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Catching Mental Illness With Your Phone

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BALTIMORE, Md. ( Ivanhoe Newswire) - We know our blood pressure number and our cholesterol number, so why not know our mental health number? Untreated mood disorders cost our healthcare system more than $70 billion a year.

Some people look at their apps as a form of entertainment, but Dr. Steven Daviss said this app could change your life.

"This is really the first time that we've had a single number that we can attribute to mental health," Dr. Daviss told Ivanhoe.

Called "What's My M3," he said the three minute test accurately screens for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

Online or on your phone, the free medical monitoring of mood checklist creates a separate score for each disorder, monitors it over time and sends a copy to your doctor.

"If the score's above 33 then the chances of them having a mental health problem is 85-percent," Dr. Daviss said. 

The test could also help people like Patrick Hendry. Hospitalized 14 times, it took six years to get a bipolar disorder diagnosis.

"The most telling moment was when I hooked up a hose to the tailpipe of my car," Patrick told Ivanhoe.

One in five people diagnosed with major depression may actually have bipolar disorder.

"If you treat somebody with bipolar disorder with the typical medications for depression, most of them will get worse," Dr. Daviss cautioned.

Today, Patrick uses the app to manage his disease.

"I've been taking it periodically and so far I've been hitting it dead on," Patrick said.

And this little test could be a big help for doctors too.

"It gives your primary care physician some objective evidence to help them evaluate whether somebody is suffering from one of these conditions," Dr. Davis said.

Doctor Daviss it's a screening tool only and you should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

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. (Source: www.whatsmym3.com)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Kathy Silverstein
On The Marc Media
(301) 545-0108
kathleen@onthemarcmedia.com

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