10 Point Visual Guide to Medical Evaluation In Mood Disorders
A range of medical conditions can mimic psychiatric disorders.
Koranyi and Potoczny reviewed 21 studies dealing with the rate of diagnosed and undiagnosed physical illnesses in the psychiatric patient population. These studies performed by different authors in variable clinical settings with diverse methodology in different locations over a period of 45 years yielded a close concordance.
Approximately half of the patients (50.1%) suffered from significant physical illnesses, of these 58.2% were previously undiagnosed. A substantial portion of the physical illnesses (27.1%) produced symptoms showing a direct relation to the psychopathology of the patient.
A large Danish cohort study showed most mental disorders were associated with an increased risk of a subsequent medical condition. [Momen N et al., 2020]
It is thus important for clinicians to carry out a thorough organic evaluation which includes a physical examination to look for clues of medical conditions that may be contributing to psychopathology.