Labeled: Labels Belong on Soup Cans, Not Our Children

Could a child or young adult in your life have an underlying medical condition that is being explained away as a psychiatric problem? This type of misdiagnosis has become surprisingly common.

This is a heartfelt, informational, true story of a thirteen-year-old girl who had an unexplained weight loss and other bizarre symptoms that were deemed to be psychological before all avenues of a physical illness were explored. The names have all been changed in order to protect the identity of the involved persons.

The eleven-day confinement at a psychiatric hospital, involuntary commitment trial, and testing for the actual physical illness and simple cure are all documented to explain why this young girl should not have to live with a lifelong label of mental illness. This story suggests decisions made in fear are often poor. Doctors should not be afraid to tell their patients that they do not know, and parents should not be afraid of questioning health-care professionals' decisions. The nearly fatal mistake was thwarted with the support of family, friends, open-minded, true professionals, and most of all, with divine intervention.

--Susan McAndrew