In September 1992 I underwent a two-hour psychiatric assessment by Napoleon Cuenco, M.D. at the George Washington University Medical Center (Attending Physician: Daniel Tsao, M.D.). Dr. Cuenco assigned the diagnosis bi-polar disorder (rule out schizoaffective disorder). Dr. Cuenco claimed to have observed the mood-congruent psychotic features of racing thoughts, loose associations, flight of ideas, and pressured rapid speech: all symptoms of mania.
In February 1993 my then treating psychiatrist Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D. (deceased) prescribed lithium for bi-polar disorder. I stopped taking the medication after several weeks.
On April 20, 1993 I filed a claim for disability benefits with the U.S. Social Security Administration. My claim was based on the assumption that I suffered from bi-polar disorder as diagnosed by GW.
In August 1993 Dr. Pitts recommended that I take the anti-psychotic medication Haldol, days after I filed a complaint against her with the D.C. Medical Board.
On August 26, 1993 I placed a telephone call to my sister, Estelle Jacobson, in which I discussed my treatment at GW. My sister was incredulous that I had been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and firmly maintained that I never suffered from mania or bi-polar disorder.
The following is a transcript of a portion of that telephone conversation with my sister.
[sister:] Well, either you have faith in your doctor or you don’t.
[Gary Freedman:] I have none.
[Gary Freedman:] And it’s not in keeping . . . Why is it . . . And it’s not in keeping with their diagnosis.
[sister:] Of what?
[Gary Freedman:] Bi-polar disorder.
[sister:] Oh no. Well, I didn’t . . . you don’t have bi-polar disorder.
[Gary Freedman:] That’s what I was diagnosed as having: manic depression.
[sister:] But you don’t have mood swings high and low.
[Gary Freedman:] That’s exactly it. Wouldn’t you say that would call into question her prescribing an anti-psychotic medication? How am I supposed to have any faith in her?
[Gary Freedman:] Would you have any faith in a doctor like that?
[sister:] No, I mean you’re definitely not bi-polar.
[Gary Freedman:] Well, would you have any faith in. . .
[sister:] When are you ever manic?
[Gary Freedman:] Well, let me say something, Stell.
[Gary Freedman:] If a doctor were to misdiagnose and misprescribe one drug . . .
[sister:] So why would you . . .
[Gary Freedman:] Why would I have any faith in the second drug?
[sister:] Yea. I can understand that.
[Gary Freedman:] And you can ask her that question.
[Gary Freedman:] And tell her that you don’t see any manic depression in me.
[Gary Freedman:] As far as you can see.
[sister:] No, I don’t see any mania.
[Gary Freedman:] I think she’s nuts!
Thus, my claim for Social Security disability benefits was based on the misdiagnosis of a psychotic mental illness by the George Washington University Medical Center as well as the false sworn statements of my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, that I had been determined to be mentally ill and not suitable for employment effective October 29, 1991.