World Mental Health Day and Thyroid Disease

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The 10th October is World Mental Health Day, a great day to show your support towards better mental health knowledge and awareness, and to learn how you can promote well-being in yourself and others. 

Mental health problems have affected 1 in 4 people in the past year and if you have hypothyroidism, then this rises to 1 in 2 hypothyroidism patients being on antidepressants. I’ve written about mental health and thyroid disease many times on my blog, so I want to take today to link you to those all-important blogs and resources.

To understand how your poor mental health could actually be being caused by your thyroid health, please read this article: Mental Health and Your Thyroid and Adrenals

To read real life stories about thyroid patients struggling with poor mental health, see this article: Thyroid Patients Explain The Devastating Effects on Their Mental Health

For ideas on how you can promote well-being, see this article: Simple Ways You Can Practise Self-care

To read the open letter I wrote, that every thyroid patient struggling needs to read, see this article: An Open Letter: “Dear Hypothyroid Patient”

And to see one of my most popular mental health blogs, all about my personal experience of coming out the other side of depression, please see this article: “Just Keep Swimming” – Depression and Hypothyroidism

As always, I strongly believe that the link between thyroid conditions and mental health needs repeating until the general public and even doctors are aware of the importance.

Depression and Hypothyroidism

As the below video talks about, it has been estimated that as many as 30-50% of people on antidepressants with have undiagnosed hypothyroidism. And that’s potentially a huge amount!

Because of this, I always recommend that anyone with mental health struggles is screened for a thyroid condition.

And once screened, you must ensure that your thyroid levels are optimal to rule it out.

Anxiety and Thyroid Conditions 

Anxiety also often occurs alongside a thyroid condition. Hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid produces too much hormone, can cause anxiety as the body’s processes are ramped up, but what complicates things further is that hypothyroidism can still lead to anxiety as the autoimmune disease behind it causes anxiety (and hyper moments) when it is destroying thyroid function.

As the destruction of the thyroid gland occurs, thyroid levels can move up and down fluctuating between hypo and hyperthyroidism, causing people to swing between hypo and hyper symptoms. From the heavy fatigue and depression of hypothyroidism to the anxiety and increase in energy from hyperthyroidism, the autoimmune disease responsible for around 90% of hypothyroidism cases can also be the reason behind a bi-polar or anxiety diagnosis.

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As someone currently struggling with their mental health as I experience another flare up of my chronic illnesses, I just want to mention that if you can take a few minutes today to check in on a friend, do something thoughtful for someone who needs it or educate yourself on mental health conditions, then please do. As someone who has a lot of experience with mental health conditions, I’m telling you we need to make more of an effort.

We need more people to be more aware of the effects of mental health and remove the stigma that stops so many people from talking about it.

If you’re struggling with your mental health right now, please know that it’s OK to talk about it, it’s OK to do things at your own pace, it’s OK to feel how you feel and it’s OK to ask for help. Whether you reach out to a friend, family member or local mental health charity, please know that you are not alone.

If you found this article helpful please take a moment to share this post on social media so we can help other Thyroid Warriors get better and spread awareness.

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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Rachel is a Thyroid Patient Advocate and Expert with Six 2018 WEGO Health Award Nominations. She is a highly ranked writer appearing in the Top Hypothyroidism Websites and Top Thyroid Websites 2018, with relevant qualifications and certificates in Diet and Nutrition, whilst also currently studying  Life Coaching, Motivational Speaking, Reflexology and more. She has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, The BBC, The Mighty, Dr. Hedberg, Thyroid UK and ThyroidChange, to name just a few. She is well recognised as a trusted and useful contributor to the thyroid community.

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