Thyroid Problems - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thyroid Problems

Hello all. I rarely come here, but every so often I lurk a bit. Social anxiety is something Iíve struggled with all my life, but just recently I started paying attention to my physical symptoms a lot more. I was laid off my job a year ago and have taken most of it off except for a few months trying something in a completely different field.

The labor I was doing in that job was much more physical as I was working on towboats and my real career is in software programming. I just notice that when I am doing something strenuous (lifting heavy tow wires in that case) my heart rate shoots up very quickly and takes several minutes to come back down to normal. The same happens if something startles me or makes me particularly anxious. I exercise regularly and eat less processed food than most people that I know and they donít seem to have this issue. I am also fatigued a lot so even though I want to do things like travel or go out somewhere I often donít feel like it. I sleep a lot and feel tired for no apparent reason.

It took most of my life to realize it, but I have pretty much all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Excessive sweating, trouble putting on weight, anxiety, rapid heartbeat when alarmed or exerting, etc... It also ruins in my motherís family. I know I canít be sure so Iím planning on getting a blood test at an endocrinologist sometime soon, but I think there's a high chance that I have it. I barely ever go to the doctor and am against medicine for the most part if I can make do without it, but Iím at the point where Iím just looking for solutions as my medical/mental conditions are really affecting my quality of life (I'm twenty-eight) and if there is something to make it better without harming me in the long term Iíd like to try it.

I know the social anxiety can be triggered by thyroid disorders and even though it has probably affected me mentally Iím hoping that if I can solve one problem it will help some with the others. Has anyone here had experience with thyroid problems along with your anxiety? Iím interested in hearing about your story. Did treatments/medications help with your anxiety/physical problems or not? If you made it this far thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 02:19 PM
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Back in 2011, I went to the doctor because I was having frequent bouts of vertigo, which often went hand-in-hand with the panic attacks that had become a several-times-a-day occurrence. It was quite embarrassing when it would happen while I was talking to someone. I would freeze up, unable to process anything they were saying. Fear of having these episodes exacerbated my social anxiety, and my anxiety in general. I felt awful, day in, day out. The first thing my doctor did was run the gamut of tests, including my thyroid. A few days later, I got a phone call from my doctor's office, telling me that everything was fine except for my thyroid stimulating hormone, which was through the roof. They told me to come back for a retest to verify that the number really was that high, since it was so far off the chart. During that visit, my doctor told me that it's no wonder that I'm feeling awful if my TSH really is that high because it means that my thyroid is probably sleeping on the job. He also told me that hypothyroidism absolutely can cause anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, and insomnia (which was something else that I'd brought up during the first visit), even though most tend to associate it more with hyperthyroidism, just as you can hyperthyroid can cause fatigue and depression (which are more commonly associated with hypothyroidism). As soon as the second test came back, I got another call telling me that my TSH was actually higher than it was the first time, and that my doctor had written me a prescription for Synthroid (thyroid replacement hormone pills).

I've been on Synthroid for nearly 5 years, and it seems like my anxiety has eased significantly (for the most part), though he did also put me on clonazepam (the generic of Klonopin) to help with the panic attacks and general anxiety, as well as the insomnia; I've been taking a low dose of that for the same length of time. I've had my ups and downs as my levels still fluctuate somewhat (though my TSH has been much more reasonable since after the first year of starting treatment). I have to go in for re-tests every few months, and have my dosage readjusted accordingly. I think I'm fortunate that my doctor included thyroid function in the testing, since I've heard of several doctors who won't even consider testing the thyroid in someone so young (I was 23 at the time).

As far as physical and other mental symptoms go, I've found some improvement there as well. Though I still do struggle with chronic fatigue due to another underlying condition, I definitely have seen some improvement; I can exercise much longer and more intensely. I used to be cold all the time, but not anymore. My depression is not nearly as bad as it used to be. I seem to have far more confidence, perhaps because I'm no longer worried about an "embarrassing episode". I used to have frequent heart palpitations, but those have become a rarity. I'm sure there are several more symptoms that aren't immediately coming to mind, but hopefully this gives you an idea how the treatment has been working.

Well, it looks like I just wrote a novel about my thyroid! I realize that your concern is hyperthyroidism (whereas I'm talking about hypothyroidism), but I hope my story can help you in some way. I hope that you can find an answer soon. Best of luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 04:56 PM
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Yes .
I take the drugs every day and wash it all down tith a teaspoon of cement (not literally ) and then when I've hardened up I get on with it .
It's just one of those things that is crap but it could be worse .

. WTF is wrong with me

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 09:57 PM
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I have hyperthyroidism. I didn't know how sick I was until I was put on medication. No more racing heart, burning hot skin, and I am less fidgety. My endo noticed a difference in me. I'll say it definitely helps.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 12:26 AM
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Hypothyroidism here.

My mother and my older brother both have this disorder and neither one of them has ever suffered from depression or anxiety. I believe my aunt (mother's sister) has hyperthyroidism and she has never experienced depression or anxiety either, from what I can tell.

I was depressed and anxious long before I developed this disorder.

Now that my levels are supposedly back to "normal" (even though none of my physical symptoms--significant weight gain, cold sensitivity, excessive fatigue, brittle nails, foggy memory, etc.--have improved in the least), I'm still just as depressed and anxious as I was before I developed this disorder. More depressed, I suppose, since despite treatment I don't feel any better.

Sorry. :/

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for sharing your personal stories. I'm glad that some of you were able to improve on your conditions with the use of medication. Sorry to hear that you still have many of the same problems Tehuti. I really hope you can find some improvements as well. Depression and anxiety can be such a pain to deal with especially when tagged along with other conditions.
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