5 Mental Health Disorders That Are Often Misdiagnosed

A lot of people (including me) infrequently make it sound like anticipating a bravery to go to a alloy to speak about your mental health problems and get a diagnosis is a final large step in removing a hoop on your mental health. But sometimes, removing into that doctor’s bureau is not a finish of a road, yet a commencement of a second leg of your tour — since sometimes, removing a scold mental health diagnosis takes a few tries. Though there aren’t many tough statistics accessible on how many people get improper initial diagnoses when they find mental health assistance, it really happens — generally with certain specific mental health disorders (like bipolar disorder) that have some symptoms in common with other disorders, yet contingency be treated with opposite kinds of therapy or medication.

Misdiagnosis can occur with any mental health disorder, yet — for instance, a 2012 essay in Current Psychiatry quoted studies that found that “26% to 45% of patients referred for ‘depression’ did not accommodate evidence criteria for a depressive illness.” Similarly, a 2009 meta-analysis of 50,000 patients published in The Lancet found that general practitioners customarily rightly identified depression in patients in 47.3 percent of cases, with many doctors diagnosing basin in patients who did not indeed humour from it. And some informative groups tend to be misdiagnosed some-more mostly that others — according to a National Alliance on Mental Illness, “research studies have shown miss of informative cunning in mental health caring [which] results in misdiagnosis and unsound treatment. African Americans and other multicultural communities tend to accept poorer peculiarity of care.” And while an accurate diagnosis can be a initial step in removing healthy, a misdiagnosis can set us back, and means a lot of nonessential suffering.

A misdiagnosis is different, of course, from an accurate diagnosis that we customarily aren’t prepared to hear right now. we am an privately a lay consultant in this margin — we was essentially tentatively diagnosed with ADHD as a teenager, yet fundamentally refused to hear it until my late twenties. But sometimes, since of a possess investigate or simply due to a knowledge of vital in a possess bodies and minds, we have a feeling that an initial diagnosis is wrong. If we knowledge this, we shouldn’t be aroused to demeanour for a second opinion, or a alloy who takes your possess personal practice of your symptoms seriously. Getting mental health assistance can be positively life-changing — yet customarily if you’re removing a right diagnosis for a right tangible issue.

Read on for 5 of a many ordinarily misdiagnosed mental health disorders.

1. Bipolar Disorder

Frequently Misdiagnosed As: unipolar depression, ADHD.

A 2006 investigate published in Psychiatry reported that “69 percent of patients with bipolar commotion are misdiagnosed initially and some-more than one-third remained misdiagnosed for 10 years or more.” The same investigate cited another investigate that found a normal volume of time it took for people with bipolar commotion to get a scold diagnosis ranged from 5 to 7 years.

People with bipolar commotion typically initial find diagnosis while carrying a depressive episode, that mostly leads to a commotion being misdiagnosed as basin (unipolar depression); conversely, people with bipolar commotion who are now traffic with a manic part might have their symptoms, such as restlessness and insomnia, misdiagnosed as ADHD. Diagnosis can also be formidable for people who are experiencing bipolar commotion yet whose display of symptoms looks somewhat opposite from a customary evidence criteria on issues such as duration of hypomanic states.

Misdiagnoses can be generally dangerous here, since removing a improper diagnosis can indeed worse a problem — for example, antidepressants used to provide unipolar basin can infrequently make people with bipolar commotion feel worse.

2. Borderline Personality Disorder

Frequently Misdiagnosed As: bipolar disorder, PTSD, unipolar depression.

BPD is a formidable commotion that has symptoms identical to many other mental health disorders — and many mental health professionals have not had a lot of bearing or preparation on BPD, so it’s easy for them to mistake it for something else. Symptoms like impulsive duty or mood swings might be misread as signs of ADHD or bipolar disorder, according to a UK’s MInd.org, while issues like feelings of undo from others can be misread as PTSD or depression. BPD is really ordinarily mistaken for bipolar disorder, since both disorders engage changeable moods and durations of depression.

Again, we positively can onslaught with both BPD and PTSD, or BPD and highlight — yet it’s critical for doctor’s to know a full design in sequence to assistance we accept a scold treatment. BPD diagnosis customarily involves really specific kinds of therapy, rather than a specific medication, so a scold diagnosis is impossibly critical in creation certain that we get a scold kind of assistance.


Frequently Misdiagnosed As: anxiety, OCD, depression, bipolar disorder.

Though many studies prove to a fact that ADHD itself is mostly diagnosed in people who don’t humour from it — according to a Michigan State University study, essentially among children who are simply carrying age-related problems focusing or behaving maturely — in adults, it mostly goes a other approach around: since so many people (including some mental health professionals) don’t consider of ADHD as a commotion that impacts adults, many ADHD symptoms (like racing thoughts or mood swings) are misdiagnosed for another common mental illness.

This also goes for symptoms that are a outcome of vital life but scold ADHD diagnosis — for instance, amicable highlight that has grown from a lifetime of carrying problem with amicable interactions due to ADHD-related issues can be misread as simply being a product of universal highlight disorder; similarly, low self-respect and highlight due to ADHD can be misread as depressive disorder.

Not to contend we can’t humour from both highlight and ADHD or ADHD and bipolar disorder, of course. But as ADDitude, a repository for people coping with ADD/ADHD, notes, “Many of a less-known symptoms of ADHD — operative memory and executive duty deficits, problem sleeping, and irritability, for instance — also uncover adult with depression, autism, anxiety, and other brain-based conditions,” heading doctors to have problem scrupulously diagnosing ADHD. And women in sold mostly have a tough time removing diagnosed for ADHD.

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Frequently Misdiagnosed As: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, equivocal celebrity disorder.

PTSD is, according to a American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, “a psychiatric diagnosis for people who have endured a rarely stressful and frightening experience and who are experiencing trouble caused by memories of that experience.” But while PTSD is a singular mental health issue, many of a symptoms — like anxiety, romantic numbness, unsure behavior, greatly aroused and risk-averse behavior, and inability to nap — can make it seem as if a studious is struggling with a opposite mental health problem. This is generally loyal if a alloy examining a studious doesn’t have any knowledge treating PTSD.

In fact, incorrect diagnoses for people grappling with PTSD are tragically common. According to an NBC News report, between 2005 and 2007, a Army discharged roughly 1,000 soldiers any year since a psychological analysis found that they had a celebrity commotion (a standing that left them incompetent for troops health caring and other benefits); a change to routine in 2008 that compulsory a top-level examination to order out PTSD as a means in each celebrity commotion exclusion caused that series to dump to roughly 260 a year. And according to a National Alliance on Mental Illness, “African American group are some-more expected to accept a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia, when expressing symptoms associated to mood disorders or PTSD.”

Because it is unique, and since each studious needs a opposite treatment, it’s also pivotal that PTSD is treated by a mental health veteran who is knowledgeable about a disorder, rather than by a alloy who customarily has a credentials in treating some-more common mental health problems.

5. Anxiety

Frequently Misdiagnosed As: depression, nothing.

According to a Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Anxiety disorders are a many common mental illness in a U.S.,” impacting 18 percent of Americans. However, notwithstanding this, it can take people struggling with highlight disorders an impossibly prolonged volume of time to be scrupulously diagnosed — according to Robert Leahy, Ph.D., a clinical highbrow of psychology and psychoanalysis during Weill Cornell Medical College, vocalization to Glamour, “The normal length of time between a conflict of symptoms—the time a lady starts feeling bad—and when she gets tangible diagnosis is between 9 and 12 years.”

Many people don’t know that their highlight symptoms prove a mental health problem — they customarily consider of them as “part of life,” and so simply don’t consider to see a doctor. But even when people with highlight see a alloy for diagnosis, they aren’t guaranteed a scold diagnosis — some highlight symptoms, like nap issues and inability to concentrate, can also be signs of depression, heading doctors to make a wrong call.

What Can You Do If You Think You’ve Been Misdiagnosed?

Researching and seeking out a alloy when you’re pang from a mental health problem can be grueling, and a routine of anticipating and researching a new psychiatrist or therapist after you’ve already found can feel overwhelming. But if we consider you’re not removing a scold treatment, or feel that we would work improved with a opposite mental health professional, we owe it to yourself to get a second opinion.

If we need assistance anticipating another alloy or therapist, we can call a mental health hotline tied to your word devise to find doctors in your area lonesome by your plan; we can also deliberate an online apparatus of mental health professionals, like Psychology Today’s therapist locator, or a counselor office on a site like Good Therapy. No matter what, try to not get discouraged, and not give adult — removing an accurate diagnosis is value it.

Images: Pexels; Giphy

Let’s retard ads! (Why?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *