We rely on Doctors to scribble our life into a notebook then come up for air and say: You are Bipolar, you have Major Depressive Disorder, you are Hypo Manic, you have this, you are that.
Some of us are misdiagnosed or, we are undiagnosable. The education of mental health is not concrete. There are new illnesses being studied and formed on a constant basis. This can cause years of strain, stress, frustration, and anger. Anger, especially when you finally get a correct diagnosis, and then you have to find meds to temper that diagnosis, which is a whole other story, and an entire new battle.
So what is the real battle? Getting a true diagnosis, or finding meds to treat that diagnosis? Both.
Hopefully most of us are correctly diagnosed so our battle to find the right medication is less of an uphill battle.
If a stream of meds aren’t working for you. You might want to consider that you are misdiagnosed or have a mental illness that is undiagnosable. The world of mental health knowledge is constantly evolving and the treatment for different mental illness is a work in progress.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar II when I was 28 years old. Prior to that, I spent my life thinking I might have ADHD. It was such a relief and eye opening experience to discover the truth behind my disease, yet, I was not fully aware of the second battle: finding medication. I tried Trileptal, Lithium, Effexor and Zoloft to name a few, until I came across Lamictal. This endeavor took years and held frustration, anger, and a feeling of hopelessness. It wasn’t until I worked with the mentally ill in two inpatient psych wards that I realized that meds are not easily understood for treating different types of mental illness. I realized that finding a diagnosis and the medication to treat it is always going to be a struggle. And even if you come across a medication that works, there is no guarantee it will work forever, for the body, like the mind, is a constant evolving beast. The best advice I can give, given my personal experience, is to know being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed is normal. Expect your journey of managing your mental health to be malleable, and managing your frustration is the true challenge in life.
Doctor with pills image available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 25 Jun 2014