MISDIAGNOSIS OF MENTAL ILLNESS: It is not uncommon for mental illnesses to be misdiagnosed. The main difficulty with diagnosing mental illness correctly is that it takes time to understand if the symptoms a person experiences is actually an indication of mental illness because feelings, thinking, and behaviors vary and change. Another reason why one mental illness is sometimes diagnosed as another reason is because different conditions will have overlapping symptoms. An example is someone may seem to be depressed but is actually bipolar and has not yet transitioned into the manic phase. (Source: www.rethink.org)
TRADITIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTS: The American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which outlines the various symptoms associated with different mental illnesses. Mental health providers use this manual to help determine a diagnosis. Mental health providers will also administer a psychological exam that asks about thoughts, feelings, and behavior patterns which includes talking to the patient and sometimes also having the patients take a survey test.
THE M3 TEST: The biggest benefit to the M3 test is that people can take the test online or on their phone, which provides more privacy for those embarrassed to initially seek help or worried a diagnosis may affect their job situation, like people in the military. It also is a good tool to help patients towards a more accurate diagnosis and treatment, and it can benefit physicians by helping to confirm appropriate diagnoses. The customized assessment report you receive after completing the M3 Screen efficiently organizes your responses over a range of mood disorders. WhatsMyM3 enables patients and clinicians to monitor trends over time. Several tests exist that contain certain aspects of the M3. However, the M3 is the only self-administered clinical tool that integrates patient self-rating of symptoms covering all of the major mood and anxiety disorders. It is the first such instrument that includes patient education and a monitor of patient improvement and side-effects covering the full course of treatment.
A research group from the University of North Carolina, headed by Dr. Bradley Gaynes, assisted by Joanne DeVeaugh-Geiss, conducted a study of 650 patients at the UNC Family Practice Clinic. This study confirmed the validity of the M3 Checklist as a diagnostic tool, utilizing the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview as a standard.
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