The first time I went to a psychiatrist after a major trauma event in my adult life, the doctor diagnosed me as Bipolar II. She promptly put me on a cocktail of psych meds, and every month I was in her office again with terrible side effects and worsening symptoms which would prompt her to change the cocktail again. She didn't take into account any context of my life history, or the nature of the relationship with my batterer. She saw an insurance card and dollar signs and ran with it. I know this because she only gave me drugs that she had "sample packs" from vendors when we tried something "new" then I would end up paying the out of pocket up to 90$ because insurance covered 70%, but it was still so expensive. I was on some medications that hadn't even been clinically tested for more than a few months before I started taking them. Saphris anyone? I went through a whole year of this believing that I was sick beyond repair and would never lead a healthy or normal life again. I gained 30 pounds, rarely slept, and had additional symptoms occurring that never had before I started the medication. I was a zombie would could only go back and forth to work and come home to battle the worsening demons in my head. After a time, I had to change doctors in order to be properly weaned off the medications because my 1st doctor wouldn't help me do it in a way that I felt comfortable.
In addition to the physical and mental discomfort due to the medications for the wrong diagnoses, I was scheduled to appear in court to DEFEND my protection order against my batterer (he counter filed in attempt to prove that I was the dangerous abusive one). Since he knew I was on medication, he wrote in his statement that I was "mentally ill", unstable, and couldn't be trusted due to that fact. I thought it would help if I brought a statement from my doctor to prove that I was being responsible for my illness and seeking treatment (ie: being a "good" crazy person). It totally backfired. The judge declared me unfit for defense and scheduled a follow-up appearance in 6 months to give me "time to address my illness". Not only did this void the protection order, it put me on record as mentally unfit. Then my batterer was able to go into the community and spread lies about my illness to make me seem like I was generally a bad person and no one should trust me. I had to leave my town to escape the constant bullying and harassment.
It wasn't until I ended up in a new city, with a new doctor (NOT a psychiatrist), that I was told I was misdiagnosed. I have C-PTSD, not any form of bipolar illness. I did some research on my own and found that this is not an uncommon occurrence which made me even more upset; there are so many people being misdiagnosed, prolonging their suffering, and preventing their needed treatment. In some cases, there are people who have such extreme reactions to the psych meds that their brain chemistry is altered.
There are other articles out there, but this was a good overview. Has anyone else been diagnosed as bipolar only to feel deep in your heart that it wasn't true? I'm here with you.