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What’s the Link Between Hypothyroidism and Depression?

Can hypothyroidism cause depression? Although they are distinct illnesses, depression can occasionally be a sign of hypothyroidism. Keep reading to learn more about these conditions.

Difference Between Anxiety and Depression Hypothyroidism and Depression

Anxiety and depression difference: The fact that one term denotes a single sickness while the other denotes a collection of ailments is a significant distinction between anxiety and depression.

In reality, depression is one illness. There are numerous distinct symptoms (see below). And different people may experience it very differently. However, the term “depression” only refers to one illness.

The word “anxiety” can indicate a number of different things. We all experience anxiety occasionally, and the word “anxiety” can be used to describe that feeling simply. However, when we use the word anxiety in a medical context, it actually refers to anxiety disorder.

Some less frequent conditions are included under anxiety. These include panic disorders and phobias. However, generalized anxiety disorder is the most prevalent (GAD). In the US, a generalized anxiety disorder may affect four to five out of every 100 persons. In this post, we’ll concentrate on generalized anxiety.

What is Anxiety Disorder? Hypothyroidism and Depression

According to The National Institute on Mental Health, periodic anxiety is a standard component of life. When faced with a challenge at work, before a test, or before making a crucial decision, you could experience anxiety. However, anxiety disorders involve more than just passing apprehension or terror.

Anxiety and depression difference: It’s critical to get anxiety treatment as soon as you can since, for someone with an anxiety condition, the anxiety does not go away and can actually worsen over time. The symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders are only a few of the several types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and depression difference: People with a generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive Anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about many things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. Fear and Anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work. 

What is Depression? Hypothyroidism and Depression

Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It produces severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function on a daily basis, including sleeping, eating, and working. The signs of depression must last for at least two weeks before a diagnosis may be made.

Depression treatment is required when depressive symptoms are chronic and do not go away since some types of depression are slightly different or may arise in unusual situations.

Types of Depression

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia): is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major Depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered a persistent depressive disorder.
  • Psychotic Depression: occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder.
Hypothyroidism and Depression: Depression (also known as Major Depressive Illness or Clinical Depression) is a common but significant mood disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder: is different from Depression, but it is included in this list because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major Depression (called “Bipolar Depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
  • Postpartum Depression: is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with postpartum Depression experience full-blown major Depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany postpartum depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or their babies.
  • Seasonal affective disorder: is characterized by the onset of Depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This Depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter Depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • SAD Seasonal Depression (Depressed SAD): A form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is triggered by the changing of the seasons; it starts and ends about at the same periods each year. If you have SAD like the majority of people do, your symptoms begin in the fall and last through the winter, draining your energy and making you cranky. Typically, these symptoms go away in the spring and summer. SAD less frequently results in depression in the spring or early summer and clears up in the fall or winter.
    SAD treatment options include medications, psychotherapy, and light therapy (phototherapy).

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Depression Fact Sheet

Depression Overview

Depression is a group of illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder that are connected to mood elevation or depression


Types of Depression

  • Clinical Depression: A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
  • Persistent depressive disorder: A mild but long-term form of depression.
  • Bipolar disorder: A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
  • Bipolar II disorder:  A type of bipolar disorder characterized by depressive and hypomanic episodes.
  • Postpartum depression: Depression that occurs after childbirth.

Depression Treatments

  • Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
  • Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
  • Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
  • Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
  • Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.

Depression and Anxiety Statistics

It’s critical to understand the distinction between anxiety and depression. Anxiety, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression, in its most basic form, is an excessive feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness. It is conceivable for someone to experience depression and anxiety simultaneously.


6.8 million

GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health

19 million

19 million adults experience specific phobias, making it the most common anxiety disorder in America.  

Source: ADAA2020

17.3 million

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults or about 7.1% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health


Can hypothyroidism cause depression? Although they are distinct illnesses, depression can occasionally be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Can hypothyroidism cause depression? Although they are distinct illnesses, depression can occasionally be a sign of hypothyroidism.

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Anxiety and Depression? The Thyroid and Depression

A little gland in the neck called the thyroid is crucial for many bodily processes. In some situations, a thyroid imbalance may be a factor in the development of depression and other mental health issues.

The American Thyroid Association claims that 60% of persons with thyroid problems are ignorant of their disease, despite the fact that it is predicted that about 12% of Americans may develop a thyroid ailment over their lifetime.

Can thyroid issues cause depression? Although they are distinct illnesses, depression can occasionally be a sign of hypothyroidism. When this occurs, your thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. The levels can be raised with medication, which can lessen or eliminate your symptoms, including depression.

Doctors occasionally fail to consider the potential that someone who is sad may also have low thyroid levels because the two disorders have so many symptoms.

You can experience weariness, sluggishness, and difficulty concentrating if you have hypothyroidism. You can also sleep too much. All of it could make you feel down.

Hypothyroidism Depression: What Does the Thyroid Do?

The thyroid, which is a component of the body’s endocrine system, secretes hormones that assist in regulating metabolism and energy levels. Typically, the thyroid controls a number of processes by continuously releasing thyroid hormones. However, issues with this gland can lead to a thyroid imbalance, which can have a variety of negative effects on the body. Unbalanced thyroid function can also be a factor in mood disorders like anxiety and depression.

There are a number of different conditions that affect the thyroid, but two of the most common problems are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  • Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, happens when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It tends to affect women more frequently than men. It can occur at any age, but it also tends to be more common in adults over the age of 60.
  • Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, happens when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. Many people who have an overactive thyroid experience some type of anxiety symptoms. However, research also suggests that depression is also very common, affecting as many as 69% of people with hyperthyroidism.
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Thyroid Depression: Symptoms of a Thyroid Imbalance

It’s crucial to keep an eye out for symptoms if you think you could have a thyroid problem of some kind. If you believe that symptoms of depression, anxiety, or any mental health illness may be exacerbated by an underlying thyroid condition, speak with your doctor.

Thyroid depression symptoms: Hypothyroidism symptoms include a variety of symtoms.

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Low libido
  • Tiredness
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Sluggishness
  • Weight gain

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Does Hypothyroidism Cause Depression?

Can low thyroid cause depression (depression thyroid)? Although the precise mechanics of how they interact are not fully understood, researchers have long recognized a connection between thyroid health and depression.

Evidence suggests that taking thyroid hormone therapy may increase the effectiveness of antidepressants in addition to the fact that patients with thyroid abnormalities are more likely to experience depression.

The thyroid hormone metabolism in the brain is a complicated process that frequently entails numerous phases and routes. The thyroid’s capacity to communicate with the brain may be hampered if any of these elements suffer from impairment.

hypothyroidism and depression: Although the precise mechanics of how they interact are not fully understood, researchers have long recognized a connection between thyroid health and depression.
Can thyroid problems cause depression? Although the precise mechanics of how they interact are not fully understood, researchers have long recognized a connection between thyroid health and depression.

According to studies, TSH levels and the severity of depressive symptoms are associated. The pituitary gland secretes TSH, also known as thyroid-stimulating hormone, which encourages the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone.

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Depression and Anxiety? Mild Hypothyroidism May Contribute to Depression

Even cases with a milder underactive thyroid might result in issues, although more severe hypothyroidism may cause more depressive symptoms. According to several studies, depression may be associated with subclinical hypothyroidism, which is characterized by TSH levels that are somewhat or slightly above normal or at the higher end of the normal range.

According to one study, depressive symptoms were present in 63.5% of participants who had subclinical thyroid issues, or indications of an underactive thyroid, but did not meet the diagnostic criteria for hypothyroidism. Thyroid hormone therapy provided some comfort, but it was insufficient to bring about a complete recovery.

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists advises that all people who have been diagnosed with depression should be tested for subclinical or clinical hypothyroidism because the link between an underactive thyroid and depression is so strong.

Depression and Thyroid: Can Thyroid Cause Depression?

The fact that depression and hypothyroidism (depression hypothyroidism) share some symptoms can make a diagnosis more difficult. The symptoms of both include typically low mood, exhaustion, difficulties concentrating, diminished libido, and weight gain.

In these situations, it can be beneficial to consider some of the additional symptoms that could point to an underactive thyroid. Constipation, dry hair and skin, hair loss, hoarseness, stiff muscles, and a constant sense of cold increase the likelihood that your sadness is caused by hypothyroidism.

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The exact definition of dual diagnosis (also referred to as co-occurring disorders) can differ between institutions.  However, it is generally described as the specific treatment of someone who has been diagnosed with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder at the same time.

Treating dual-diagnosis clients is a critical aspect of our inpatient treatment experience because co-occurring disorders are strongly correlated with instances of substance abuse. Creating a treatment plan that addresses the physical aspects of withdrawal, the psychological connection with drug use, and managing underlying mental health disorders is part of setting clients up for success. 

A thorough mental health analysis identifies possibilities for treatment.  Meeting with mental health counselors and medical care providers means access to behavioral therapy and medication treatment.

At our dual diagnosis treatment center, We Level Up can implement the highest quality of care. We recognize the fragile complexities of how mental and substance abuse disorders can influence others and sometimes result in a vicious cycle of addiction.  That’s why we offer specialized treatment in dual-diagnosis cases to provide the most excellent chance of true healing and long-lasting recovery.

It can be challenging to accept that you may be living with a mental illness, but once it is properly diagnosed and treated, treating the presenting case of substance abuse can be magnitudes easier. Only a properly trained medical professional can diagnose these underlying conditions.  If you believe you are suffering from a disorder alongside addiction, we urge you to seek a qualified treatment center to begin your journey to recovery. Call We Level Up today.

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