Does the Thyroid Gland Play a Role in Depression, Anxiety and Psychosis? – Is the TSH enough to diagnose thyroid dysfunction?

Ever wondered if your thyroid gland is playing a role in your depression, anxiety or psychosis? A month ago, I saw a 24 year old male who was admitted for increasing feelings of low mood and thoughts of suicide. On assessment, he showed symptoms of severe depression with no psychosis. Further investigations revealed a TSH of 5.5 and a normal T4 and T3. An endocrine referral was made and the endocrinologist told me this is “mild subclinical hypothyroidism”. Whilst this is true from the endocrinologist’s perspective, does it hold true from the psychiatrist’s perspective? And….what about the patient?

Read the full article on Psychscenehub.

This article is written by Dr Sanil Rege. Sanil is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Mornington, Victoria and co-founder of psychscene.com. He is pursuing an MBA at the Melbourne Business School.  You can follow him on Google+


7 Responses to "Does the Thyroid Gland Play a Role in Depression, Anxiety and Psychosis? – Is the TSH enough to diagnose thyroid dysfunction?"

  1. Lynn says:

    As someone who has suffered from depression and Hashimoto’s hypothyroid without proper treatment for many years, I appreciate your article and am happy to see that some doctors out there are finally acknowledging a connection. I am a moderator in an autoimmune thyroid group and many are familiar with the benefits of the right amount of meds on improving psychological states. I never thought I’d get past the depression, but I consider myself free from it now and it was due to learning how to address my thyroid issue along with some autoimmune triggers. Thank you for posting this article.

  2. Hi Lynn,
    Thank you for your comment. Autoimmune thyroid and Autoimmune conditions in general are becoming increasingly important in psychiatry. Links between Vit D, Autoimmunity , Thyroid etc are all links that are slowly coming to light, putting greater onus on the doctor to take a holistic view of the patient and looking at all aspects of “disease”genesis. Simply putting a name to the condition, may not be enough; getting to the core issue is crucial to achieve remission. I will be posting more about these issues in due time.

  3. Eden says:

    My tsh is less than 0.01…but my ft4 is 30 percent of range and ft3 is 27 percent of range.
    I am thyroidless now for 20 years…due to papillary thyroid cancer.
    I take t4 and t3 medication.
    I suffer greatly with low mood/energy.
    I am subclinically hyperthyoid.
    But for me, I know I feel best when my free t’s are above midrange.
    Doctor wants my tsh low in range…but, to accomplish that, she wants to lower my doses, which will lower my free t’seven more, but my tsh will most likely be where she’s happy…this is a total nightmare!

  4. Kun says:

    Can subclinical hypothyroidism cause psychosis??

  5. admin says:

    Subclinical hypothyroidism can be associated with psychosis – frank hypothyroidism more so. There are several case reports of thyroid dysfunction and psychosis- well documented in the literature.

  6. Elissa says:

    I’ve had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since I was 19, all the classic signs, plus most of the symptoms of being hypothyroid- my antibodies are off the charts but my TSH is always “in range”, so I always get shrugged off when I say I have hashis.
    I also have other autoimmune diseases, and one that is becoming more thought to be AI.
    I’m aware of who you are and wish I was under your care- seeing all of your publications, I could’ve cried when I read your articles, particularly this one.

    I really wish more medical professionals had the curiosity that you obviously have to not only better yourself but be able to enhance the care for your patients & their well-being.
    I’m now classed as having (after almost 10 years) as having treatment resistant major depression.. when I’m sure if given the chance to do something about my thyroid, my life might change. I’m 30 now and have lost what’s supposed to be the best years of my life.

    You may be hearing from me soon, though I know you’re jam packed already.
    Thanks for taking the time to read.

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