd 10mg transitioning to 40mg (mood), Desipramine 250mg (mood),  Latuda 80mg (psychosis)  Lamotrogine/Lamictal 400mg (mood), Prazosin 4mg (mood), Prevestatin 10mg (Hyper… aka high cholesterol); Lialda 2.4g (colitis), Necon/Birth control (contraceptive), Valium 5mg PRN for anxiety.  The two new meds are Maprotiline and Viibryd, both antidepressants though my inpatient psychiatrist kept calling Maprotiline a stimulant.  Maprotiline is a tetracyclic kind of like my tricyclic Desipramine that I already take, although he upped the dose of that by 50mg.  Viibry is a new SSRI.

I’m free!

18 Feb

Or in other words I was just discharged today from my inpatient stay.  I started a new medication Latuda and it is replacing the Seroquel, it is another atypical antipsychotic.  (Note to self: add Latuda to list of medications)  The voices are quietest they have been in a while, even the narrator/neutral/positive or what I call the “back 1s.”

latudaLatuda (lurasidone) is one such atypical antipsychotic. It was first approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in late 2010; in the summer of 2013, its approved use was extended to help in the treatment of bipolar depression by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Psych Central article on Latuda

 

So it seems to be helping the depression and the voices, score 2 for 1 deal!  I was also taken off the Effexor which seemed to have no beneficial effect on treating the depression.  I was in the hospital for 5 days (2/13/14-2/18/14) and will share stories and resources to come.

Also on an interesting side note my discharge diagnosis:

SAD; bipolar type; mixed, severe; BPD; R/O PTSD

And my opinion

  • SAD is commonly refered to as Seasonal Affective Disorder, I am well versed in psych terms and know I have been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder in the past so I know that is what my inpatient psychiatrist meant but it still bothers me.  Also for anyone who wants to know the abbreviation for Schizoaffective Disorder is sza.
  • Bipolar type- nothing new.
  • Mixed severe, this is referring to the psychosis.  I am usually very general about hearing voices, I fear if I am honest about the frequency, content, and intensity of the voices I’d be institutionalized.  It is validating that he saw the psychosis as severe, though not surprising he left the word “psychosis” out.
  • BPD also commonly (and correctly) referred to as Borderline Personality Disorder.  Again nothing new but he did want to refer me to a DBT Group, which I thought was a bit strange since we mostly talked of my psychosis and mood issues.
  • R/O PTSD- R/O which I needed to look up refers to “ruled out” which is surprising since he asked me about abuse in the past, I think specifically child abuse because I mentioned I was on Prazosin for the night terrors and I answered that I don’t really remember my childhood and I wouldn’t say yes and I wouldn’t say no either.  Also their is a history of sexual assault, which I did mention which some consider traumatic though I don’t have many PTSD symptoms from that.  I think this may have to do with the fact that he has met my family in the past during a family meeting and thinks they are great and very supportive.  Which of course is the vibe my family gives off to everyone.

Schizoaffective, Borderline, I Agree Part 1

29 Jan

There is a constant dilemma and different opinions on psychiatric diagnoses.  They can provide relief, help access proper treatment, place stigma on the person, overwhelm, or be considered an excuse; just to name a few.  There are camps of people who prefer terms like “neuro-atypical”  or “neuro diversity” and do not like the terms illness or disorder.  Often you can not predict how someone will react to being diagnosed with a mental illness, as everyone is different.  Here is my experience with my current psychiatric diagnoses of Schizoaffective Disorder- Bipolar type and Borderline Personality Disorder, and my journey towards receiving those diagnoses.

Many people don’t know what Schizoaffective Disorder is, you can look at my infographic for some facts, but pretty much it’s a combination of symptoms of Schizophrenia and a mood disorder.  There are two types: Bipolar and Depressive.  I have been diagnosed with just about every mood disorder through out the years as well as Psychotic Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified.) Major Depression and Dysthymia as a kid.  In my early twenties, I was rotating diagnoses of the bipolar types: Bipolar Disorder I, Bipolar Disorder II, Bipolar Disorder NOS , Bipolar with Mixed Psychosis; sometimes with rapid cycling or ultra-rapid cycling.  I also frequently had the diagnosis of Mood Disorder NOS  or Mood Disorder with Mixed Psychosis.  Being in the psychiatric system since I was ten years old with multiple diagnoses gives off the impression that treatment wasn’t working for me or I was misdiagnosed.

I didn’t experience psychosis as a child, at least not like I do now, and I experienced severe episodes or depression with in between episodes experiencing a minor or low grade depression.  There really weren’t any symptoms of mania or hypomania and back then children were very rarely diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, so my child psychiatrist added on the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.)

In my early twenties I started to hear voices, almost constantly.  I was afraid to tell anyone for fear of “being locked up” or in other words being put in a psychiatric hospital and never getting out.  The majority of the time the voices didn’t bother me.  They would narrate everything I was doing, sometimes commenting on my life or surroundings, and sometimes giving opinions, feedback, or commands of things to do.  I would occasionally mention it when hospitalized but lie about the frequency of it, so the staff often thought it was just a psychotic episode or psychosis related to a mood episode (enter all the Bipolar diagnoses.)  I didn’t really respond to most mood stabalizers or anti-depressants (see here for a list of medications I’ve been on.) I only experienced one full manic episode with most of my non-depressive episodes being hypomania or a mixed episode (concurrent symptoms of depression and mania/hypomania.)  I also had a bunch of Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) or “shock therapy” treatments and VNS Therapy for the Treatment Resistant Depression aspect of my mental health.

To be continued: Receiving the Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type diagnosis

Schizoaffective Disorder Infographic

8 Jan

Day 6 of the Zero to Hero challenge is to add a new element to your blog.  I’ve embedded videos, both personal and youtube, added photos, did a feedback form, don’t have a twitter, made a Facebook page for me blog… so I found something new to make.  This is an infographic on Schizoaffective Disorder (one of my diagnosis) maybe at one point I might make one for Borderline Personality Disorder (my other diagnosis.)  Enjoy! Click image for a larger version to read the text.

schizoaffective infographic

30MIAC Day 13: Round Up and Results

31 Dec

MIA challenge

So here are the round up people who participated in responding to my thirteenth prompt on the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge. If you participated and I haven’t added your post here, please pingback to the main challenge page with prompts or tag your post 30MIAC.

Day 13: If you know the criteria of your illness(es) which ones do you think you meet? Or what are your most common symptoms?

From Pieces of Me who splits prompt 13 into three posts, part 1 with personality disorders, part 2 with anxiety disorders and eating disorders, and part 3 with Emetophobia.

From All That I Am, All That I Ever Was which includes the answers to prompt 12 & 13.  He talks about the problems of diagnosis and getting treatment, which means that depending on what you are diagnosed with usually depends on the treatment you get.

From Remember to Breathe which includes specific obsessions and compulsions that she has.

And my answers which includes each of my diagnoses their criteria and the criteria I meet in red and bolded font.

From Second Chances which gives a quick review of depression and anxiety disorders.

From Fashion Anxious who combined posts 13 and 14, she talks about some symptoms she experiences such as: impatience, feeling on edge, and feelings of dread

From Battling the Demons Within which contains the diagnoses of different mental illnesses with criteria that applies to her in italics.

From That’s Crazy who creatively calls her post “On a Scale of One to Crazy” she talks about how with some of her diagnosis she feels she meets the cookie cutter stereotypes and others are a more unorthodox shape.  I like how she refers to shapes.

From Pride in Madness who talks about the DSM criteria of Borderline Personality Disorder and puts in pink the symptoms she relates to, she also mentions the severity depends on context and that anger would be her biggest issue.

From Voices of Glass who shows a symptoms map he has made in response to day seven of the mental illness challenge, most those symptoms relate to his main diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder

**Thanks to all who participated and continue to spread the word**

Also mylovelyborderlinepersonalitydisorder who has Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder and answered prompts 9-14 in a comprehensive post.

Also A Life of Madness who answered prompts 10-21 in a comprehensive post, she includes photos and has bipolar disorder.

Also Surviving by Living who has depression and conversion disorder and answered prompt 12-14 in a comprehensive post.

30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge: Day 16

29 Oct

I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses.  My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts.  I will do a post within about 3 days of the prompt and my response to link to people who participate, please pingback/link to this post or tag 30MIAC.  If you chose to do the prompts later, don’t find the challenge till later, or life happens and you don’t get a prompt answered within the 3 days no worries, if you pingback to this post I will add you to the post that has the links to that prompt.  I will be starting to post my responses to the prompts in October, I am just posting this now so people can brainstorm and spread the word.  You can also start at anytime.  I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. The master list of prompts is here.   Here is the image to go with the challenge:

MIA challenge

 

Day 16: How many people are you “out” to with your mental illness(es)? Why?

Only 3 people know truly all my symptoms and diagnosis, my sister, school friend, and my case manager.  The rest of the family knows I struggle, they know a couple terms and that I mostly deal with depression (their view.)  My old boss know I have mental health issues and about hospitalizations but not my diagnosis or the real what’s and why’s.  I have a couple friends that know I have mental health issues, like family friend comes and visits me in the hospital.  My psychiatrist and the therapist neither really know the extent of what I deal with.

The reason not many people know is because I don’t know a lot of people and that I feel ashamed or like I will be judged if people know my mental illnesses.  Most the people who know only know because I couldn’t hide it from them.  Only the first 3 know everything because I trust them and have told them.  Yeah, I also don’t trust people either so that’s another reason why.

30MIAC Day 12: Round Up/Results

24 Oct

MIA challenge

So here are the round up people who participated in responding to my twelfth prompt on the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge. If you participated and I haven’t added your post here, please pingback to the main challenge page with prompts or tag your post 30MIAC.

Day 12: What do you think about your diagnosis in general?  (Some ideas are: stereotypes, commonalities, misdiagnosis, over diagnosis)

From Pieces of Me which talks about Borderline Personality Disorder and the stereotypes that come with it, she also points out that to be diagnosed with BPD you only need to meet 5 of 9 criteria which can cause a lot of variety.

From All That I Am, All That I Ever Was which includes the answers to prompt 12 & 13.  He talks about the problems of diagnosis and getting treatment, which means that depending on what you are diagnosed with usually depends on the treatment you get.

From Remember to Breathe which includes thinking of her diagnosis as “a blessing and a curse.”

And my answers which includes each of my diagnoses whether I think they are accurate and stereotypes, misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis within each of the three diagnoses.

From Beyond Normal which mentions how she didn’t understand what bipolar was before getting the diagnosis but after being diagnosed with it and having it explained to her, it is the missing piece that explains a lot.

From Second Chances which talks about wanting to learn everything she can about her diagnosis as well as teaching others.

From Fashion Anxious who talks about how she is settled with her diagnosis of anxiety and thinks the depression diagnosis was likely related to how her anxiety was effecting her life.

From Battling the Demons Within who talks about how her diagnoses run together.

From That’s Crazy who doesn’t really have any feelings about her diagnosis.

From Pride in Madness who speaks about how Borderline Personality Disorder just feels like her and how she is okay with it, it’s others who are not.

**Thanks to all who participated and continue to spread the word**

Also mylovelyborderlinepersonalitydisorder who has Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder and answered prompts 9-14 in a comprehensive post.

Also A Life of Madness who answered prompts 10-21 in a comprehensive post, she includes photos and has bipolar disorder.

Also Surviving by Living who has depression and conversion disorder and answered prompt 12-14 in a comprehensive post.

30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness: Day 13

22 Oct

I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses.  My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts.  I will do a post within about 3 days of the prompt and my response to link to people who participate, please pingback/link to this post or tag 30MIAC.  If you chose to do the prompts later, don’t find the challenge till later, or life happens and you don’t get a prompt answered within the 3 days no worries, if you pingback to this post I will add you to the post that has the links to that prompt.  I will be starting to post my responses to the prompts in October, I am just posting this now so people can brainstorm and spread the word.  You can also start at anytime.  I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. The master list of prompts is here.   Here is the image to go with the challenge:

MIA challenge

Day 13: If you know the criteria of your illness(es) which ones do you think you meet? Or what are your most common symptoms?

I am diagnosed with both Borderline Personality Disorder and Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type.  I have the criteria listed below and will bold and make red type the those I meet.

Borderline Personality Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
    1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
    2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
    3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
    4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5
    5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself. (Note: haven’t self harmed in nearly a year)
    6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
    7. Chronic feelings of emptiness
    8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
    9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type:

Two (or more) of the following symptoms are present for the majority of a one-month period (or a shorter period of time if symptoms got better with treatment):

  1. delusions
  2. hallucinations
  3. disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence) which is a manifestation of formal thought disorder
  4. grossly disorganized behavior (e.g. dressing inappropriately, crying frequently) or catatonic behavior
  5. negative symptoms—e.g., affective flattening (lack or decline in emotional response), alogia (lack or decline in speech), avolition (lack or decline in motivation), anhedonia (lack or decline in ability to experience pleasure), social withdrawal (sometimes called social anhedonia). Negative symptoms refers to symptoms that are not present or that are diminished in the affected persons but are normally found in healthy persons.  (These symptoms are rarer)

If the delusions are judged to be bizarre, or hallucinations consist of hearing one voice participating in a running commentary of the individual’s actions or of hearing two or more voices conversing with each other, only that symptom is required to meet criterion A above. The speech disorganization criterion is only met if it is severe enough to substantially impair communication.

And at some time during the illness there is either one, two or all three of the following:

  • Major depressive episode

Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks and at least five of the following symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day

  1. Depressed mood most of the day.
  2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
  3. Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
  4. Insomnia or sleeping too much.
  5. Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
  6. Fatigue or loss of energy.
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death
  • Manic episodes are characterized by:

A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary)B.    During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (4 if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:

  1. increased self-esteem or grandiosity
  2. decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
  3. more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
  4. flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
  5. distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
  6. increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work orschool, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
  7. excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)”
  •   Mixed episode

A.  The criteria are met both for a Manic Episode and for a Major Depressive Episode (except for duration) nearly every day during at least a 1-week period.

B. The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.

6.  During the illness, delusions or hallucinations were present for a minimum of two weeks, without major mood symptoms.

7.  For a substantial part of the overall duration of both the active and residual period of the illness, symptoms meeting criteria for a mood episode are present.

8.  Symptoms are not caused by drug abuse, medication or another medical condition.