I can easily trace the roots of what led to my Bipolar misdiagnosis back to my childhood and my teen years. Furthermore, I can trace many of the roots of my inner turmoil as a teenager and young adult back to my parents’ childhoods as well. In my view, “mental illness” is often the result of underlying generational pain and dysfunction, often combined with factors that emerge during teen years (including major hormonal changes, social factors, personal identity issues, self-esteem, etc.). This is not something I’ve pondered lightly. I’ve very closely and carefully examined my situation and the events surrounding my life that led to my psychotic breakdown at the age of 21, which was at the same time a very rich spiritual experience. I was diagnosed as “Bipolar” (first Type 1, then later reassessed as Type 2) and treated accordingly with antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and benzos, for over ten years. The only time I was ever non-compliant with my medications led to my second episode which earned me the label “Bipolar Type 1”. I was always compliant after that point, and never made any sudden drastic changes to my medications over the years. When I have carefully made changes, I’ve noticed side-effects emerging and subsiding that would have certainly been much more pronounced had I not been mindful of the withdrawal and transition processes. Those very side-effects are exactly what most psychiatrists would consider to be the symptoms of my supposed “mental illness”, and had I not been more mindful of those processes, I would almost certainly still be diagnosed as suffering from a Bipolar disorder. I know now based on my own experience and research that almost all of the complications to my health and my mental/emotional processes that I developed after treatment began- which I was told were symptoms of my Bipolar disorder- were in fact the symptoms of iatrogenic mental illness. Based on my experience alone, I’m not sure if there is actually any other kind. I’m highly skeptical. My bipolar diagnosis was recently removed, something that was endorsed by two separate psychiatrists, and I am currently at the tail end of my med withdrawal process. My mind and my life are being returned to me. I’m 32, and only now am I finally discovering my own identity and, well, becoming an adult. This is exactly what psychiatric treatment stopped me from doing- becoming my own person, becoming an adult. I’ve never been more mentally clear, emotionally grounded, or physically fit. None of this was possible while I was in the midst of my psychiatric treatment/abuse. I consider my own story to be a prime example of how all of these factors- emotional problems stemming from familial dysfunction and broader societal dysfunction, social alienation as a teenager, hormonal changes that accompany growing up- can lead to what is commonly misdiagnosed as mental illness. I believe what happened to me is a fine example of the psychiatric lie in action, and also how it can fall apart in the face of confident and mindful personal action. I have come to believe that the only real mental health epidemic we have on our hands is an iatrogenic mental illness epidemic, which has been engineered and implemented for the sake of profit and social control.