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  • Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

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    Old 03-06-2014, 07:04 PM   #1
    Sage 43
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    Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    I went into the hospital last month, the depression and anxiety were so bad. I have had a couple thyroid tests before I went in, late last year, and they came back "borderline".

    While I was in the hospital, they tested and re-tested my thyroid due to the same "borderline" results. I guess they were satisfied, since they let it go without treating it. Instead, they gave me a different antidepressant and started ECT treatments.

    When they released me, I was doing well. I mean, not stupendous, but definitely improved and looking forward to the remaining outpatient ECT treatments since they did definitely seem to be helping.

    Then a couple weeks ago, everything just stopping working. Literally everything. The Effexor stopped. They put me on Cymbalta. No difference, no effect. My Alpha-Stim device also stopped providing any kind of help. Even the ECT completely ceased to be effective. As of today, I started yet another brand-new antidepressant that is also so far proving useless.

    On top of this, the skin on my hands and feet is very dry, the skin on my heels even cracking and peeling off, my nails are splitting, my formerly mostly-clear skin is breaking out in a field of blackheads on my face and chest, a constantly heavy, weighty feeling in my chest that is simply intolerable, tearing eyes, an inability to concentrate, and occasional arrhythmias, a couple a day or so.

    I am seriously wondering if my ever-unpredictable, "borderline" thyroid has finally taken a nosedive, and that's the cause of my new depression and anxiety. And, since the cause of the thyroid problem isn't being treated, it's why the anti-depressive treatments are suddenly turning impotent. But to be honest, when I get another ECT treatment tomorrow, I'm very uncertain as to whether I want to ask for another blood test.

    Why? Well, what if it comes back, yet again, normal or "borderline", which, of course, in the medical community's infinite wisdom, means that literally every symptom I'm having, including this crushing depression and anxiety, is essentially meaningless, and that I just need to be put through yet another round of new pills and shock treatments, regardless as to whether or not I actually feel like they're working?

    Sorry if I sound bitter, but it is easy to dismiss the absolute hell and pain a person in a hospital bed is living through when all you have to do is look at some test results on paper, shrug your shoulders, and NOT go through that pain yourself. I am seriously at the end of my rope. I see an endocrinologist, but not for over a month since her office is packed, and honestly I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to endure more of this heavy heart and sick mind.

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    Old 03-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    I have been through severe depression (induced by an unwarranted hysterectomy). I am sorry you are going through this! "Borderline" hypo for one person may not cause symptoms but for another may cause severe symptoms. And if you have thyroiditis (such as Hashimoto's), the symptoms can "wax and wane" which may explain your current "crash." But even without thyroiditis, the thyroid can have a rapid change in function. Have you gotten a copy of any of your lab results? If you have, feel free to post them here if you'd like some input.

    Endocrinologists are usually the worst for treating thyroid problems. They typically base treatment on TSH and TSH alone. Free T3 and free T4 are better indicators of thyroid function since they are the hormones available for the body to use. If you haven't already had TPO and Tg antibodies checked, you would want to request those also.

     
    Old 03-07-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    Here are my results:

    2/1/14: T4 free: 0.80 (Standard range 0.65-1.34) ng/dL

    1/31/14: TSH: 3.79 (Standard range 0.358-3.740) ulU/mL

    12/17/2013: TSH: 1.880 (Standard range on THIS test marked as 0.450-4.500) ulU/mL

    12/17/2013: T4 free: 0.94 (and standard range on THIS test marked as 0.82-1.77) ng/dL

    12/17/2013: Thyroglobulin antibody: <1.0 (standard range 0.0-0.9) lU/mL

    12/17/2013: T3 free: 3.1 (standard range 2.0-4.4) pg/mL

    9/6/2013: TSH: 3.490 (standard range 0.450-4.500) ulU/mL

    9/6/2013: T4 free: 0.80 (standard range 0.82-1.77) ng/dL

    Even I can see my thyroid is on a roller coaster!

     
    Old 03-07-2014, 12:00 PM   #4
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    Yes, your thyroid is on a roller coaster! Seek out a more savvy thyroid doctor and take a copy of your lab results with you. A GP / primary care or integrative doctor will likely be better than an endocrinologist. You could check with some pharmacists to see which doctors in the area prescribe Natural Dessicated Thyroid meds (such as Armour or NP). They are usually more open to prescribing based on symptoms and free T3 and free T4 versus TSH. I hope you get some help soon!

     
    Old 03-09-2014, 12:23 PM   #5
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    When I went to my PCP for help she's the one who sent me to the endo.

    I've noticed you're from St. Louis; so am I. Have you found any doctors around here that work?

     
    Old 03-09-2014, 12:35 PM   #6
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    Two doctors I have seen who treat more by symptoms than lab results are Dr. Christian Wessling and Dr. Tipu Sultan.

     
    Old 03-09-2014, 04:14 PM   #7
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    Darn. Neither are covered by my insurance.

    At this point, the doctor I have scheduled I can't see until the 14th of April. The others I plan on calling tomorrow to see if they are available sooner are Dr. Garrett Hagen, Dr. Amin Radparvar and Dr. Christy L. Richardson. The last one I'm especially eager to contact since I understand she actually asks her patients "How do you feel?" - WOW!! The only thing is, she's all the way up in Bridgeton and I'm afraid of driving that far since I keep having brain zaps.

     
    Old 03-09-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    I recall seeing Dr. Richardson's name mentioned somewhere awhile back as being a "thyroid friendly" doctor. Another St. Louis doctor's name was mentioned here recently but don't recall his name.

     
    Old 03-09-2014, 09:53 PM   #9
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    I recently had to switch due to insurance reasons from Dr. Wessling after a 10 year successful association with him.

    I chose Dr. James Compton in south St. Louis. I've only seen him once, but I liked his easy going manner and that he doesn't appear to be in Big Pharma's pocket. I could tell by the absence of a lot of advertising materials around the office. I've taken 2 grains of natural thyroid for years and didn't want to change. Dr. Compton was amazed that I'm taking it... Said he hadn't prescribed it in years, even though it used to be the only thyroid med he prescribed. Thank heavens... Because he knows how it's done and didn't try to change my dose.

    Now... The thing is... I wasn't looking for a diagnosis, so I have no idea how good he is at that. All I know for now is that he prescribes Armour and knows how to do it right. He's an internist by specialty, so I'm also unsure how good he'd be with pharmaceuticals for depression or with treating any other disease, really. Thyroid is the only issue I need him for at this point, and he seems like a good fit for that.

    Good luck.
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    Old 03-10-2014, 05:59 AM   #10
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    Re: Seriously at my wit's end - thyroid causing depression

    Your TSH has been on the roller coaster that is typical for someone with hypothyroidism.

    Your actual thyroid hormone levels (FreeT4 and FreeT3) have been consistently hypothyroid.

    In the almost 7 years I've been participating on multiple thyroid forums, I've accumulated quite the list of thyroid-savvy doctors across the USA. If you're willing to share the area code(s) that work for you, I will give you names of doctors with those area codes.
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