Nearly any symptom can have multiple causes. This is difficult enough to deal with in medicine, but in mental health there are few to no physical symptoms, only behaviour and a patient’s self-reporting of their thoughts and emotions. Add to this a child’s limited ability to express themselves, and it’s no mystery why many childhood mental health conditions are at least initially misdiagnosed.

While no article can replace the work of a mental health professional, this list does give carers some idea of when to keep an open mind if their child is diagnosed with various conditions. In particular, if carers think a diagnosis has been made too quickly it can be important to seek a second opinion. This won’t avoid every misdiagnosis, but could definitely cut down on the opportunity cost of pursuing ineffective treatments, as well as potentially unnecessary side-effects.

– Linda Spiro, PsyD

Read the article: The Most Common Misdiagnoses in Children

Image source: Flickr