Hypothyroidism and Depression

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661-Pete
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Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby 661-Pete » 29 Sep 2018, 1:50pm

I was diagnosed with thyroid deficiency a few months ago and put on a course of Levothyroxine (yes, yet another to add to the mounting cocktail of pills I have to take... :cry: ). Recently, after a further blood test, the doctor doubled my dose - and also hinted that this can be an underlying cause of my chronic Depression - something that has been plaguing me for many years now.

So there's a possibility that the treatment may help, on that front.

I'm inclined to be sceptical about this. After all, medical science has yet to come up with any definite cure for Depression, as far as I know. The best that can be offered is treatment to alleviate the symptoms (I was on Venlafaxine for some years, but have now stopped that one; it wasn't helping).

What I have noticed, was that a feeling of being physically weak and run-down, has improved a bit over the last few months. The doctor mentioned that this is also a side-effect of hypothyroidism. But again - we've been through the summer months in the meantime. Like many less-active cyclists, I tend to exercise more in the summer. So it might be just the result of taking more exercise.

I'd welcome any suggestions re this topic: encouraging or otherwise!
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

brynpoeth
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby brynpoeth » 29 Sep 2018, 2:27pm

More/different exercise, variety, keep busy, learn a new language, even change your routine, the order you do things in, that helped me
It is a real puzzle but very well known, people who are not poor, lonely, etc, get depressed, have read about it several times
..
I would be very reluctant to take medicine for depression, have you asked about alternatives, seen another doctor?
A book that helped me:
The examined life by Stephen Grosz
(He has a website too)
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

reohn2
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby reohn2 » 29 Sep 2018, 2:35pm

In short your doctor is right depression is one of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism and once the optimum dose of Levothyroxine is reached many things in your health will improve,your energy levels will also improve providing some of the Levothyoxine(T4) is converted to T3(the energy giver) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triiodothyronine.
You'll need regular blood tests to monitor your levels and you'll become familiar with your optimum levels and whether some of the T4 is being converted to T3,but you must insist on your TSH level T4 and T3 levels being shown on your blood tests.
If your body doesn't convert enough T4 to T3 you may need to take a T3 suppliment.
I'd also ask to see an Endocrinologist as they are far more knowledgable about your condition,you may need to pay for an initial private consultation to speed things up.
Don't underestimate the effects of this very important organ can have on your wellbeing.

Good Luck :D
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Audax67
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby Audax67 » 29 Sep 2018, 3:04pm

+1 to that ^^^. I'm not a sufferer but one of our dogs is, and the effects of Levothyroxine have been little short of miraculous. Before my wife diagnosed hypothyroidism his hair was coming out in clumps, he could hardly climb a flight of stairs, he was getting fat and he was generally miserable. Nowadays he's bouncing and jolly again.

OK, you're not a dog, but the physiology is virtually identical. Keep at it, the end result is well worth it. Once you lose the incredible tiredness hypothyroidism brings the world will be a different place.
Have we got time for another cuppa?

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al_yrpal
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby al_yrpal » 29 Sep 2018, 3:14pm

I have had one episode of chronic depression in my life. It sapped my energy and paralysed me confining me to a chair moping for some months. I never went near a doctor or took any pills. I was lucky in a way because I knew what caused it, my business was about to fail catastrophically and I was about to loose my livelyhood and my home.
In the end I realised that the only person that could do anything about the problem was me and I got off my backside and energetically did everything I could to remove the cause. It worked, my efforts paid off and the depression vanished. The paralysing effect of depression is a terrible thing, a vicious circle hard to break free from. Depression isnt just caused by ones physical condition it always has causes.

If you can clearly identify what is causing the problem, do what I did.

Al
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661-Pete
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby 661-Pete » 29 Sep 2018, 7:02pm

Thanks for replies. My current thinking is, "wait and see". Another review will come in January. And I will be working on it...
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

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Mick F
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby Mick F » 29 Sep 2018, 7:04pm

Mrs Mick F has a family history of thyroid deficiency.
She was first diagnosed with it in 1980 aged 24 and was going downhill. Once on the thyroxin, she was fine. She lost weight, got her vim and vigour back, and has been on the tablets ever since. Aged 62 now and we've been married 45 years this November. :D

Both our daughters are under-active too and both fit and healthy, with the older one aged 43 doing a half marathon soon and she's been on thyroxin since before she started school. Older girl was in her teens if my memory serves me correctly.

Providing this deficiency is diagnosed properly and treated correctly, there isn't a problem in the slightest. Just get regular blood tests and keep a check on the thyroid levels. It varies over the months and years, so it needs checking on.
Mick F. Cornwall

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jamesbradbury
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby jamesbradbury » 29 Sep 2018, 8:13pm

When depression is situational then taking positive action perhaps coupled with CBT or counselling is the first and often best treatment.

For those unlucky enough to have a deficiency in the way mood chemicals are made or received in the brain, prescription medication is often a life saver. Yes, they come with side effects which should be discussed with a medical professional, but none of them are at bad as chronic depression and anxiety which has the worst quality of life of any long term illness. That's what I'm told and having seen it up close in several people I believe it.

There's no shame in taking pills if that's what you need.

John100
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby John100 » 29 Sep 2018, 11:16pm

Depression isnt just caused by ones physical condition it always has causes.

Depression doesn't always have a cause. It can come out if the blue and affect anyone at any time. Antidepressants used properly can be lifesavers - so too can the talking therapies. Hypothyroidism can certainly have depression as a symptom, but of course you can have depression and hypothyroidism coexisting. If you have had depression for many years, you are likely I hope to have had a blood screen which would have looked for hypothyroidism in the past. I'm guessing the thyroid problem is a new illness which may we'll make you depression worse. Get the right dose of thyroxine in you judged by blood tests and see how you feel. Hope you feel better soon.

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661-Pete
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby 661-Pete » 30 Sep 2018, 9:28am

John100 wrote:Depression doesn't always have a cause. It can come out if the blue and affect anyone at any time.
You are right. I can't finger any specific cause: certainly unpleasant internet experiences aggravated the situation over the past ten years or so.

Sometimes, I think it started around the time of my mother's death some 16 years ago. I know I didn't handle the situation of her final illness at all well - her lapsing into dementia in the last few weeks made things very difficult. But, to be truthful, that's not an episode of my life that I dwell upon much, nowadays.

I first realised things were wrong when I noticed how much time I spent at work being unproductive. I have since retired, but the lassitude continues. At least, I don't see how the thyroid treatment can make things any worse.
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

reohn2
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby reohn2 » 30 Sep 2018, 10:55am

Pete
If you're already Hypo then you're more likely to be depressed,it's one of the symptoms.If on top of that you suffer some psychological blow or series blows,the spiral will most likely be downward.
Getting out of that psychological hole and back on the level will be much harder with a chemical imbalance like Hypothyroidism,so it becomes two step forward/up and two back or worse still two forward/up and three back.
Once the thyroid condition is addressed, and your levels optimised,you're in a much better position to improve.

You mention 'unpleasent internet experiences' which you've mentioned in the past on other threads.
There's a simple answer to that,don't engage with people on the 'net who press all your buttons,unless you're you feel you have the strength to deal with them,and put them in back in their box.

The problem with the black dog isn't so much it being at your door,more a case of not opening it and letting it in when it is.
Hypothyroidism puts you in a position where the door is off the hinges so you've no defence,once the door is fixed you're in a better position to close and lock it.
A better position still is to see the beast coming and ward it off so it realises it can't get in,it'll return,but with practice you can recognise it's coming from a way off and laugh at its toothless ineffectivenes,but it takes time and patience.
To do this you need to be selfish in a positive way,otherwise the beast runs amok playing havoc with your head.

Thyroid medication can take upto three months to take full effect,stick with it :D
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby Halla » 1 Oct 2018, 6:28pm

Hello Pete.

I went through this about 7 or 8 years ago, having suffered all sorts of problems for many years. I did a lot of internet searches and found a lot of blind alleys. There were a number of books recommended, the one which helped me was "Your Thyroid and how to keep it healthy" by Doctor Barry Durrant Peatfield. (Chapter 16 covers "The Thyroid and Depression" ) This gave me a reasonable understanding of the condition and filled in a lot of the information which was missing from Doctors' consultations. At that time Doctors seemed quite unsympathetic to the condition, which seemed to make the situation worse.


There has been a great improvement in my health with the Levothyroxine, and the dose has remained stable for a number of years, my annual blood tests come back ok with a TSH at about 2 and T4 well within expected limits, so well controlled.

It does all take a bit of time to understand and get used to, as with a lot of conditions, people have ideas about diet and what you should and should not eat, but I am not sure how much is true as I eat most of the things that are supposed to be goitrogenic.

Getting out on the bike, meeting my mates and keeping busy help with the depression as does living for today.

Best wishes

Andy

Retour64
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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby Retour64 » 1 Oct 2018, 7:13pm

I have hypothyroidism and I have had seasonal affective disorder since I was 9. I also had glandular fever at the age of 30 and have collected inflammatory diseases such as the underactive thyroid since. Recently I went to the GP basically pointing out the need to take the long view of my illnesses as being part of one syndrome. To fob me off he ordered a blood test and found that I had a huge shortage of vitamin D. I was given hyperdoses of vitamin D. Normally my inflammatory diseases are cyclic and the first sign that I am going to get my symptoms is that suddenly I can feel the depression switch on like a light switch. The first effect of the vitamin D was that the depression was abruptly switched off. It was like taking an anti-depressant without the bad side effects.

I asked the doctor why my Vit D levels were low and he said I had a bad diet and did not get out into the sun enough. I often eat oily fish, dairy products, and I am a cyclist. He stared at me blankly as though I was telling lies.

A short internet search revealed that inflammatory processes lower vitamin D. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an inflammatory process. Perhaps the real reason St. John's Wort works is not that it just mucks around with your melatonin levels like Prozac, but that it makes your skin more susceptible to the effects of sunlight, that well known source of the vitamin.

That GP has been relegated to my highly populated GPs' Room 101.

Vitamin D tablets or cod liver oil capsules do me some good,perhaps they might for you. However, the best thing is to get out on your bike!

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Re: Hypothyroidism and Depression

Postby djnotts » 11 Oct 2018, 1:28pm

jamesbradbury wrote:When depression is situational then taking positive action perhaps coupled with CBT or counselling is the first and often best treatment.

For those unlucky enough to have a deficiency in the way mood chemicals are made or received in the brain, prescription medication is often a life saver. Yes, they come with side effects which should be discussed with a medical professional, but none of them are at bad as chronic depression and anxiety which has the worst quality of life of any long term illness. That's what I'm told and having seen it up close in several people I believe it.

There's no shame in taking pills if that's what you need.


Absolutely. Usual dangers of confusing being "depressed" with "clinical depression" coming into view here. Not the same. My wife sufferred fron chronic acute depression for over 50 years, intensity varied a little but never any real respite. And she fought it, but sometimes reduced her to mental and physical immobility. Most convincing diagnosis (of many attempts) as to "cause" was a severe RTA with head injuries when about 9 y.o. Found the most effective drug when she was in her 50s, but ludicrously would no longer prescibe when reached her early 60s because of dangers of side effects on older people. She'd have risked those for having some of her life returned to her.