As we become more comfortable with talking about mental health, we are realizing what the ancient Greeks knew a long time ago: a healthy mind and a healthy body go together, and treating them separately is foolish! Often, physical conditions will have an effect on the patient’s mental state, and thyroid issues are no different. Let us look at the ways that thyroid illness impacts the patient’s mental health or vice versa.
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Diagnosis is Upsetting
Being diagnosed with a thyroid condition or even thyroid cancer is a life-changing shock. Not only will you require a lot of treatment immediately, often you will need to take medication every single day for the rest of your life. This is worrisome even for the most sanguine person, but sometimes such a diagnosis is received almost like a betrayal: the body has let the patient down and they are now lesser as a result. In these cases, counseling is strongly recommended, if for nothing else but the right mental attitude that can aid with recovery in some cases.
Thyroid issues: Hormone Imbalance = Mood Swings
We all know that glands produce hormones that drive our moods, and this applies rather particularly to the thyroid gland. Low levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) leave the sufferer exhausted, disinterested in the world around them, with poor appetite and no motivation to achieve any of their goals. High levels of TSH leave the patient in something of a flight, fright, or fight mood: nervous, bursting with energy, and tending to sudden emotional outbursts as the world becomes overwhelming. Sticking to your prescribed dosage and only changing it with the assistance and guidance of your doctor will keep you on an even keel – look for Armour Thyroid UK online here, if you need a new supplier.
Other Mental Problems Caused by Thyroid Disease
Thyroid patients sometimes worry about getting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease because they begin to lose their cognitive function. Short-term memory abandons them, they struggle to concentrate, and they find that they drift away from topics under discussion. Once treatment begins, upon diagnosis, mental faculties should return to normal, and your patient will once again be aware of who and where they are.
Links Between Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Bipolar Disease
While they seem to be unlikely bedfellows, the connection between bipolar conditions and autoimmune thyroiditis does actually make sense. Too much thyroid hormone and the patient becomes energized and jittery, too little and they are depressed and unmotivated. Bipolar patients experience very similar issues, veering from highly excitable and enthusiastic to miserable and filled with despair. Doctors have found links between the two conditions which may result in both conditions benefitting from new treatments: medications that deal with both the physical hormone levels and the emotional moods caused by those hormone levels.
While mental health problems and thyroid disease do seem to go hand in hand, there is no need to despair. As long as you are receiving treatment for both conditions from the same doctor, you should be able to manage both conditions and live a full and happy life.