The Hazards of Getting the Wrong Mental Health Diagnosis

The range and scope of mental health problems affect more people than most realize. Statistics
show that worldwide, 1 in every 5 adults and 1 in every 6 youngsters age 6 to 17 have a mental
health issue, with varying severity.
The important thing for people to remember is that they’re not broken, they did nothing
“wrong,” and they’re not alone. The mental health profession recognizes over 300 mental
disorders. Some of the most common are:
 Anxiety
 Depression
 Bipolar Disorder
 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
 Schizophrenia
 Eating Disorders
 Paranoia
 Disruptive Behavior/Dissocial Disorder
 Psychosis
A mental health issue doesn’t “just happen” out of nowhere. Statistics demonstrate that mental
illness typically begins by age 14, with 75 percent occurring by age 24. While mental health
issues can be the result of a single traumatic event, it’s typically the result of multiple factors
that can be linked together.
There’s a genetic component to mental health problems, but that’s not the only factor. Also
contributing to mental health problems are family dynamics and the environment. Individuals
that live in poverty, are exposed to violence, have a disability, experience inequality, or have
been mentally, emotionally or physical abused are more likely to experience a mental health
issue. Bullying is also a factor that can occur at home, school, or in the workplace.
Fear and Stigma
Many people don’t seek help from a mental health professional due to the stigma that some
people still attach to mental health care. This continues to occur, even though more workplaces
are accommodating mental health days for employees. Some fear being judged by others, that
they may lose their job, or they’ll be hospitalized – they don’t understand how mental health
treatment works.
Care and Treatment

It’s imperative that people know they’re not alone and that treatment is available. It can
include sessions with a mental health professional, group therapy, medication, or a
combination of therapies.