Zara Brown, Contributor
Psychiatric Illness, Hormones and the Thyroid Gland
The thyroid gland has a significant effect on the mental health of every human
being. There seems to be an increasing correlation between thyroid dysfunctions
and the mental stability of the sufferer. It is therefore imperative that you
understand the impact that your thyroid has in psychiatric illnesses. Your
mental problems may have a very treatable source. Either an overactive thyroid
gland or an underperforming gland can cause mental problems related to the
thyroid. The symptoms vary for each problem and each individual. You need to
be able to differentiate the possible sources.
Hypothyroidism and Psychiatric Issues
Hypothyroidism is caused by an underperforming thyroid gland. The problem
progresses very slowly at first and may, therefore, have been in existence for a
long time, before detection. In fact, the psychiatric problems that stem from
this disorder may be the reason as to why the dysfunction is diagnosed in
the first place.
The HYPO Symptoms:
- There will be a slowdown of all mental processes in the brain. Even simple
thinking becomes quite muddled.
- The intellectual capabilities of the sufferer will remarkably deteriorate.
- The sufferer will have memory difficulties. It will be very difficult for someone
with hypothyroidism to recall even the most recent of events.
- A person suffering from hypothyroidism will lose interest and initiative.
This problem will get worse as time goes by. Eventually, the personality
of the sufferer will begin to fade.
- Depression and paranoia may begin to set in.
- When the problem is left unchecked, dementia and permanent brain damage
Misdiagnosis: Because hypothyroidism is sometimes hard to detect and
oftentimes overlooked, many sufferers have been misdiagnosed with psychosis
and forced to undergo unnecessary treatment. (Insist on a FULL Thyroid Panel
and hormone testing before taking any mental illness prescriptions, first)
Hyperthyroidism and Psychiatric Issues
Hyperthyroidism is on the other end of the spectrum. This health condition
is usually caused by an overactive thyroid gland. It poses its own set of
challenges that affects the mental health of the sufferer. Some schools of
thought believe that emotional upheaval can be the culprit or cause behind
hyperthyroidism. Still others suggest that a significant emotional disturbance
and/or extreme stress, may be the result of undiagnosed, overactive thyroid gland.
The HYPER symptoms:
- An increased level of anxiety and tension is usually one of the major
psychiatric symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The levels are usually much higher
than the average person.
- People with overactive thyroid glands have been known to have extreme
emotional liability. (ie: baggage)
- A hyperthyroidism sufferer is likely to experience a higher level of impatience
and irritability. Little things can set them off.
- An increased sensitivity to noise is another major symptom of an overactive
thyroid and can induce erratic behavior.
- Destructible over-activity is another symptom that psychiatrists or
professionals should be on the lookout for.
- The ability to stay focused also becomes greatly compromised.
- There might be an increasing loss of appetite and sleep. The lack of sleep
will end up triggering its own set of complications.
- Fluctuating depression, which may be interchanged with constant sadness,
is another psychological problem that hyperthyroid sufferers can encounter.
Bottom Line on Psychiatric and Mental Illness
When you have any symptoms from the lists above, you should consult with
your primary care physician or functional medicine doctor. Ask for blood work and a full thyroid panel. Make sure to rule out any hormonal imbalances,
as well. Levels of certain hormones, such as those produced by the thyroid
gland, can be factors in depression. You should apply the same energy you
apply in getting a psychiatric diagnosis as you would when you get any
health recommendation. Ask questions. Come prepared. Determine whether
thyroid gland complications could be the cause of your anxiety or psychiatric
illness. Discuss it with your doctor, even when the possible cause isn’t
mentioned. Your mind can influence your overall quality of life, so take care of it.
About the Author
Zara Brown is a guest writer for many health and wellness websites. She is also a blogger and freelance writer. She loves reading blogs, and writing for them on various themes like Travel, Auto, Lifestyle, Education and Health. As of now, she is doing research on National Insurance Number. Be sure to check her out and follow her on Google+.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
Questions or anything to ask Zara about psychiatric illness and your thyroid? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please!
I had a thyroid detectomy due to a over active thyriod. My thyriod is now obviously underactive. Im relating to symptoms mentioned. I get so depressed somedays i try plan my suicide, have even tried suicide before. Its stressing me. I somedays have paranoia or emotional outburst. i like need a map to my own mind. I feel that south african doctors are not educated enough to treat the thyroid as to doctors overseas, they seems to think that the thyroid is just a simple organ and have no interest in their patients well being at all.