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Suzanne
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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CAN YOU TELL ME THIS: I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER BUT LAST YEAR

Customer Question

HI, CAN YOU TELL ME THIS: I HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER BUT LAST YEAR I READ AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A WOMAN WITH PERSONALITY DISORDER AND SAID "THIS IS ME!". I COMPLETELY IDENTIFIED WITH HER. SO I ASKED TO BE EVALUATED FOR A PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND WAS MET WITH RESISTANCE BY THE NURSE PRACTITIONERS I SEE(BECAUSE I'M ON MEDICARE). THEY SAID THEY DIDN'T THINK I HAVE IT AND MY TREATMENT WOULDN'T CHANGE ANYWAY. I FELT LIKE I WAS BEING SHUFFLED ASIDE.THEY SAID I COULDN'T SEE A PSYCHIATRIST BECAUSE OF MY INSURANCE. WHAT SHOULD I DO? THEY SEEM TO THINK I WANT THIS DX BUT THAT IS WRONG. I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH AND NOT CONSTANTLY BE WONDERING IF THE FULL PICTURE IS NOT BEING SEEN.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.

It's incredibly frustrating when lack of insurance or the wrong kind of insurance keeps a person from treatment. However, not being able to see a psychiatrist in this case is annoying, but won't hold you back, because the only treatment for personality disorders is therapy. They do not respond to any medications. At least in my area of the country, psychiatrists deal mostly with meds, not therapy.

However, if by chance, Borderline Personality Disorder is one that you think you might have, there are a lot of resources available online and in workbooks. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is state-of-the-art for treating BPD. There's a great online site for self-help using DBT: http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/

Some excellent workbooks include: http://www.amazon.com/Dialectical-Behavior-Therapy-Skills-Workbook/dp/1572245131
and
http://www.amazon.com/Out-Control-Dialectical-Cognitive-Behavioral-Emotion-Driven/dp/B002A6LLK0/ref=pd_sim_b_20
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

THANKS SUZANNE. WHY THOUGH, DO THE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS NOT EVEN WANT TO BROACH THE SUBJECT AS IF IT WERE TABOO? HOW CAN I STAND UP FOR MYSELF?WHY DO THEY THINK I WANT THIS DX?YOU HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO WANT BPD!LOL! I ONLY WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS KEEPING ME STUCK AND HATING PEOPLE WHEREEVER I GO.

Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

It is out of the ordinary for a person to explore their own possible personality disorder--typically the folks who have them aren't aware that their behavior or way of thinking is out of the norm.

I would like to make one other suggestion, though. Sometimes folks who seem BPD actually have severe childhood trauma (childhood betrayal by a trusted caregiver is thought to be one of the reasons a person develops BPD). If getting DBT treatment (or really working through one of the books I listed earlier) doesn't give you noticeable relief of symptoms, try to find a trauma therapist privately--some private therapists take Medicare.

Sometimes people will run DBT groups, and these can be quite affordable (compared to one on one therapy) and they might accept your insurance.

I hope you find a therapist who will take your insurance and who is experienced in DBT...or at the very least, a DBT group.

Wish you all the best,

Suzanne

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

VERY HELPFUL ADVICE,SUZANNE. SO, WHY DO THE NURSE PRACTITIONERS AND COUNSELORS SEEM REMISS TO HAVE ME PROPERLY EVALUATED?

Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.
Since there is no medication for BPD, hopefully you are getting therapy that addresses emotional regulation. It doesn't require a psychiatrist to diagnose BPD. Discuss the issue with your counselor and ask them to incorporate DBT into your therapy.
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