Bipolar, Mental Health & Thyroid – Is there a link?





For a while now, I have been thinking that there is something not quite right with me. I have previously passed this off as my thyroid levels being a little bit out of whack and causing me problems.

Lately however, I have been feeling not quite myself, even more so than normal.

My head has been all over the place, to be honest, and I have been irritable and very snappy for no reason, and getting overly angry and aggressive over the smallest things.

So, I wanted to see if there is a link between thyroid disorders and mental health problems, like anxiety and Bipolar disorder.

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It is quite difficult to determine which symptoms are related to thyroid and which are related to Bipolar disorder, as many of the symptoms of thyroid disorder are very similar to Bipolar.

From doing some research into this on the internet, it appears that there is a causal link between Thyroid and Rapid Cycling Bipolar disorder.

What I can’t find out however, is what comes first? Does a thyroid imbalance cause bipolar, or is it possible to have bipolar disorder which then reacts with the thyroid? It is a chicken and egg scenario, which came first?

When the thyroid malfunctions and goes out of balance, this sets in motion a series of issues in the body.
It can put the body under a enormous amount of stress and strain. Of course this will start to affect cognition and thoughts.

As someone who has suffered with an overactive thyroid, I then developed a case of OCD. As far as I remember this came on quite rapidly, and became very bad at one point. Unfortunately for me, my OCD didn’t affect me in terms of wanting to clean everywhere and make sure everything was impeccable!
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My OCD manifested itself in the form of having an overwhelming fear that I had left something electrical on or a fire burning.

It first started off that I would need to go around the house and check everything. Plugs, fire, candles etc and make sure they were all off. Even items that I knew I had not used!  I was ok if someone else was in the house, because I new that once I had left the house, I could call that person and they could check for me. If however, I was the last one to leave the house, it was awful. I had no back up.

It got so bad that even when I had checked the house and the items, I would convince myself that I hadn’t checked enough, and would need to go back again and check everything.

When that didn’t work, i started taking photos on my phone, to show myself once I was out of the house, that the items were off. In the height of this, I would start convincing myself that even the photos I had taken, were actually taken the day before, and I would still believe I had left items burning.

It was awful. My head was all over the place. I couldn’t control it. Nothing I did helped.

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Eventually, the time came when I realised I needed to confide in someone. My Mum. She was absolutely shocked when I showed her all the photos of the plugs and straighteners on my phone, and obviously she was very concerned.

I went to the doctors and he prescribed me with an anti anxiety medication, called Sertraline.

After I started taking this, my symptoms started to subside substantially, but they are still there, somewhat, to this day.

What is interesting however, is that in hindsight, I believe my OCD peaked roughly when my thyroid was really out of balance.

So there must be a link.

Having spoken to a number of thyroid sufferers they have also stated that they have experienced mental health issues, either anxiety or other serious issues such as bipolar.

One lady who was kind enough to message me, Angel Brown, stated that “I am Hashi and have been treated for depression anxiety and and insomnia. I am currently not medicated for anything. I moved to a new state in a very complicated situation and I’ve not seen a doctor for anything. I feel like I could die”.

This is so sad to see comments like this. Why do the medical professionals not advise us the causal link between thyroid imbalances and mental health issues when we are diagnosed. Rather than just giving drugs and treating each as separate conditions.





2 thoughts on “Bipolar, Mental Health & Thyroid – Is there a link?

  1. I am 9 yrs diagnosed hypothyroid (many many yrs symptoms) Depressed since teens. SSRIs for yrs, serotonin syndrome prevalent with them. Spent this summer off antidepressants, so sad, crying a lot, no interest to live. Started risperdal(antipsychotic) last night. Spark of hope. Maybe. I have OUT OF DARKNESS suicide prevention walk in 1 1/2 weeks. Mom/brother took lives 1/1/98 (4 mths after my attempt) Brain fog, memory loss, losing hair, muscle spasms, etc etc….there is hope I hope.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment Cynthia I really appreciate hearing from readers.
      It’s lovely having other people to talk to. I’m sorry you have had some bad experiences in the past but that you’re coming out the other side!? Xxxx

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