Help Me Decide on a Diagnosis

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From New Jersey teen: I have epilepsy. After I got that my mental health declined dramatically. I stopped talking to all close friends. I don’t want friends, or a girlfriend, I recently broke up with her. I have thoughts sometimes of wanting to hurt animals and people, I find it fascinating. Part of me doesn’t want to though. I have depression and anxiety (so far) I don’t know what to do… I feel like I have bipolar as well since I had a manic episode, as well as personality disorders. Please help

A. Whoa. I don’t know if you have all those problems but neither do you. It’s dangerous — and overwhelming — to diagnose yourself. You don’t need more diagnostic labels. You need some solid therapeutic help.

I understand that dealing with the seizures is a big challenge for you. Most people do go through a grieving process when they find out they have something which, at least for now, doesn’t have an easy cure. My guess is that at least some of the feelings you are labeling as mental illness may come from not fully coming to terms with your disability. It’s difficult but it doesn’t have to shut you out of life. With good medical care and counseling, you can have a full, satisfying life — with a partner who loves you, a good education and job, and many friends. But first you have to love yourself enough to go for it.

Please find a therapist who has experience with seizure disorders who can help you focus on all your good qualities and strengths.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Apr 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Help Me Decide on a Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/04/17/help-me-decide-on-a-diagnosis/