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02/14/2009 08:35 PM

GAF Score?

neondreams
neondreams  
Posts: 7297
VIP Member

Hi everyone,

Tonight when my sister read my medical information from when I was inpatient in December, she indicated that my GAF (global assessment of functioning) score was 30. I'm aware of what that means, but I'm wondering how important that score really is in terms of real world functioning. Should I be concerned or not? Personally, I think I'm doing pretty well especially after the recent med change I had. However, it bothers me to some extent that the attending pdoc has to indicate any score at all since progress varies from person to person upon discharge.

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02/14/2009 10:39 PM
scooby

Neon,

This may help you understand it.

91-100 Superior functioning in a wide rage of activities, life's problems never seem to get out of hand, is sought out by others because of his or her many qualities. No symptoms.

90-81 Absent or minimal symptoms, good functioning in all areas, interested and involved in a wide range or activities, socially effective, generally satisfied with life, no more than everyday problems or concerns.

80-71 If symptoms are present they are transient and expectable reactions to psychosocial stresses; no more than slight impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning

70-61 Some mild symptoms OR some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning, but generally functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships.

60-51 Moderate symptoms OR any moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning.

50-41 Serious symptoms OR any serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning.

40-31 Some impairment in reality testing or communication OR major impairment in several areas, such as work or school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood.

30-21 Behavior is considered influenced by delusions or hallucinations OR serious impairment in communications or judgment OR inability to function in all areas.

20-11 Some danger or hurting self or others OR occasionally fails to maintain minimal personal hygiene OR gross impairment in communication.

10-1 Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others OR persistent inability to maintain minimum personal hygiene OR serious suicidal act with clear expectation of death.


02/15/2009 12:09 AM
neondreams
neondreams  
Posts: 7297
VIP Member

Scooby,

I'm familiar with what a GAF score of 30 means, but how does that really relate to my own personal functioning? I'm able to go to school (although I decided to withdraw this semester in order to get my rapid cycling under control), live independently and am able to take care of daily living activities on my own. I'm confused as to why the attending pdoc would give me a score of 30 especially since I'm not psychotic or delusional except for when I'm manic, depressed, paranoid of off meds. I know you're not a pdoc and probably can't answer my question, but I would appreciate it if someone could take a stab at it. Otherwise if I don't get a response here, I'll ask the attending pdoc and my tdoc for clarification.

Post edited by: neondreams, at: 02/15/2009 00:10


02/15/2009 12:11 AM
neondreams
neondreams  
Posts: 7297
VIP Member

I should add that my pdoc and tdoc consider my bipolar to be "severe," but I can accept that given my rapid cycling, delusions, psychosis and paranoia. Then again, perhaps that answers my question. Part of the reason for my confusion is the fact that when I was discharged in 2006 after my first manic/psychotic episode, I was given a GAF score of 65 while in December I was given a GAF score of 30. <confused>

Post edited by: neondreams, at: 02/15/2009 00:19


02/15/2009 05:58 AM
Yvonne802
Yvonne802  
Posts: 2055
VIP Member

Your gaf score relected how you were when you were inpatient not your normal day to day function. When you are stable probably from being on correct meds your gaf score would be higher. Don't worry about it.

02/15/2009 07:42 AM
neondreams
neondreams  
Posts: 7297
VIP Member

Thanks, Yvonne. I do know that people use the GAF score (among other data) to determine eligibility for disability payments, but that's the only thing I believe anyone uses it for. I'm glad to know that my GAF doesn't reflect my day-to-day functioning because I'm only psychotic and delusional if I'm manic, depressed, paranoid or off of my meds.

02/15/2009 10:27 AM
scooby

Neondreamgirl,

I don't know that anybody pays attention to the GAF score. It is just a kind of quick impression and not considered apart from the whole enchilada (rest of the diagnosis).

I listed the GAF as you'd expressed an interest or concern about it.


02/15/2009 11:03 AM
GBfan
GBfan  
Posts: 43
Member

I feel stupid for asking this, but how or when would you get a GAF score?

02/15/2009 11:30 AM
scooby

The GAF score comes out of the full diagnosis of a person, and it is the 5th part of it.

It measures the psychological, social and occupational functioning of a person.

This link will help you understand the entire diagnostic system: http://psyweb.com/Mdisord/DSM_IV/jsp/dsm_iv.jsp

I'm not sure how the world uses that part of it, I've heard more about the other parts (axes).

Post edited by: scooby, at: 02/15/2009 12:18


02/15/2009 11:35 AM
GBfan
GBfan  
Posts: 43
Member

It sounds something close to what I had done in order for them to decide whether I was able to work or what I should do for my disability. I've been evaluated too many times to count by doctors and honestly, I have know clue what they are writing about me. Never even told me what type of bipolar I was. I had to read it.
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