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Discussion:
Can I Sue My Dr.?
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I was misdiagnosed. Seven years ago I went to a psychiatrist, miserable. I wanted help, I listed my symptoms, and she diagnosed me with bipolar disorder II rapid cycling. Fast forward from that date until now I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on meds and drs, and hours upon hours going through therapy for something I don't have. Nothing seemed to help. I'd tell my drs that I wasn't getting better, and they'd up my meds, but never considered that they had the wrong diagnosis. When I'd suggest something so brash, they acting like I was just delusional trying to get off my meds. I was labeled, and I couldn't get out of the cycle. It was awful! Finally, I was convinced that I was bp II, and I accepted the meds to the point that I couldn't function. IT was ruining my marriage, and I still wasn't getting better. Finally May 2013 I was reevaluated, and found out that I have PTSD from all the horrible stuff that has happened over time in my life. I'm finally making progress (slowly). Can I sue my drs? I'm so angry with them!
Posted on 11/17/13, 10:38 pm
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Reply #1 - 11/18/13  2:44am
" yeah. if you find out you can, give me the name of your attorney. because the same happened to me. and i almost died from a suicide attempt because of drugs that i should NOT have been taking.
those greedy bastards need to pay. "
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Reply #2 - 11/18/13  6:00am
" Anybody can sue; it's whether or not you win.

There's no physical test for mental disorders.

I'm sorry that happened to you, but they're not negligent- just trying their best. SO sorry their best wasn't good enough.

I'd say that if you want to go through all that, better to go after the drug company. Seriously. "
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Reply #3 - 11/18/13  6:24am
" Unfortunately people are misdiagnosed all of the time. If a doctor doesn't have all of the information regarding symptoms or incidents then it can be very difficult for them to get it right. It would be very difficult for you to prove that this doctor intentionally misdiagnosed you. "
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Reply #4 - 11/18/13  8:49am
" I was misdiagnosed with a dual diagnosis of bipolar & PTSD at first, took bipolar meds that damaged my kidneys, and then when I had to go off all meds to save my kidneys it proved the bipolar diagnosis I took meds for was wrong and the remaining diagnosis of PTSD was the right one.

The downside: my kidney damage and suffering the stigma for bipolar disorder in addition to the PTSD stigma we all experience. The upside: learning about COMPLEX PTSD and what it meant that I had it.

I could sue. However, the kidney damage was done when I volunteered to be part of a major university study and took experimental levels of bipolar meds. When I did so I signed a waiver. I could probably even win in spite of the waiver, but it would be an obstacle.

More than anything, I think about what suing would do to me. How hard it might be to find a therapist after that, what it would do to me on the stand to be cross examined as to my mental health. If I were destitute, I very well might.

But I'm working at a job I like and don't need the money and this time. So unless I become unable to work and have no alternative, suing is not on the table at this time, though it is my right. "
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Reply #5 - 11/18/13  10:33am
" As I've mentioned, I'm under a Court Order not to talk about the events that led me to Complex PTSD or to the Daily Strength board.

But ... there was a civil lawsuit ... that I should have "easily" won, because the law and the facts were both on my side.

Which is "all it takes" to win in court, right ?

But I didn't win. I never even got my proverbial day in court.

Lawsuits are like combat, unfortunately. No matter how well you prepare yourself for the battle, it's nearly impossible to fully integrate the concept of just how forcefully the other side (in this case, a system -- a bunch of very well-insured professionals/corporations) will respond.

It's equally hard to imagine the toll that it takes on you ... on me ... on us ... even if we start off "healthy" and "stable ..." to have this process be a huge part of your life, for years.

And if you are NOT well prepared for the battle (because you're underfunded, have a relatively weak attorney, or aren't in great shape, yourself), you'll be amazed when the other side brings overwhelming force to bear against you.

I could EASILY imagine that a civil suit -- which can easily go into the Appeals process, no matter how strong your case -- could, itself, bring on PTSD.

And ... if you're trying to fix yourself, medically or psychologically ... it can add an unbelievable additional component to those challenges.

I got an e-mail from an acquaintance, asking a similar question. I can't tell you what to do, here, but -- like my acquaintance -- I CAN tell you one possible outcome that you COULD be signing up for.

The process could take everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- away from you.

In the US "justice" system, it's very safe to say that the party with more resources wins.

It wasn't me.

If it isn't you, I can only say ... be extremely careful.

I wish you peace, health, and strength. "
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Reply #6 - 11/18/13  12:47pm
" I agree largely with Deli...so sorry you went through that, but those doing the diagnosing have to do the best with what they have.

Only in a case of blatant intentional misdiagnosis...

There are no physical tests for DSM diagnoses, it's like evaluating someone with headaches for migraines versus a brain tumor with nothing to go on but a description of the headaches.

That being said, if your meds were not working, they need to listen to you and adjust accordingly. But also bear in mind that there are patients that do seek specific prescriptions for off-label use, or resist taking meds they actually need...so the docs have to keep that in mind too.

So unless the docs did this intentionally or with blatant negligence, it won't help to sue. And it will be awfully hard on you to go through the legal system. And you will have a hard time finding a therapist again if you sue your previous one(s).

I understand the anger, and I'd feel the same. Seems like, unfortunately, this stuff is often par for the course. "
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Reply #7 - 11/18/13  1:12pm
" i am certain that part of my ptsd..a layer of the complex ptsd is from doctors who were meant to be helping me thru a time of trauma and did not get it at all right and then turned on me for whatever their reasons were - very public, highly traumatic, not resolved in any way, still.

i was in a union and had representation-lousy representation-i could have persued this... the bottom line for me was - how sick was i willing to get to fight them and also accept the probable conclusion that i would not win and would be made a fool of - a toy for them to tear apart and torture, just because they could. i walked away - i wrote a letter, but that was all. they are holding all the cards. "
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Reply #8 - 11/18/13  4:58pm
" No....you wouldn't win but no because of anything mentioned here. PTSD as described in the bible of psychiatry....the DSM....does not pertain to us but to combat PTSD. Our chronic form is not yet in there...pending.

So the change of diagnosis makes no difference as the real diagnosis does not exist in the psych world. BPII does but not PTSD except for combat related PTSD.

They get you any way you look at it.

Jen "
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Reply #9 - 11/18/13  5:25pm
" You could be misdiagnosed now. It's not like there is any different treatment for PTSD to begin with... "
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Reply #10 - 11/18/13  7:37pm
" Sorry things have been this rough for you but I wouldn't waste my money on a lawsuit you won't win.

Doctors screw up all the time. So do the rest of us. No one is infallible. "

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