Proper Diagnosis

by Dr. Lorin Bradbury

Question: I read your article and still came away quite confused. I’ve been treated for bipolar disorder for about 5 years now but was recently told that I may have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) due to my childhood sexual abuse. I resort to self-cutting (not done regularly, only when things get extreme), and I’m unable to show emotion to anyone, even my own family. How can I know what the right treatment and diagnosis is?

Answer: To obtain a good diagnosis, the Mayo Clinic recommends a physical exam by a physician, a psychiatric exam, and diagnosis based on the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – Fifth Edition (DSM-5). I am reluctant to say much about treatment until you have a solid diagnosis. The one thing that stands out that you may want to explore with the individual doing the psychiatric exam is the cutting behavior. You may want to ask about Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). That is about as far as I dare go in recommending treatment without doing an evaluation. I trust this may be a starting point.

Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected]

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