Meet Depression, The Most Misdiagnosed Mental Illness In the World
Unlike physical sicknesses such as cancer or diabetes, mental illness is difficult to diagnose. And like the aforementioned physical maladies, mental illness is all too easy to misdiagnose as there are no physiological tests that can prove its manifestation. What's worse? Depression -a dangerous mental illness and also a precursor to suicidal ideation- is the most misdiagnosed mental illness of all.
An article in Current Psychiatry sheds light on the shaded topic of depression misdiagnosis in one of their 2012 articles. According to their publication, 26 to 45% of patients - who were diagnosed with suffering from depression - failed to meet 'the checklist' of diagnostic criteria for a depressive illness and therefore, were not treated for their depression. While an article from 2009, discovered that general practitioners only correctly identify depression in 47.3% of their cases. Additionally, findings also indicated that doctors mistakingly misdiagnose various mental illness for a depressive disorder.
While it is often misidentified (or simply, unidentified altogether), the truth is that millions of mentally-ill Americans are correctly diagnosed and aptly treated for their psychological issues. With that being said, depression is still a very real and severe mental illness - misunderstanding it, or misdiagnosing a depressive disorder for something it is not, is still a serious problem that affects millions more Americans.
Understanding the consequences of depression misdiagnosis is the first step to fixing this grave issue in our mental healthcare system. To read about the various mental illnesses that are often confused and misdiagnosed for depression, please click below.
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It is what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
This quote, frequently misattributed to Mark Twain, describes the dangers of believing something false with all your heart. Instead of focusing on treating the real problem, you put all of your efforts into fixing an issue that bears little relevance to your future. This quote was famously used in the film An Inconvenient Truth to highlight the risks associated with denying climate change. Properly attributed or not, the wisdom is hard to ignore: When you believe in something false, you can suffer adverse effects. This is particularly true if that false belief involves your health.