source: Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation
Jessica Somerville Ruffolo, Robert A. Stern
Have you felt tense and irritable? Have you had trouble concentrating? You are not alone. If you have ever wondered whether your change in mood or thinking problems might be due to your Graves’ disease, keep reading. We are going to describe the emotional, behavioral and cognitive changes that may result from having Graves’ disease.
Graves’ Related Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms
Changes in emotion and behavior are very common in patients with Graves’ disease. The changes may include emotional liability, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, fatigue and insomnia. These symptoms are very similar to those experienced by people with anxiety disorder or clinical depression. These changes are often what lead patients to treatment in the first place. However, as you can imagine, it is easy to misapply these symptoms to a “primary” psychiatric illness. Too often in fact, patients with Graves’ are misdiagnosed because of the similarity in symptoms between Graves’ and psychiatric disorders. (Refer to Table 1) This can result in inappropriate treatment. Sometimes it can also result in a further worsening of Graves’ because it delays a true diagnosis and appropriate treatment.