Research essay predraft: Misdiagnosis on mental illness

When faced with problems in their lives whether emotional or psychological, individuals turn to their doctors. That comes to no surprise because it’s always been the way things go, a problem regarding your health emerges and the doctor is called. What if doctors aren’t really assisting people into regaining their health? What many people don’t know is that physicians sometimes do more harm than help. Plenty would say how so; but they often misdiagnose individuals therefore pinning them with a mental illness that they do not have. This can cause a variety of issues that just spiral downhill from the moment they are labeled with a sickness that they do not really obtain. If a person who doesn’t have a certain mental illness is taking medication for it, that can be harmful to them just taking the medication itself and that’s not including how many doses a day or how strong the medication is. It can harm a person physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Doctors don’t take the time to sit and explore the mind of their patients, therefore, rushing the process. If they do not know what is really wrong with their client how can they seriously assist them in getting them back to being themselves? Doctors often don’t put their best ability into helping their patients receive the necessary care they need. In the article, “Lives destroyed by happy pills: As our use of antidepressants DOUBLES in a decade, experts say thousands are being given dangerous drugs they don’t need” by Jerome Burne it claims, “one of the reasons misdiagnosis happen is because the official test GP’s use to check if you’re depressed involves two very basic questions: During the past month, have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless? During the past month, have you been bothered by having little interest or pleasure in doing things?” (Burne 1) The problem with this method is that people can easily lie or put up an act. Although these questions could help doctors get a sense of what is going on with their patients and their mental status, it shouldn’t be based around it and be the top technique to how to get inside their client’s head.

Besides not taking the time to really hear what their patient is saying, there is also the issue of underlying medical condition, this is a medical condition that is under wraps and less noticeable because it is outshined by a more obvious one, and they can also contribute to the individual’s disease and are considered co-diseases. The underlying medical condition is the cause of the illness and if misdiagnosed can produce a big problem. Since in different cases the issue can be assisted earlier and cured. According to the mental illness policy, it claims that because not many people have a medical issue disguised as a mental illness, doctors often skip the step and don’t look for them at all. Since these are the cause of mental illnesses it produces a huge problem. Although not everyone may have them, because of it’s impact on individuals health it should be looked into. A lot of people may not even notice that they may have an underlying medical condition. In the article, “Confusing medical ailments with mental illness” by Melinda Beck, some examples are shown to prove that anyone can have these and can go unnoticed or unexplained until further diagnosis. An example would be, “A new mother’s exhaustion and disinterest in her baby seem like postpartum depression—but actually signal a postpartum thyroid imbalance that medication can correct.” Any person would simply believe that the exhaustion of being a new mother would stress any individual out and that that’s all it is. If the person visits the doctor they may be told the same thing or that the stress is too much to bear therefore, leading them down a path to depression. This example could further prove the point as to why diagnosis should go more into depth of the person and what exactly they are going through to better service their needs.

               A lot of harm can happen from a person taking medications that they aren’t supposed to be taking. There are side effects such as nausea, headaches, diarrhea, grogginess etc. A person who is mentally healthy shouldn’t be taking the same medication as a person who’s mind is jumbled, racing and can’t deal with day to day situations. The medication is used to get the mentally ill person to relax and be level headed so when a person who isn’t suffering from depression or any illness that would require this medication, uses it they can feel like a zombie and sick. This due to the fact that the individual and the medicine aren’t compatible. Everyone is different which causes dissimilar situations. In “How Misdiagnosis Prevented Me from Moving on to Recovery” by Andy Behrman, he speaks on his experience with his misdiagnosis of depression and his rollercoaster ride of different unneeded medication. He was misdiagnosed by 8 different physicians leading him to believe that he really was undergoing depression when in reality he was battling bipolar disorder. Physicians went as far as putting him through electroconvulsive therapy and completed 19 electroshock sessions. “It was then that my doctor ordered me to continue “maintenance treatment.” I had a total of 19 electroshock treatments, until I realized I had become addicted to the premedication of the procedure and asked my doctor to bring the treatment to a halt” (Behrman 1) Not only did he have to undergo all of these shock treatments but he began to develop an addiction to the procedure further proving the harm that these medications can have on patients. When he was finally correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Behrman went through 37 different prescribed medications to control his illness. The effects all these medicines had on him was outrageous and he claims to have experienced every side effect there is. These treatments and their side effects prevented him from holding down a stable job, home etc. He was incapable of living his life freely.

            To sum it all up, doctors are believed to solve all problems when issues come up with one’s health. Individuals don’t always believe that their physicians can sometimes be producing more harm than assistance. If the time isn’t taken into find the root of the problem and how to solve it, a person may never live their life to its full extent. Misdiagnosis can happen on a number of different occasions because of different complications, but if the person is fully heard and the doctor puts it’s all into finding the solution for the persons mental issues, then a good outcome should come about.


                                                           Works Cited

Behrman, Andy. “How Misdiagnosis Prevented Me from Moving on to Recovery.”Http:// Random House. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

Beck, Melinda. “NEWS: When Medical Ailments Mimic Mental Illness.”Http:// Wall Street Journal, 9 Aug. 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.


Burne, Jerome. “Lives Destroyed by Happy Pills: As Our Use of Antidepressants DOUBLES in a Decade, Experts Say Thousands Are Being given Dangerous Drugs They Don’t Need.”Http:// Mailonline, 29 June 2010. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.