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Friday September 30th 2016

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Thyme For Some Literary Healing: Thyroid Anxiety, Depression, And Other Mental Issues

In today’s “Thyme for some Literary Healing” we are going to discuss the psychiatric disturbances we experience as thyroid patients. Let’s really go there and talk about the rage, depression, anxiety and other feelings. Together, we can educate one another and lend support.

Today’s questions are:

  1. What mental disturbances do you experience?
  2. Do they go away when your thyroid is balanced?
  3. How does this impact your life?

Ready, set, WRITE YOUR HEARTS OUT.

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32 Responses to “Thyme For Some Literary Healing: Thyroid Anxiety, Depression, And Other Mental Issues

  1. Gwen says:

    This is the worst part of thyroid disease for me!!

  2. Hypogirl says:

    What mental disturbances do you experience?
    Many many disturbances. Depression, Anger, Frustration, hopelessness, Self-Esteem there are a ton more I can name off – but most of us go through them very differently. Not one Hypo/Hyper is the same.

    Do they go away when your thyroid is balanced?
    For the most part they do. Although the Self-Esteem issues are the toughest. They tend to hand on to you for their dear life. I am very close to being balanced and still have issues with this.

    How does this impact your life?
    The impact is daily and it is very much felt is the smallest task of the day. Getting dressed, making dinner etc. It impacts ALL your relationships – even with a brief incounter say a bagboy at the grocer or dealing with your boss at work. Intimate relationships tend to suffer a little more.

    On a side note – My Podcast this week is going to be on this exact topic. Relationships suffering at the hand of our disease! Please tune in!

  3. amy says:

    For me, it is being fine one minute and not so fine the next. Like being on a roller coaster. Mood swings. Not having the ability to deal with things(like three year old daughters) patiently. I start out calm in a situation and then if it doesn’t end up being resolved in the end I am yelling and then I am depressed that I have lost control. I do feel that when my thyroid is balanced that this is not as bad. This affects my life as a parent mostly. I want to be setting a good parenting example. I do NOT want to be a yeller! I think that is why I feel depressed after I loose it. It is not what I want. So, that is the biggest thing for me.
    Everything about thyroid disease is hard. But, when you have a little person to care for, nurture and to love it can be, I think, so much harder. Good thing my daughter is already showing signs of compassion.
    As a side note, I think that it is really wonderful when we realize that we are having a tough time and are able to step back. Relax or asses the situation. Breath. I have been having a hard time with my daughter and I realize this and made plans for her to stay a couple days with my sister. I will miss her but I need to be refuel and refresh. You have to make it happen for the sake of sanity.
    Well, I had a lot to say. I didn’t for awhile but I am coming out of my first trimester and feeling better! Love to all you wonderful thyroid challenged people!

  4. Monika says:

    My mother always asks me if I feel any different if my medicine changes, if I’m short on pills so I lower my doses for a couple days, if I work out more one week or another. When it comes down to it, I’ve had the same disease for four years, and even when I was first diagnosed it was my mom who saw the mood swings, not me.

    Sure, I guess I have good days and bad days, but can I really, as a human being, attribute these moods to my thyroid? I suppose there’s evidence to support it having that control, but what school, friendships, real life things that I perceive to matter?

    I guess my real question is, do I really see the world, and all the things that affect me in my life, through the mood-skewing lens of my thyroid?

  5. Jenn says:

    My goiter (as my family and I now affectionatly refer to my thyroid disease since my thyroid is slightly enlarged) certainly affects my moods. I have always been very calm, very grounded, very consistent with my moods. Luckily for me, I never even experienced PMS. Seriously!

    Now, I have the worst mood swings and it is affecting everyone around me and it is such an adjustment! I think that if I’d had hormonal issues before this would not be nearly as difficult.

    There are days that I just sit down and cry (pity party for one?) because I just KNOW that I’m going to drive everyone away from me because I am such a horrible person! Thankfully, most days I know that my husband loves me more than anything in the world and is going to stick by me through this.

    My medication hasn’t gotten balanced yet as I am newly diagnosed, so I don’t know if it will change when it is balanced. I certainly hope so!

    When I make a snippy comment now, my family simply says to me “I wasn’t talking to your goiter!” LOL I’ve found that the humor helps.

  6. Christina says:

    What mental disturbances do you experience?
    -To me the worst one is brain fog.I am a student and having problems to focus is too much to handle sometimes.
    I, ´ve failed exams because I couldn, ´t remember the easiest things for the life of me.
    And when my brain is working right, I get hit by depression.

    Do they go away when your thyroid is balanced?
    -I am not sure,because my thyroid hasn, ´t really been balanced yet.I sure hope so though.

    How does this impact your life?
    -How does it not impact my life? On bad days I don, ´t even want to leave the house.There is nothing worse to me than sitting in a full lecture hall and not being able to answer any of the questions from the instructor.
    I don, ´t want to go out,I don, ´t get any work done.
    The constant fear of embarassing myself basically just makes me stay away from other people.

  7. Dear Thyroid says:

    Gwen – This is the worst part for me, too. I absolutely hear you and feel you.

  8. Dear Thyroid says:

    Hypogirl, we will definitely tune in!

    And, we have a wonderful psychiatrist who will be guest posting on Dear Thyroid soon about psychiatric disturbances in thyroid patients, regardless of condition or labs.

    I’m really glad you mentioned the way our moods affect the minutia tasks – a clerk, the guy on the corner in need of a few dollars for a decent meal, or a passerby on the street. We just never know who will react, ‘normal us’, or ‘crazy us’. Speaking for myself, I’d love more control over my mental thyroid issues.

    xo

  9. Dear Thyroid says:

    Yes, Amy, it is like being on a roller coaster. I wish you didn’t have to go through it, or any of us, really.

    I love your point about taking a step back and breathing for a minute. I think that’s a great tip.

    xo

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Monika – Really excellent point. Sort of like, where do you begin, and where does your thyroid end, kind of thing.

    There is evidence corroborating psychiatric disturbances in thyroid patients, to varying degrees and regardless of disease. I guess the goal, IMO, is to feel your thyroid is stable, so you feel mentally and phsyically good. Once that’s under control, all of the other mental issues are just about being human.

    xo

  11. Dear Thyroid says:

    Jenn, Humor definitely helps. Sorry you were recently diagnosed. Certainly glad that you don’t have to go it alone, and that your family is so supportive.

    You raise a very good point re: who you were pre-disease and post-disease. Like you, my moods were always so even keeled. I can actually feel the difference between a thyroid mood swing and a realistic mood change. Can you?

    xo

  12. Dear Thyroid says:

    Christina, the brain fog, so happy you mentioned that (though, I wish you didn’t experience it as a symptom), is absolutely crippling. That desire to hibernate for a million different reasons, is so valid. Sad, too. We don’t want this for ourselves.

    Can you believe the power of this gland? It’s a hurricane, really.

    xo

  13. Shan M. says:

    I need a shrink to explain it all to, because its a long story that makes me sound crazy, but I’ve been politically active and with the onset of thyroid psychosis, I was convinced my phone was bugged, everything I did on the internet was recorded, I went as far as inventing in my mind the technologies ‘they’ were using to get inside my head,and hear what I was up to. Oh and when I was at my worst, my neighbor was a spy! I really can’t get rid of them because they follow me.

    I do give them ‘the look’ when I spot them following me and I imagine they know I know. I know, you’re all thinking I need my head examined, but you would have to have a long conversation with me to understand how I arrived here and the things that happened to me. I’m so used to it that I just go about my business being as controversial as I want. I fear that one day I’m going to tell a perfectly innocent stranger to ‘piss of and stop following me’. It just shits me that they have to loiter around me when I’m in one place, then the same person is there when I drive to another place, and they come up close as though to eavesdrop, that’s when I give them ‘the look’.

    You see I live in a world where we are all being slowly poisoned, on a planet that is being quickly ruined, and by huge powerful corporations who have the power to buy politicians. They don’t like it when someone sees through their dirty tactics and thwarts their unethical schemes. It surely is a mad, mad, world. Oh, and also they suspect me of things I’d never do and are trying to get me for something.

    I don’t know how they can do what they do, thousands of people are being paid to follow, or to sit on their arses watching the internet. Its a bloody sad thing we’ve come to this. I know, I’ve gone over it all a kazillion times, yes I’m paranoid, I have trust issues, and a (can’t think of the word – it came to me – persecution) complex. And I’m so not important enough to follow, it must cost them a fortune to have people watched. Actually its kind of a game, playing spot the spy! The eye contact is my way of saying ‘gotcha” and ‘bugger off’. Hey, don’t all unfriend me on facebook, crazies and protesters need support too!

  14. Lily MacKenzie says:

    Wow!!! funny that I find this discussion just moments after calling 911 to report that a facebook friend (someone I just met yesterday, through health forums) posted that he was going to take his life.
    I hope that he is ok.

  15. Christine says:

    Imagine a chair, in the corner, a few blankets and pillows, settled in a room with no windows and me being parked in it for months on end. Never leaving the house – (unless it was an emergency, a doc appt) your children (teenage at that)and husband learning to do without you because you could not summon the energy to pull yourself out of the dark depths of despair that you found yourself in – day in and day out. The docs throwing meds at you and they in effect “bouncing” off of you – neither helping, if anything making you more numb – where tears or anger is all that comes out like a flash fire of the mouth. Add into that, life, life’s fastballs that would be thrown at you… a death of a loved one, financial stress, your children injured or sick and the inability to handle any of it well. It all only compounded the mess, the hell I was in.
    This was the worst of times… no doubt… when my disease all but consumed me, turning the otherwise once bright and vibrant – go get em woman into a pile of SHIT!

    After my thyroidectomy last year it took close to 6 months to get out of that hell hole…. slowly but surely.. there are moments still, but they are quick and fleeting – Thankfully

    The impact reached every area of my life. It was devastating and the reverberations are still being felt, for all the time I was not “me” and the dance I am doing now to “make up for lost time”. I am now “dancing as fast as I can” It all can be very exhausting. What I am left with is lost time… lost moments with my children and my husband that I can never really get back. The emotional and mental toll (the physical toll was/is more obvious) was the most costly. It wasn’t just me that paid a price in all of this… but my family above all and my friends, they too have paid an all to heavy price.

  16. Okay,the questions I’m answering…The first is The mental disturbances I have I get angry, impatient and mean when it comes to my thyroid. I,also,get depressed too when my thyroid is not right. I dislike my husband when I’m not right. I can’t remember things at times or don’t help around the house or I just want to cry all the time. It upsets my husband,when I am not,like I am. I feel disappointed,depressed and liking my husband,to him,I have a 10 foot pole against him and the world,or I’m on the attack for little things.I also get abusive to the point I could end in jail or worse.

    It does go away,sometimes, when I am balanced. I go out and socialize.I enjoy going out more,being my husband.I like myself more.

    The impact has made me feel insecure because I feel guilty,depressed,arrogant,and hurtful toward others that love me.I could lose my husband,just over my ways that I have now. As for now,I’m thankful to be online and socialize. Right now,I am not sure,how to my husband, after the hurt,I caused by my actions toward him.I am in other groups because we want to succeed in our marriage. My recent therapist is trying to understand what therapist on leave can’t.
    I am thankful you asked how I am mentally.

    My grandmother thoughts on this questions:My grandmother gets tired all the time. The doctor says,”It is because she is getting older.”

    She feels better,not dull. Her thyroid is doing okay.

    She can’t get things done when she is tired…

  17. Before diagnosis, I was afraid I was going insane. For a chick who’d taught herself to be tough and to never shed a tear, I was crying an awful lot. Then there were the times I was completely numb, couldn’t remember how to feel, I knew that I loved my children but couldn’t remember what it felt like. Life was excrutiatingly exhausting physically and mentally.

    I still have times like this, but I now try to talk myself through them, remind myself that this is something physically going wrong in my body, not mentally. I have times where I feel so sick and tired that I think I might die. Heart racing, chest pains, panic attacks, aching all over and being completely strung out and exhausted, everything in my life seems messed up and wrong and I feel I can’t go on – this is when I have to put myself to bed and rest. Of course, I can’t tell anybody this, because that would scream ‘drama queen’ ‘attention seeker’. My world spins out of control inside my head, I can’t tell which thoughts and feeling are real and not real, I feel I’m going to throw up, collapse, pass out, I feel a sense of imminent doom while on the outside I paste on a smile, I go through the motions, I try to look normal, I try to say and do the right things, I hold back tears and anger, I push on and remind myself that ‘this too shall pass’ and I count down the minutes until I can be alone and still, just to lay in the dark and breathe and sleep.

  18. Dear Thyroid says:

    Shan M – Thank you for going into such detail about your thyroid psychoses. I (Katie) went through it, too. The paranoia that you described parallels mine, in so many ways. Your bravery in sharing it, you have no idea how much better I feel. The delusions are so fucking real – There is no ability to parse out reality from the delusion. So terrifying. Don’t you think?

    That being said, I wish more than anything that you never had it. I am very sorry you went through it.

    What psychiatric disturbances do you have now, if you don’t mind me asking.

    Katie

  19. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lilly – WOW. WOW. WOW. So sorry. Good for you, for intervening and calling 911 on his behalf, that was a great move. Any news? Please keep us posted. I hope that he’s okay.

    Katie

  20. Dear Thyroid says:

    Christine – Your comment brought me to tears. There isn’t one thing you wrote that I can’t relate to on a very personal level. Worse, I feel your pain so deeply. I am SO SORRY. I wish I could make it go away.

    Thank you for connecting with us today and sharing your story. You have no idea how much it means.

    Katie

  21. Dear Thyroid says:

    Every single story that each person has told is PROFOUNDLY important – We are creating awareness every single time we share our history of thyroid disease. Additionally, we see through lines/commonalities – we empathize – we grow as a community, and so much more.

    I’M SO PROUD OF YOU, I COULD JUST SCREAM.

    Katie-

  22. Dear Thyroid says:

    Faith – It’s not you, it’s your thyroid. This discussion we’re having is so important, I agree. We’re so deeply mentally traumatized by our thyroids. They dictate our emotions, which makes us feel out of control of our minds, I think. We’re left wondering, Who will we wake up as tomorrow? Who will we be an hour from now? Who will my thyroid hurt next week, etc. etc. etc.

    I feel you. I’m so grateful that your husband is supportive, and understands that it’s not you. Rather, it’s your thyroid.

    The guilt and pain that you feel, that we all feel, I think, well it’s not us, it’s our thyroids.

    We’re all striving to reclaim ourselves and get our lives back. Similarly, we’re trying to gain control over some element of our bodies, especially our minds.

    You are not alone. I am so sorry that you’re enduring this.

    Katie

  23. Dear Thyroid says:

    Little Weirdy, so proud of you for sharing your story. I know it’s not easy to do. your account of what you endure every single day, it’s just awful. Somehow, you are plugging through, which is great. However, and this is a BIG however, we want you, everyone to feel NORMAL. Gosh, I miss feeling normal, don’t you? Doesn’t everyone? As you said, we go through the motions, but inside we’re crumbling.

    How do we find our way back to ourselves? How do we gain control over our emotions?

    When your thyroid (Question to everyone), is normal, do you experience less psychiatric disturbances?

    Hang in, LW.

    Katie

  24. Shan M. says:

    Thanks, Katie, I’m so sorry girl that you’ve been there. I don’t feel depressed any more, not in the unknown reason kind of way. I have genuine reasons to be angry and there’s a whole community supporting each other feeling the same – good sanity check. I’m still politically active, so the whole being under surveillance is pretty real for me even if its not happening there’s things to watch out for when you’re battling big corporations. I still have to really know people to trust them. I can’t just turn off my caring and sit back and knit. Please just shoot me if I start knitting. That for me would be insanity, no offense meant to knitters, I made some sweaters in the past.

    As long as I can rationalize what I’m going through and do self sense checks, I think I’m well. Its just when somebody shadows me that I get creeped out. I blame our govt. and yours, who recruited thousands of people here to just spy on people. I’ll never be the same because of this, so I may as well get into the fight and fight to win! You see, I don’t understand people who have knowledge of injustices and don’t put their hand up. To me that is mental illness. For me the cup is half full and half empty so it needs to be filled. I do think I can make a difference, maybe that’s crazy, delusional, if so I’m not alone.
    Shan M.

  25. Yes, when my thyroid is normal I feel great! I feel like me again! (not that i was ever normal to begin with;) I can think and feel and do things! It’s like walking around in a shiny new world where anything is possible and I feel like shouting hello! and hugging everyone like I’ve just arrived back from a long and awful trip. Knowing that it is possible to feel good again gets me through the hard times, but I hate that deep down feeling of How long will this good time last? That anxiety at knowing the fog could roll back in at any time.

  26. Shan M. says:

    Little Weirdy, I love you for sharing this, I think everybody has a window through which they see and experience the world, and I haven’t met a person yet, who didn’t have a different and individually weird window. Its just so much more difficult to keep up the worldly pretense of having a perfect window, when you’ve been whacked for years by the thyroid stick. Sometimes feelings are so intense you want to turn them off, and other times you have to dredge them up out of the depths of numbness. Isn’t it a great discussion today with everyone sharing their windows on the world. Hugs!

  27. Dear Thyroid says:

    Shan M – Love your fighting spirit. I’m so happy you aren’t depressed anymore.

    I love the ‘self check’ idea.

    I remember when I was paranoid/delusional, I felt the same way you said you did re: people following you, etc.

    Sanity is great when we have it, isn’t it?!

    xo
    Katie

  28. Dear Thyroid says:

    LW – That’s magnificent, how unburdened you feel and intellectually/emotionally liberated when your thyroid is normal. What do you do to keep it normal?

    I describe my situation as waking up from a cross between a hurricane and a coma – That’s what it felt like after psychoses. Interestingly enough, when I’m imbalanced or swinging from hypo to hyper, the mind is definitely affected, but those fleeting moments of normalcy, are brilliant. I take advantage of those days.

    I just want ALL OF US to have normal, full, beautiful lives.

    xo
    K

  29. Dear Thyroid says:

    Shan – Love what you wrote to LW. You’re so right about the windows that each of us perceive the world through.

    Like you, I have LOVED this conversation today. I hope we continue it.

    I have learned so much about other patient struggles with mental illness. Speaking for myself, I feel less alone, and so connected to each of you on a much deeper level. It’s as if we took this disgusting undiscussed issue out of the closet and into the world.

    xo
    Katie

  30. Cheryl says:

    I became a mean and short tempered delusional psycho. Really I did. I have been on treatment for my thyroid for about 3 months now and I see the difference. I am single, there was not a man who could handle my unexplained jealousy and overall depression. I was never this person before my decline started and I am getting to where I can pinpoint where that started just by reviewing my behavior. I am starting to get out and date again and I can see it in how I interact with others. I also need to lose some weight, thank you thyroid, LOL, but I am finding that I am more positive in general. I wish I could have figured this out sooner, but everything happens in it’s own time and I am good for now.

    I think the strangest thing to come out of all this is that my mother whom I have a strained relationship with at best, I am actually starting to understand. She refuses to stick with her thyroid treatment, that is where I got it, but now I understand why she is such a hateful person. I can’t make her get better, but at least I can understand it now. I hated myself because I felt like I was becoming like her, but now I just wish she would take her treatment more seriously.

  31. Lolly says:

    I know I’m late with this one.

    1. What mental disturbances do you experience?
    2. Do they go away when your thyroid is balanced?
    3. How does this impact your life?

    1. Not sure if I would call it mental disturbances or lapse in memory which inturn frustrates me when I can’t remember something. plus I still get some rages from time to time. I’m aware of how I feel so try not to think too deeply about things for fear it will consume me I know it will pass.

    2. It certainly improves with stable thyroid levels but I don’t think it truly goes do have an inner calm and more assertiveness when I am actually feeling good thyroid wise but it’s been that long I forget how the fuck I am suppose to feel. what I Normal anyway would rather be abbinormal so I am up and down swings and roundabouts just keep your distance when Lolly’s levels aren’t right and I don’t say that in jest either.Poor endo well he ain’t poor found out for himself.

    3.How does it imp[act my life people who know me understand people who don’t would be getting the men in white coats, straight jacket, ball and chain lock and key, psychologist, psychiatrist police just incase. so I don’t talk to strangers when I am what I call on a thyrage, or if I repeat myself or foget something I try to laugh it off but deep down i am wracking my brain to try and remember and it won’t or it will come to me eventually. I’ve lost years of my life because I can’t remember certain things people names this is dear throid isn’t it.

  32. Amanda says:

    1. What mental disturbances do you experience?
    2. Do they go away when your thyroid is balanced?
    3. How does this impact your life?

    1. When the Graves symptoms really started wreaking havoc, I became super anxious. Everything worried me beyond what would be my normal. My self confidence was completely gone and everything in my life was consuming me… from being out of milk to a son who misbehaves.

    2. The first to come back was my self confidence. You just don’t know how important that is until you lose it and regain it. I am far less anxious now and am back to letting the small stuff go.

    3. It was impacting my life as a mother, wife, sister, daughter, co-worker and just plain old human being. I couldn’t cope with anyone or anything.

    Looking back, farther then when my symptoms became super obvious… I had all of these things at a lesser degree for years, they just didn’t all happen at once. My endo agreed that that was probably the case. My daughter definitely agrees, saying my over-worring caused her to pull away and not share much of anything with me. The worst of the vague symptoms happened when my son was at one of the worst times in his life. So I can see where the mental parts of thyroid disease can be misread. Mine were, and I didn’t think a thing of it. That is the good part of telling and retelling my little story, I am seeing what I should have seen before. Somehow that is bringing me more peace than I could ever imagine.

    Amanda

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