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Misdiagnosis of Anxiety

Anxiety: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of the underlying cause of excessive anxiety may be missed or delayed for a variety of reasons. For example, people with an anxiety disorder may fear the stigma of or be embarrassed by mental illness and not seek treatment. People with chronic hypoxia due to COPD may become confused and unaware of their condition.

A diagnosis of excessive anxiety or anxiety disorder can be also be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions. These include indigestion, upset stomach, gastritis, drug addiction, Alzheimer's disease, hyperthyroidism, myocardial infarction, angina, hypertension, psychosis, and hypoxia. At the same time, anxiety can go hand in hand with depression.

Anxiety: Related Misdiagnoses

High rate of misdiagnosis of psychiatric disorders: The book "Preventing Misdiagnosis of Women" reports on studies that estimate that 41% to 83% of people who are treated for psychiatric disorders, actually have a misdiagnosed physical disorder. See Preventing Misdiagnosis of Women (by Klonoff and Landrine).

Various mental health symptoms caused by rare epilepsy: Temporal lobe epilepsy is a less common form of epilepsy that does not have the typical physical seizures. Patients can suffer from symptoms such as depression, moodiness, anger, irritability, and misdiagnosis of this condition as depression is common. Some patients also suffer hallucinations and other similar symptoms, or even severe psychotic symptoms, making a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia possible. Mood changes and behavioral symptoms also make a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder possible. See the overview of temporal lobe epilespy.

Common asymptomatic heart disorder can cause anxiety-like conditions: Anxiety symptoms may be due to heart disorder - There is a reasonably common heart disorder called Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP), that often remains undiagnosed in people. A relationship or association exists between anxiety-type symptoms, anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorders, agoraphobia, and MVP, such that MVP should be investigated as a possible underlying cause in some anxiety type symptoms.

Rare neurological disorder misdiagnosed as anxiety condition: Posterolateral sclerosis is an uncommon neurological disorder that can be misdiagnosed as an anxiety disorder. Symptoms such as peripheral numbness, weakness, or sensations, may be wrongly attributed to a psychological disorder.

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.

Rare cancer hidden cause of panic symptoms: The rare cancer pheochromocytoma, an adrenal tumor, can initially have symptoms similar to panic disorder. Its symptoms may include anxiety, panic, sweating, increased heart rate, and other symptoms. See the overview of pheochromocytoma.

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).

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 or psychologist. 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.

Anxiety: Possibly Deadly Misdiagnoses

Some of the causes, which may potentially be dangerous or fatal if left undiagnosed, may include:

More about Misdiagnosis

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Anxiety:

The following list of conditions have 'Anxiety' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Anxiety:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Anxiety' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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