| Latest Health News | Thursday April 19 2012 6:49
Medical professionals say it's not uncommon to see people with alcohol issues and depression misdiagnosed - at least initially.
The Health and Disability Commissioner has ordered two Auckland health providers Taikura Trust and Oak Park rest home to pay compensation after a woman was wrongfully held in a dementia unit.
The woman had psychological trauma, depression and symptoms of alcohol abuse.
National Addiction Centre director Professor Doug Sellman says with all three of these disorders, misdiagnosis can happen.
"It's quite possible for a combination of those disorders to produce a clinical picture that looks like someone who is dementing. So that doesn't surprise me."
Mr Sellman says there's still time for patients to turn their lives around while in care.
" If the person then is not drinking, the mood then begins to lift, and they're in a secure safe comforting therapeutic environment, then anxiety can reduce."
The providers wrongly assumed there was a court order in place allowing them to detain the woman, who had alcohol and mental health issues.
The woman has since died and the compensation paid to her estate.