How do thyroid disorder symptoms mimic schizophrenia?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Thyroid disorder is a medical condition that can cause symptoms similar to those found in people with schizophrenia. When people show up at the doctor displaying some of the signs of schizophrenia, a physician will perform laboratory tests to rule out medical illnesses that mimic schizophrenia. One of the diseases they check for is thyroid disorder. When a person's thyroid is underactive or overactive, they may display some symptoms that are similar to those found in people with schizophrenia. With hyperthyroidism people may experience:
  • tremors or shaking
  • nervousness or anxiety
  • trouble sleeping
  • confusion
  • withdrawal from others
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can include:
  • dull facial expression or lack of emotions
  • speaking slowly 
  • confusion
  • memory loss
For these reasons, people with the above symptoms are tested for thyroid disorder before schizophrenia can be diagnosed.

Continue Learning about Thyroid Disorders

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.