Hyperthyroidism and depression/anxiety

Posted , 6 users are following.

I was first diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in 2010 aged 16. I had a few periods of being down in the dumps but nothing major while taking carbimazole. I was euthyroid after taking the carbimazole for 18 months in 2011. 

In January of this year aged 20 my hyperthyroidism came back 10x worse. About a month after being diagnosed I started becoming very irritable and emotional and put it down to the imbalance of hormones due to my thyroid. However over the past 4 months I've got progressively worse while my thyroid levels are now completely normal. My GP prescribed me the anti depressant sertraline a few days ago because I'd had enough of waiting for an nhs talking therapy session and enough of feeling depressed all the time. 

Would be helpful to know if anyone else with hyperthyroidism/graves has also experienced depression or anxiety.. 

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  • Posted

    I suffered from depression long before I had Graves Disease.  My background of coming from an alcoholic family often predisposes people to experience depression in adulthood.  I was treated for this successfully with an old antidepressant called Tofranil.  This antidepressent particularly targets the brain chemical norepinephrine which I was very deficient in.  I believe the antidepressant Sertraline targets the brain chemical serotinin.  Unfortunately current mental health treatment prescribes antidepressants on a trial and error basis, i.e. try this one, give it time to work and if it doesn't try another one targeting a different chemical in the brain.  Newest research now has brain scans that tell you what is and is not working in people's brains but most psychiatrists have been trained the old way and don't always use the newest technology.  In any case, my Graves was triggered by an abusive co-worker and my response to her.  I really believe most people's Graves disease is triggered by stress.  Was there anything stressful going on when you initially were diagnosed with Graves or when it returned?
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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying! 

      My mum died when I was 11 and I think this time around the Graves brought a lot of unresolved issues about that experience to the surface - I wouldn't say that it triggered the Graves in anyway seen as I was diagnosed almost 6 years after her death. I am aware that Graves is related to stress, but I wouldn't say that I was stressed at the time I was first diagnosed or when I relapsed. I know the chances of relapse are almost 50/50 so it wasn't a massive surprise that it did return. I just feel certain that the overactive thyroid brought on the depression and anxiety because I was absolutely fine before the symptoms set in. The doctors were pretty adament that the negative feelings would go away as the thyroid hormones returned to normal, which they haven't, which was also why I waited so long to get help for the depression.

      I'm going to give the Sertraline it's time to work, the only thing that concerns me is the fact that it can be linked to surpressing the thyroid hormone, and seen as I'm still taking carbimozole a thyroid surpressant I don't want to end up underactive. I know my GP was well aware of the Graves so I doubt she would have given me Sertraline if there was too much of a risk. 

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    • Posted

      I have posted on this Board before about what helped my Graves disease the most.  There was a study in Italy by Dr. Salvatore Benvenga about the use of L-Carnitine in patients with hyperthyroidism and how it really benefitted them.  You can Google his name and find it.  I took regular L-Carnitine and then switched to Acetyl-L-carnitine along with the Tapazole and it really improved my lab results.  Most doctors know nothing about this so will not endorse it but you can get this from health food stores.  Be sure to follow up your blood work if you decide to do this.  I have a feeling it will help your other symptoms as well.
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  • Posted

    Hi Ruby

    Sorry to hear you are not feeling too good at the moment.

    I recommend doing as much research as you can in respect of your thyoid before making any long term decisions.

    Have you seen the film Food Matters, there is a part on there where they talk about taking vitamin b3 niacin to treat depression, it sounds simple but if it works they why not try it.

    I wish you well in the future. Keep us posted on your progress.



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  • Posted

    You may want to research the herb, ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb that has proven to balance thyroid and adrenals.

    Also, turmeric/curcumin or 5-HTP for depression/anxiety.

    Meditation and other lifestyle changes are necessary to help reduce stress and diet/detox is extremely important. 

    Remember that you may have to choose between conventional medicine and herbal supplements as you typically shouldn't do both simultaneously. Make sure there are no negative interactions with what you decide to take. 

    I'm dealing with exhausted adrenals and hyperthyroidism now, in part caused by years of chronic stress. It's a long healing journey. 

    Best of luck...


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  • Posted

    Hi Ruby,

    i can sympathise with you as I've suffered from depression and anxiety for many years, but now taking antidepressant that helps most days. I also suffer with Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) so bright sunny days are a huge help... I've also got Hyperthyroidism as well and weight loss is a struggle (lost 10% on my body weight), so now on a dietary supplement from the Hospital, it is helping to maintain my weight now and gained 3kgs since starting drinking it 2x daily..  I do believe stress is a huge factor with this illness as I also got Fibromyalgia as well as late onset Asthma in my 40's, as I got quite sick...

    i don't want to go onto medications for my Hyperthyroidism yet as I believe too many medications aren't good for your liver...

    i have regular exercise (I swim for an hour, twice a week), I don't smoke, I've stopped all alcohol and coffee, plus only use a little raw sauger or honey if I need a sweetener. A lot of foods are full of saugers and artificial colouring, all bad for anxiety depression and pain..

    I Hope this might have encouraged you as it's no fun being  chronically unwell,  I do feel for you and what you're going through.........

    Take care Ruby and if I can be of any further help, I'm always here..  Mike smile


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  • Posted

    Hi everyone,

    I just need your help.

    I've been a hypothyroid patient for the last 3 years and have been having severe anxiety and depression issues lately.

    Is it advisable for me to take Sertraline and Fluoxetine (zoloft and prozac) anti depressents? Or will it have any side effects with my thyroid tablets?

    Please help asap.

    Thanks x

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