Your mental health is your emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. And it determines the way you think, feel, act, relate with others, make choices, and, more importantly, handle stress. Surprisingly, our mental health is important in every stage of our life (from childhood to adulthood). Unfortunately, people don’t give much attention to it as they do to their physical health. So, here are some mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed;
Depression is one of the mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. According to reports, about 264 million people around the world are suffering from depression. Yet, this mental condition don’t get the amount of diagnosis and treatment it deserves.
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that up to 85% of people in middle and low-income countries don’t get treatment for depression.
Similarly, only half of the people with depression in the United States get the treatment they need. You see, even in the United States, depression as a mental condition is under-recognized.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that people suffering from depression aren’t diagnosed correctly in most countries. And people who don’t have the condition are sometimes misdiagnosed and placed on antidepressants.
However, depression itself varies, and it affects individuals differently. Sometimes it’s mild; other times, it is severe, and in rare cases, it is in between.
More often than not, unexpected sources often trigger depression. The trigger could come from where you live, what you eat, etc.
Again, depression manifests differently in people. It could make some people sad. And other people may be experiencing physical ailments like headaches or backaches when they are depressed.
Read Also: 5 Easy Ways to Knock-Out Heart Diseases
#2. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is also one of the mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. Several arguments are surrounding the diagnosis of Bipolar disorder.
While some studies suggested that the condition may be overdiagnosed, others argue that it doesn’t have enough diagnosis.
According to Everyday Health, about 20% of people with Bipolar Disorder are wrongly diagnosed with depression by their doctors.
People experience bipolar disorder when there’s an unexplained shift in their mood, energy, and activity levels. And this shift could affect their day-to-day functioning.
Again, because bipolar disorder often has the same symptoms as other mental condition, it’s a bit difficult for clinicians to spot it.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with bipolar disorder can have other mental disorders like substance use disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, etc.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is among the mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. It’s an intense physical and emotional response to thoughts and a reminder of a traumatic event that happened in the past.
According to experts, about 70% of Americans will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime. People tend to have this mental condition after experiencing a distressing event.
The event could be severe road accidents, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, sexual assault, mass shootings, etc. These events could trigger PTSD, and the condition can affect anybody irrespective of their age.
#4. Eating Disorder
Eating disorder is one of the mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. Perhaps, it’s because people have a stereotype towards this condition,
Most people believe that eating disorders only affect thin, white, and teenage girls. But that is not true.
And stereotypes about who gets this mental condition is one of the reasons it’s undiagnosed. According to a survey published by Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2018, eating disorders in men and people of color don’t get enough diagnosis.
Most times, people miss eating disorder because of a lack of awareness and their insidious onset. So, experts are always on the lookout for eating disorders in young people, especially after a stressful situation like Isolation due to Covid-19 Pandemic.
#5. Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. People suffering from this condition experience an unexplained pattern of varying moods, behavior that make day-to-day functioning difficult, and self-image.
According to the National Alliance Mental Illness, “BPD is one of the mental health disorders that don’t get the diagnosis it deserves. And because it rates of misdiagnosis, experts can’t give accurate statistics about the condition.
Perhaps experts misdiagnosed BPD because some of its symptoms are similar to depression, anxiety, and sometimes, bipolar disorder.
Another reason why this mental condition don’t get the right diagnosis is because of the stigma that comes with it.
People generally have a negative perception of mental health conditions, which could discourage them from seeking treatment.
That is why most people with any form of mental health disorder would neither believe they have an issue nor want other people to know about their condition.
These are the 5 mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed. Like I mentioned earlier, your mental health is as important as your physical health.
So, if you think you have any of these conditions, don’t keep it to yourself. Reach out to a trained mental health professional for the correct diagnosis and onward treatment.
And when you aren’t convinced about the diagnosis of a particular mental health condition, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion.
Once you are certain that you are suffering from a particular mental health condition, search for the right therapist who has experienced treating your condition. Of course, it can be challenging to find the right therapists, but don’t give up.
You can even ask for referrals from professionals in the field, your friends, family members. If possible, you can search databases like Psychology today to get the right therapists for your conditions.
Do you know of other mental health conditions that are underdiagnosed? Let me know in the comment below.