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Therapist and Psychiatrist Don’t Agree on Diagnosis

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Hello, I’ve been seeing a therapist for about six months now. I like her a lot and she has helped me a great deal. About three months ago, she referred me to a psychiatrist. According to the psychiatrist, my therapist in her notes about me (which were provided for the psychiatrist) noted that she strongly suspects I have bipolar disorder. From what I’ve researched about it and from talking to her, I kind of agree, although of course I am in no way qualified to make that sort of decision.
My psychiatrist however does not agree and diagnosed me with depression and GAD instead. I know he has a medical license and is well-educated, but he hardly knows me (we’ve met twice) as opposed to my therapist whom I see every other week.
I stopped taking my antidepressant a few weeks ago because they made me feel terrible, much worse. I constantly felt suicidal but I don’t now that I’m no longer taking them. Yet my psychiatrist refuses to acknowledge this, he says the meds just need more time to start working (it’s been two months).

Anyway, my therapist and I want to try a mood stabilizer to see if it will help me, but my psychiatrist refuses to entertain the notion. I can’t afford to see a different psychiatrist (this one I see through my university). What do I do?

Therapist and Psychiatrist Don’t Agree on Diagnosis

Answered by on -

A.

I am sorry you are caught between the two. However, there is an easy way out of this. Get a second opinion from a different psychiatrist. Your therapist can help locate someone who could give a fresh perspective. It is very common to get a second opinion in other medical issues, and I think it may be time for one here.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Therapist and Psychiatrist Don’t Agree on Diagnosis

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Therapist and Psychiatrist Don’t Agree on Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/05/20/therapist-and-psychiatrist-dont-agree-on-diagnosis/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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