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Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on medical

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I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on medical practices in the uk? I am a 30 year old mother of three and have suffered with severe anxiety and depression for about 12 years now. I have been to my GP and have tried various anti depressants but they always seem to stop working. After having my last child I was referred to the perinatal psychiatry unit, but they have now discharged me as my daughter has just turned one. I was discussing the possibility of bipolar with my GP who thought there could be a possibility but wanted to check with my perinatal consultant before giving a diagnosis. I recently went to see her, but she wouldn't really listen to me. She said I've just had a hard life and it has got me down. I have done 3 of the best bipolar questionnaires online and the the results were all a very high possibility, but neither doctor actually bothered looking at them. I am just worried because I read that the tablets used for depression can make bipolar symptoms worse, and that a completely different drug is used for bipolar. I have already tried to commit suicide twice, but rather than listen to me, the consultant upped my sertraline to 200mg and is putting my name down for counselling. I would really like to get a thorough mental assessment but I don't know how I would go about this. Would I have to go private or would the NHS help?

I am sorry to hear about your difficulties. I understand your concerns and your wish to have a mental health assessment. In that case, the only way that this could be done through NHS would be if you asked and persisted in your GP to refer you to your local Mental Health Team. They usually accept referrals with a certain level of risk and since you are a mother and you have a history of suicide attempts that should be suffice for them. You would possibly see a psychiatric nurse first and a psychiatrist if needed. If the assessment concludes that you are suffering from bipolar disorder that they would most likely offer you a mood stabilizer and monitor you with frequent reviews.

You can also go privately if you want to avoid the waiting times for the NHS. It is understandable as you can imagine that if you went privately you would possibly get a faster and more tailored made service. But there is the option of the NHS through the mental health services. It is important that whatever option you go for, you have a detailed account of your symptoms, episodes and history of your condition as this would help professionals have a clearer picture and be able to distinguish between depression and bipolar.

Hope this helps

I wish you best of luck in this journey of yours.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Do you have any idea roughly how much it would cost to go privately, and would it be one thorough session, and would I need a doctors referral or could I just refer myself? I really want to know what I am dealing with as it has just been passed off as anxiety and depression for years, but I think there's more to it. I get lost in my own thoughts and the suicide attempts are when I just want to stop thinking. I am a natural worrier, and get very anxious when stressed, I don't leave my house anymore as I get paranoid about people looking at me, and I have some strange little ticks, little things I do with my fingers when I am thinking or stressing about something. Also when I am really bad, I can't get enough sleep, I never feel rested and have no energy at all and the only thing that makes me feel better is to sit quietly somewhere and rock. I know that this sounds like depression but nobody has taken into account the other side... I can have a few weeks of being like this then I will have a night where I can't shut down and sleep... I will be full of energy and be doing housework or DIY all night, or I will make lists of things to do, then more lists and then organize everything. I also get these strange ideas of things I want to do which are really silly and pointless and child like... Like running around the house or pulling a face against the window! This is not like me at all. I have always been quite mature but I just seem to have this excess energy and want to bounce around! This pattern will last a few days then I will eventually run out of steam and go back to being suicidal. I can't cope with my mood swings and neither can my partner. After seeing Stacey in Eastenders I started to look into bipolar, and when I told my partner he wasn't surprised, he had thought I might be but didn't want to say it invade I got upset. In your experience do you think I might be right to want a second opinion? Many thanks for your help Mina

it does sound like you experience some manic episodes alongside your depressive ones and I think that you should definitely arrange to have a second opinion. Certain other symptoms such as paranoid ideation would also need to be considered. For someone to give a diagnosis he/she would need to have all the information necessary for this. Fees vary considerably according to location and the psychiatrist's credentials. London an initial consultation might cost you from £150-250 and possibly £100-£180 for follow ups and reviews of medication etc. One session may be enough for evaluation usually unless the case is very complicated. Some doctors accept referrals from GP's only and they also accept insurance. Others accept self referrals so you could call them and arrange an appointment yourself. You would need to inquire this with the Psychiatrist.

I hope this helps

All the best

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