World Mental Health Day and Thyroid Disease

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Originally published on 10th October 2018
Last updated on 10th October 2019

TW: Mental Health, Depression, Suicidal Feelings

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. [1]

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.

Links To Popular Blogs and Articles

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 as well as some books for mental health and well-being shown here.

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.

See my Mental Health post category here.

Thyroid Patient Struggling with Mental Health

My Personal Mental Health Experience With Thyroid Disease

I also speak about my own experiences with depression and anxiety in my two thyroid patient books, Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate and When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism. Talking about how I was suicidal due to thyroid issues and how this impacted my boyfriend at the time (now-husband), these books are filled with uplifting passages to reassure you if you’re struggling too.

Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate Book Cover You, Me and Hypothyroidism Book Cover

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 be 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. [2]

Read about how I got my Hashimoto’s in to remission here.

Be Active This World Mental Health Day

As someone who struggles with their mental health as I experience the fun ups and downs 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.

Have you checked in on a friend or done anything for your own mental health today?

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

THE FOLLOWING LINK HAS BEEN SPONSORED BY BETTERHELP

World Mental Health Day may stir up feelings in yourself regarding your own mental health. If you need help, you can check out www.betterhelp.com.

References:

[1] http://thyroiduk.org/tuk/campaigns/Patient-Expereince-Survey.html

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3066320

If you found this article beneficial, please take a moment to share it so we can help others get better with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, whilst also raising awareness. "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate."

Written by Rachel, The Invisible Hypothyroidism

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