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Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

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Old 11-28-2003, 09:25 PM   #1
John KD C
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 60
John KD C HB User
Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

I recently underwent treatment from a psychiatrist after coming off a bad break up. The psychiatrist did a 45 minute questionaire and at the end. Diagnosed me as possibly having bipolar disorder. She said that it would take six months to properly diagnose. However she swiftly started me on lithium and risperdol and told me to continue with the zoloft I was taking at the time.
By my second month of treatment I was convinced that I had bipolar disorder and that the only person in the world who could help me was Dr T.
I was becoming increasingly irrational and irresponsible. In the belief that I was a very unstable person.
The medications made me more 'receptive' to therapy as it was... and by the end of it I was convinced that my ex-girlfriend was insecure and immature and that was the cause of our problems. Of course she is to some extent we're only young. But not to the extent Dr T had brought me to believe.
So I thought I had bipolar disorder my world was not a world but a disease for four long months. Even if I did turn out to have bipolar disorder her treatment was making me feel increasingly insecure and vulnerable.
Anyway I got some information from a relative who is a Doctor and her Husband who is also a highly educated Dr neither of thier fields is psychology but they are both upto date on the literature for personal reasons.
They pointed out quite quickly that I was being oversedated and in thier opinion her treatment constituted negligence.
I got a second opinion (thank god), I was cleared of being bipolar in about 3 minutes and left with a one in eight chance of developing it later due to family history.
I've come off the Risperdol and Lithium and I'm doing good and finally getting some therapy that is helping me deal with real problems.
The last few months have been a total dream I had no idea how far under I went till I came up again. And I attribute a solid 51% of that to being oversedated. Is there enough here to claim compensation? I don't know if anyone here would know or even be able to tell from the information I've provided. There's a lot that goes on in therapy and I'm sure she could find reason in court to dispute the claim and drag my name through the mud.
But I'm seeking some legal advice all the same. I went to her for help I don't care about money I want compensation for that misdiagnosis.

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Old 12-01-2003, 12:07 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 1,033
HoosierBj HB User
Re: Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

See if you have a Legal Aid office in your town or nearby. I know that we're not a Board made up as professional anythings except certified Bipolars or Friends of Bipolars!!
Good luck!

Old 12-01-2003, 12:40 PM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Hollywood, FL - USA
Posts: 999
KimRick HB User
Re: Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

My fiance was "diagnosed" about 2 years ago while going through withdrawls in rehab. The psychiatrist that he has now, had him up to 15 2mg Xanax bars along with the same amount of Klonopin a day, among other things. This doctor has had him SO sedated that he wasn't able to do anything for the past year (he was barely capable of showering everyday). Then, his doctor announced a couple of months ago that he no longer carries medical malpractice insurance and we just found out 2 weeks ago that he's leaving town within the next couple of weeks. We requested a copy of his medical records and no where on them does it say anything about being bi-polar! My fiance has successfully weened himself off of everything except for his Paxil and he's doing GREAT! He showers everyday and has even gotten a job! I do believe that there are script happy doctors out there. You have to be very careful and you, more or less, have to be your own doctor when it comes to managing your medications. Sad, isn't it?!

Old 12-01-2003, 12:52 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 1,094
thickman HB User
Re: Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

Yup... Doctors are a real joy sometimes...

I don't know how I got diagnoses with BP, but after my social worker explained to me the details of the disease, I came to realize that I actually do have some MINOR tendancies, so it is very mild, and hopefully, will me manageable as I move along...

Always, Talk before Pills..

Old 12-01-2003, 04:58 PM   #5
John KD C
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 60
John KD C HB User
Re: Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

Yeah thanks guys, I was angry when I wrote that last post I've really let it go now, I'm angry at myself for not going back to my old Pdoc, I went in to see him yesterday to get an anti-depressent as I was still having a suicidal low each eveaning for about 20 minutes or so (probably more anger than anything else) but he wouldn't give me one the barstard and there is always personal responsibility I put the pills in my mouth each day... maybe she thought I was a real suicide risk, but you know talking really helps the biggest step for me these last few days has been opening upto my Mum again and her saying 'I was telling you to go back to to Dr S' I can't even remember her saying that... but I'm better off without the bitterness and resentment towards my old Pdoc, just glad that I found the strength to get myself out of a bad situation.

Old 12-02-2003, 03:33 AM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 69
VeryOldLady HB User
Re: Oversedation and Misdiagnosis

Mental disorders are difficult to diagnose. I have been to mental health websites that show the symptoms of different disorders and I have to frankly say that according to the symptoms listed, I don't know a single person who isn't crazy in one size shape or form.

Years ago a friend's mother said her sister was in the state institution for years being treated for schizophrenia, and then her doctor left, a new one took his place and suddenly she was diagnosed with bipolar. Her doc put her on different meds and she was doing great. After all those years, she was able to leave the hospital after a couple days of being rediagnosed.

With physical problems, there are x-rays and lab results to prove the diagnosis was correct. With mental illness, the doctor goes by what the patient tells him (how he feels, whether he hears voices, etc), what the doctor observes in behavior (personality, voice tone...I recently learned mine actually pays attention to the SPEED of my talking, among other things), family history of mental illness, and sometimes what friends or relatives had observed. They rule out pathological or physical causes and *wham!*... instant mental disorder. Then it's just a matter of elimination before they come up with the right disorder. But, if the patient lies about his symptoms (not implying you did), or the doctor fails to recognize a behavior or reads too much into a behavior, etc, then a misdiagnosis is very easy to do.

Who's to say the insurance doesn't play a part, also? Do the patients with good insurance have more psychotherapy sessions? Do they get hospitalized more often?

Doctors are different, also. Keep in mind that different doctors were taught in different colleges and got different grades. What do you call someone who graduated in the last 2 percent of his class? Doctor! I find it strange to come in here and see bipolar patients taking antidepressants because my doctor told me that a bipolar should never take antidepressants. But, maybe a different doctor would believe differently.

I have to say my doctor is pretty good. He has let me hold the reins of my course of treatment. Of course, he controls the maximum dosage, but even then he has allowed me to ease up to my necessary dose instead of forcing me to eat the amount he prescribes every day. He suggests the medicine I should take, but he'll let me try something new if I don't like what I'm taking. He makes me feel like since this is my problem...I can control how to fix it. He advises what he feels is best for me and lets me make the decision. He's cool that way. I think he does this because he knows that I can just walk away any time without being treated. So the best course of action is to let the patient feel human by giving him the dignity to make his own decisions...I guess...I dunno. He has even begun to let me come in every other month, but since I am having a few tweaking problems with my current meds, I've asked to come in every month until we get it under control. So, I know he's not taking advantage of my insurance, even though it's a very good one.

But, I don't know if you can sue over a misdiagnosis. Usually, in order to win a lawsuit, you would have to prove that there was definate negligence or malpractice on his part, that it could have been avoided and the mistake was due to his gross negligence, and that there was permanent and long-term damage that would not have happened if the doctor was competent and had chosen an alternative course of treatment that would have been succesful. A three-month fog wouldn't fall into that catagory. But, I'm not a lawyer. And I wouldn't be surprised if there were doctors out there who would declair the patient suing him as incompetent so no one would take him seriously. LOL! I do know there are lawyers out there like that. I'm just kidding about the last sentence.

What's important now is that the true diagnosis and treatment affords you a happy, healthy, and productive life. Don't waste your time wiping rain off your umbrella when you could be enjoying the sunshine.
I'm not old. Honest. I'm just not creative AND original when it comes to registering a username.

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