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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: All the specialists in the world, all wrong Diagnosis

 sealpup80 - Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:33 pm

Forum Members,

I am at a loss. My wife, we will use no names, or other info so you can help here. Statistics:

30 years old, polish decent, family history of mental illness (depression, alcoholism, paranoid with delusions schizophrenia)
Narcolepsy (2 years diagnosis)
Off meds for 3 months due to Overdose(Xyrem) and hospitalization (respiratory failure/cardiac failure) to due overdose.
No stimulants

Head trauma when 9 years old (hematoma) from car accident
recent MRI minor discrepancies (neurologist claims "ok" results)

Over the past year these symptoms have been progressively getting worse. These are symptoms when she is awake during the day

(1) Anxious, Paranoia,despair, can not focus, no appetite, chronic pain in upper body (no arthritis)
(2) thinks she is with people when she is alone
(3) facial expressions indicate there indicate extreme mood swings (crying to laughing) the crying goes from audible to laughing softly then back to crying. Then it stops as quick as it started
(4) no recollection of things she does during a (emotional attack)
(5) When going to sleep, traumatic experiences are re-lived. This is before she is into REM sleep.
(6) she feels people follow her all the time
(7) fixated on how everyone is a liar, and no good
(8) very bad and delayed startle reflex
(9) former drug use 10 years clean (cocaine)
(10) repetitive actions (taking showers, washing hands, unrolling toilet paper roll) no remembrance of previous action within minutes of doing it
(11) Acidic breathe when in emotional state
(12) extremely thirsty all the time, and when drinking is done in large quantities and rapidily
(13) Left eye will fixate while the right is dilated (during emotional attack)
(14) drinks at least 4 drinks a night (rum) when she has had a "bad" day, which is getting way to often

These are some of the things she does on a daily basis, I have videos of the events that we have shown to Doctors, Therapists, and Trauma Specialists that are in great detail.

When she overdosed and was able to go home, the doctors sent her for a eval. (3 day) When she was there she exhibited, according to the doctors, a "inability to cope". I have also found this to be true.

We have been to everyone in the New England area, including Boston. Everyone has a different opinion of the situation. It is hard to get a good feel on the seriousness of her "condition", she hides it well in public. But it has been getting worse even out. The videos offer great in-site but the doctors refer back to the Narcolepsy that is causing it. It seems to be easier to blame it on something else than digging into the symptoms.

She has been sleeping, ok, for the sleep she does get. She is on average getting 8 hours but according to the latest sleep lab she is getting 3 hours of REM, without drugs.

To Me, I feel she exhibits many signs of schizophrenia. I have looked at the "symptoms" many times and the all seem to fit with her. With the data I have provided, can a "assesment" be made, so at the next appointment we have I can "offer" a suggestion.

Things are getting worse, and when I had to preform CPR on her before the bus showed up, well that hits home. I cant stand seeing here like she is, and I need help to help her. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri May 29, 2009 4:55 pm

Hello sealpup80,

How frustrated you must be when you get no answers despite the severity of symptoms your wife is having. I can understand that the doctors think there may be an organic issue following head trauma in childhood, but that is only a relatively small part of what appears to be happening. I suggest that in addition to the videos you are using, start documenting daily what her status is throughout the day. There may be a pattern. Next, it's important that you find a psychiatrist who will work with you until some resolution is found. Do not hesitate to ask questions before proceeding with appointments and treatment; a superior psychiatrist would be willing to work with you throughout the diagnostic period, as well as afterward. Even if your wife has been tested in the past, a full battery of testing performed by a licensed psychologist is warranted. The complexity of her symptoms may or may not be due to a single diagnosis; it's more likely that she has a psychiatric condition superimposed on a personality syndrome, with paranoid and/or other features. Schizophrenia is certainly a possibility, but is not clearly the likely diagnosis. Obviously, her overall condition is not helped by her self-medicating with alcohol, but I believe that is caused by her level of distress. The psychiatrist may even hospitalize her on a psychiatric unit for an evaluation and treatment period. I understand that this advice may also be frustrating, since you have tried so many things already; however, the key is in finding the psychiatrist who is interested in helping your wife stabilize and maintain stabiliation. Review the psychiatrists in your area and start calling with those questions.

Good luck to you and to your wife.

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