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help?

Hi, I hope you can help me.
I'm turning 21 in two months. I've been seeing a psychiatrist for almost six years. Apparently my diagnosis is depression. I've been on at least 20 psychiatric medications, none of which have helped me.
I've seen therapists, psychologists, neurologists, endocrinologists. I've had a myriad of tests: never-ending blood work, an MRI, EEG, Polysomnogram and MSLT, ultrasounds, nerve conduction study.
I've been taking adderall for years to keep me awake. I usually sleep 16 or more hours each day. Eventually the adderall became ineffective because my body built up a tolerance to it. Last summer I had a sleep study to deal with that issue and was then diagnosed with mild periodic limb movement disorder. I've been on some medications for the limb movements, but I still have extreme sleepiness.
I started having auditory hallucinations about one year ago, maybe from being on stimulant meds for so long. I mostly hear music, no voices though. I've had some olfactory hallucinations, and there were some minor abnormalities on my EEG during the hyperventilation part, but the neurologist ruled out temporal lobe epilepsy because he said that this pattern on EEG results is commonly seen in people who have migraines (....even though I don't have migraines.)
My MRI showed a small 3mm brain cyst and some "small foci of increased signal intensity" which were said to be "uncharacteristic of Multiple Sclerosis."
I'm finishing my third year in college, but I've only completed enough credits equivalent to one school year's worth of classes. Even though I get so much sleep, I'm aways tired when I'm awake. I can't concentrate, my memory isn't as good as it used to be, I'm always angry, frustrated, nothing makes me happy, and I'm just plain exhausted.

Is there such a thing as doctors who specialize in treating people who have had multiple misdiagnoses and failed treatments?
Do you have any suggestions for me?
6 Responses
242532 tn?1269550379
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I understand your frustration since it sounds like all the attempts to help you have failed to work, and it sounds like you have had access to the best care.  I can only advise you to find the one doctor who will understand you, with whom you can work. I can't tell you how because there is no organized way to do that, but I can tell you that there is one doctor out there for you, so keep looking.
498132 tn?1217461482
Are you receiving any therapy or are you just on medication? If so, therapy is more likely the best option for you as the range of meds you have tried obviously just haven't worked for you and they won't fix the root of the problem. It sounds like you could be suffering from anxiety as well as perhaps depression. The tests so far have ruled out anything really serious such as tumor or MS, which is degenerative and that's good news, even though it still leaves ya feeling like you don't have an answer.

The mild periodic limb movement disorder you have is gunna affect the quality of sleep you get to a degree, but chances are it's the amount of sleep you're getting thats making you feel so tired. Radically cutting down the amount of sleep you're getting will probably help, and in order to do this, first you gotta reset your sleep pattern. This is something that has helped me feel a little better. You can do this by depriving yourself of sleep for a day without eating, only drinking water, then go to bed on an empty stomach at night at a time you wanna start going to bed at from then on. When you wake up, have a decent breakfast, with a load of protein to give ya energy. That should reset your bodyclock. It may sound a bit extreme, but hopefully it will help you in the long term. From that moment on, ya gotta structure your sleep, by aiming to go to bed around the same time every night for the same period. Try getting 7-8 hours to begin with and if you still feel tired, gradually reduce this until you find the amount of sleep that works for you. I'm guessing by now you've probably associated your house with sleep, so you could try staying away from it while you reset your sleep pattern. Does your college have a 24h library? Maybe get together with some friends, find an engaging activity, catch up with some of your college work or video games work particularly well at supressing sleep.

Exercise, eating more protein in ya diet and getting out of ya house/flat more are also good at boosting energy and will break the rut of sleeping excessively. It may all seem difficult, but the first steps are gunna be the hardest and the effort you invest in the beginning will be rewarded when you start to feel better. Don't give up. To have achieved a year's worth of credits during your condition is an accomplishment. Talk to a careers advisor or your tutor at college about any options that could be open to you, even if it means taking a different route. Good luck, I wish you all the best.
Avatar universal
I would say that a sleep program might be useful, but I would also recommend you leave the allopathic community behind for awhile and try the natural medicine community.  You keep banging your head on the same wall.  A good holistic nutritionist or herbalist or naturopath might be your next step.  You might want to try a good colon cleanse, then a good liver cleanse, and then a good blood purifier to get all that junk out of your system the psychiatrist has been feeding you.  Then work on your diet and building up your system instead of sedating it.  Your leg problem may, for example, be a simple lack of magnesium.  The one thing in the above post I will quibble with, heavy amounts of protein contain a lot of tryptophan, and might make you sleepy.  As will the rebound effect of simple carbs, such as sugar and white flower.  At this point, you might want to avoid all common food allergens, such as dairy and wheat, and eat a lot of complex carbs, especially green leafy vegetables like collards and kale and seaweed.  I guess I'm saying, you've done the medical thing and it's making you worse, maybe it's time to clean yourself out and go with the older form of medicine for a while and see if it gets you back on your feet.  
Avatar universal
Oops.  I said white flower.  Of course I meant white flour.  Sorry.
Avatar universal
Good morning, or good afternoon wich ever one it might be, I have a question that i know is very simple to you but it has been driving me crazy for a few days ( maybe years ). Here it goes, I am a 25 year old male w/ no kids & a girlfriend of 3 yrs. Who i think might not love me, but thats another story, I have had anxiety since i can remember & now i am beliving that i have ADD and that i need to take pills to get better ( i think there are much better natural alternatives ), i also feel like everybody is looking at me in large areas w/ alot of people, i almost think that i hear there thoughts ( crazy i know ), Well the last few days were very hard for me, probably the hardest in many years, i also had a severe trauma in March of 2001, but i got better in a matter of weeks and made a full recovery.  
My question is this Dr, are there natural ways of solving problems with anxiety like roots, teas, herbs, etc. I have been a smoker for 12 years strong and all of the sudden these past few days I dont feel like smoking i almost have to force the ciggaret in my mouth just out of habit. Please let me know what you think Dr. Because my girlfriend thinks i am crazy and losing my mind when i try to talk to her and just bieng myself. I am new to MedHelp and i came across your posting off a Google search. Thank you for your time Dr.
Avatar universal
You'll have to start a new thread to get the doctor to answer.

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