Psychological Disorders and Misdiagnosis Essay

Psychological Disorders and Misdiagnosis Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, mood swings, irritability, or feelings of sadness or grandeur? How about aggressive behavior, sleep pattern difficulties, weight changes, negativity. Is it possible that you have poor judgment, loss of interest, or have a shortened sense of the future?

Well if you think you have any of these symptoms, then odds are that you are suffering from one or more of the following psychological disorders Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar Disorder, Depression (major or clinical), or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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Don’t worry though, because help is available to you through many different routes of treatment that will not help you at all, cause new problems, or actually do some good for you. Nowadays you see that kind of thing everywhere you go. You see it all over television commercials.

Some announcer reads a bunch of common symptoms of many different illnesses or disorders and relates them back to one of them.

Then thousands of Americans think they have it, go to the doctor to get diagnosed, and are told they do have this thing. The reality is that between eighty five and ninety percent of those people are perfectly healthy, when it comes to psychological disorders anyway. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 1 in 3 Americans is diagnosed with some kind of psychological illness or disorder. This number is equivalent to 32. 4% of Americans, or over 75 million people.

Does this number seem too high? That’s because it is. The most common diagnoses in psychology today are ADHD, PTSD, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder. Each one of these disorders has their own varying degrees of severity and prevalence in the US. Each one of these is also diagnosed more than it should be by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists each day. ADHD is one of the most common disorders diagnosed in America today. Children across all fifty states are diagnosed with this each day just simply because they have a hard time paying attention and are slightly hyperactive.

Just because of these two common symptoms more than sixty percent of the children diagnosed with this are misdiagnosed. Being hyperactive and having a hard time paying attention are common things among children, especially in today’s day and age. Attention Deficit Disorder is also very commonly diagnosed in today’s world. Its symptoms are incredibly close to those of ADHD, with the exception of hyperactivity. This is also very commonly misdiagnosed in children. Both of these psychological diseases are all too common in adults as well.

Since both of these can be diagnosed by medical doctors and psychologists, they can be diagnosed a lot and often times are misdiagnosed. Major Depressive Disorder (depression) has been growing in diagnosis over the years. It is becoming an ever increasing problem across the United States in various age groups. The rate of depression diagnosis in children and teens has gone up over three percent in the past ten years. It has also risen by a similar amount in adults in the same span of time. The National Institute of Mental Health conducts studies every couple of years to determine the statistics of all psychological diseases.

In the most recent report it showed that on average, 16. 3% of teens will experience depression before they turn eighteen. Of that amount of people, 14. 4% will continue to battle depression for the rest of their lives. These statistics do not include those people that were falsely diagnosed with depression. If these people were to be included, then these numbers would be significantly higher than they are now, about ten to twenty percent higher. Bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by mild to severe mood changes within a certain time period and can be hereditary.

It is a rather difficult disorder to diagnose a person with. It is the most commonly misdiagnosed disorder this decade. It’s so difficult correctly diagnose because there are many different types of this disorder. Bipolar type I includes the most severe and drastic mood changes from mania to depression that disrupt normal behaviors in a person’s life. Bipolar type II is milder than that of type I; it includes episodes of hypomania that alternate between episodes of depression, this form does not disrupt a person’s life.

Mania and hypomania are mood states that include feelings of grandeur or euphoria, irritability, and include behaviors that would “go with” these specific feelings. Another form of Bipolar disorder is Cyclothymic disorder. People with this disorder have relatively short periods of depression and hypomania that are not as severe as bipolar type I or bipolar type II. People that have mixed bipolar disorder experience both types of mood poles in rapid sequence. The final form of bipolar disorder is rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is characterized by four or more mood episodes that occur within a 12-month period.

Some people experience multiple episodes within a single week, or even within a single day. All forms of bipolar disorder are lifelong illnesses and can be hereditary. Each form of bipolar disorder takes years to correctly diagnose. Yet, this disorder is one of the most common diagnoses in the United States. There have been several theories as to why this is so. For example, one theory is that some psychologists will diagnose a person with some form of bipolar disorder so that the person’s insurance will cover them for more office visits so they can correctly diagnose them.

Another theory is that more people are going to the doctor or psychologist because they feel that there is something wrong and want to get it figured out. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that people will get after experiencing a dangerous, traumatic, or life threatening event. A person with PTSD experiences a severe change in their “fight-or-flight” response to danger. When a healthy person is in danger, they naturally feel afraid and their “fight-or-flight” response is triggered. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it.

People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger. These people can experience flashbacks of the event that triggered their PTSD in their dreams, family events, work, or in other areas that can cause problems in their everyday life. People with PTSD can also experience what is referred to as avoidance symptoms and hyper-arousal symptoms. Avoidance symptoms are related to a person with PTSD that avoids certain things after the traumatic event and can often cause disturbances in their daily life.

Hyper-arousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind them of the traumatic event. These symptoms can cause the person to feel stressed or angry and can seriously disrupt their daily life. PTSD is being diagnosed more often in recent years, mainly in soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Soldiers are not the only ones being diagnosed, however. There has been a rise in the amount of adolescents with PTSD. On average, 4% of adolescents in the United States are reported to have PTSD; this is a rise of about 2% in the past five years.

This may not seem like a lot of people, but 4% equals out to roughly 12,511,918 people in the United States alone. Those numbers do not even include the adults that have this disorder. On average, 6% of adults aged 23 and over have post-traumatic stress disorder. At least a quarter of that 6% are soldiers returning from the wars. All of these statistics come from the National Institute of Mental Health online site. All of these disorders have a few things in common. The first is that they are all prevalent in today’s society; 1 in 250 people you come across will have one or more of these disorders.

Secondly, all of these can be diagnosed by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or a medical doctor. With all three of these professionals being able to diagnose people with these specific disorders, misdiagnosis is bound to occur. Lastly, all of these disorders are over-diagnosed. The DSM-IV includes statistics on roughly how many cases of each psychological disorder should occur in a normal population. Each one of these disorders should occur less often in the United States. Statistically, each one of these disorders occurs in 2-4% more Americans than in 2005. There are a few theories as to why this is happening.

The first theory and the one that is applicable to most situations is that some doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists will diagnose a person that has certain insurance with a severe disorder to get the insurance company to approve more visits. This way, the person can spend more time with the medical professional so they can get an accurate diagnosis. However effective this method must be to get the right diagnosis, it is a horrible way to get more time with a patient. The false diagnosis still counts towards the percentage of people diagnosed with a disorder each time this method is used.

So, out of the 4% of people diagnosed last year with PTSD, approximately . 5% was falsely diagnosed. Most people that would argue with the fact that these disorders are over diagnosed would say that more Americans are going to doctors nowadays. In a way these people are right. More Americans are going to the doctor, but not for psychological reasons. With the recent insurgence of medical coverage in the United States, more and more people are going to the doctor and getting the medicine that they need for heart problems, diabetes problems and other problems along those lines that are covered by standard insurance programs.

Psychologists and psychiatrists are not covered by the insurance programs that most people in the United States have. Therefore, they won’t go unless they get a referral and are absolutely sure that the insurance will cover it. So the rise in psychological disorder diagnosis does not come from people visiting the doctor more. With the rise of diagnosis of these disorders come many different things. Many people believe that we are just becoming a society that is learning to value the health issues of everyone else better. Others believe that in general, our society is beginning to learn how to take better care of ourselves.

The truth, however, is that the over diagnosis comes from the ability of medical professionals to diagnose a person with something so they can be seen more often to get an accurate diagnosis. Works Cited Boone, Katherine N. “The Paradox of PTSD. ” The Wilson Quarterly (2011): 18-22. Print. Criteria, Dsm-iv4. “Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. ” Nih. gov. National Institute of Health. Web. 19 Dec. 2011. <http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945875/>. Gardner, Amanda. “U. S. Has Highest Bipolar Rate in 11-nation Study – CNN. com. ” CNN. com -Breaking News, U. S. World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. Cable News Network. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. <http://www. cnn. com/2011/HEALTH/03/07/US. highest. bipolar. rates/index. html>. <http://www. euronet. nl/~jonkr/,> Ron Jonk-. “Bipolar Disorder – Prognosis. ” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. University of Maryland Medical Center. Web. 10 Dec. 2011. <http://www. umm. edu/patiented/articles/how_bipolar_disorder_diagnosed_000066_5. htm>. Miller, Gary E. , and Richard L. Noel. “Controversies in Bipolar Disorder: Trust Evidence or Experience? ” Current Psychiartry 8. 2 (2009): 27+. Print.

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