From heart diseases to thyroid: These common health conditions also silently affect your mental health

Did you know that some chronic diseases can increase your risk of mental health problems like depression and anxiety? Sadly, they do.
A woman experiencing morning depression symptoms
These diseases affect your mental health like no one's business. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 11:36 am IST
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There are a lot of reasons why a mental health problem develops. The reasons could be biological, genetic, emotional, and in some cases, an underlying health problem. That’s right, some diseases can elevate your risk of mental health conditions.

The mental health of a person refers to the psychological and emotional well-being of the person. It affects your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It can also affect your capacity to manage stress, handle everyday work, and maintain healthy relationships.

Warning signs of a mental health problem

These are some of the most common signs of having a mental health problem, as per several health authorities:

  • Inadequate sleep or too much
  • Low energy levels
  • Forgetfulness
  • Sudden lack of interest in social activities
  • Change in eating habits
  • Numbness
  • Feeling confused
  • Unexplained pain
  • Experience mood swings
mood swings
What are the symptoms of a mental health problem? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Diseases that increase the risk of mental health problems

Here are some of the common diseases that can lead to the onset of serious mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and more.

Heart diseases

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe. Several studies have linked heart disease with mental health problems. While it is common to feel sad or depressed after suffering from a heart problem, persistent feelings of sadness could be indicative of a serious problem. Several studies have linked mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with heart problems like heart failure, stroke and heart attack.


As per the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), diabetes can make mental health issues worse. The report suggests that diabetics are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from depression than people with normal blood sugar levels. If left untreated, depression can get worse. It can lead to stress and anxiety.

diabetes and mental health
Diabetes can lead to depression and anxiety. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock


The tiny gland in the front of the neck or trachea is the thyroid gland. Your entire body is affected when your thyroid does not function properly. Too much thyroid hormone can lead to hyperthyroidism, and too little can lead to hypothyroidism. Several studies have linked the thyroid with depression. A study published in the Journal of Thyroid Research found a correlation between thyroid and depression.


HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, attacks your immune system. If left untreated, it can lead to AIDS while raising your risk of other diseases. Reports suggest that it can also up your risk of developing depression. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that 39 per cent of HIV patients suffer from depression and other mental health problems.

Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis can up the risk of depression and other mental health problems. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

It is a disease that affects your immune system by attacking the protective layer of nerve cells in the brain. If left untreated, multiple sclerosis can cause permanent damage. Several medical journals have found a link between multiple sclerosis and depression, anxiety and pseudobulbar affect.


While feeling sad or anxious if someone has cancer is expected, sometimes it also leads to more serious mental health outcomes. According to Mental Health Foundation in Scotland, cancer patients are at a higher risk of developing depression and anxiety.

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Keep in mind that there are a plethora of reasons affecting your mental health, and it is best that you get in touch with your doctor to know the exact cause of the problem.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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