Catching mental illness with your phone
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- 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 says 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 Action News.
Called "What's My M3," he says 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 Action News.
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.
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