I received a diagnosis but I don’t think it’s right. What can I do?

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Author: Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division


Ask Us is for readers who want to take charge of their well-being, support a friend or loved one, find good help, or just learn more about mental health and substance use. Here, the information and resource experts at HeretoHelp will answer the questions that we’re asked most often. We`ll offer tips and information, and we`ll connect you with help in BC, Canada. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email us at askus@heretohelp.bc.ca, tweet @heretohelpbc, or log in to HeretoHelp and post a comment on this page.

If possible, bring up your concerns with the professional who provided the diagnosis. That way, the professional can answer your questions and you can better understand their decision.

If that doesn’t resolve the situation or a follow-up appointment isn’t possible, you can ask for a second opinion. A second opinion is an assessment from a different professional. This can give you better understanding of what’s going on and what to do about it. Second opinions are common when it comes to major health decisions—you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings and your doctor will try to accommodate reasonable requests for a second opinion. Talk to your family doctor (or go to a walk-in clinic) to discuss your options and get a referral to a different program or health professional, if needed.

For more how to get a second opinion, see HealthLinkBC’s factsheet at www.healthlinkbc.ca.

For general tips on managing a diagnosis of a mental illness and working well with health care professionals, see HeretoHelp’s Managing a Mental Illness series.


About the author

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The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.