Too many times psychiatrists apply the same medication to patients who might be complaining about similar symptoms when their symptoms come from a cause that is uniquely differentiated than another cause. Prescription medications for depression or anxiety are not like aspirin that can be used for multiple issues.
Proper treatment requires careful and persistent diagnosis.
As an example, one of the most important and common misdiagnoses among the mood disorders is not distinguishing between unipolar anxiety and bipolar hypomania. Pure mania symptoms are easier to detect since the mind is racing so fast that irrational thinking such as paranoia with odd and bizarre behaviors occur that are easy to spot and easy to stop with the proper medication.
Hypomania, on the other hand, is more subtle without the degree of paranoia and irrationality, and without psychotic features. Hypomania can present purely with anxiety symptoms. Unipolar anxiety, however, has less of a severe onset and would be adequately controlled with the right unipolar agent.
In still further contrast, bipolar hypomania presents in a bit more of an extreme fashion with a higher anxiety state, which is more difficult to treat, even with frequent high dose benzodiazepine use. In addition, antidepressants that treat unipolar depression may cause worsening of the anxiety. In these cases, it’s reasonable to try what we call an “atypical” medication, the class of which has emerged in the last couple of decades as excellent mood stabilizers.
Just from what I’ve written above, you can see how slight nuances in symptoms deserve a completely different medication. This is why it’s so very important that your psychiatrist spend in depth time with you to uncover the foundation of the symptoms!
In our first few meetings (especially), I spend a great deal of time getting to the bottom of one true symptoms. It is, after all, the only fair and right thing to do, wouldn’t you agree? By taking the needed time with you to hear you out and discuss your situation, I can make better decisions for faster lessening of symptoms and even remission.
Call my office today, (949) 481-0118 or simply complete a new patient online form to get started with me.