Mental Health

A Serious Issue: Misdiagnosis

For the past four months, I’ve been questioning my depression diagnosis. I don’t think you can label me as someone with depression. People have told me that they don’t see depression in me. And I agree.

My disorder remains unknown or non-existent. I am generally a positive, motivated person, which is why I don’t think depression is an accurate diagnosis. But I have major mood swings. I do get depressed for periods of times randomly. I can go from extremely happy and motivated to extremely depressed and suicidal. It can either change overtime or instantly. It can last a few days, weeks, or even months. It gets so scary because it’s unpredictable. I know it’s coming but for some reason, I can’t stop it.

But I still don’t believe that I have depression. If I had depression, I wouldn’t be happy most of the time. I wouldn’t be motivated or positive. I wouldn’t be sociable.

Bipolar seems to be the disorder that gets misdiagnosed a lot. I just googled misdiagnosis for mental health and there were tons of articles about the bipolar misdiagnosis. The statistics are frightening.

For a bit, I thought I might have Bipolar II. I have almost all the symptoms. I heard one of Demi Lovato’s speeches about how easy it is to get misdiagnosed and being misdiagnosed for most of her life and then finally after so many years, she got the answer that she was bipolar. After hearing that speech, I saw a specialist and got assessed. My friends did not entirely believe that I had it but I wanted to take the step to double check. Turns out I’m not bipolar. But instead of being relieved, I just got more lost. What the heck do I have then?

It really makes me mad that doctors just want to make an easy diagnosis and throw pills at me. I don’t like the fact that I’m putting antidepressants in my body, without them being necessary most of the time. It just makes me think about all the other people that get misdiagnosed because the doctors want to take the easy way out. It’s frustrating. I want to know exactly what is wrong with me because I sometimes feel lost without an answer.

Misdiagnosis happens all the time. I feel bad for the people whose conditions are worse than mine. They deserve to not only get an answer, but the right one. This is a serious issue. Without an accurate diagnosis, people may not be getting the treatment they need, or no treatment at all. I know that antidepressants are dangerous for people with bipolar. What if I was actually bipolar and I had been using the wrong medication the whole time? This type of thing happens to hundreds of people.

As a mental health advocate, I wish I could fix this problem but I obviously can’t. What I can do is write this. For everyone reading this, stand up for yourself, or stand up for somebody who can’t stand up for themselves. You have the power to open people’s eyes. If you’re unsure about your diagnosis, or think you might have something else, speak up, or let someone speak up for you. Someone once told me you don’t HAVE to take a diagnosis from a doctor and that you’re allowed to question them. Keep fighting and don’t give up. You deserve it.

If you need someone to talk to, you can always contact me. Find out how by clicking the “Contact Me” button on the top of this page.

Stay strong lovelies <3

Jessica Victoria
<p>Jessica Victoria, 24, is a writer and advocate for mental health, disability and LGBTQ+. She uses her personal experiences and knowledge to help and educate others.</p>

3 thoughts on “A Serious Issue: Misdiagnosis

  1. Jess… this is all too true, sadly. I thought I had Bipolar disorder as well. What is even worse than a misdiagnoses is self-diagnosis – although we think we completely understand what goes on inside of our minds we really don’t. I always try to stay positive and not think too much into it as hard as that can be. Once I saw a specialist they diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder – which sometimes people think that it is bipolar – it is very severe mood swings and problems maintaining interpersonal relationships. If you would like to know more about it, google it but DO NOT self diagnose! I know how hard it can be to think you have something – just like when people get sick they think they have the flu or a cold. Let the professionals do what they are meant to do! Hope all is good 🙂

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