Comments on
Is Thyroid Dysfunction Driving Your Depression?

By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
Associate Editor

Is Thyroid Dysfunction Driving Your Depression? Hypothyroidism — known as low thyroid — may cause depression. Hypothyroidism is a “condition in which the body does not get enough thyroid hormone for optimal brain and body functioning,” according to Gary S. Ross, M.D., in Depression & Your Thyroid: What You Need to Know.

Research has found a link between hypothyroidism and depression. For instance, there’s some evidence that people with depression tend to have higher rates of hypothyroidism than the general population (such as this study). A 2004 study found that 38 percent of older patients with hypothyroidism also reported symptoms of depression.

Unfortunately, hypothyroidism often goes undiagnosed. Some people simply aren’t tested for thyroid problems, while others are, but their lab tests come back “normal,” Dr. Ross notes.

10 Comments to
Is Thyroid Dysfunction Driving Your Depression?

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  1. Ahh the old, “thyroid” myth. I find it humorous/ sad that our ancestors had more sense then we do with all of our modern sources of information. Back then, the snake oil salesmen came into town on covered wagons and we chased them out with the business end of the gun. Today they are trillion dollar companies who spend far more on marketing then on research.

    As Freud observed, we believe what we want to believe, truth is of no influence unless it supports our beliefs. So it is with causes for mental health. Instead of believing that diet affects levels of thyroid activity, and that one way depression is manifest is through comforting, but not healthy diet choices, this depression cause the result in SOME people. No we would rather believe the other way around. It is a magicians trick. “… while others are, but their lab tests come back ‘normal’”. The reality is that there are no test that can conclusively determine hypothyroidism (or Serotonin, dopamine, Oxycontin, or neuroprine) levels. It is all BS, designed to dazzle those searching for an answer they desperately want. The use of the words “Appear”, “believes”, and “suggests” were all part of the magicians training I had as a kid. I am a system designer. I have spent some of that in the aerospace industry. If I said to you, “I have this plane that “appears to fly”, our engineers “believe” it will fly”, Studies “suggest” it will fly? Would you get on it? I am going to say no, even if I embellish it by making the bold claim that 38% of the time in the studies it has been shown to fly. Yet we will dive head long into these tests and drugs to control something that most likely is a symptom and not a cause of the problem you are trying to address. Why? Because to tell you that it was you upbringing, the way your culture operates, and your own perspective that is completely off base and causing your depression. You are going to have to spend the time and money for hundreds of hours of talk therapy in order to get your head straight” is not an acceptable answer for most people’s psyche. We live in a culture that wants it in a pill and we want it now! So we go off buying into these ridiculous snake oils to solve our problems. Then wonder why later we find out placebos are just as affective.

    I maintain my challenge. Depression will go away when we get rid of problems such as the 51% divorce rate, 70% split families, teen pregnancy, alcoholic/ drug addicted parents, Distracted by technology parents, abortion, SSRI’s (and other AD’s) two parent working, kids in daycare by 12 weeks, and economic advantage for having kids. Reduce these attributes by 50% and I will guarantee that we see more then 60% reduction in depression over a decade.

  2. Holistic healing is a good way to get rid of depression.
    Fear is a kind of anger. Did you know that? Specially women cant handle these emotions.
    What helps? Blossom brooks, also known as Bachblüten and NATURAL HEALING written by Petra Maria Scheid – you can buy it at ws: schutzengelein de
    no high price and international delivery
    I myself do need the flower remedy “impatiens” very often :-)

  3. Read the book ‘Stop the Thyroid Madness’ before commenting on this.
    I am stoked that a Psych major would even think of thyroid issues before
    spending years of their clients time and money to resolve a mental issue
    that clearly belongs in the physical arena!
    And congrats!! There are some doctors with critical thinking skills left!

  4. This is a very very insightful article. It is unbelievable how many people suffer from health issues that are misdiagnosed. Thyroid issues seems so much more prevalent now than ever. Is that just me imagining this? It seems like 20 years ago, I knew no one who even mentioned a Thyroid condition, and now I have many close friends with a problem.

    I can only hope that if someone reads this, and thinks that they might have a Thyroid problem, that you can talk to your health care professional- or at the very least get tested (you don’t need a prescription to have a thyroid test. There are many places such as http://PrivateHealthNetwork.net that you can go to for a test and get results in days.

  5. This is a very very insightful article. It is unbelievable how many people suffer from health issues that are misdiagnosed. Thyroid issues seems so much more prevalent now than ever. Is that just me imagining this? It seems like 20 years ago, I knew no one who even mentioned a Thyroid condition, and now I have many close friends with a problem.

    I can only hope that if someone reads this, and thinks that they might have a Thyroid problem, that you can talk to your health care professional- or at the very least get tested (you don’t need a prescription to have a thyroid test. There are many places such that you can go to for a test and get results in days.

  6. I have just found out that i have Hashimoto’s Disease so am looking everywhere for as much info as possible. Was not told about the likelihood of depression by my Endocronologist so am so pleased i found your blog. Thank you.

  7. Bravo!

    We desperately need more research into the physiological causes of depression. The “chemical imbalance” hypothesis is just that–a hypothesis. Depression may also be caused by stress that triggers permanent atrophy of dendrites due to poor neuroplasticity in predisposed individuals. (Hence why tianeptine is an effective antidepressant despite reducing serotonin). And that’s only one scenario.

    Virtually any health condition that causes inflammation is capable of causing depression. Cytokines cause a phenomenon known as sickness behavior, which includes symptoms like fatigue, low mood and social withdrawal. When you get sick with a cold or the flu, it’s your body’s own immune response that causes you to feel terrible…not the virus itself. Some people with depression are actually suffering from chronic sickness behavior caused by inflammation in the body.

    Working backward from this hypothesis, we also see that depression is listed as a symptom of numerous autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, Celiac disease, lupus and many others. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is itself an autoimmune disease that destroys the thyroid, eventually resulting in permanent hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s is the leading cause of underactive thyroid by far.

    Your thyroid controls the speed of nearly every process in your body, from energy levels to cognitive function to metabolism. An underactive thyroid leads to a literal “depression” (slowing) of every function in your mind and body.

    Thank you for probing deeper into the very real systemic causes of depression.

  8. Thanks for the insight, had not thought about depression.

  9. My husband had to have have his thyroid removed 10 yr. ago his life has never been the same he has major depression, he takes 250 mg synthroid 300 Budeprional XL 300mg Seroquel 900 mg Lithium 3mg Atavin, 100mg Lamctal 10 mg Lipitor, 100mg Lopressor, 100mg Cozaar,500mg Glucophange, 50mg Coreg he can’t work sleeps all the time and is so depressed he can’t even think of killing himself. He has his throid tested every 3mo. t3 and t4 anyone out there suffering with this after being mis digonest about having his or her throid out?? He is so over medicad on antidepressents

  10. I’m pretty sure this is what’s causing my depression, anxiety, throat pain, cough and fatigue. The problem is finding a doctor who is willing to look into it. Most will tell you there’s nothing wrong or send you home with antibiotics or antidepressants. Worse yet, they will send you to therapy when the problem is biological.

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