Medical Causes of Psychosis, Anxiety, and Depression

by Ronald J. Diamond, M.D., Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin

Editor’s note: The following is the finest article we have found on the subject of medical causes of severe mental symptoms. We are grateful to Dr. Diamond for his permission to reprint.

The reader should note that this article only covers standard medical causes of mental symptoms and does not include many other physical causes, such as nutritional imbalances and metabolic abnormalities, listed in other articles on It should also be noted that some studies have shown that, when extensive testing is done, medical causes may account for substantially more than 10% of patients with mental symptoms (particularly Hall [reporting a 46% causal connection], American Journal of Psychiatry, 1980 and Koranyi, Archives of General Psychiatry, 1979). Lastly, many clinicians believe that patients may suffer from medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, that can be missed by standard medical lab tests and, therefore, be overlooked on studies applying standard medical screening.