You’re feeling extra sad, maybe you have depression. Your teenage daughter’s mood is all over the place, maybe she is bipolar. Your boyfriend is a clean freak, maybe he has OCD. You just can’t concentrate on doing your taxes, maybe you have ADHD.
There is a reason why diagnosing mental illnesses requires years of very intense study. It is not easy, and it is very important to get it right. Doctors go to school for a minimum of 11 years after high school to learn what they need to know to properly diagnose and treat diseases.
The Diagnosis process
When doctors approach a patient with a possible disease, they start with the person’s symptoms and look for patterns that could suggest a series of possible illnesses. They then ask more targeted questions and do specific tests until they are certain of the diagnosis.
Self Diagnosis doesn’t work very well
When patients self-diagnose, I notice they often work backwards. They start with a diagnosis that they think they have, then read about the symptoms, and then agree that they have all of those symptoms.
For example, just looking at the first part of the diagnostic criteria for ADHD:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
- Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
- Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
- Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
- Is often easily distracted
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
Literally everyone has all of these some of the time.
The point is, if you start with symptoms and go backwards, you will decide that you have a lot of illnesses. Let’s hope you don’t have secondary syphilis, but most people experience most of those symptoms at some point every winter. There is a reason why doctors have 11+ years of training before they let us see patients.
Let’s look at the symptoms of the most common type of bipolar disorder and think about a teenager near you:
- Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence
- Decreased need for sleep
- Unusual talkativeness
- Rushed/scattered thinking, racing thoughts
- Attention/focus issues, distractibility
- Psychomotor agitation, which is an increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., restlessness, pacing, tapping fingers or feet, abruptly starting and stopping tasks, rapidly talking, and moving items around without meaning)
- Impulsivity, poor decision-making, and risk-taking
- Significant changes in weight and/or appetite
- Sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or too little (insomnia)
- Restlessness or sluggishness
- Loss of energy
- Feeling extreme worthlessness or guilt
- Attention difficulties, indecisiveness
- Thinking about, planning, or attempting suicide
They need four of the seven in each category to meet the criteria for Bipolar 2, but as you can see this takes wisdom and discernment as all teens have most of these some of the time, and they are not all bipolar.
Healing Grove can help!
If you or one of your loved ones is suffering from something that might be a mental health problem, please bring them in to see us! We have extra training in mental health at Healing Grove and we are eager to help you get the help you need. We are not over-eager to diagnose things just to slap a label on them, and often we tell our patients that they are normal. We can tease out what symptoms are related to stress, trauma, or too much Tik Tok. Often we write prescriptions for more hikes, meditation, and sleep. We also have onsite counseling services and we can prescribe psychiatric medications if needed. In the South Bay, we provide extremely affordable mental health care, especially for those who are uninsured or whose insurance does not cover mental health care well. For $200 per month you get a primary care physician who is an expert in mental health, access to a pastoral counselor, and access to our larger community of mental health experts!
Try Healing Grove out! Schedule an appointment today!
Questions? Call or text us at 408.459.4443.
The Healing Grove Advantage
Annual Health Care Exam
Every year, you receive an extended visit with your personal Healing Grove doctor. We help you strive toward holistic wellness through our intensive health and spiritual care.
Your personal doctor guides you through a comprehensive health and soul care assessment, helping you develop a plan to become the very best version of yourself!
We understand you’re more than a machine. You are a complex mix of body, soul, mind, machine, and heart.
Our physicians come from the Christian faith tradition. We provide equal doses of medications and prayer, physical treatments and spiritual care. Whatever your faith tradition, you’ll be welcomed and comfortable here.
Connected To Your Doctor, 24/7
We care about you during business hours AND after business hours. Every patient receives the personal cellphone number of their doctor. Whether emergencies, check-ins, or urgent care, we’re there for you!
Get in contact directly with a doctor who personally knows and cares for you. Your personal doctor is just a click away.
Zero Wait Time For Your Doctor
At other clinics, you wait in a waiting room, waste time filling out forms, and then wait some more for the doctor in the clinical rooms. At Healing Grove, you don’t wait for the doctor. The doctor is waiting for you!
Personal Relationship With Your Doctor
At Healing Grove, we build a personal relationship with you. We want to know what makes you tick, what you care about, and what you’re struggling with. We want to know about you and your family.
Connected To The US Healthcare System
When you need more than primary care, we guide you through the system. The US healthcare system is incredibly difficult to navigate, but our doctors have decades of combined experience in helping patients find the care they need. We use our relationships and personal networks to get you the very best healthcare available. Our doctors have the time to advocate for you – providing referrals, making phone calls, and even checking in to make sure you’re receiving the proper care.
Healing Grove Health CenterHGHC Annual Membership
$ 200Per Month
- Patients see a doctor
- Zero wait for doctor
- Coordination of specialist care
- 30-minute to 1-hour appointments
- Gatherings that offer community
- Volunteer opportunities
- Holistic medical care
- Cross-cultural and socio-economic relationship opportunities
- Supports uninsured low-income patients
- Spiritual care team
Your Concierge Membership
A concierge medical care plan just for you – all that you need, and nothing you don’t. Healing Grove Health Center accepts HSA, HRA, and FSA.
This covers unlimited primary care, convenient physician access, health system navigation and advocacy, and invitations to our health, soul, and culture care programs. Plus, it gives TWO low-income members access to top-quality primary care!
This also makes a great gift for a loved one with significant health needs. We have a lot of experience working with uninsured people, so we know all of the secret cash-price deals in our area. This plan can be great for people with high-deductible health plans who avoid their doctors because of unreasonable co-pays and hidden fees. We find the most affordable meds, radiology, and lab tests in the South Bay, which are often less expensive than health plan co-pays.