If you met me, you’d never know I was mentally ill. In fact, I’ve gone through most of my adult life without anyone ever knowing ”” except when I’ve had to reveal it to a doctor. And that revelation changes everything. It wipes clean the rest of my rÃ©sumÃ©, my education, my accomplishments, reduces me to a diagnosis.
I was surprised when, after one of these run-ins, my psychopharmacologist said this sort of behavior was all too common. At least 14 studies have shown that patients with a serious mental illness receive worse medical care than “normal” people. Last year the World Health Organization called the stigma and discrimination endured by people with mental health conditions “a hidden human rights emergency.”
I never knew it until I started poking around, but this particular kind of discriminatory doctoring has a name. It’s called “diagnostic overshadowing.”
Read it all (my emphasis).