Psychiatric symptoms in endocrine diseases. Keys to identifying the underlying disorder

Postgrad Med. 1985 Apr;77(5):233-6, 239. doi: 10.1080/00325481.1985.11698963.


Several important points should be considered regarding psychiatric symptoms in endocrine disorders. The presence of cognitive deficits in a patient presenting with anxiety, depression, or another apparently "functional" psychiatric complaint should raise the index of suspicion of organic etiology, with endocrine disorders high on the list. Psychiatric symptoms secondary to endocrine disturbance generally reverse, albeit slowly, with treatment of the primary hormonal abnormality. When significant disruption of cognitive functioning is evident, residual deficits may develop. Treatment with psychotropic agents for symptomatic relief of psychiatric complaints should be undertaken with great caution in patients with endocrine disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Diseases / diagnosis
  • Adrenal Gland Diseases / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endocrine System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / psychology
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Pituitary Diseases / diagnosis
  • Pituitary Diseases / psychology
  • Thyroid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Diseases / psychology