Thyroid dysfunction and mental health: a qualitative study towards optimal treatment

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Authors
Buckley, Amy
Issue Date
2020
Degree
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Publisher
Dublin Business School
Rights
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Abstract
This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of individuals living with thyroid disease and their accompanying mental health difficulties, highlighting the importance of thyroid function screening to ensure best care and treatment of the thyroid patient. Semi-structured, face to face interviews were conducted to collect data from 3 participants and 1 participant submitted written answers. Thematic analysis led to the emergence of 4 main themes: depression, anxiety and panic attacks, problems with cognition and alternative treatments. The findings supported the thyroid dysfunction-mental health link and underscored the thyroid patient’s problems with cognition. Treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement led to considerable reductions in psychological symptoms. The findings also revealed that thyroid patients were using alternative treatments alone and in conjunction with traditional medicine with positive results. The findings have implications for the treatment of thyroid disease and provide a base for future research on thyroid disease and alternative treatments.
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