Mental illness diagnosis: Hi I am new my sister... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
101,209 members115,444 posts

Mental illness diagnosis

Hi I am new my sister has been given a mental illness diagnosis is this correct given her bloods? Thank you

TSH 33.8 (0.2 - 4.2)

FREE T4 10.2 (12 - 22)

FREE T3 2.5 (3.1 - 6.80

22 Replies


It's possible your sister has a mental illness unrelated to hypothyroidism. We are not mental health experts but I can tell you that untreated hypothyroidism can masquerade as mental illness. Lithium Carbonate which is a mood stabiliser can cause drug induced hypothyroidism. If your sister's hypothyroidism is drug induced it may resolve when she is able to wean off the drugs causing it.

Your sister is overtly hypothyroid to have TSH so high and FT4 and FT3 below range. Has she been prescribed Levothyroxine?


She has never taken lithium and GP will not prescribe levothyroxine



Your sister should see another GP at the practice as a matter of urgency to get Levothyroxine prescribed. If necessary change practice.

She, or you on her behalf, should also make a written complaint to the practice manager about the GP's refusal to treat her hypothyroidism and to misdiagnose mental illness. Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition but it is manageable. Her GP needs reducating for refusing to treat a patient with your sister's thyroid levels.

If your sister is displaying signs of mentall illness they really should improve when she is optimally dosed and thyroid levels return to normal.


Did the GP give a reason as to why he/she wouldn't prescribe Levo? With a TSH of 33 even the most contradictory GPs are inclined to diagnose hypothyroidism and treat it.


TPO antibody 558 (<34)

TG antibody >1200 (<115)



Thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies are positive for autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's). There is no cure for Hashimoto's which causes 90% of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine treatment is for the low thyroid levels it causes. Many people have found that 100% gluten-free diet is helpful in reducing Hashi flares, symptoms and eventually antibodies.


Any doctor who says your sister is not ill with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is a liar and behaving in a very negligent manner. Your sister's blood tests are showing in plain black & white that she has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Every single one of the blood tests you have posted on here show that she is very ill and it is not a mental health illness.


LouiseBarrett Who has given your sister the mental illness diagnosis? If it her GP then she should see another GP in the practice immediately.

There is absolutely no doubt that she has primary hypothyroidism with such a high TSH and below range free Ts.

Once she has a diagnosis from a different GP, she should complain to the practice manager about the one who diagnosed mental illness, s/he clearly needs retraining in thyroid disease.


GP gave her mental illness diagnosis


I don't know your sister's history but if her hypothyroidism has not been addressed then I don't see how the doctors could make a secure diagnosis of a mental health condition as they should surely rule out all health conditions that may cause mental health symptoms.

A GP is not qualified to make a proper mental health assessment and a person would need to see a qualified psychiatrist for such a diagnosis to be confirmed. Has your sister seen a psychiatrist?

What reason has the GP given for not giving the correct treatment for hypothyroidism?


Her hypothyroidism has not been addressed. She went to the GP for physical symptoms and the GP said she had anxiety disorder and sent her away with antidepressants. She made a complaint with the practice manager about these results and the practice manager said the GP said her TSH was only slightly over range so no treatment was needed. She has not seen a psychiatrist.

1 like

Your sister was right to make a complaint and I would definitely see another GP in the practice or change to another practice, get the correct thyroid treatment and then make another complaint. I would say that if she wants to, she could request any reference to a mental health condition be eradicated from her records on the basis that she is very hypothyroid and untreated. Since her GP has not referred her to mental health services and is not qualified to make such a diagnosis she can, if she wishes, refute the diagnosis and refuse to accept it. (Dr's get paid to identify patients with 'mental health' conditions so perhaps the practice manager is supporting to balance the books, all very convenient, apologies for the cynicism).

I presume you are in the UK? Even the NICE guidelines which are the advice doctors should follow state that thyroid function should be normalised within the reference range. On this forum people have found this actually needs to be low in the reference range for TSH but nonetheless, the GP is not even following NICE guidelines.

NICE guidelines for NHS GP's

Untreated hypothyroidism causes mental health type symptoms because the brain needs enough T3 to function effectively. Deprivation causes a wide range of symptoms. Once on the correct treatment they should resolve.

As your sister has been hypothyroid for so long then she is very likely extremely vitamin deficient which also causes brain dysfunction so she needs absolutely insist that her NEW doctor tests:




Vitamin D

Once you've got these results then she should post them here because the doctors often say fine when they are at the rock bottom of the range and we will not feel well with low results. The thyroid needs proper vitamin levels to function well.

Please, please ensure these are tested because she will remain very ill even with thyroid medication if these are deficient. If doctor will not do them then you can get them done privately though Medichecks or Blue Horizon. Information is on Thyroid UK's website.

1 like

Thanks we are based in the UK.

1 like

Jesus: just when I thought nothing else would shock me as far as doctors' incompetence is concerned!

Thyroid disorders CAUSE mental health problems. An organ in human body, which has the highest number of T3 receptors, is actually our brain. Withouth the correct level of thyroid hormones we become severely depressed, highly anxious. We can also present with other mental health problems. Please see the MIND website on thyroid-mental health connection:

I don't even want to imagine how your poor sister must be feeling with TSH of 33.8 ;( I felt like I was dying when my TSH was just over 5! She urgently needs to see a different GP, who would put her on Thyroxine (T4).

As you will learn from this forum there are also other forms of thyroid medication (T4/T3 combination, natural dissected thyroid, T3) but thyroxine is the easiest one to get prescribed and many people feel well on it. She will also need serum iron, serum ferritin, B12 and vit D3 tests as she is likely to be deficient. Thyroid hormones won't work without goo levels of iron and D3.

I do hope your poor sister will get the right thyroid care SOON. She must be feeling awful ;(

Regarding "mental health diagnosis" - I agree with Nanaedake that GP is not qualified to diagnose anyone with mental health problem. If your sister does want to follow this avenue she should request a referral to a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist.


Please make sure a supportive friend or family member always goes with her, and get a decent GP

This one is beyond belief. We've heard terrible treatment on here almost every day, but this is one of the worst for some time

Your sister is very hypothyroid. She has Hashimoto's also called autoimmune thyroid disease

She needs immediate prescription for Levothyroxine and her dire vitamin deficiencies addressing urgently

Her current GP should be reported for negligence

1 like

OH DEAR OH DEAR - you read so many posts and you don't think they can get worse until I've read yours. Your poor sister. I think you should query this 'mental health' issue as it will be on her records and it is due to being hypothyroid so should be removed.

The doctor really should have diagnosed her as being myxedema and if untreated we would develop myxedema coma a dangerous state of undiagnosed/unmedicated hypothyroidism.

You have to investigate this 'mental illness' tag as it has to be removed from her records.

I think we will have to get all of these doctors struck off for incompetence. What if we don't have an internet connection!!!! NO WONDER WE LEARN MORE AND IMPROVE rather than go to GPs or Endocrinologists. Just let us be able to get thyroid hormones over the counter because that would be far less dangerous than taking some doctors' advice

Tick off her symptoms:


Coastwalker Coastwalker,

Lithium is one of the most common medicines that causes hypothyroidism. Others include amiodarone (such as Cordarone or Pacerone) and interferon alfa (such as Intron A or Roferon A). In rare cases, disorders of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus (secondary and tertiary forms of hypothyroidism).

Hypothyroidism-Cause - WebMD

And Carbimazole and Propythiouracil, of course, which are used to treat hyperthyroidism.


It's probably the doctor that has the mental illness, not your sister. Did a psychologist diagnose her?


I meant to say psychiatrist


Im recently diagnosed TSH 75 and T4 was 1. Started me on 50mg levothyroxine. In the same week, mental symptoms started. I had hallucinations, paranoia, major anxiety and panic attacks and thats only some of the mental symptoms i experienced. Made an appointment with GP and she didnt seem 1 bit shocked by it. She gave me diazepan to settle my anxiety and told me mental symptoms would more than likely ease once thyroid settles. Honestly your sister needs to start hypo treatment. Ive experienced this its awful


You may also like...