My primary diagnosis is that the patient is suffering from the depressive disorder due to hyperthyroidism based on the available information. According to DSM, a patient’s history should be examined to make a final judgment (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It is paramount to mention that the current condition may be attributed to this disease because the client has reported that she has a history of hyperthyroidism and has stopped taking the drugs, and it could lead to severe complications. Mood symptoms may be caused by this medical condition, but a need for further assessment is necessary. Laboratory tests and physical examination may be required most of the time. The lack of response to treatment of depression may be regarded as one of the ways to determine the underlying cause of the condition (Marian, Nica, Ionescu, & Ghinea, 2009). The possibility of Graves Disease also should not be disregarded, and it frequently leads to similar symptoms.
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A broad range of assessment tools such as the Suicide Probability Scale (SPC) and the Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL) could be used in this case (Cummins et al., 2015). The first one is a questionnaire that consists of 36 items and has been designed to measure particular feelings that are related to suicidal behaviors. The second one consists of 48 items, and may also be considered extremely efficient. The Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) may also be used in this case, and it is one of the most useful tools that are currently available. It is paramount to mention that a threat of suicide is a significant risk factor that should not be disregarded, and can be regarded as a worrying sign.
The fact that numerous diseases may mimic mental illness is quite problematic because it leads to numerous instances of misdiagnosis. For example, what may seem like depression could be caused by an underactive thyroid, hormonal changes and other problems (Dayan & Panicker, 2013). It is necessary to note that this happens when the gland is not able to produce a sufficient amount of the hormones. The issue that needs to be mentioned is that it is not an easy task to determine such a relationship without investigation.
There are several ways in which the possibility of misdiagnosis may be minimized. First of all, it is paramount to make sure that the patient and caregivers are actively participating in the process because they may be viewed as valuable sources of information. Also, it is necessary to have an understanding of a broad range of diseases that may mimic mental illness. It is imperative to ensure that several differential diagnoses are considered to minimize the possibility of error. The fact that several factors may influence the possibility of medical cause also should be taken into account.
The responsibility of a trained professional is to make sure that standard assessments are performed to determine if further medical evaluation is necessary in case there is any suspicion (Castro & Billick, 2013). Also, it is important to ensure that such assessments are as efficient as possible to minimize unnecessary expenses. Some of the tests are considered to be the most effective and may help to determine the most underlying causes. Intentional misdiagnosis is a significant issue and is regarded as an offense because it leads to severe consequences (Braun & Cox, 2005). The necessity to respect aspects that are related to legal statutes and ethics should not be disregarded.
American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Pub.
Braun, S., & Cox, J. (2005). Managed mental health care: Intentional misdiagnosis of mental disorders. Journal of Counseling & Development, 83(4), 425-434.
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Castro, J., & Billick, S. (2013). Psychiatric presentations/manifestations of medical illnesses. Psychiatric Quarterly, 84(3), 351-362.
Cummins, N., Scherer, S., Krajewski, J., Schneider, S., Epps, J., & Quatieri T. F. (2015). A review of depression and suicide risk assessment using speech analysis. Speech Communication, 71(1), 10-49.
Dayan, C., & Panicker, V. (2013). Hypothyroidism and Depression. European Thyroid Journal, 2(3), 168-179.
Marian, G., Nica, A. E., Ionescu, B. E., & Ghinea, D. (2009). A review of depression and suicide risk assessment using speech analysis. J Med Life, 2(4), 440-442.