An estimated 12 million Americans a year are misdiagnosed with a condition they don’t have. In approximately half of those cases, the misdiagnosis has the potential to result in severe harm.

Misdiagnoses can have serious consequences on a person’s health. They can delay recovery and sometimes call for treatment that is harmful. For approximately 40,500 people who enter an intensive care unit in one year, a misdiagnosis will cost them their lives.

We talked to three different people, living with three different health conditions, about how a misdiagnosis changed their life. Here are their stories.

Nina’s story: Endometriosis

My symptoms started at age 14, and I got diagnosed right before my 25th birthday.

Misdiagnosis

I had endometriosis, but I was diagnosed with “just cramps,” an eating disorder (because it hurt to eat due to gastrointestinal symptoms), and mental health issues. It was even suggested that I may have been abused as a child and so this was my way of “acting out.”

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