Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Change in diagnosis

Hello everyone,

I wanted to sound this off of you all and heated to know if anyone has had this happen to their loved one.

My son had been diagnosed as schizoaffective with major depression. Last month, Drs changed it to with Bipolar disorder. Of course switching meds AGAIN.

He just went back into the hospital but it is a different one from before and is the first time he has been there. After 2 hours of meeting with a psychologist and psychiatrist, they said he doesn’t have SZA at all just major depression with psychosis as he hears voices and sees a man named Mike. I am not his main caregiver and I WILL have her talk with the Drs but wanted any input anyone might have.

Sounds like SZ to me, the Docs will often wait to see which meds work to make a diagnosis… So yes they change the diagnosis as time goes by…

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Were the meds he was taking working for him? Ordering meds through health care providers has gotten quite complicated. I wonder if they had to change the diagnosis to justify the med to the pharmaceutical provider?

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I’m so sorry, but this happens a lot. It is hard for you and frustrating. I’m not putting them down, but doctors look at ‘typical’ symptoms and behaviors and if they don’t exhibit all of them the diagnosis changes. We are all unique so the illness is unique to that person. Are there commonalities? Of course. A tick list of symptoms that all people have. No. It’s like saying you have a runny nose, but I have a sore throat so you’ve got sinusitis and I’ve got laryngitis when really we both have colds. The meds will be hit and miss because of this. Try to get him to feel safe telling you when he’s hearing the voices, how pervasive they are and what they’re saying. This will help you know which medication is working and you can tell the doctor. I know this probably isn’t helpful, but in the end if he can take something that will stop the voices and delusions that is what matters. Not what they label him. Good luck!

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No, thank you that is very helpful.

However it was on his discharge papers completed by a different medical provider.

My son did not let me be involved during that particular time, but what he did say was a bit enlightening.
He said that he was asked a series of questions and the doctor entered them into a computer never really making eye contact or seeming engaged in conversation. Then the doctor came up with a diagnosis and treatment plan. He felt the whole thing was impersonal and experimental so he rejected the medical advice.

I did find this a bit ironic if the process was as he reported as our MI loved ones often find it hard to look at people or engage in conversation and that is “something to work on”, yet the medical community seems to be interacting in the same manner.

Also @hope makes a valid point…altering the dx to obtain the Rx. It does happen.

An interview like that would be right up Jeb’s alley, he would get all the questions “right” and walk away with a diagnosis of no mental illness at all.