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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I've been diagnosed as bipolar 2, taking lithium now, ssri's

Resolved Question:

I've been diagnosed as bipolar 2, taking lithium now, ssri's to follow. The lithium makes me actually feel mood swings which I did not before, making me doubt the diagnosis. My main symptom is lack of empathy. How to know if I am actually depressed or just have a personality disorder?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are not comfortable with your diagnosis. In that case, you need a second opinion. Just like a regular doctor, psychiatrists and therapists can be wrong in their diagnosis so a second opinion may be warranted, especially if you feel the treatment is making things worse.

Keep in mind that you may have been diagnosed with a personality disorder along with the Bipolar disorder. When someone is diagnosed, there is what is called an Axis scale that is used. It goes from Axis 1, which is your main diagnosis (like Bipolar) to Axis 5. Axis 2 is the level for personality disorders. So you may have something that looks like this:

Axis 1 Bipolar 2

Axis 2 Personality disorder

Axis 3......

Axis 4......

Axis 5......

It would mean you do have both but that the Bipolar is the main issue.

You can also talk to the person who did your current evaluation and ask for their reasoning behind their diagnosis. They should be able to explain to you why they feel you have Bipolar disorder. If they brush you off or cannot back the diagnosis up, then you will know that it may not be a good evaluation.

You also have the right to a copy of your evaluation if you feel you could benefit from reading it. It should explain the professionals reasoning for your diagnosis and also tell you if they also diagnosed you with a personality disorder.

Let me know if you have any more questions,


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