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Misdiagnosed Bipolar: One girl's struggle through psych wards before Stanford doctors make bold diagnosis

Stashed in: #health, Best PandaWhale Posts, Brain, Awesome, Stanford, Stories, Medicine, Depression, Brain, Health Studies, Don't Get Me Started, Benjamin Franklin

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Yet another data point that we know basically nothing about how the brain and body interact. This girl was diagnosed with heavy-duty psychiatric illness, and confined in mental hospitals with heavy-duty psychiatric medications before being diagnosed with an unproven autoimmune disorder called PANDAS or PANS.

PANDAS is the name of an autoimmune disorder?!

Yes, PANDAS are a disease!!!

the idea that a common infection can permanently make you psychotic scares the crap out of me... 

Because someone can use it as a weapon?

Or because there's no way to safeguard yourself from getting it randomly?

more the latter... bio weapons are too horrible to contemplate

Yeah, just sticking with the thought that anyone could get this...

How many other bipolars have been misdiagnosed?

I think things like this are misdiagnosed all the time. As a migraine sufferer, I know that people have been quick to write me off to stress, psych, food allergy, or "it's just migraines." Medicine is so much like a puzzle, that cutting-edge doctors need to be given the latitude to do these kinds of things. Well done!

I had a headache almost continuously for 3 months, and an eminent neurologist told me very kindly and scientifically that "psychosomatic" did not mean "you're making it up" -- it just meant we don't understand brain-body interactions very well and I did not have a "body-only" cause that they could find. Then the aneurysm that was in my head burst and I haven't really had many headaches since. I went to see him afterwards and he STILL says no one would ever have diagnosed me differently based on my symptoms at the time... because we really DO NOT understand brain-body interactions at all.

As someone with an abnormal neurology, do not EVER allow another human to label your mind and body with any term or defined conditions. 

They are to help with symptoms as best they can on a consultant basis. They are not to "order" drugs or get bent out of shape when you decline or disagree. 

They are to help improve your ability to live, not fix something that probably is there for a reason. 

I think I received the best of educations, but honestly I knew practically nothing about neurology, endocrinology, or really even the structure of the brain until after my aneurysm. Then I had to learn everything the hard way... but a lot of what I've learned is how much the experts don't know!

I can't remember at the moment who said it, maybe Ben Franklin, but there's a quote that the man who chooses his own doctor IS his own doctor. Honestly I can't say this is makes me feel happy or empowered. Modern life is too complex for any one person to be a polymath. We depend upon each other's expertise and differential skillsets. I would like to be good at making web apps, and let other people tell me what to do about my lingering brain injury issues. And what about all the people who don't have a good education or understand science?

I had a similar situation last summer. Sadly, it didn't wipe out the migraines, but I understand better when to listen to my body and that occasionally I'm right...  

"Occasionally I'm right" <--- the learning process never ends

We hope not:) 

Spoken as a teacher and a lifelong learner, Dawn.

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