Confusing Medical Ailments With Mental Illness "An elderly woman's sudden depression turns out to be a side effect of her high blood-pressure medication.
A new mother's exhaustion and disinterest in her baby seem like postpartum depression—but actually signal a postpartum thyroid imbalance that medication can correct.
A middle-aged manager has angry outbursts at work and frequently feels "ready to explode." A brain scan reveals temporal-lobe seizures, a type of epilepsy that can be treated with surgery or medication.
More than 100 medical disorders can masquerade as psychological conditions, according to Harvard psychiatrist Barbara Schildkrout, who cited these examples among others in "Unmasking Psychological Symptoms," a book aimed at helping therapists broaden their diagnostic skills.
Studies have suggested that medical conditions may cause mental-health issues in as many as 25% of psychiatric patients and contribute to them in more than 75%.
[From Confusing Medical Ailments With Mental Illness]
If doctors were criminal investigators, they won't last past their first trial. In criminal proceedings, you're not allowed to just present a theory and then find the evidence to support that theory. All evidence must be collected, and all theories of the crime must be explored (even the ones that look like dead ends). Just finding a culprit isn't enough. You've got to prove it was that baddie rather than any of the other possible baddies out there.
But this would take an investment of time that doctors just don't seem to have. I don't know why that's the case... whether it's a doctor shortage, or bad time management within the system, or some sort of crappy incentives that drive our doctors to act this way. Whatever it is, patients are ending up the victims. We need to change this.