HuffPo reports that "less than half of those who meet diagnostic criteria for psychological disorders are identified by doctors" and they name the top 5 underdiagnosed mental health conditions and the signs to look for that may indicate a mental health concern.
Depression: It is estimated to affect 264 million people worldwide, and in America only around half of the people with depression reportedly get treatment and low-income individuals often do not have access to proper treatment options. Depression signs are wide-ranging and may include issues like feeling sad, unmotivated, or hopeless and also unexpected signs like anger, physical pain, headaches, backaches, and memory deficits.
Bipolar Disorder: This health concern is often misdiagnosed and reportedly “up to 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder may be mistakenly diagnosed with depression by their primary care doctors," Everyday Health notes. Signs of bipolar disorder usually include a shift in mood, energy, and activity levels that is serious enough to get in the way of someone's day-to-day functioning. Also, the experts note it can accompany issues like an anxiety disorder, a substance use disorder, or an eating disorder.
PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder is reportedly seen in about 20 percent of people who experience a traumatic event in their life and can surface as an intense physical or emotional response when reminded of the event. This can last for weeks or months after the trauma. PTSD can affect people of any age and has been linked to members of the military, people involved with natural disasters, mass shootings, terrorist attacks, serious car accidents, and sexual assault. Find out how The Doctors have been helping people suffering from PTSD reclaim their lives.
Eating Disorders: HuffPo reports we often generalize and assume only certain groups are affected by eating disorders, and many unsuspecting groups like men and seniors are suffering. “Stereotypes about who develops eating disorders could contribute to disparities in diagnosis and treatment, with males, those of higher weight, people of color, and the non-affluent most likely to be slipping through the cracks,” a study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health notes, explaining eating disorder are commonly underdiagnosed in men and people of color.
Borderline Personality Disorder: This serious mental health issue can involve an "ongoing pattern of varying moods, self-image and behavior that causes significant difficulties in day-to-day functioning," HuffPo notes, explaining it will often be confused for depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder. They also note there is often a stigma attached to BPD (along with many other mental health issues) and some will avoid treatment either because they do not want to accept they have an issue or they fear others might learn about their struggle.
As always, if you or a loved one is struggling with any of these issues, please reach out to a trained mental health professional. Additional resources and services for substance abuse and mental health can be found at SAMHSA’s National Helpline by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).