Man wrongly diagnosed with mental disorder confined for 20 years

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In a story so disturbing it’s hard to believe, a man was misdiagnosed as delusional and spent 20 years wrongly confined to a state mental rehabilitation center.

The man was recently released from a psych ward after one brave doctor stepped forward and said that his predecessors repeatedly misdiagnosed the man for two decades. The initial misdiagnosis was made after a psychiatrist relied heavily upon a police report where the patient was labeled as delusional. The police officers had no education on psychiatry and no credence should have been given to their layman’s diagnosis.

The long-ignored truth was that the man was under a medication-induced psychosis due to prescription drugs for a back injury. Once in state custody and taken off his medication, he regained his mental clarity. Nobody listened to his story – until now.

It’s not surprising that the man is suing, seeking $22 million. He says he lost an opportunity to have a family, raise children and enjoy life because of his wrongful imprisonment. Although this is an extreme example, a wrongful psychiatric misdiagnose can haunt someone for a lifetime.

Mental disorder misdiagnoses cannot simply be erased from a patient’s file and can have a devastating impact on important aspects of life, such as a career or raising children.

Source: Claims Journal, “Nebraska Man Misdiagnosed As Delusional For 20 Years Sues,” July 15, 2014

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