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Old 12-28-2001, 08:54 PM   #1
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Depression, failure and the Thyroid

My husband was diagnosed with hypothryoism last November. He started taking Synthroyid last April. Since then he has had his blood drawn twice and I don't think his dosage has changed since the summer (not sure what it is or his levels).

Anyway, I have been reading a book called "The Thyroid Book" by Ridha Arem, MD and he discusses how the thyroid affects your emotions as well as your physical health.

My husband does have some other health related issues and I think his thyroid problem aggravates them. He also has a very stressful, demanding job which doesn't help. I keep telling that I believe he will feel better once the thyroid is working properly.

Did any of you experience feelings of failure in your marriage or other important relationships and once your thyroid started functioning better, things looked up? Anyone out there felt disconnected from his/her spouse or family and could reconnect after treatment?

I keep praying and hoping that he will see a good doctor who can really help. Thanks for listening.

-BEK

 
Old 12-29-2001, 07:33 AM   #2
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

Hi,
Since being diagnosed with Hashimoto's Hypo 2 years ago, I KNOW my personality has changed. Prior to that, I was fairly a calm person, not given to mood swings and certainly not thrown into the 'dark days' pretty routinely. Now I am easily irritated and not so much fun to be around most of the time.

I have days on end where nothing can make me smile,the music and shows I enjoy actually annoy me or there is no reaction which seems worse.

I have recently(10 days ago)had my med increased as my TSH and T4 were off. This has happened before and I always think my personality and mood swings will improve but they never do. The most I can hope for this time is the extreme fatigue and leg muscle pain will go away.

The doctor who told me in the beginning not to worry, just take 1 pill everyday and you will be like your old self was so wrong.

Wish I had better info for you.

 
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Old 12-29-2001, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

Hi BEK,
Any time we get under the weather and feel bad, it affects relationships with others more or less, depending on how much we externalize the problems, meaning how much we blame our bad feelings on others.
That is a coping pattern that may have to be UNlearned! Illness normally causes stress on marriages and all relationships.

Illness is very hard to take, esp. for some people. It may seem like a personal defect, affecting the sense of self-worth, esp. for success driven people.

I think some counseling for YOU is in order...to learn how to be with him, yet not take responsibility or blame for his illness. We NEVER can change others, just ourselves.
He may feel (and resent) that he has to take care of how you feel about his illness, which is not his responsibility, it is yours. He can't help being different than he was.

Like Karima said, he may never get back to the way he used to be. No one has any way of knowing. Now you have to determine how you are going to cope with his change and illness in a way that is healthy for both of you. Counseling can help you...find someone that specifically has experience with helping others cope with illness in the family. Let your doctor know you want help with it. He may have a recommendation. Your hospital may have free resources, too.

He may need selenium, vit. A, Vit. B, magnesium, other supplements that Dr. Ridha points out that are critical for thyroid med use, and recovery from being hypothyroid. It is easy to quit exercising from low-metabolism and fatigue, which will affect mood. There are many factors besides the thryoid med. The thyroid med pill will not fix all these issues of balance and health.
I really wish doctors would not be so simplistic about it.

The Thyroid Solution is a great resource. It has a lot of info how we can and need to help ourselves.
But remember, this is HIS illness, not yours.

You may need new coping skills for dealing with chronic illness. The best of us that really work on it seem to be unable to make ourselves recover fully or even to the degree we want. So, you need to accept him with whatever level of illness he is in, and accept that YOU certainly can't control it!

Does this make sense or help? TF

 
Old 12-29-2001, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

Hi,
I wanted to add an interesting side note which really put a whole different slant on this issue.

10 years prior to my being diagnosed, my husband was, with Hashimoto's also. He was in terrible condition and actually was hospitalized briefly. At the time he was just 40 years old, 200 lbs., big,strong and never had any previous medical problems. Slowly we noticed the symptoms starting but neither one of us knew about hypothyroid in detail and just figured he was working too hard. It ended up where he couldn't climb a flight of stairs, his legs would knot up and I realized he had a swelling in his neck.

He went to the doctor, did the labs and when the results came back, the doctor called him at work to go directly to the hospital. To cut it short, the next few months were a problem and not just for him. He was weak, hurting, angry and confused and lashed out at me for his body betraying him. There were lots of tears, hurt feelings on my end. Men are not very forthcoming for the most part about feelings and he just clammed up. Our relationship was in bad shape.

We did survive it obviously but now the shoe is on the other foot. His med(Synthroid)has always worked right for him. He feels well again and has for years. His weight is back at 200lbs. at 6' 3" and he is up for just about anything. But I am the one now with an ongoing unreliable emotional state.

Communicating is a must. Sometimes even when I don't feel like it, I apologize or tell him that I appreciate his patience because I remember how much I would have loved hearing that from him when he was ill.

We just have to try and do the best we can and respect the people who live with us.

 
Old 12-29-2001, 01:04 PM   #5
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

BEK, I want to add that when we get help for ourselves, on our side of the relationship, it often acts as a catalyst for the other to get help or change their side.

We must not use changes we make as a club to try to enforce changein the other person.

 
Old 12-29-2001, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

Thank you both for responding to my questions.

I have accepted my husband's thyroid problem and from all I have read and all the stories people have shared with me, I know that the little *pill* is not the simple solution. The bigger issue is that my husband does not accept his thyroid problem. He does not believe that so much of how he feels physically and mentally is tied into the thyroid. Too good to be true in his mind.

We have gone to counseling for the past year together and separately and the counselor does not discuss the health issues (depression, self-esteem, thyroid...).

After reading Dr. Arem's book, I can see more clearly that the thyroid does effect you emotionally and mentally and not just physically. I just want my husband to find a good doctor to help him get on the right dosage and monitor him to help him get better.

A long time ago I thought if I could just find the answer or say the right thing his depression would go away and he would feel better. I know I can't fix him, but I will do everything I can to help him and support him along the way. It is hard to see someone you love not care about themselves.

Thanks for your help. Beth

 
Old 12-29-2001, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: Depression, failure and the Thyroid

Hi,
I was just wondering why your husband's counselor does not discuss medical issues? Aside from the thyroid tie-in, does the counselor actually think the body and mind are separate?
It would seem appropriate to have your husband recognize the link between his emotional state and acceptance that the thyroid is the basis for its condition. Why doesn't this counselor help him find some coping skills to deal with this acceptance?
Just wondering about his approach...if he has one...

 
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