View Full Version : Is self diagnosis really such a bad thing?


fracturedstory
06-11-13, 10:23 PM
My friend and I had a fight over me ditching my psychiatrist because for the past few months I haven't found him helpful at all. She made it seem like she thought I was just looking to get meds and then warned me against self diagnosis.

I was shocked because she was the one who kept saying I was bipolar. But I suppose there was a part of me that wasn't wholly convinced.

Still, the one person I could confide in outside of here, thinks that I've arrived at the hasty decision.

Self diagnosis for me is usually a temporary thing and it's only after many months of research, learning from and sharing with people with the same disorder and alternating from sureness and doubt until I finally arrive at a diagnosis.

And what people really don't understand because they put so much trust in these medical professionals rather than do their own research is that having an idea of what you could have is more helpful than having no clue about what you have.
I used to think that these hyper episodes were from brain damage.

I once trusted my doctor. I told him all my PTSD symptoms and he labelled me with adjustment disorder which has outstayed its welcome (lasted longer than it should). Then I got the idea he was severely under treating me. I've given him a mood chart (prior to even thinking I could have bipolar) with patches of suicide stamped on it, even that day, and he just tried again to sign me up for some community art lessons which my anxiety, my jumping from one interest to another and my disdain for the majority of humans has turned me towards avoidance. I actually think this mediocre attempt to educate a person with such a natural talent is an insult. Or rather, it's just not good enough. I know I have a bit of an ego when it comes to art/photography/creative writing.

My other friend even tried to get me to sign up for a free astronomy course. This one was presented by a university but I again thought I knew most of it and that it didn't include enough 'alternative theories.'

Anyway, I've turned into 'ego mode' now. I'm a smart person who had successfully self diagnosed AS and ADHD and an atypical epilepsy (still not treated) through research and observation.

I even read the full bio of a person with untreated bipolar. He made the same connections, had the same creative ideas that everyone else thought were impossible, and even the delusional thinking was the same. I know, it's probably not a good thing to try to relate to someone like that.

Then again it could just be PMDD (severe pms - now in the DSM 5) that just doesn't end. I'm worse during pms and being late is literally a matter of life and death.

I've told my psychiatrist about PMDD, about how anti-depressants alleviated it. He acted like he couldn't hear me. That was probably the only reason why I wanted to go back on anti-depressants. It was a hard choice too because that took away all my obsessional behaviour including the need for routine and special interests. I have negative obsessions too about people so I wouldn't mind some alleviation from that. I also have so much anxiety I think alleviating that could put me in real danger. I won't be on my guard as much.

Also, my sister has bipolar, my other sister has gone manic on anti-depressants and I feel I'm just a step below the first sister. Although after being diagnosed with AS I learned a great deal of social skills so I'm not rude like her. I know it may just be the mania but she really just wants things to go her way when I am just I'm impulsive and chatty.

Anyway, I find a real value and meaning and self-understanding in self diagnosis. And I know it's crazy but everywhere I turn there's something mentioned about bipolar and I feel like it's happening for a reason. Events to me are not just random. They happen at certain moment to teach us, help us and they had to happen at that precise time to help with our own personal growth.

It kind of feels like I know what's going to happen. I'm going to get worse and then something will happen resulting in a diagnosis. Maybe that's just my change anxiety happening. I have to know the future.
I'm not sure if I should share these next thoughts with you. My mind is now racing.

I don't know when things are going to change or even if I want them to change.

Fraser_0762
06-11-13, 10:33 PM
I think the issue with self diagnosis is "uncertainty". You're just never 100% sure or not.

I'm almost convinced i'm ADD, but it doesn't stop me from doubting it from time to time.

janiew
06-11-13, 11:00 PM
I dunno. I've been pretty good at self-diagnosis and otherwise. For my first pdoc appointment last month I wrote on the 16-page intro questionnaire that my self diagnosis was 1) atypical depression, 2) ADHD, and 3) anxiety.

After arriving 5 minutes late, he interviewed me for 1.5 hours, during which we went over the questionnaire, I cried my eyes out, told him I'd not lived up to my potential, that I'm an expert in my field in spite of myself, that I over-commit and have a hard time relaxing due to internal restlessness. That my emotional reactions can be over the top but that they're based on reality. I interrupted him on several occasions and answered his questions before he got complete sentences out. He asked about my anxiety and I told him I didn't want ANY benzos. Then he had me give urine and blood for a complete workup and gave me a continuous performance test - which I failed miserably.

I walked out with a script for Adderall XR 15 mg and instructions to go back in a week. I started the Adderall and had a series of epiphanies that were not based on euphoria and experienced my first sustained and continuous stream of thought since I can remember. When I went back, he put me on 50 mg of Zoloft for the anxiety.

Now, just over a month later we're bumped up to 20mg Adderall and 100mg Zoloft. I'm implementing new procedures for living, my work projects are getting caught up, my house is getting there too, and I will be filing my taxes soon way before the extension is up.

So, no, I don't think self-diagnosis is such a bad thing.

fracturedstory
06-11-13, 11:21 PM
I think the issue with self diagnosis is "uncertainty". You're just never 100% sure or not.

I'm almost convinced i'm ADD, but it doesn't stop me from doubting it from time to time.
The uncertainty doesn't always go away with diagnosis too. There's always the issue of misdiagnosis too.

I'm not seeking a diagnosis of bipolar after my next appointment (if I don't postpone it again). I'm seeking treatment for my anxiety.

There would be so much confusion about being ADHD-PI or AS if it wasn't for my more rigid autistic symptoms, compared to the mood disorder symptoms.

I just have to wait for PMDD to end, if it ever ends, to know for sure.

janiew
06-12-13, 12:16 AM
What do you have to gain from a diagnosis of bipolar and epilepsy? A script for a mood stabilizer perhaps? I wonder why a doctor would have a problem trying you out on Topamax or something. Not like it's a scheduled drug with potential addiction issues.

Same with an antidepressant for PMDD, other than it could trigger mania if you have bipolar disorder.

You might just need a new doctor. One who will listen to you and talk with you.

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 01:07 AM
What do you have to gain from a diagnosis of bipolar and epilepsy? A script for a mood stabilizer perhaps? I wonder why a doctor would have a problem trying you out on Topamax or something. Not like it's a scheduled drug with potential addiction issues.

Same with an antidepressant for PMDD, other than it could trigger mania if you have bipolar disorder.

You might just need a new doctor. One who will listen to you and talk with you.
Emotional stability for one.

I don't remember a whole lot about being on anti-depressants. I was kind of happy and easy going and got hyperactive after just having one drink. Now it doesn't take much alcohol to turn me into a hyper-impulsive-chatty drunk. So, I don't know what anti-depressants would do to me now.

My doctor didn't believe me about the seizures at all. Both GP and psyche didn't. I don't lose consciousness but I get full convulsions and a complete mood change. Usually depression/anhedonic and psychomotor retardation which is pretty much the recovery period. There's also partial paralysis and losing speech.
I know when it's going to happen sometimes too. I see a sudden flashing light or motion is unbearable or my words don't make sense and I have an usual mood with no apparent trigger.
The triggers are flashing lights, severe stress, sometimes alcohol and drugs, or just throughout pms because I'm so lucky.
I also have a seizure detecting dog. He's just my usual dog but we both have seizures but he jumps all over me and gets unnaturally clingy.

I don't even care if it's psychosomatic i.e no physical reason in the brain. The amount of time it happens over stress and just smelling strong chemical fumes seems it's likely. It's just as serious.

janiew
06-12-13, 01:19 AM
I hear you and am not minimizing your symptoms. What I don't understand is why one or both of the doctors won't try you out on mood stabilizer? What I'm saying is that they are not addictive so why not?

That's why I said maybe you should find a new doctor.

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 01:41 AM
I hear you and am not minimizing your symptoms. What I don't understand is why one or both of the doctors won't try you out on mood stabilizer? What I'm saying is that they are not addictive so why not?

That's why I said maybe you should find a new doctor.
I did not think you were minimising my symptoms...

I just kind of went into a big explanation mode.

Doctors are kind of biased. If it doesn't fit with their world view then it's not really happening.

He diagnosed AS and ADHD in me, so maybe he's just sick of diagnosing me. I don't really know. He throws the but you're so intelligent line at me.

I really do need a new doctor. One closer to me. Half the trouble is catching the train from hell, mainly because of my anxiety. Did I mention that?

Problem is I have to get motivated enough to do this and fight through my fear of any slight change. Like really, I can't even choose cereal over the usual toast now. I used to be a big cereal eater but now it's just toast toast toast, all the time.

janiew
06-12-13, 01:48 AM
I can relate to anxiety issues about catching the train - or for me driving in traffic. I get it. Once you make up your mind, it will happen and hopefully you will feel peaceful about it. The main thing is that a mood stabilizer might help with bipolar disorder and seizure disorders. Keep that goal in mind.

Best wishes!

SquarePeg
06-12-13, 02:44 AM
Thing is you could see 10 different docs and get many different diagnosis, so I can see why you want to ditch your doc.

I have self diagnosed in the past, or rather thought I suffered from something and the more research I did (because I get obsessed) would either lead me to dropping the self diagnosis or pursuing it relentlessly to get a doc to treat me.

Docs can and do get it wrong all the time. In my view, the practice of medicine is an art, and many docs are very knowledgeable regarding the science part but lacking the artists skills to use it effectively.

From your post about your PMDD a few months back, I started considering this as a reason for my daughterīs moods, which range from plodding along ok (with a little anxiety) to near suicidal. Her doc has never considered or even asked about her menstrual cycle.

She is now on the contraceptive pill and guess, what, no depression or suicidal thoughts.

I had/have CFS and remember docs telling me over 30 years ago that I couldnīt be healthier and to run along and stop being a hypochondriac. My doc wouldnīt treat my low thyroid because I was 0.01 outside the range. She said even though I had all of the symptoms she would have to wait until my blood tests put me within the treatable range, so I would have to suffer.

So I would pursue seeking effective treatment for yourself, you deserve to be well. I am lucky that I got a diagnosis for my ADHD here in spain at aged 47. My doc could have easily labelled me as depression. She did keep questioning me about depression especially as I have been suicidal in the past, but she said that she really didnīt think I was depressed.

Does your doc give a reason as to why she thinks you are not bipolar? You have a lot of issues going on and you say you want to treat your anxiety as a priority, but itīs not always possible to isolate one symptom and treat it effectively, especially if itīs related to one or more disorders. You need a more holistic approach, to treat you as whole.

Have you ever had psycotherapy? Just curious because it really helped me enormously, in fact saved me from suicide.

You are an artists and artist often have big egos, and now I am wondering, do most creative artistic people have some sort of disorder?

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 03:51 AM
You are an artists and artist often have big egos, and now I am wondering, do most creative artistic people have some sort of disorder?
It could explain a few things...

It's not that my doctor doesn't believe I could have bipolar it's that he is kind of in a flux: maybe bipolar, maybe not. He doesn't seem to have a clue and is fixated on me joining some type of group to socialise.

I'm actually obsessed with wanting to socialise with certain people. And he acts as though it's a bad thing if I hadn't made any friends since moving to Sydney. I've got enough friends. Few already live in Sydney.

Unfortunately The Pill is not a choice for me as it seemed to be the cause, unless the timing of the onset (early 20s) just so happened to be when I started taking the pill. It's like the whole vaccine debate.

The anxiety seems to be separate or maybe I'm just reacting even worse to my own safety because the anxiety is a part of bipolar disorder.

The real issue with my doctor is he acts as though everything with me is fine and my moods can be cured by the act of socialization and more structure in my life. Honestly, how many other people have their own daily to-do list? I got plenty of structure.

peripatetic
06-12-13, 04:13 AM
hey FS...first off...sorry to hear your friend either jumped to such a frustrating conclusion about your goals with treatment and diagnosis or that she so utterly failed to clarify that she knows you well enough to give you a bit (or a whole ******* lot) more credit.

so...with self diagnosis...

question: are you, since i noticed this is in the bipolar section, asking for thoughts on whether/why self diagnosis *generally* is viewed with suspicion or distaste or just more specific to bipolar self diagnosis/inquiry/investigation?

i can see advantages and disadvantages to self diagnosis of ailments generally, and mental health concerns more specifically, and bipolar more specifically still, depending upon what's DONE AFTER the self diagnosis and/or how the person sees self/life/health, etc...

i could prolly say somethignmore relevant to your post after knowing whether you intended specifically bipolar self diagnosis or self diagnosis more generally.

i will say, regardless, that people who take issue with others doing it tend to be less focused on helping the other and more on...in some sense..."protecting" themselves...

but i'll explain more after hearing back :)

x

atSWIMtooboreds
06-12-13, 04:13 AM
Disorders mean disordered perceptions. That alone is a reason to avoid self-diagnosis when you can. Self-diagnosis of one sort or another could almost qualify as a symptom of certain disorders. For example, an anxious person could have a kind of hypochondria for mental illness and diagnose themselves with a lot of conditions. Somebody with a cluster B disorder or something else that involves a compromised sense of self could flit back and forth between contradictory diagnoses. Somebody with a compulsive need for drama could diagnose themselves with a serious condition. Somebody with an outsize ego could diagnose themselves with rare disorders that come with "gifts". Etc.

That's just a cautionary note. Personally, I haven't had great results with mental health professionals, and I know other people who have been ill-served by them (either firsthand or secondhand). As long as you're diligent about recognizing the difference between a doctor who is telling you something true you don't want to hear and a doctor who is doing their job poorly, there's nothing wrong with maintaining a healthy sense of faith in your own self-diagnosis as well.

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 05:12 AM
Disorders mean disordered perceptions. That alone is a reason to avoid self-diagnosis when you can. Self-diagnosis of one sort or another could almost qualify as a symptom of certain disorders. For example, an anxious person could have a kind of hypochondria for mental illness and diagnose themselves with a lot of conditions. Somebody with a cluster B disorder or something else that involves a compromised sense of self could flit back and forth between contradictory diagnoses. Somebody with a compulsive need for drama could diagnose themselves with a serious condition. Somebody with an outsize ego could diagnose themselves with rare disorders that come with "gifts". Etc.

That's just a cautionary note. Personally, I haven't had great results with mental health professionals, and I know other people who have been ill-served by them (either firsthand or secondhand). As long as you're diligent about recognizing the difference between a doctor who is telling you something true you don't want to hear and a doctor who is doing their job poorly, there's nothing wrong with maintaining a healthy sense of faith in your own self-diagnosis as well.

That's what's wrong with a lot of doctors. They don't think a person with a mental illness can speak for themselves. Although you are probably answering the question of this thread in a general fashion when I meant it more personally.

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 05:17 AM
hey FS...first off...sorry to hear your friend either jumped to such a frustrating conclusion about your goals with treatment and diagnosis or that she so utterly failed to clarify that she knows you well enough to give you a bit (or a whole ******* lot) more credit.

so...with self diagnosis...

question: are you, since i noticed this is in the bipolar section, asking for thoughts on whether/why self diagnosis *generally* is viewed with suspicion or distaste or just more specific to bipolar self diagnosis/inquiry/investigation?

i can see advantages and disadvantages to self diagnosis of ailments generally, and mental health concerns more specifically, and bipolar more specifically still, depending upon what's DONE AFTER the self diagnosis and/or how the person sees self/life/health, etc...

i could prolly say somethignmore relevant to your post after knowing whether you intended specifically bipolar self diagnosis or self diagnosis more generally.

i will say, regardless, that people who take issue with others doing it tend to be less focused on helping the other and more on...in some sense..."protecting" themselves...

but i'll explain more after hearing back :)

x
I posted it here because of the fact it was about self diagnosis of bipolar and nothing else.

And in the past I have had an issue here with people telling me it's not bipolar.

I really don't think it's that easy to confuse with something else. I usually just have to study my sister and compare her with me.

atSWIMtooboreds
06-12-13, 05:25 AM
That's what's wrong with a lot of doctors. They don't think a person with a mental illness can speak for themselves. Although you are probably answering the question of this thread in a general fashion when I meant it more personally.

Yes; sorry about that. I try to keep general concerns in mind just because I don't know who might be reading this thread. I don't want to accidentally give some lurker bad advice because I've tailored it too much to the OP.

As for your specific situation, it reminds me of some of the struggles I've had with therapists in the past. It is frankly a little surprising to me that a psychiatrist would have the same issue. They're usually known for moving too quickly to much medication or for prescribing too much, not for moving too slowly or for not prescribing enough.

Regardless, you should search out some more opinions. If the doctors all seem to agree with each other, my advice is to give the matter some real thought. But my guess is that that won't happen. My guess is that with the next psychiatrist, or maybe the one after that or the third or fourth one down the line, you'll start to have a really productive conversation. I don't think there's any real reason to delay that any more than your current doctor already has, to be honest. Keep us updated!

peripatetic
06-12-13, 05:44 AM
ah...i see.

i think you're right to point out in your one reply that you're not speaking generally, that it's personal for you, and in that light....

i think it's important to consider YOUR circumstances. and from what i've known of you and understood of your situation...without you being proactive and investigating options... you're in a **** situation where that legwork isn't being done well, if at all in some respects, on your behalf.

i have had the good fortune of having had lifelong access to solid medical, including mental health, care. many, including you, are not so fortunate.

is it a bad thing for you to be self diagnosing? to be looking into bipolar and trying to get some relief for your symptoms? no. i don't think it is at all.

i also...you mentioned that here people have told you what your'e dealing with isn't bipolar. you know, FS...frankly...**** that noise. nobody here can diagnose you with something...and nobody here can tell you for certain that your self diagnosis is inaccurate either. there's a lot more grey area with diagnoses than people are often seeing when they listen to someone's experience, compare/contrast it with their own...and then conclude "FS, you don't have bipolar"... i know several people diagnosed bipolar and no two are exactly alike in presentation...some are markedly different, in fact.

now, iwth respect to your self diagnosis of bipolar...is it such a bad thing? well...does it help you make sense of how you might approach challenges? does it give you some treatment options to pursue or suggest pursuing that might improve your quality of life...that might improve your functioning?

if so...then, no, i don't think it's such a bad thing. in an ideal world we wouldnt' be so concerned with labels because we'd be treated like people and treatment plans would be about mitigaing symptoms and maximizing talents....but that's not how insurance works and more often than not it's not how doctors work. you get medication, usulaly, because you have a diagnosis or suspected one. without that, people tend to not be taken seriously...or the treatment options don't address their full range of challenges.

if it helps you get treatment...if it gives you a more workable...more practicable framework for navigating your life...especially in light of the fact that it's not like you're running around saying "i'm the poster child for bipolar and blah blah blah..." i really don't see what's useful/supportive in others' dismissing you. and though i'm not entirely surprised, i'm nevertheless disappointed that your concerns and conclusions ....

put better: i would hope that people would be more supportive of someone who, formal diagnosis or not, is struggling and sees patterns and points of identity with a group and in lieu of being chided for "self diagnosis" or told your'e wrong...i would hope you'd be heard and understood first because, at the end of the day, until such time as we decide only those with formal diagnoses are welcome or legitimate in one or more areas...people should take a step back and consider not what's "in it for you" with self diagnosis...but what's "in it for them" at disputing yours.

hope that makes sense...and hope it helps :)

x

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 06:11 AM
Now I'm getting depressed. I keep reading about PMDD..."symptoms a week before my period and a few days after that." "After I have my period I'm back to normal."

I remember those days. It's been two months since I've had one week of symptom relief and last time my period ended I had another depressive episode.

Even though I'm leading up to my period soon and the symptoms are more severe saying the last 10 bouts of depression I had throughout last month were mild is just crazy. And a couple of weeks ago there was just weeks of nothing but hypomania.

I hate my brain. It never just stays at one mood for long. I'm trying to remember that one week where I felt normal. Still ADHD but a lot more level than I have been in a long time.

atSWIMtooboreds
06-12-13, 06:12 AM
Now I'm getting depressed. I keep reading about PMDD..."symptoms a week before my period and a few days after that." "After I have my period I'm back to normal."

I remember those days. It's been two months since I've had one week of symptom relief and last time my period ended I had another depressive episode.

Even though I'm leading up to my period soon and the symptoms are more severe saying the last 10 bouts of depression I had throughout last month were mild is just crazy. And a couple of weeks ago there was just weeks of nothing but hypomania.

I hate my brain. It never just stays at one mood for long. I'm trying to remember that one week where I felt normal. Still ADHD but a lot more level than I have been in a long time.

I'm sorry - I just want to clarify - the symptoms you thought were PMDD have stuck around all month for two months - is that right? Except for a two- or three-week period of hypomania?

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 06:25 AM
Thanks guys. You've been very helpful. For some reason I can't thank your post Peri. But it's ok.

I've just done a lot of observing rather than implementing some form of self-treatment. Unlike AS and ADHD, it's not really about learning a new skill and routines. Well, it can be but the mood symptoms make doing them so much harder. Even just getting to bed in time when I'm wide awake. It's like I have little control over my emotions because they can switch so suddenly, although it's usually just two a day with one or two rapid switches but that depends on my level of stress.

I know my sister's symptoms got worse with pms, and as impossible as it seems to me mine have become even worse.

atSWIMtooboreds
06-12-13, 06:53 AM
Thanks guys. You've been very helpful. For some reason I can't thank your post Peri. But it's ok.

I've just done a lot of observing rather than implementing some form of self-treatment. Unlike AS and ADHD, it's not really about learning a new skill and routines. Well, it can be but the mood symptoms make doing them so much harder. Even just getting to bed in time when I'm wide awake. It's like I have little control over my emotions because they can switch so suddenly, although it's usually just two a day with one or two rapid switches but that depends on my level of stress.

I know my sister's symptoms got worse with pms, and as impossible as it seems to me mine have become even worse.

So I'm just trying to get a sense of your recent history.

It sounds like you're saying that you had symptoms that you thought were associated with PMDD, but then they stuck around for a while - but then they got worse with your next period. Is that right?

Honestly, if things are escalating that rapidly for you, emotionally, I would say it's rather important that you act on your instincts and self-diagnosis and find a new psychiatrist fairly quickly.

fracturedstory
06-12-13, 08:09 AM
They just feel worse with the extra hormones and cramps. I've had a very short temper for a while now.
But yes I seem to have constant symptoms that used to happen a few weeks before my period. It used to just be depression with extreme irritability, now it's that, more hypomanic symptoms and cycling between all of them. And there's usually a period of just hypomania over a week.

I think I owe my psychiatrist one last chance because he is a nice guy. There's also an issue with bulk billing. Somehow through Medicare I actually get the money back so it seems like I don't pay at all, while another psych at the same surgery charges like $400 for a consultation. I hate adult responsibilities like having to find a psychiatrist that takes Medicare.

Meagan
06-12-13, 05:03 PM
Another interesting thread. Hopefully tomorrow I can get through these.

keliza
06-13-13, 02:09 AM
Generally I think self-diagnosis is a bad idea, for myriad reasons. But I know you've taken a lot of time to read about symptoms and personal experiences with bipolar, so that you aren't just slapping a label on at random. Some people who self-diagnose are uneducated, or trying to be trendy (as if being mentally ill is a fad), or seeking sympathy/attention, or whatever. I know that's not the case with you.

For you personally, I think that if having the bipolar label helps you feel more at ease with your situation, then take it. But what is it doing for your treatment? The bottom line is that what you think you have doesn't matter nearly as much as what your doctor thinks you have, because your doctor is the one writing the prescriptions.

So if you think you have bipolar disorder and that you might benefit from mood stabilizers, then you need to express that to your doctor so they can get on board with a proper treatment plan. If your doctor isn't listening, find another. Keep searching until you find someone who will actually listen to you and try to help you find an appropriate treatment for whatever you're dealing with.

fracturedstory
06-14-13, 03:55 AM
My doctor is only prescribing me Ritalin. Ritalin for someone with uppy downy moods and anxiety. On Monday I'm going to try to tell him that Ritalin has made my anxiety worse and I want to stop taking it.

It's a difficult step for me because it has given me an advantage over the years. It can either decrease or increase sensory issues. Make me more talkative or so focused I can't pull away to say 'hi' to people. It can alleviate depression or make depression worse. It can lighten my mood or just turn me into an angry ranty human being. It can counter the tiredness of a sleeping pill.

Of course there's the ADHD issues it takes care of before making me more hyper/impulsive and euphoric. During the countdown to my cycle it barely works in a positive manner though. Today I've been extremely anxious and I was even that way last night even when I wasn't on meds. I had a tea though. Does drinking tea usually make people delusional and paranoid?

I'm not very good at explaining things to my doctor so I don't know how everything will go down on Monday. My friend might come in with me. I dunno. Maybe I should get my mum to come. But there's very little time to prepare.

My friend offered to let me stay at her place on Sunday night and said she'll take me to the doctor's office the next day. Even after all that help to get me to feel less anxious I still feel anxious.

I'm thinking going off Ritalin will ease some of these symptoms. I usually take the weekend off anyway so I won't feel any different. And from there we can try to work out what it is. It could just be PTSD and PMDD.

I think labeling myself with a disorder makes me feel better because I know what the treatment is.

What people are failing to understand is just how anxious I am. You might not have a lot of experience with autism but we don't really do that simple basic adult stuff well, like making phone calls, finding a good GP/psychiatrist/dentist/neurologist. All things I probably need yet don't have. Well, I do have the psyche and my friend wants me to stick with him.

We can't even communicate our thoughts effectively because we assume people, all people, should just understand our own minds. To me it's incredible that he doesn't see the anxiety, depression, mania (whatever) etc. Because I know it's there and so should he. You understand me? As much as I like to think I have a developed theory of mind it's still not complete.

Now, when I have anxiety already especially about change then I get this new type that is distrust of other people because I think strangers on the street want to harm me and I don't like being outside especially in isolated unknown areas for long (agoraphobia?) it kind of makes my existing anxiety symptoms worse. Particularly when you've spent three years on medication that makes your anxiety worse.

So, just going to his office on Monday despite all the help others are offering to me is difficult enough without having to worry about how I'm going to explain my symptoms/situation to a person I think thinks there's nothing wrong with me.

Sorry. My thoughts were racing a bit there.