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Mood and Other Medical Conditions

June 19, 2022

Can my mood change with other medical conditions?

mood and other medical conditions

by Jamal Ross

At times, symptoms of depression are not caused by a life event or related to major depressive disorder. In some cases, depression can be a symptom of another complex medical condition, such as thyroid disease. In these cases, our focus shifts from treating major depressive disorder to uncovering a hidden medical condition. The official name for depression when it is caused by a medical condition is “depressive disorder due to another medical condition.” Let’s find out more about some conditions can mascaraed as major depressive disorder.

It is important to remember that depression is symptom, but not a diagnosis. In fact, an individual who feels depressed does not necessarily have major depressive disorder. Not only can life circumstances result in temporary feelings of depression, symptoms of depression can be a major presentation of another medical condition unrelated to a psychologic disease. As an example, those with Parkinson’s disease can have a change in countenance and experience symptoms of depression. Uncovering the extent of and treating the Parkinson’s disease becomes important in these cases. Also, those with multiple sclerosis may have symptoms of depression during their initial presentation to the doctor or afterwards during an exacerbation of this illness. Treating the multiple sclerosis and any exacerbations are critical in these cases as well. Those with a low thyroid hormone level, also called hypothyroidism, can also have depressive symptoms a major presentation of their initial illness or signal a worsening status. In this case, starting thyroid replacement medications or changing the dose of a thyroid pill can be helpful. (1)

Here’s the bottom line: The number of medical conditions that can masquerade as major depressive disorder are too numerous to count. If you are experiencing continued depressive symptoms despite therapy and the use of antidepressant medications, speak with your doctor. You may require an evaluation for another medical condition that might explain these symptoms. In this case, treating an uncovered medical condition can result in an improvement of your mood. Your doctor will perform a detailed physical exam and order some blood test that can explain why you are not feeling better despite best efforts. Remember and consider this question: “Is there anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14 NKJV) Not only God will uncover everything that is hidden, He will be responsible for healing you of depression or any medical condition. Keep your trust in Him alone.

Lyness MJ. Unipolar depression in adults: Assessment and diagnosis. In: UpToDate, Solomon D. (Eds), UpToDate, Waltham, MA (Assessed June 17, 2022)

Jamal Ross

Dr. Jamal Ross is an internist and pediatrician who possesses a passion for prayer and preventative medicine. He has worked in the fields of primary care and hospital medicine.

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