Getting the diagnosis you want

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Has anyone had the experience of taking their child to an expert in a certain diagnosis and getting that diagnosis? That has happened to us 3 times now. I know we went to those experts because our child was demonstrating symptoms that made us and referring doctor concerned that they had the diagnosis in question. I just wonder how often the experts find that a child doesn't have that diagnosis.

    Make sense?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Not exact experience- I don't think. My son had already had neuropsychologist testing and been evaluation'd by a private psychiatrist and been "evaluation'd" at an acute psychiatric hospital and being that depression and anxiety run in my family, we were all in agreement that he had a mood disorder of some sort. Our question with my son was whether or not it is Bipolar- that is still the main question. LOL! Anyway, I took him to a state expert on childhood diagnosis's, she mainly is an expert in areas of autism, mood disorders, and ptsd, I think. I can't say that I think she could never be wrong, just that I don't think I could have found anyone in the state who could give an opinion with any more expertise. Plus, she didn't evaluation difficult child alone- it was an MDE but she lead the team. They reviewed his sd records, testing results, history, psychiatric hospital records, consulted with psychiatrist, and interviewed us for a couple of hours.

    Ultimately, she stressed that the treatment for what was going on with difficult child was by far more important than any label put on him and she wanted to keep the BiPolar (BP) label off him for now and treat him therapuetically for his specific stressors and coping skills, while keeping him on MS's. She said it was too soon to tell if the MS's were necessary because his system could not tolerate SSRI's and he handled depression and stress and anxiety so poorly or if he was truly BiPolar (BP).
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    JJJ, I was recently talking with a good friend about diagnosis'ing. Our basic consensus is that when it comes to mental illness the diagnostic process is an art....a true art form.

    If a psychiatrist specializes in a certain disorder that psychiatrist should (ethically) be honest if the child he/she is seeing does not meet the criteria for his specialty.

    A neurologist certainly isn't going to treat a diabetic & all the issues with that condition.
  4. Stella

    Stella New Member

    I actually believe that parents who have educated themselves on mental illness have a much better chance of pinpointing the correct diagnosis for their child than a professional does! Afterall they only spend an hour with them here and there. You have spent your whole life with them and know them to their core.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My own experience with experts is that they always saw their speciality diagnosis. in my son. I prefer Neuropsychs because they are looking for everything and do a good job of testing. Even for myself, with my own mood disorder, I prefered seeing doctors who did not have a bias toward one disorder. I was afraid they'd see that disorder in every patient since the symptoms tend to overlap.
    I don't really see diagnosing disorders as a true art. I see it more as a hit or miss. We took our son (after years of frustration) to a neuropsychologist who had been at Mayo Clinic for ten years and knew Mayo well. He told us, "There is no blood test. Diagnosing is every professional's best guess. MAYO MAKES MISTAKES ALL THE TIME." That was scary to hear, but he was being honest. Even the best can be wrong. I decided that if something made sense to me and hub, as the parents, and if the treatment for the said disorder was helpful, then we'd go with it. Our son's bipolar diagnosis. did NOTHING to help him. The medications did NOTHING but dope him up and make him obese. The treatment was useless. The help for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) was spot on and changed him for the better--a year later, after his interventions and off medications, we saw a brand new kid--albeit a socially awkward one. So we went with that. And it seems to be the right path.
    It is very much NOT an exact science, and even the best doctor in the world can make a bad mistake because there is no blood test for these disorders...
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    My difficult child 2/easy child's therapist worked with her for about a year before coming up with a diagnosis that seemed to fit. He and she came up with it together. Even if it isn't "correct" the therapy they are doing seems correct. I like that the therapist collaborated with her--her condition looked like it could be bipolar or ADHD but they figured it out together that she was dissociating much of the time. What looked like the inattentive type of ADHD (spacy, forgetful, not paying attention) actually was her going into a dissociative state.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...I will wait until I am done with the neuropsychologist testing to say if I think they are the end all and be all of diagnosing. I can already say that I think she is going to try to remove one of my diagnosis's....the borderline diagnosis. She told me she doesnt "get" borderline from me because she normally has the hackles on her neck stand up when she gets within 20 feet of a borderline. Well...I am not the average borderline. I know I am a very mild case and I have been in therapy for 3 years already working on it. I also realize that even the fact that I have been in therapy for 3 years makes me fairly unique as a But I am a unique person... You cannot put me in a box. I know where my borderline traits were/and still are in some manner. My therapist knows where my triggers are because she has known me for so long. I just dont show stuff to people very easily because...I DONT TRUST EASILY...major borderline So if this neuropsychologist tries to say I dont have borderline, we will take that with a grain of salt. She simply doesnt know me well enough to make that conclusion and she cant know me well enough in 8 to 12 hours of testing.