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Physical illness or “Mental Illness”

Charles B. Inlander, president of the People’s Medical Society, wrote in Medicine on Trial, “People with real or alleged psychiatric or behavioral disorders are being misdiagnosed—and harmed— to an astonishing degree. … Many of them do not have psychiatric problems but exhibit physical symptoms that may mimic mental conditions, and so they are misdiagnosed, put on drugs, put in institutions, and sent into a limbo from which they may never return. …”

Indeed, physical symptoms can mimic mental conditions, making a person seem “mentally ill.” What seems like anxiety could actually be overactive thyroid, respiratory problems or very low blood pressure. What appears to be irritability could be a parasitic infection. What may seem like depression may actually be hormonal changes, underactive thyroid, or even a nutritional deficiency like low vitamin D or B-12.

Diet can also play a role – a diet loaded with sugar can make a child hyperactive and create “symptoms” normally associated with ADHD. These physical symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed as mental illness when that is not the case at all.

Professor Stephen J. Shoenthaler, Ph.D. conducted a study at 12 juvenile correction institutions and 803 public schools. In this study, the researchers increased vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and decreased sugars and fats in the children’s diets. The juvenile institutions exhibited 47% less “antisocial behavior” in over 8000 confined juvenile delinquents. In the schools, the academic performance of 1.1 million kids increased 16%, and learning disabilities fell 40%.

The drugs used to treat “mental illnesses” have dangerous side effects that can cause even more problems. Per the FDA, side effects of psychiatric drugs include depression, psychosis, “zombie” demeanor, suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts and even sudden death.

Studies show how frequently physical conditions are misdiagnosed as “mental illness.” In one study, 83% of people referred by clinics and social workers for psychiatric treatment had undiagnosed physical illnesses.

There are no scientific tests for mental illnesses, but tests do exist to diagnose unwanted physical conditions. Competent medical professionals can perform tests to detect any potential physical cause for a mental health symptom.

If you or someone you know is being told you have a mental health disorder and need any form of psychiatric medication or treatment, do your homework. On the “Alternatives” section of this website ( you can find a link to a list of recommended medical doctors who will be happy to discuss alternatives to using psychiatric drugs, and perform the appropriate tests to diagnose any underlying physical conditions.

A sad but true fact in today’s society is that many people do not know one of their basic human rights – the right to Informed Consent. Per the Florida Department of Health, “Every individual has the basic human right to be informed about the medical treatment or procedure that is being proposed to them.” When patients are diagnosed as mentally ill, they have the right to be informed of the treatment, risks and alternative treatments.

When it comes to mental health – get informed.

Further Reading –

Recommended Medical Websites – –

The Wall Street Journal-

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