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Benzodiazepine Misdiagnosis

Patients presenting with increasing mental and physical issues from the adverse or cessation effects of benzodiazepines are instead given separate, additional diagnoses. This may lead to increasing dosages and/or additional prescriptions, missing the root problem and what is actually the true cause of the mental and physical deterioration – the benzodiazepine.

It is important to note that sometimes other illnesses do co-occur, but, in many cases, the drug itself is the direct cause of increasing or additional symptoms. The health issues usually improve or fully resolve when the patient’s central nervous system and body recovers from the drug neurotoxicity and damage. For example, some patients may test as having thyroid abnormalities while on benzodiazepines and throughout the cessation process. These thyroid abnormalities test normal upon coming off the drug and healing from its damage.

Please familiarize yourself with the long list of symptoms that can manifest from benzodiazepine use and cessation. Be mindful of potential diagnoses/misdiagnoses that can come in the midst of benzodiazepine-induced illness.

Common Benzodiazepine Adverse/Cessation Effects Diagnoses/Misdiagnoses

*Note: while some concomitant illnesses, many people suffering Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome have received these common misdiagnoses without clinical testing, and many of these diagnoses cleared after successful recovery from benzodiazepine harm.

Physical Misdiagnosis

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Adrenal Fatigue, Other Adrenal Disorders, Adrenal Tumor
  • Akathisia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
  • Anemia
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Disorders/Diseases – Lupus, Thyroid conditions, Psoriasis, etc.
  • Benign Fasciculations Syndrome
  • Bladder – Cystitis Cystica, Interstitial Cystitis, Urinary Incontinence, Recurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
  • Celiac Disease (diagnosed despite no proof in tests)
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Colitis
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Cushing’s
  • Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
  • Degenerative Disc
  • Diabetes/Type 2 Diabetes
  • Dysautonomia/Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Endometriosis
  • Essential/Kinetic Tremor
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Gastroparesis
  • Heart Disease
  • Hyperventilation
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Peripheral Nerve Hyperexcitability Syndrome (PNH)
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Subclinical thyroid abnormalities
  • Stiff Person Syndrome
  • Tardive Dyskinesia
  • Vasovagal Syncope
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
  • Urticaria (Hives)
  • Vulvodynia

Psychiatric/Cognitive Misdiagnosis

  • Agitated Depression
  • Agoraphobia
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Bipolar/Bipolar Type 2
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Conversion Disorder
  • Dementia
  • Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Depression, including treatment-resistant depression
  • Drug-Seeking Behavior/Addiction (Despite taking benzodiazepine exactly as prescribed)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Health Anxiety/Hypochondriasis
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder
  • Hysterical Personality Disorder
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
  • Mental Illness
  • Mood Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Paranoia
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
  • Postpartum Depression (PPD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosomatic Disorder
  • Somatization Disorder


Further Reading:

How Benzodiazepines Mimic Chronic Illness and What To Do About It