ABC’s of SPD – M is for Misdiagnosis

Welcome to this week’s Blogging Through the Alphabet! I have been Blogging through the Alphabet with Ben and Me and many other bloggers who are offering a wide variety of topics. I am sharing a new topic related to Sensory Processing Disorder each week as we blog through the alphabet. This week’s letter is “M.”

M is for Misdiagnosis

SPD Misdiagnosis

There are many disorders that can be grouped together in the misdiagnosis category. The most common are Autism Spectrum, ADD and ADHD, OCD and SPD. Many are co-morbid – for example, many people on the Autism Spectrum also have SPD. The most common misdiagnosis, though, is for those that *only* have SPD. In fact, for those with SPD misdiagnosis is very common. This can make getting an actual diagnosis difficult. What is worse, is some medical professionals don’t recognize SPD as a single diagnosis.

What happens when someone is misdiagnosed? Well, for a child this often means taking medications they don’t actually need. This can, in turn, be harmful. Many children with SPD often get a diagnosis of ADHD first – particularly those that are sensory seekers. It isn’t until after they realize the medication isn’t working that they don’t actually have ADHD. By then, they may have also experienced side effects from the medications.

Adults with SPD are not excluded. I know I, personally, was misdiagnosed with OCD, ADD, and even a personality disorder when really it’s just SPD. These diagnoses are pretty common for an adult with SPD. In turn, it may be recommended that they take anti-depressants, ADD medication, and receive cognitive therapy. Although I, personally, feel there is nothing harmful about therapy (and even feel it’s helpful even for those without mental health concerns), taking medication you don’t need can be frustrating.

For me, I was put on an anti-depressant that made me feel AWFUL. I was exhausted all the time and couldn’t even make it through a workout anymore. It actually made me feel depressed, too. It was hard weaning off of it as well. To know, now, I could have avoided all of that, is definitely frustrating! I wish I could have gotten that year back!

We can’t change the past, but it’s important to know the facts. If you’re an adult, be sure you ask many questions about any diagnosis you receive, and if it doesn’t “feel right” speak up and let them know. If you’re advocating for your child, the same applies! Get second opinions if needed, but don’t give up!

ABC Blogging

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers as well who have linked up to Blogging through the Alphabet! There are a wide variety of topics! Learn more by clicking on the button below!

Ben and Me

Please note: I am not a medical professional. I am an adult with SPD raising three children with SPD and speak from my experiences. I do a lot of research, but opinions are my own.

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  1. Lauryn R

    I am completely agree with this post, that a lot of conditions are misdiagnosed. I think that all of these prescription drugs that are prescribed for these conditions are extremely harmful and can actually make a situation worse. I was prescribed anti-depressants when I was a teen and it was terrible! They make me feel even more depressed, tired, and just sick to my stomach. I do not agree with a lot of doctors on this point, and will not force my children to be on unnecessary medications.

  2. Athena Emmanouilidis

    I was almost misdiagnosed.It’s pretty scary when you have a brain tumor increasing the pressure on your brain and the dr diagnoses you with sinus pressure

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