Neuropsychological testing and memory problems

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. In 1994 I was aggressively treated for bi polar disorder, which I didn’t have. I had post-partum depression when my son was born 12/93. He was born disabled with multiple health issues. I was assumed to have bi polar because of past history in my family and I went to the same doctor who treated my grandmother. She put me on many different classes of medicines. I more then doubled in body weight in a very short amount of time and my face scarred. I became completely non functioning and barely have any memory. I was committed 3 times. The first time I have no memory whatsoever. The second I remember bits and pieces and was given 12 sessions of ect. The 3rd I remember and I was slowly taken off of certain medications. I was released to a new doctor and over the years taken off of each medicine. It took years to get “somewhat normal” and I’m nowhere near what I used to be. I have a lot of physical health problems along with mental health issues. I started going to a neurologist for severe migraines. When I have these migraines I become very confused. This has gotten under control. I was afraid to ask him, but I also over the years am having a terrible time with memory and cognitive skills. I feel dumb and I know I’m not. Simple words are difficult for me to spell or even recognize. I can’t even recall what month I’m in. I’m making big mistakes in my checkbook. I can’t do simple tasks that require some thought. I had a hard time remembering for instance how to write a cursive “L” on the spot the other day and I needed to. Many other things. I was afraid to mention it because whenever you bring up a psychatric history to and they sometimes will judge you. I mentioned the doctor that took over my case because he is well known. Right away he knew who I spoke of. I explained the above. He right away said “okay I think we then definately need to do this Neuropsychology testing” to see if there has been damage”. My question is from this past issues and what I went through…Could that have caused damage?Thanks in advance for taking time out to read this and for your time.

A. Testing is the right way to go. It really does not matter what the cause of the neurological damage is because you still have to deal with it here and now. Testing is important and it’s encouraging that your doctor picked this path to start with. You seem to have a found a good doctor. It seems to me that you wrote me an intelligent e-mail so don’t be discouraged. This problem might be minor and could be transitory.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Apr 2005

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2005). Neuropsychological testing and memory problems. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2005/04/04/neuropsychological-testing-and-memory-problems/