Mental Illness or Physical Illness

On August 9th, 2011 the Wall Street Journal published an intriguing article written by Melinda Beck titled, "Confusing Medical Ailments Will Mental Illness".  Let's look at a few of the interesting highlights.

Barbara Schildkrout, author of "Unmasking Psychological Symptoms" states that more than 100 medical disorders can masquerade as psychological conditions.  Her book was written in hopes of helping both therapist and patients broaden their understanding and diagnostic skills.  She quotes studies suggesting that medical conditions may cause  mental health issues in as many as 25% of psychiatric patients and contribute to them more than 75% of the time. When you consider how many people, from children to the elderly are now on some sort of psychiatric medication you realize the importance of a correct diagnosis of their condition.  According to Children and Adults Against Drugging America's website,  the number of antidepressants prescribed annually for children under 19 in 2008 was 11 million.  A rather staggering figure.  So you must ask yourself; could there be physiological issues driving many of these misdiagnosed cases? Common medical conditions that can cause emotional symptoms are over or under active thyroid which can cause depression or anxiety.  Deficiencies in vitamin D or vitamin B-12 and folate as well as hormone changes or sleep disorders also mimic mental disorder symptoms. Diabetes, Lupus, and Lyme disease are mentioned as having a myriad of psychiatric symptoms as well as mercury or lead poisoning from dental fillings, vaccines, food, or environmental toxins. Of course you have to consider medications as another culprit.  Many common medications list mood changes among their side effects. Approximately one third of people who have their first episode of depression after age 55 have changes in their brain that are associated with hypertension, diabetes and heart attacks.  Their symptoms range from apathetic, trouble focusing and planning and often don't respond favorably to the anti-depressant they are prescribed. Jerrold Pollak, a neuropsychologist at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, NH, states, "We now know that concussions can have a sleeper effect for years.  Then one day, out of the blue, you start acting explosive and/or depressed."  This behavior can be from the minute swelling that has been going on for years but is now having an effect on the brain. What can be done?  If you or someone you know is experiencing mental issues or disorders make sure they see a natural health doctor for a complete medical history and exam along with their psychological care.  Also observe them and if you have noticed a significant change in their energy level, their weight, appetite or sleep be sure to make this known to your primary care doctor. If you or someone you know is on medication and not getting the desired results from it, this is a sign that there could definitely be something more going on in the body that needs examining.

Depression Under active thyroid; low vitamin D or B-12 or folate; diabetes; hormonal changes; heart disease; Lyme disease; lupus; head trauma, sleep disorders; some cancers and cancer drugs
Anxiety Overactive thyroid; respiratory problems; very low blood pressure; concussion; anaphylactic shock
Irritability Brain injury; temporal lobe epilepsy; Alzheimer's disease and early stage dementia; parasitic infection; hormonal changes
Hallucinations Epilepsy; brain tumor; fever; narcolepsy; substance abuse
Cognitive changes Brain injury or infection; Alzheimer's; Parkinson's; liver failure; mercury or lead poisoning
Psychosis Venereal disease; brain tumors and cysts; stroke; epilepsy; steroids; substance abuse

Source: WSJ reporting Our Horizons of Hope program is a mental wellness plan that includes a full medical history and exam from our holistic health care medical doctor, counseling, nutritional evaluation and suggestions and intravenous vitamin and amino acid therapy.  If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder and would like a second opinion of what the correct diagnosis is then call today so we can help.

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