How to get diagnosed?

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Avarice, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    I'd really like to know how people go about getting diagnosed for their disorders, as I've been 100% certain for a while now, that I at least have one mental disorder but have suspicions of there being a lot more going on.

    I've been to my local GP and told him that I believed I had Avoidant Personality Disorder. However, the stupid man clearly knew nothing about the disorder and he said that due to the fact I had actually sought out help and contacted the practice about it to get diagnosed meant that I obviously didn't have it. He concluded that I was simply shy and lacked confidence and because I have a small group of friends that can actually tolerate being around me, I was obviously very normal. This was over a year ago, and now I've just decided I'm sick of being this way and want to be normal for once. Clearly going to my GP is not an option for me, so how else would I go about getting diagnosed/tested for this?

    As said though, I'm certain there are a few other issues going on, so how would I go about getting those tested? Do I ask them to test me on a certain disorder or do they do a general test that can pick up any form of mental disorder? I think I'm paranoid and verging on agoraphobic, with possibilities of Borderline Personality Disorder. Not sure if they're all even possible to have with one another, I'm too confused to figure it all out.

    Would appreciate any and all help that anyone can give.
  2. Disappear

    Disappear Well-Known Member

    Can't you go to another doctor?
    If not then go to see a psychologist. But don't start off with "hi, I think I have X". It works by you giving the symptoms and then they give you an idea of what you may have. Sometimes they are cautious not to actually give you a label. Why are you so deserate for one anyway? It's ok if you need it to be treated.
  3. cult logic

    cult logic Staff Alumni

    For me I just went to a therapist and after a few sessions they came up with one on their own.
  4. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    I am not desperate to be diagnosed simply for the sake of it, I want it diagnosed so I can go about getting treatment for it. I want to be normal and have normal relationships and friendships.

    I could try seeing a different doctor/therapist/psychologist. Only problem there is that part of whatever it is that makes me the way I am means it's hard for me to go on outings alone, or have the confidence to seek help myself.

    Is there such a thing as online therapists who can read through your symptoms and make suggestions, and guide you on what to do next? I'm not very knowledgeable about these things, as I spend most of my time running away from my problems rather than trying to solve them. =\
  5. molotov

    molotov Well-Known Member

    the first psychiatrist i went to (on the insistence of one of my professors and following up from some testing by a college counselor) told me that i was just charmingly eccentric and sent out of his office after ten minutes. about eight years later after my life was ten thousand percent more fucked, i went to a different psychiatrist and got the ADD diagnosis i had been missing for my entire life. so i say if you got told that you are fine and you don't feel fine, then keep looking,

    i agree with the advice to not self-diagnose or have some kind of "goal" diagnosis.. just go into a psychiatrist and tell him or her about how you feel, honestly, without trying to make your answer fit one or another profile... this is hard when there is so much information available on the internet, i mean i took a trajillion tests online that all told me "you have a ten million percent chance of having ADD, get your ass to a shrink immediately", but it will help you be honest with the doctor if you keep your mind open to the possibility that it might be something totally different from what you think it is.

    it might take a few sessions or he/she might be able to tell you what's going on right away.. and it is possible to have more than one disorder at the same time, or (sadly) to have to go through a couple of misdiagnoses before you hit the right one(s).

    i have never been diagnosed with any personality disorders but i will tell you that lately i have been having terrible moments of panic/anxiety/dread/horror/doom-doom-doom when confronted with social situations, either expected or unexpected, like being on the way to an appointment and wanting SO MUCH to just turn around and run away that i feel myself getting nauseous and tearing up.. or freaking out when the doorbell rings and pretending not to be home. for me, things usually get easier after about 10 or 15 minutes and then after maybe half an hour i am glad i'm there because i have forced myself out of isolation for a bit. is this anything like how you feel, or does it stay bad the whole time?

    if it gets easier, then just keep that in mind when you are on the way to the doctor's, would be my advice from personal experience, and give yourself time to sort of gear up for it, maybe write yourself some notes about what you want to say.. even if you don't use them i find it kind of calming to prepare. maybe even plan the process of leaving the house and going there out in your mind, like break the whole thing down into smaller, more manageable steps you can tick off one by one. coat and hat on, check. out the door, check. down the steps, check. something like that. then.. erm, grit those teeth and put one foot in front of the other. i find sometimes i have to break into a bit of a jog down the street when i feel the panic hitting, or i do a few jumping jacks or something in my apartment when i can't make myself leave, it's like refocussing the adrenalin.

    (i am writing all of this like it works for me all the time but actually it is way easier for me to think about these things when other people talk about them. so, um, thanks, maybe i will refer back to my own post here the next time i am dealing with this kind of thing, which will probably be soon enough.)

    if the freaking out never subsides until you are back home, then tell the shrink exactly how you are feeling, it will help him help you.. and take it as slow as you need to, remind yourself that it will be over soon, and plan something relaxing for yourself afterward if you can so that you have something to look forward to, a bit of a reward.

    sorry to ramble.. good luck, let us know how it goes?
  6. Ignored

    Ignored Staff Alumni

    I have been diagnosed with so many things I've lost count, cos each doctor you see will usually have a different opinion. Unless you have screaming psychoses then the diagnosis is generally rather woolly... so yeah, if you haven't been satisfied with your previous gp see another as it's generally through them that you can access psychological treatments etc. In terms of personality disorders though, there isn't really any 'treatment' per se, because it's not a mental illness. They can give you medication to manage symptoms such as mood swings in my case, and maybe cbt if agoraphobia is a symptom... oh, and you can certainly have agoraphobia with bpd cos that's what I have. Anyway, that long ramble was just to say try again if you're not happy.
  7. Crue-K

    Crue-K Well-Known Member

    GP's are exactly that; a General Practioner, and as such their knowledge of mental health conditions will be limited, especially with an exotic condition like Avoidant Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, your GP treated you the way he did because he probably has a shit load of people who come to see him after self diagnosing themselves thanks to the likes of google and wikipedia. Again, unfortunately there are no tests for most conditions, just evaluation interviews with yourself and sometimes friends and families. Most GP surgeries have more than one doctor so get yourself a second opinion and then hopefully a referral to see a mental helath professional. I would reiterate the points raised by 'Disappear' in their post.
  8. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    Thank you all very much for your help and input. It's helpful to know how to approach this kind of thing. As for psyciatrists and therapists, do you not have to pay to have sessions with them? Not that I mind paying, it's just that at this current moment in time, it's not ideal or possible for me to spend money on it (I am over eighteen).

    As for things like you are talking about, molotov, it doesn't really get better, but it's also not as bad as it may seem. I never answer the door when I'm alone at home, nor answer the phone unless I know who is ringing and wish to speak to them. Going out alone requires a lot of preparation and building up in my mind, sometimes it even takes a few days. There have been times in the past that I've not gone to school because I haven't been sure if the gate would be open at that time of the day and I knew I didn't know the code for it (it changed every week). So to save the embarassment of looking like an idiot not being able to get into the school, I'd just not go. It's not the walking to or from the doctors that worries me, as the route there and back is one I've walked a thousand times before and is only 10 minutes away, it's the getting there and talking to people and arranging an appointment that I need to prepare myself for. I have to go over every possible thing they might say, and what my response would be before I go otherwise I'll be standing there with a blank mind and get all flustered and confused and agree to things I know I'm not capable of doing just to end the conversation ASAP (such as having a doctors appointment around the time the schools let out. I just wouldn't go.)

    I'll let you all know how it goes, when I get around to arranging something. Need to do a bit of mental preparation before that happens. D: The real problem with telling a doctor/therapist my symptoms is that I'll most likely down play it all and keep it brief because I just want to get the hell out of there and away from the whole situation of talking to a stranger about what I think and feel. I'm a very private person and like to pretend everything is alright, so I can understand how a doctor might see me as normal, because I'm not telling them everything there is to know. >_<
  9. Tobes

    Tobes Well-Known Member

    I can relate to you avarice, I sometimes think that I have disorders that need diagnosing. This is probably because I was a fish out of water in my school (I came from another country) was made to feel different all the time. Now I am not so sure on what are normal attributes such as anxiety over something or trying to avoid something, and full-blown disorder. I have self-diagnosed myself before and tried to get backup by a doctor. Usually they have said that I don't have a problem and am normal, but I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder before, which I went to a therapist to fix.

    It's important to remember that you can identify with most, if not all symptoms of a disorder and still not have it. It could just be a temporary thing, or it could be exaggeration on your part. I think that doctor was wrong in saying that you don't have Avoidance Disorder just because you tried to get help, that sounds like crap to me. This doesn't mean you have it of course, just that s/he should have considered it more.

    I think what you have to do is go to a psychiatrist or therapist and get a diagnosis from them. They can be costly, but sometimes you can get it for free if its needed and you can't afford to pay. I don't know what healthcare is like in England but I'm sure they offer free treatment if you go to the right places.

    Also, try not to have this idea stuck in your head that you have a disorder/disorders until you have been professionally checked for them. Have it there as a possibility, not a fact. I'm not saying you are doing this, but some do.

    Good luck
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2009
  10. Avarice

    Avarice Well-Known Member

    Hey Tobes,

    It's good to hear you can relate. A lot of what you have said makes a lot of sense, actually. I'll probably be able to deal with social situations a lot better if I stop perceiving myself as abnormal all the time, too. I aim to get myself off to a therapist sometime in the new year, which will give me enough time to prepare myself for it whilst enjoying a nice relaxing Christmas.

    I've ordered a self-help book on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy too, and will see if reading that contributes to my way of thinking and how I behave thereafter.

    Thanks for your reply and also for the luck!
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