An individual visits a mental health professional with complete trust to find the best solutions for their mental health conditions. However, receiving a misdiagnosed mental illness- when the diagnosis is inaccurate, or the mental health professionals cannot recognize the illness is more often than one thinks. Some mental health conditions are difficult to identify. These illnesses are complex, so an individual must get an accurate diagnosis.
As a rehabilitation centre, we at SimranShri, understand the effects of misdiagnosed mental illness. A misdiagnosed mental disorder causes several problems to the individual and their loved ones.
Misdiagnosis is possible with any physical or mental health condition. Some commonly misdiagnosed mental disorders include:
● Bipolar disorder
● Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
● Anxiety disorders
● Major depressive disorder (depression)
It is essential to perform a mental health diagnosis to identify the mental disorder and curate a Mental Health Disorder Treatment plan.
Conducting a mental assessment is central to finding a suitable treatment for an individual. An inaccurate diagnosis results in curating a treatment plan that is of no help, or one might fail to receive any treatment, which is worse. Misdiagnosed mental illness is devastating for both the individual and their loved ones.
A misdiagnosed mental disorder can be perplexing for an individual. They become rattled and emotionally distressed when they witness the treatment being ineffective. They might misinterpret this as their inability to progress or failure. They may even feel guilty or ashamed, given the feeling of having failed themselves and their loved ones. This even disrupts the communication between the mental health professional and the individual, along with relationship problems within their family. Identifying the mistake discourages them from seeking treatment altogether.
Another effect of misdiagnosed mental illness is prescribing the wrong medication to individuals. Having medications for mental illness that one does not have, causes serious negative side effects. For instance, Adderall is beneficial to individuals with ADHD but causes addiction, cognitive and memory impairments in individuals not having ADHD. Having medications for illnesses that one does not have is an additional stressor; it worsens one's condition.
An individual's state worsens if their illness is misdiagnosed. The majority of medications require a modicum of time to bring in a change. An individual might continue taking the wrong medications in the hope of betterment while their condition is worsening in reality. This is extremely disheartening for individual and their loved ones and can also increase the probability of them taking on drugs or alcohol and suicide. Individuals with unidentified or misdiagnosed mental illness often turn to substance abuse to cope with the distress. The co-occurrence of two or more mental disorders, such as, in this case, a misdiagnosed mental disorder and substance abuse disorder, is referred to as dual diagnosis.
Here is one can prevent misdiagnosed mental disorders from their end:
● Be honest about your symptoms: individuals often feel ashamed to discuss their symptoms; one should not feel embarrassed discussing their symptoms. Communicating one's symptoms honestly is the most effective way of avoiding misdiagnosed mental illness. Providing as much information as possible to help the mental health professional recognize one's disorder mitigates the chances of misdiagnosis.
● Maintain a record of your thoughts, feelings, and symptoms: records help mental health professionals identify the signs of mental illnesses. The Best Mental Health Counselling Services help address these symptoms, thoughts and feelings.
● Visit a specialist: there are specialists for every age group and disorder; visiting a specialist increases the probability of receiving an accurate diagnosis. One should consider several treatment options before diving into a treatment.