Misdiagnosis of Depressive disorders
Misdiagnosis of Depressive disorders
Depressive disorders is a general term for any condition
leading to depressive symptoms including depression, bipolar, seasonal affective disorder,
and various other disorders.
Depressive disorders have a variety of possible diagnostic failures.
Simple emotional situations such as grief may be misdiagnosed as depression (though
grief can also trigger true depression).
A number of general medical conditions cause depressive symptoms.
There are also various medications and drug interactions
that can lead to depression syndromes.
Several alternative diagnoses, such as bipolar disorder (especially bipolar II disorder),
delirium, dementia, thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, CFS, PTSD,
and others are also possible.
Another common failing is that depression is often overlooked despite its prevalence,
particularly in populations such as the elderly or teens....more about Depressive disorders »
Alternative diagnoses list for Depressive disorders:
For a diagnosis of Depressive disorders,
the following list of conditions
have been mentioned in sources
as possible alternative diagnoses
to consider during the diagnostic process for Depressive disorders:
Diseases for which Depressive disorders may be an alternative diagnosis
The other diseases for which Depressive disorders
is listed as a possible alternative
diagnosis in their lists include:
Depressive disorders: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?
Causes of Depressive disorders may include these medical conditions:
- Psychological - Stressful events, as perceived by the individual - job loss, relationship failure, identity change, natural disaster, learned helplessness and hopelessness, extreme feelings, negative thinking patterns.
- Social- Environment influences the disorder 60-80% of the time
- Marital problems - in women it can cause depression because they value intimate relationships so much; for men they may withdraw from the relationship
- more causes...»
Depressive disorders: Medical Mistakes
Related medical mistakes may include:
Depressive disorders: Undiagnosed Conditions
Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:
Common Misdiagnoses and Depressive disorders
Underactive thryoid may be misdiagnosed as depression: Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, is an endocrine gland disorder that
is more common in women.
It can mimic many diseases, including depression.
The patient often has depressive type symptoms, and may also have other
symptoms of hypothyroidism such as tingling fingers (peripheral neuropathy), hearing loss,
headaches, cold insensitivity, and many other symptms.
Common misdiagnoses of hypothyroidism include depression, dementia, schizophrenia,
or bipolar disorder (esp. rapid-cycling bipolar disorder).
Adrenal gland disorder difficult to correctly diagnose: Addison's disease, a disorder of the adrenal glands,
causes a variety of symptoms, and is often misdiagnosed in early stages.
Common misdiagnoses include depression or schizophrenia.
Calcium disorder a hidden cause of depression-like symptoms: Another uncommon endocrine disorder that
can be misdiagnosed as depression is hypocalcemia (low blood calcium),
which is usually due to a disorder of the parathyroid gland called "hypoparathyroidism".
This condition has many depressive symptoms, irritability, fatigue, and other symptoms.
See overview of hypocalcemia and misdiagnosis of depression.
Multiple sclerosis often misdiagnosed as mental disorder: The early stages of multiple sclerosis may cause
various general feelings of wellness, happiness, euphoria, or manic-type symptoms
in some patients.
These symptoms may lead to a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder),
hypomania, cyclothymia, histrionic personality disorder, or similar disorders.
Other patients may show depressive symptoms as part of Multiple sclerosis
and risk a misdiagnosis of depression (i.e. non-bipolar unipolar depression).
Other possible misdiagnoses of multiple sclerosis include somatization disorder,
conversion disorder, neurotic disorders, or other psychological disorders.
See the overview of multiple sclerosis.
Lupus is often misdiagnosed as other conditions: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), often simply called "lupus",
is a difficult disease to diagnose and can manifest with numerous symptoms.
Some of the possible misdiagnoses include depression, bipolar disorder,
anorexia nervosa, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia,
schizophrenia (a less common manifestation of lupus with hallucinations and/or delusions),
conversion disorder, somatization disorder,
and other diagnoses.
See the overview of lupus or symptoms of lupus.
Rare copper disease insidious and misdiagnosed: Wilson's disease (a form of copper overload) is a rare disorder that
has a slow and insidious onset that can often fail to be diagnosed.
Copper builds up in the liver and in the brain,
usually in the late childhood, teens, or 20's.
Brain changes can lead to a variety of neurological and psychological type symptoms,
such as speech symptoms, language difficulty, behavioral symptoms, and various others.
Possible misdiagnoses include depression, behavioral disorders, schizophrenia,
mental retardation, learning difficulty, anxiety disorders,
hysteria, and other psychological disorders.
Physical symptoms related to liver damage, such as jaundice, often appear later,
leading to the delayed diagnosis.
See overview of Wilson's disease.
Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of
medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present
in a variety of different severities.
Diseases in this group include multiple sclerosis, lupus, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia,
thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism),
chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes - all of these can have vague symptoms in their early presentations.
Also, depression can have some symptoms similar to these conditions, and also the reverse,
that many of these conditions can mimic depression and be misdiagnosed as depression.
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who
had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness
because he suffered from sudden inability to speak.
This was initially misdiagnosed as a "nervous breakdown" and other mental conditions.
He was later diagnosed as having had a stroke, and suffering from aphasia (inability to speak),
a well-known complication of stroke (or other brain conditions).
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease
is often over-diagnosed.
Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's,
whereas there are many other less severe possibilities.
Some level of memory decline is normal with aging,
and even a slight loss of acuity may be noticed in the 30's and 40's.
Other conditions can also lead a person to show greater forgetfulness.
For example, depression and depressive disorders can cause a person to
have reduced concentration and thereby poorer memory retention.
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for
a patient to show mental decline to dementia.
Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions,
such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease,
it can also occur from a side effect or interaction between multiple drugs
that the elderly patient may be taking.
There are also various other possible causes of dementia.
ADHD under-diagnosed in adults: Although the over-diagnoses of ADHD
in children is a well-known controversy, the reverse side related to adults.
Some adults can remain undiagnosed, and indeed the condition has usually been
overlooked throughout childhood.
There are as many as 8 million adults with ADHD in the USA (about 1 in 25 adults in the USA).
See misdiagnosis of ADHD or symptoms of ADHD.
Bipolar disorder misdiagosed as various conditions by primary physicians: Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder)
often fails to be diagnosed correctly by primary care physicians.
Many patients with bipolar seek help from their physician, rather than a psychiatrist
See misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Eating disorders under-diagnosed in men: The typical patient with
an eating disorder is female.
The result is that men with eating disorders often fail to be diagnosed or
have a delayed diagnosis.
See misdiagnosis of eating disorders or symptoms of eating disorders.
Depression undiagnosed in teenagers: Serious bouts of depression can be
undiagnosed in teenagers.
The "normal" moodiness of teenagers can cause severe medical depression
to be overlooked.
See misdiagnosis of depression or symptoms of depression.
Undiagnosed anxiety disorders related to depression: Patients with depression (see symptoms of depression)
may also have undiagnosed anxiety disorders (see symptoms of anxiety disorders).
Failure to diagnose these anxiety disorders may worsen the depression.
See misdiagnosis of depression or misdiagnosis of anxiety disorders.
Depressive disorders: Rare Types
Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:
- Brain & Neurological Disorders: Rare Types:
- Chronic Mental Health Disorders -- Rare Types:
- more rare diseases...»
General Misdiagnosis Articles
Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.
When checking for a misdiagnosis of Depressive disorders
or confirming a diagnosis of Depressive disorders,
it is useful to consider what other
medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative
conditions relevant to diagnosis.
These alternate diagnoses of Depressive disorders may already have
been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible
alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Depressive disorders.
For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases,
see Overview of Misdiagnosis.