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    I don't know what to believe
    agsteward79 posted:
    im new to this group but i don't know where else to turn. see im going to this clinic that ive been goin to for about 4 years and they diagnosed me bipolar 1 sever with psychosis along with like a bunch of other things but when i was in the hospital they diagnosed me with schizoaffective disorder. i have gone over all the symptom and i seem to have more of the Schizoaffective symptoms and i try to explain this to my doctor but they just wont listen. my meds just dont seem to be working. i am working twenty hours a week at a job that hires disability people only so they understand that i am having problems but i just dont know what to do. i just dont know what do to. maybe a little advice. i have no idea what i am supposed to do here. im 33 years and i have been batteling this since i was a young girl but i just got help about 6 years ago. should i get a differnt opinion? try another doctor?
    sandtiger responded:
    It sounds like you definitely should get a second opinion... one thing I did, when I wanted to be sure what my diagnosis was in the beginning, was set up an appt with another doctor completely unaffiliated with my current doc. When asked if I'd seen anyone else or been diagnosed or hospitalized previously, I fibbed and said no, so they (and I) would start with a completely clean slate.

    When they came up with the same diagnosis, I agreed it had to be right and I chose the one I liked the most to follow up with. May sound kind of devious, but the number one rule here is that you always need to do what's best for YOU. And if that involves fibbing on certain things, then so be it.

    The only thing you do NOT want to fib about is the experiences you've had, the symptoms, your family and medical history, any meds that you're on (although that can usually wait), and any side-effects you may have from said medication.

    Good luck!
    ~ San
    :: Living is more than just being alive - Anberlin ::
    Joseph F Goldberg, MD responded:
    Dear agesteward,

    The differences between bipolar disorder and schizoaffective bipolar disorder can be hazy. The main concept is that when psychosis (ie, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking) occurs prominently at times when mood is neither manic nor depressed, it is thought that the problems reflect elements of schizophrenia as well as a mood disorder, hence the hybrid term "schizo-affective." In bipolar disorder, psychosis can occur during periods of mood disturbances (ie, mania or depression) but not when mood itself is normal. The treatments are not very different except that antipsychotic medicines are the mainstay of treating schizoaffective disorder and in bipolar disorder are considered to be more supplementary to mood stabilizers as the mainstay.

    Dr. G.

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