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Old 09-15-2012, 03:58 AM   #1
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Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

I have been having a lot of mental health problems and think they are connected to my recent diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and graves' disease.

I am having problems with anger, irrational and out of control. Anxiety, racing thoughts, high pulse rate (110bpm resting). Depression, feeling low, crying for no reason.

I am also having other purely thyroid related symptoms ie excess sweating, low weight, goiter. My cognitive function isn't what it used to be and I struggle to string coherent sentences together. My memory has also been effected, I have forgot a lot of important things, my vocabulary has decreased significantly, my maths has got considerably worse. I feel like my brain is melting.

My T4 and T3 levels have been normal for 7 months now (TSH still low) and I should be feeling better but I'm not. I spoke to my doctor about it and he has referred me for counselling, will this be with a regular counsellor? I suspect they won't know anything about graves' but does it matter? Are the problems I am having the same as someone without graves'? I am wondering if the problems I am having are really physical and not mental as suggested ie down to hormones rotting my brain.

Does anyone have experience of this?

 
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:33 AM   #2
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

I am not sure of the answer to your question, but I think, in your shoes, I would try and find someone who at least acknowledged the role of hormones, and the thyroid, in your situation. To me, it seems like the counseling you receive should be different, based on the fact that your issues are a result of a health issue.

 
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

How is your Graves' being treated? Are you taking anti-thyroid drugs, or did you have RAIA? Doctors are not great at treating each individual case based on the patient's optimal thyroid hormone needs. If your T4/T3 levels aren't the ones your body is meant to have, you may continue to suffer mental and physical symptoms until they are adjusted.

If your mental problems are being caused by hormonal imbalance, all the counseling in the world is not likely to help completely.

I suggest you let us know what treatment you've had and post your latest lab results for thyroid levels. I truly suspect they could be "off".
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

Thanks guys, I am taking 15mg carbimazole, not had the rai but it may be a future option. My last T4 was 15 (10-22) and my TSH 0 (0.3-3). T3 was still high but normal. My T4 is still dropping slightly but not by much.

 
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #5
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

You definitely don't want your FT4 to drop any more. It's already below mid-range, which would produce hypothyroid symptoms for many people. If your FT3 weren't apparently still too high, I'd say your carbimazole dose would need decreasing.
Can you post your FT3 result with lab range so we can take a look at it?

I don't recommend at all that you go into RAI without knowing the risks and dangers. It's a barbaric treatment for Graves' that will make you permanently hypothyroid. Trust me... MDs aren't any great shakes at treating that. You should opt for the treatment that will give you the best chance at remission of Graves' and normalizing thyroid status without creating another thyroid condition.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

I agree that it would be best to find a counselor with a general idea of thyroid related mental issues. Prior to such an appointment, I would personally send them an article clearly explaining the link. I'm sure must would know this.

Although my depression is pretty harsh right now, I know it is chemical/physical and temporary. I've struggled since my TSH got out of wack 6 weeks ago. I've considered counseling almost daily but I decided to tough it out. I realize my thoughts don't make sense and I've hidden it pretty well. I talked to my wife's friend yesterday and she was blown away and surprised by what I told her I was going through. I would imagine there's a few levels of depression beyond mine, this is just my story, and believe me, it hasn't been a fun 6 weeks. Good luck! I'm better than I was last monday so relief is coming soon. If I wasn't getting a tiny bit better each week, I would be in the counselors chair, no doubt about it.

 
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Is counselling the same for graves'/thyroid related mental health problems?

I find therapy helpful for both support for the stress of going through the physical problem (Hashimoto's that eventually was diagnosed this year), and for looking at what other stressors and issues might be going on in life.

 
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