Racial Disparities & Discrimination in Mental Health Diagnoses: Part II

A Series of Three Parts

I teamed up with a colleague and friend of mine, Laura Lu, to create a three-part series titled Racial Disparities and Discrimination in Mental Health Diagnosis & the DSM.  This series begins to unpack the presence of racism in the history of mental health diagnosis, current racial biases in diagnosis and mental health treatment, and factors that perpetuate racial disparities and discrimination in the field of mental health.

Part II: Patterns of Misdiagnosis in BIPOC

Part II highlights patterns of mental health diagnosis and misdiagnosis in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in comparison with White individuals. 

Visit Part I of this series for an introduction to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and two racially discriminatory & oppressive diagnoses coined prior to the development of the DSM. Afterward, head over to Part III that concludes the series exploring various ways that racial bias and cultural factors contribute to the misdiagnosis & expression of mental health issues in BIPOC communities.

As you read Part II, keep the following questions in mind:

  1. What contributes to diagnostic patterns and misdiagnosis in BIPOC?
  2. How can misdiagnosis during childhood affect a person later in life?
  3. What implications are there for BIPOC who have been misdiagnosed?
  4. How does clinician bias influence mental health diagnosis?
Follow me @ curlytherapist for more health and wellness content.

Want to Learn More?

This series is grounded in research. If you’re interested in learning more on these topics, a great place to start is with the research articles that are referenced in Part II as well as Part I and Part III. For more information on the intersection of mental health and social justice, read about racism, stress, and chronic illness and tune into a conversation on the essential role of social justice in mental health and wellness. Additionally, check out my guide on self-care as political resistance for BIPOC.

Racial Bias & Cultural Factors in Misdiagnosis

The first step of dismantling racism in the field of mental health entails awareness of how BIPOC are misdiagnosed on the basis of racial and cultural factors. You are now ready to wrap up the series with Part III, an exploration of how racial bias and cultural factors contribute to the misdiagnosis & expression of mental health issues in BIPOC communities

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