Plaintiff initiated treatment with defendant psychiatrist at age 40, though she had been medicated for depression and other disorders since age 14. She reported a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from her previous caregivers. In the past, she was placed on a variety of medications, including Depakote, Effexor, Lexapro and Paxil. She frequently used alcohol and drugs, which the defendant told her that she must not do in order for her treatment to work.
She alternated between depressive and manic behavior, and was sometimes suicidal. The defendant repeatedly adjusted her medications in order to improve her symptoms. She continued to use recreational drugs and the defendant advised her to join a narcotics anonymous group and not to use cocaine again. She also was taking more of her prescription medications than prescribed.
He released her to return to work but remained concerned about the level of stress she was under. He treated her for five years, until she went to a family practitioner who diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The physician started her on Adderall, which she said immediately helped calm her down and helped her function in her new job.
She then took too much Adderall, and subsequently decided to stop all medications and reported feeling better. The defendant refused her any additional care because she refused to accept his diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Plaintiff alleges the psychiatrist breached the standard of care in his treatment of her.