Depression is a common mental health disorder that can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 adults in the United States suffer from depression. But what many people don’t know is that depression can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disease. In this blog post, we will discuss the link between thyroid disease and depression and provide some tips on how to get help if you are suffering from both conditions.
What Is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. This small, but mighty gland produces hormones that regulate many important functions in your body, including metabolism, heart rate, breathing, and body temperature. This condition seems to be more common in women than men and usually occurs during the childbearing years.
According to studies, this condition is linked to a number of different mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Researchers believe that the connection between thyroid and mental health may be due to the fact that the thyroid gland produces hormones that play a role in regulating mood.
For example, one study found that people with hypothyroidism were more likely to experience depression than those without the condition. Another study found that people with hyperthyroidism were more likely to experience anxiety and panic attacks.
So, people should not take this lightly, if they are suffering from any type of mental health condition, it is important to get their thyroid checked as well.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that can cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and enjoy activities you once enjoyed. Depression affects how you think, feel, and behave. It can even lead to physical problems.
Depression is more than just feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a few days. If you are depressed, it interferes with your daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a real medical condition that can be effectively treated. The common symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling irritable or restless
- Losing interest in sex
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Experiencing changes in appetite or eating more or less than usual
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Having trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Moving more slowly than usual or feeling fidgety and agitated
So, depression can be really difficult to deal with. Let’s further discuss how the thyroid may be a cause of depression.
How Is Thyroid And Depression Linked?
There are many possible links between thyroid problems and depression. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can lead to fatigue, weight gain, moodiness, and trouble concentrating—all symptoms that can contribute to depression. And an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness, and mood swings—also symptoms that can worsen or trigger depression.
But it’s not just the thyroid itself that may be to blame for the link between thyroid problems and depression. Depression is also a common symptom of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid. And fewer than half of all people with Graves’ disease, another autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid, will experience depression.
So what does this all mean? If you’re dealing with both thyroid problems and depression, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the possible links between the two conditions. And, depression can absolutely affect your thyroid.
In fact, studies have shown that if you’re depressed, you’re more likely to develop hypothyroidism. And if you have an autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease, depression can make those conditions worse.
So, it is important to identify the link between thyroid and depression, in order to get the proper treatment. If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, make sure to talk to your doctor. And if you have a thyroid condition, don’t hesitate to ask about the possible connection to depression.
How To Treat?
There are many ways to treat thyroid and depression. The most important thing is to get the right diagnosis and treatment plan for your individual needs. Let’s discuss the various treatment options for thyroid and depression.
This is the most common type of thyroid disorder, accounting for about 80% of all cases. It occurs when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. The treatment for thyroid includes:
The medications are believed to work by either destroying the overactive thyroid cells or inhibiting their production. It aims at relieving the symptoms and returning the thyroid hormone levels to normal. Some common medications are:
- Propylthiouracil (PTU)
- Methimazole (Tapazole)
Radioactive iodine therapy
This therapy uses a small amount of radioactive iodine to destroy the overactive thyroid cells. The treatment is usually done in two steps: first, the patient takes a pill or liquid containing the radioactive iodine. Second, the patient waits for the body to absorb the iodine and then destroys the overactive thyroid cells. It basically helps to shrink the thyroid gland and bring the hormone levels back to normal.
This is usually done as a last resort when other treatment options have failed. The surgery involves removing all or part of the thyroid gland. It is a major operation with some risks, but it can be successful in treating thyroid disorders. More often, this surgery is used to treat cancer of the thyroid.
So, overall these are some common treatment options for thyroid. But, it is important to remember that the treatment plan should be designed specifically for each individual.
Depression is a common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. The main treatment options for depression include:
This is also known as talk therapy or counseling. It involves talking with a mental health professional to help you understand and manage your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There are various types of psychotherapy, including:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping you identify and change negative thinking and behavior patterns.
Interpersonal therapy (IPT): This is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on your relationships with others and how they may be affecting your depression.
So therapies are always a great way to help with depression. It aims at providing people with skills to deal with their current situation and teaches positive ways of thinking and behaving. It can help people understand what is causing their depression and how to cope with or change it.
For depression, there are several types of medication your doctor may prescribe. These include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
Each type of antidepressant works differently, so it’s important to work with your doctor to find the one that’s right for you. It may take a few tries to find the best medication and dosage for you. There are a few side effects associated with each type of antidepressant, so be sure to discuss these with your doctor as well.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
This is a procedure that uses electrical stimulation to treat severe depression. It is the last resort for people who haven’t responded to other treatments. ECT can be effective, but it has some risks, including memory loss. If you’re considering ECT, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. You should also talk to a mental health professional to make sure that ECT is the right treatment for you.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
TMS is a newer treatment that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain. It is usually used for people who haven’t responded to other treatments, but it may be an option for people who can’t have ECT. TMS has fewer side effects than ECT, but it is not as well studied. If you’re considering TMS, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits. You should also talk to a mental health professional to make sure that TMS is the right treatment for you.
These are some common treatments for depression, but there are many other options. If you’re struggling with depression, talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. You don’t have to suffer from depression. There is help available, and you can get better.
Lifestyle changes for both
For both thyroid and depression, making lifestyle changes can be key to managing symptoms. This may include things like:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing stress
- Practicing meditation
Of course, these lifestyle changes can be difficult to make, and sometimes medication is a necessary addition to them. But if you’re struggling with thyroid or depression, it’s worth considering making some changes to see if it helps. Lifestyle changes can do a lot to improve your symptoms, and they have the added benefit of being good for your overall health.
So if you’re feeling stuck, talk to your doctor about making some lifestyle changes. You may be surprised at how much better you feel. With the right help and support, you can manage thyroid and depression and live a healthy, happy life.
To conclude thyroid and depression are two interconnected topics. People with thyroid problems are more likely to experience depression and vice versa. More often than not, the two conditions share common symptoms. If you think you may be experiencing either thyroid or depression, it’s important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Moreover, you should know that you are not alone. There are many people who suffer from this condition, and there is a lot of support available. If you found this information helpful, please share it with others who might benefit from it. And, as always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the condition, please contact Mantra Care for expert guidance.
Mantra Care is the leading provider of mental health services around the globe. With a team of highly qualified and experienced mental health professionals, we are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. Mantra Care is always here to help you improve your quality of life! You can also book a therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.