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DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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How to get a life worth living??? Female, scholar, aged. In

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How to get a life worth living???
Female, scholar, aged 69.
In 1997 hospitalized Copenhagen for 16 months as a inward patient.
Diagnosed with a severe, atypical, 'agitated' depression.
Treated with the whole 'gallery' of antidepressants, incl ECT. Hereafter, developed Quincke's edema, life-threathening. Turned out, I was allergic to Barbiturates! ECT stopped immediately.
After 16 months of 'sheer Hell', declared treatment-resistant.
Now, 15 years later, my condition has'nt improved. Still, down in the dumps.
Treated with 40 mg Paroxetin daily - just 'to take the top of the iceberg'!
Could I possibly have received an erroneous diagnosis??
Have explained to the (very competent) psychiatrists that something existential must be in play. However, they insisted it was solely biological.
My personality is not right! I suffer from all the 'personality disorders' in ICD-10!!!! Being an analytical scholar at the one hand, I'm a 'freak' at the other: I ly, steel, invent drama tailes. Don't know who I am. Strictly identity problems. Impulsive behaviour that I can't control intellectually!
I'm crying out for HELP!!
Yours sincerely

Hello! Please remember that my response is for information only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.

It sounds like you've suffered so much for so long. You must be extremely frustrated by the lack of treatment results.

I have a few thoughts for you --it sounds like you believe that there is more than the depression going on, and I'd like to encourage you to trust your intuition on this. You know yourself best, ***** ***** we are not necessarily accurate in specifically "diagnosing" ourselves, it doesn't mean you don't have some good insight. Have you ever been to a Psychologist and had a full psychological evaluation done (using personality tests, etc)? If not, then that would be a good starting point.

As far as the atypical depression goes, yes, treatment for that can be difficult and frustrating. However, there are alternatives to the ECT. One is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and you can read about it here: It is non-invasive treatment that shows promise for those who have not responded to antidepressant medication.

Another non-drug option is Neurofeedback. You can read about it here: It is also non-invasive and has virtually no side effects.

I hope that this gives you some other ideas to pursue. Please feel free to follow up with me.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Doctor,
Thank you for your empathy and kindness, as well as the professional suggestion of TMS! I'll confer with my GP about that.
Could you please elaborate on the symptoms of lying, steeling, inventing stories, implulsive behaviour etc. I feel SO BAD about this, and bad conscience is haunting me day and night. In which direction point these factors? Am I a sociopath? How can I be a good, dedicated lecturer and at the same time do these obnoxious 'things'???
Sincerely Yours

Sure, I would be happy to elaborate.

There are several possibilities to explain those symptoms, but I think we can rule out "sociopath." A sociopath does not feel "BAD" about these things nor do those behaviors "haunt" the sociopath "day and night." So, let's eliminate that explanation!

The possibilities that come to my mind are either a personality disorder or an Attention disorder or a disorder of impulse control.

Impulsive Control Disorders:

Here a person "can't resist" doing something harmful to themselves or someone else -- such as stealing --but there's a whole host of other behaviors (ranging from hair pulling to harming others). Usually there is a feeling of arousal or tension before the act, which is relieved by completing the act --where there might be gratification, relief, or pleasure. Guilt, regret, and blaming oneself follow the act.

ADHD differs from the Impulse control disorders because although impulsive behavior occurs, it is not the main problem. The main problem is the persistent difficulty concentrating --(which may result in impulsive behavior) and greatly interferes with functioning --at work, interpersonally, etc.

People with personality disorders are "emotionally unstable" and can be characterized by rigid behavior across situations. Until someone has some therapy or gains insight in another way, they often believe that they are normal and that others are the ones with the problem. Even after being told that they have a problem, many people have difficulty retaining that information and often revert back to blaming others.

I hope that this helps, but please feel free to follow up again.

It looks like you just gave me a negative rating. Can you please explain why? Thanks.
I would be happy to provide more detail until you are satisfied, but I would need to know what it is you are looking for.

We have a slight different system than we did prior, so I will try to address what you might be needing and you may follow up, re-rate your answer, or keep it the same.

Without having spoken to you, I would lean toward an Impulse Control Disorder. However, keep in mind that I cannot diagnose you over the internet. With the little bit of information that you have provided, it fits that more closely than the other possibilities.

I assume that you might want some information about treatment for impulse control disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often used. CBT examines the interplay between beliefs, emotions, behavior, and feelings in one's body when in a particular situation. Intervention in one area will affect the entire system. With CBT one does a lot of work with identifying beliefs and making counter or alternative beliefs to the irrational ones. These are then tested out in real life situations in the form of "experiments." It is a highly effective approach for working on behavioral change. You can read more about it here: and here

I am not certain that this is the direction that you wished me to go with my response. Again, I'd be happy to follow up based on what you are looking for.


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