How much does diagnosis matter?

I’ve been thinking again about the nine different diagnoses I’ve been given, realizing I met you all when the sz one was given. Anyhow, I downloaded a bunch of articles differentiating schizoaffective, bipolar and schizophrenia and I am even more confused so the going advice is if the meds work who cares they use the same meds for all three. And I accept that but at the same time want to get it right, but, I rely on memory of episodes really. If there are similar threads I am sorry. I had a psychiatrist tell me once though that definition is relatively important so I think of that as well. These days they go on my medical records not my presentation, which is fine I guess. A guy I know from support group says be glad for any recovery I have not worry about labels. What do you think? At least tell me if this paragraph is logical.


I’ve talked to a lot of clinical researchers and psychiatrists about this - most just say treat the symptoms and focus on those. Labels are not very important - the important thing is to focus on your quality of life and symptoms and work to make those better. Don’t worry about labels - they can and do frequently change.


i feel the same.

when i look back on periods in my life
i can check boxes on bipolar, egocentric, schizoactive, schizophrenia,ocd etc
now reading as well on attention deficit disorder (ADD
well to say the least its all more or less fitting for chunks of my life.

im also very confused cause there is so much fitting.
It could be that their DSM classification is just wrong?

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There is bipolar on one side of the spectrum - schizophrenia on the other side of the spectrum, schizoaffective lies somewhere in the middle. I agree with @SzAdmin - good doctors dont give a hoot about labels, they treat symptoms and prescribe medications accordingly. There are probably a small number of doctors (my therapist) that would stick me with a bipolar label - a good majority - my pdoc included would label me with a schizoaffective diagnosis. If you ask me its all about symptoms and dishing out meds that deal with the symptoms as they come - My doctor is treating my schizophrenia and bipolar symptoms, this is what really counts

My nurse has always said that diagnosis doesn’t matter, like @SzAdmin said it’s that the symptoms get treated. There is also a benefit of not knowing diagnosis as over here without diagnosis, there is nothing to declare on job applications. But I know mine, I also have other diagnoses, some I agree with, others I don’t. With me my diagnosis was a blessing, it got me my nurse and the right meds, however I dread the day I have to declare it.


This is a very important benefit that everyone should consider. I would even go to the level of asking not to be told any diagnosis - because then you also aren’t burdened by other people’s or your own preconceived notions about what this disease is and how it may or may not limit you.


I carry the sz label and have all these years. This diagnosis of all of them is equated with violence. I saw a show called “Imminent Danger” on 60 Minutes a few Sundays ago about Sz. And they claim with Sz the brain looks different. So it was a lot of stigma and reckless journalism.

**I agree with you on this-but there are times when you need to know SOMETHING about what is going on with you. Going through mp-I had all kinds of problems. I was constantly going to the doctor because we could not figure out what was going on. Well, it turned out to be nothing special–but was so glad to get it figured out. **NiceHat was glad to get a handle on what might be going on with her.
That is why I woild love to change the name of this disease-it has too many negative associations.
I really like the name " Thought Disorder" and sorry cant remember who came up with that! Its nice to have a starting point. What else would a doctor tell you about this?

What about things like SSDI? They require a diagnosis on the application and I’m pretty sure they screen by the severity of the diagnosis. Like it would be harder to get approved with psychotic depression vs bipolar or Schizophrenia.

Also to be ‘team SZ’. It sounds kinda stupid, but we’re all here on this site because of SZ. If we didn’t have SZ but had something else instead, we would most likely still be welcome, we just wouldn’t have that feeling of belonging.

Also, the same for friends and family. If you keep friends and family in the loop, you’re not gonna wan’t to tell them that you are NOT actually this , but are that instead. So getting it right the first time would help that situation.

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if you’re there involuntarily, then I think there’s alot of pressure to pick a ICD-9 code that falls under psychiatry and force you to choke down a pill.

I’m particularly sensitive to this situation, because I forgot to take my thryoid pills, and I was severrely hypothryoid, and suffering from myexedema madness. i was there 8 weeks. i took my thryoid pills for 7 weeks, felt 100% better.

I still got tagged with schizoaffective, not hypothyroidism, and forced to choke down a lithium pill for 7 days so I could get out of the involuntary confinement and satisfy the judges stupid order. why hypothyroidism didn’t suffice I think is ■■■■■■■■. I suppose the icd-9 code for schizoaffective reiumburses the hospital better than treatment for hypothyroidism. i believe that’s probably true, having worked in revenue cycle before.

so, keep that in mind, if you see a pdoc, they must tag you with something icd-9 code wise to get paid under our stupid mental health laws, and they’ll happily do that to get paid.
since the state/county reimburses the hospital, the hospital complies to get paid, it’s as simple as that. then we have to walk around with these lables and stigma, because the bastards just wanted to get paid.

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i like the fact that my many mental disorders are lessening, my goal is that one day i will be ’ sz with a touch of paranoia ’ and that is all…
take care

i heard they were changing diagnoses to just ‘schizophrenia’ dropping the paranoid label and other things, actually would be good to know what labels they are dropping,

and i guess i am glad i got a diagnosis when i did, it kind of confirmed what i already new and put a name to it and i needed that diagnosis to claim benefits although obviously that wasn’t my main concern.

It used to matter to me a lot,but now recovery and being stable is much more important for me,and yes you must have hope it’s important too

here’s what I’m talking about, if you forget your thyroid pill, and your TSH hormones drop downto the 50 level, then you can have a psychosis. this is what happend to me. it’s all very textbook. The pdocs inside even argued about what the diagnosis was. but in the end I was tagged with Sz, because they wanted to get paid for my stay. I took my thryoid pills while i was there, thats’ all and with in a week i was better

Mental status examination of a
hypothyroid patient may reveal a broad spectrum of dysfunction, ranging
from mild attentional impairment to significant agitated delirium or
psychosis.The onset of signs and
symptoms of hypothyroidism is often subtle and develops gradually. This
progression is particularly true in the elderly, in whom presenting
signs and symptoms can be both insidious and diverse and are often
attributed to aging. Hypothyroidism is a common disorder with highly
variable presentations; no predictable progression of symptoms is
apparent. Accordingly, diagnosis may be difficult at times without a
high degree of suspicion. It is with this diversity of presentation in
mind that we discuss a case of clinical hypothyroidism that came to
medical attention due to signs and symptoms of psychosis.

diagnosis does matter to me, and it matters for health practitioners as well. as an example. when I go see a doctor about dizziness they look at me like nothing is going on its the SZ talking…like we cant differentiate SZ symptoms from rest of physical symptoms.

i don’t believe in labels, im unique with one of a kind past in life

EXACTLY! once some pdoc gives you a Sz diagnosis, then all of your physical symptoms are hallucinations.

like my eye drooping, the stupid pcp asked, “are you sure you aren’t hallucinating?” see I look like this, my one eye drooped shut, the other one bulging out of my head, sure, must be a delusion of mine… ■■■■ I was mad, I’ll find a new pcp.

how in the hell do you hallucinate your eye to droop, what the hell?

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