View Full Version : Misdiagnosed / mistreated as Schizophrenic for 11 years

12-12-2006, 02:21 PM

I am a 48yo male from Western Australia and my Systemic Lupus has been mostly under control since 1989 thanks to Dr Chris Reading of Sydney and diet/vitamin supplements.

As an adolescent I developed fatigue and photosensitivity. By age 14 I was taking multivitamins for the fatigue and noticed at times a very strong beneficial effect. I think early uptake of vitamins enabled me later to survive the 11 years of absolute hell the WA medical/psychiatric profession put me through. During that time, multivitamins kept my Lupus manageable, albeit untreated.

I have a genius IQ but my schooling was totally negelected as a child. I only just made it to Uni. This colours my picture because of subsequent unresolved psychological stresors when I finally failed at Uni.

In 1978 at the age of 19, (a few months after an attack of Glandular Fever - and yes, my experience is that there is a strong link between GF and Lupus) I went through a traumatic break up with my girlfriend. About the same time I failed at Uni which threw me into a deep clinical depression. I was unable to work effectively and out of guilt I quit my part time job even though I was badly underpaid.

All this finally led to what I know now to be an initial flare of Lupus. A family member talked me into seeing a GP. I innocently asked the GP if you could get VD from kissing (NB: GF is a Herpes strain virus) and with a disgusted look on his face (I cant imagine what he thought I meant) he immediately referred me to a shrink. (Yeah unbelievable, I know. It gets worse.)

Shocked by this I briefly pulled myself together before seeing the shrink, who said there was nothing wrong with me and was I just "playing games"?

Following the total humiliation and stigma of this experience, my studies, and career were ruined. I withdrew socially out of complete shame. On a subsequent visit to the shrink, now suffering serious depression, the shrink diagnosed provisional schizophrenia. My depression was not treated. Instead, psychoanalytical treatment was applied - blaming my parents, involving my siblings, and invading my privacy.

I quickly rejected this after a few sessions and I refused to cooperate with any further treatment. Having received no treatment for depression, for 15 Months I was suicidally depressed but kept it secret. However, another lupus flare led to uninvited involvement by yet another GP and who decided to have me forced to receive psychiatric treatment. Because I resisted, the Police were involved (required back then under the Mental Health Act - has since changed).

Again the diagnosis was relapse of Schizo., based on the previous "diagnosis". This time drugs were forcibly administered against my express refusal of them, although I was not an involuntary patient, and had the right to refuse. I was told refusal would lead to my being made an involuntary patient. On discharge, it was noted by hospital staff that I recovered too quickly to be schizo.

This scenario repeated itself six times over the next 10 years. Each time no review of the initial diagnosis was attempted, in spite of the evidence it was probably wrong. One of the admissions was after receiving concussion from a motocycle accident. No-one even discussed the possibility of concussion. They just decided I had a psychotic illness without further question, based on the erroneous contents of my medical file.

Thanks to better information about vitamin supplements, my health improved enough to eventually escape the WA Mental Health system (ie as an involuntary patient) by getting an interstate job for 2 years. My Aunt suggested in 1988 that I talk to Dr Chris Reading who had treated her successfully for genetic food intolerances.

In 1989 Dr Reading diagnosed me with suspected Systemic Lupus (nb: by this time I was a well researched vitamin user) and prescribed a targeted regime of diet/vitamins/etc. Within 4 weeks my health had improved spectacularly. This fact alone finally proves I did not have schizo. because recent research has found that people with schizo. overwhelmingly report that diet/vitamins do not improve their condition.

In 1990 I returned to University part time and completed my Engineering degree with A class Hons in 1997 - without even trying. In 1998 I received a PhD scholarships in Engineering but had run out of money to take it up.

in 1998, aged 40, I finally entered the professional workforce (ie suited to my ability) and have tried to rebuild my career.

Misdiagnosis of Lupus took over 20 years out of my working life. To this day I have not forgiven that incompetence. For 11 of those years my life was an absolute torment. I have a genius IQ and yet I was unemployable, uneducateable and perpetually suicidal.

All this simply because psychiatrists insist on diagnosing everything they see as a mental illness.

They have earned my everlasting condemnation.

12-12-2006, 02:53 PM
No wonder you distrust the medical profession. I think because lupus predominantly affects women, many doctors are woefully ignorant of how it affects men, or the fact that lupus by itself can cause depression or even psychosis. Thank goodness you were finally able to get the appropriate care and treatment.

12-12-2006, 04:07 PM
Hi Marycain,

Thanks for your comments. BTW there is/was no psychosis in my Lupus, just the Lupus "fog" and confusion (etc). It didnt stop them imputing a psychotic illness. One of the admissions was after receiving concussion from a motocycle accident. No-one even discussed the possibility of concussion. They just decided I was psychotic. Am I making my point ?

No I dont trust the medical profession. Its so bad I dont want to see a GP for anything anymore. In the last 10 years I have only seen a GP once - to get referals for a mid life check up 2 years ago. I still havent acted on the referrals something I'll have to compell myself to do. Now that I've found this board and knowing I can talk about it, I think I'll have the confidence to make the effort to go back to the quacks.

Anyhow, I read elsewhere you'd be interested in photos from Australia. These are all from WA...

Madura Pass on the Nullarbor...

Kite surfing on the Peel Inlet - a favorite pastime of mine...

The Palace Hotel in Southern Cross...

The long and not so winding road - WA side of the Nullabor...

12-12-2006, 04:17 PM
Gorgeous - thanks so much for sharing. I always wanted to visit Australi and NZ but the lupus makes it too hard to travel long ways anymore. So I'll just have to enjoy your pics....