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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if anyone here who has been diagnosed with a mental illness...particularly bi-polar or scizophrenia (now referred to a dissassociative disorder I believe) did you ever have a brain scan or any other kind of diagnositc tool that focuses on your physical body and not just your emotional patterns?
 

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I have bipolar II. I have not had any kind of brain scan (other than x-rays for dental exams).<br><br>
So, why do you ask?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do you think of this article?<br><a href="http://neuropsychiatryreviews.com/feb01/npr_feb01_spect.html" target="_blank">http://neuropsychiatryreviews.com/fe...b01_spect.html</a>
 

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I have bipolar disorder (as well as obsessive-complusive disorder). Other than scans I had done prior for migraines (MRI's etc), I had no scans done concerning the bipolar etc.
 

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Wow, I think that article is really interesting! It kind of corroberates the thread I started today, wondering about links between brain traumas and bipolar.
 

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nevermind. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Before making a diagnosis of mental illness, a psychiatrist is supposed to order a complete physical exam, including examining the brain for tumors or lesions, to make sure the patient's symptoms do not have an organic basis. They rarely do this, most likely due to the expense involved. Most insurance plans are not going to cover a brain scan.<br><br>
Mental illness is diagnosed by subjective criteria. Maybe you are familiar with the saying "See 10 different shrinks; get 10 different diagnoses?" This is because there are no lab tests that reveal mental illness. (Even the brain scans do not reveal whether the illness was caused by the brain damage, or whether the brain damage was caused by the illness.)<br><br>
Out of the hundreds of clients I saw when I worked in the mental health field, not one of them had ever had a brain scan or seen a neurologist. Not one of them had even had a checkup from a general practitioner before receiving a DSM diagnosis.
 

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I know what you mean. When I lived in America, all they did was give me medication. They didn't even tell me that I needed to avoid stress (That's what brings out the Psychosis) They just said "You'll have to take medication for the rest of your life." Worse yet, when I went to the mental hospital, they tried very hard to get me to sign a form. I refused to sign it. If I had, they legally could have kept me there indefinately! They wanted to keep me there for a while. My husband had to hire an advocate to get me out. They also harassed me because they found out my 1 and a half year old wasn't weaned yet. It was so different when I immigrated to Australia. They put me in the mental health clinic, gave me a brain scan, had my hormone levels checked, had me see a Psychiatrist and counsellor on a regular basis. And it was all paid for by the govt. They said I wouldn't have to take the medication forever and told me what signs I needed to look for so I could nip it in the bud next time.
 

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Very interesting--- I wouldnt mind a few of these tests myself. I love all the answers/possibilities that might be found..might clear some things up.<br>
~L
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've just been becoming increasingly fascinated with mental illness lately and how the things we eat/do tie into it all. I hate that this area of health is still very much in the dark ages. Talk therapy and medication are still often the first line of treatment and it's sad because there are so so many for whom these things don't help!<br><br>
For those of you who would like to have a brain scan done, you may be able to get one if you have an incident of head trauma in your past. Also, doctors are all over the map when it comes to what they will order for testing. Some doctor shopping may be worthwhile.
 
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