Agoraphobia Community
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Avatar universal

Agoraphobia/Depression/General Anxiety/Hypothyroid???

I have been diagnosed with Agoraphobia but it came on so suddenly about 6 years ago.. I had a good paying job and things were ok although I did have and still do have a lot of stressors in my life. My wife was ill and has a lot of issues with that then I got depressed. The first time I got depressed was after My Mother passed and then it went away. I seem to have had it on and off for years but never ever like this and could always come out of it. Then one day I told my wife I just could not go to work and that led to long term disability and now I am on permanent disability.

The main issue is that I have been mis-diagnosed twice by two prominent Psychiatrist! They both told me I was Bi-Polar 11, then the GAD, Then is was Agoraphobia and finally after a physical did they find HYPOTHYROID!

All medications never have worked no matter what I take, and I have taken tons from antidepressants, to anti-psychotics, to benzos to even schizophrenic medicines! They wanted me to have ECT and I flat out refused. I do not think I am that crazy at all....

I think someone has not done their proper job in helping me and tons of terrible therapists have done nothing to help me or even try to find out what is the problem. I am not one not to confront an issue if it was there and always have.So I had a good position in this job and then it was all gone in a matter of years!!

Now I cannot concentrate at all, I used to read all the time. I do not even care about Football and that was my passion because I drift off! I am so tired all the time, no drive, yet I want to, but feel I cannot, due to the lack of the energy. They put me on synthyroid and the TSH is normal but I still feel terrible. I do not have panic attacks but do worry alot and do not leave the house at all except for Doctor appointments. I am sick of this and have given up that there is any help or any doctor that knows what he is doing!

I am all for the cognitive behavior and do not deny there are problems but as to what it is who knows? Is there a possibility that the thyroid could be the problem even with the normal level now? Like I said I will do what it takes, but I do not have that energy to fight for it!!

What do I do when nothing works and I am here wanting help and cannot concentrate long enough to even begin therapy or get there?? They have to start first and treat the depresssion and help that first or do I think that and need to start somewhere?

Any help out there? I am convinced they are all related somehow and wonder if the thyroid is the main issue? I want help and am willing to do it but this fatigue and depression has me whipped to the point of no return to try?

7 Responses
Avatar universal
I do know that thyroid can make you feel anxious and someone I know was having a lot of problem with that even though she was on thyroid medication.  She had it checked by her doctor and her levels were good, but she still had the anxiety.  Then her doctor retired and she went to a new doctor who took her levels and found that she was way under-dosed.  Once she was dosed correctly, she was fine.  I have no idea what the reason was for the first doctor not dosing enough or if there are differing tests for thyroid, some more precise than others, but I do know that it sure made a difference in her life.  Maybe you should consider getting a new specialist and have thorough testing done to make sure that your medication is the correct dose.

If everything is as it should be as far as dose, then no matter what you are feeling, tired, depressed, anxious, whatever it is, you have got to take the steps to get out of your house.  You know this because from what you have said, you know about CBT so therefore you have to now put it into practice.  It's hard, you don't want to do it, but you also don't want to be spending the rest of your life in your house, unhappy because you don't have the job you once had nor the life you feel you deserve.  

There is only one way you will ever get either of those things back or at least a life that makes you feel fulfilled and that is by putting one foot in front of the other and going out that front door.  I don't care if you have GAD, bi-polar, hypothyroid or all three, the bottom line is you aren't getting out of your house and living the life you want.  So that makes you on the right forum to be with people who also struggle with getting out.  That is one thing we all have in common here.  We are all at different stages of this annoying phobia and we can learn alot from each-other because of that.

As I've said many times, I am a Huge believer in the power of positive thought and CBT.  You being a former business man/supervisor have to know that that is very important to motivate your staff.  I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that you are probably a bit of a perfectionist, like most of us here and also need to feel in control, like all of us on this forum.  This is a perfect opportunity for you to use your managerial skills.

Start with setting realistic goals for yourself.  Before going to bed at night, make a list of all the things you want to accomplish the next day. When you get up, start going through the list and once the item is accomplished, check it off.  The point is, you have to be self-motivating.  Remember, they should all be realistic goals, you don't want to set yourself up for failure.  Track your mood and make a note of anything that makes you more anxious or depressed during the day.  A proper diet eliminating any junk food will help with the depression and anxiety.  People don't really believe that this is true but it actually does make a difference.  Try to incorporate some sort of exercise into your daily routine.  This has been a lifesaver for one of my friends.  I don't care if you are tired because part of the reason you are so tired is that you do nothing and therefore it becomes a vicious circle and that tired feeling never goes away unless you start moving around and start using that body and mind.  You've got to be willing to fight whether you think you have the energy or not.  

I've given you a few ideas to get yourself started on reaching your ultimate goals of getting out of your house and having a job.  I may be coming across as being a little too tough but the reality of your situation is one we all have been through with some variations but none the less the same.  You've got to start believing in yourself again and know that you can start by taking small steps and not giant leaps to get your life back.  It may not be the same life but it will be one that is a lot better and enriching than the one you have right now IF you are willing to put in the effort.
Avatar universal
Barfer has given you some excellent advice.  Please take it to heart.  
You have to start being proactive in your own health.  Doctors don't seem to know much about anxiety disorders and I think they just guess at what they think is wrong.  And then give you some pills for it.  
Do you feel truly afraid to leave your house?  Are you in fear of having a panic attack?  If your answer is yes, then you're probably agoraphobic.  But if it's because you're just too tired and not motivated enough to leave, then it's probably something else.  
I would consider getting another doctor, which would give you a fresh perspective on your problem.  
And remember that energy begets energy, so you're going to have to get up and out and just start "doing"................Start small and work your way up.  
Keep us updated on how you're doing.
And keep fighting the good fight!!!!
Avatar universal
I'll just add a small bit in if I may. What really used to annoy me was doctors / shrinks looking for excuses for what I had. They would probe my life. Looking for things. The second they heard something bad they would say ' that is the reason why '. By now I have lost count of the amount of reasons they have given me over the years. I used to seriously wonder how some of them got their jobs. Did they enter a contest on the back of serial box to become a shrink or something. They were forever changing their minds. And my medication. Mainly giving me anti-depressants back then. When I didn't suffer from depression. I learned as I went along that I would be better off talking to the wall and telling my own GP what tablets I wanted. I refused anti-depressants from that day on. But you would have to question some of their answers. All the time I was keeping a diary. I had written down what I thought was wrong with me. When it all began. How it all started. You see it is fair to say that we know our own bodies and minds better than any stranger. Fair to say also that we know what we can endure and what we must do to get better. We have all played ' the feeling sorry for ourselves ' role for years. Once we stopped doing that we began making progress. At the end of the day your life is your own. We can't say ' do this ' or ' do that '. You have to want to do things for yourself. I wish you the best of luck in doing so. Hope you stick around the forum too and keep on posting.
Avatar universal
You've just receive excellent advice from the king (MrGreen) and queen (Ducky) of agoraphobia.  They have both fought this phobia, both being housebound for a very long time. Take the information that they have given you and really digest it...think about it.  Write back and tell us your thoughts.  We can help you with this if you are willing to be open and honest with yourself and us.  Use this forum if you want, as a way of journaling just like MrGreen suggested...get your thoughts down, you know your body and mind better than any stranger.  If you are uncomfortable with using the forum to journal, then do it privately, but journaling is a very good tool.  It is so interesting reading it back after a couple of months to see where you were and how far you have come.

Remember, we have been where you are, especially MrGreen and Ducky so maybe a little insight from other people who know intimately about agoraphobia might be helpful to you.  That is what this forum is all about...sharing information with fellow agoraphobics and with any luck we will all learn something.
638895 tn?1223070426
I can't really add much here as everyone has pretty much said what I would have said.  All I can tell you is...it is a job and a fulltime job that requires patience and using what is right for you to fight this.  I am a recovering Agoraphobic and now pretty much have my life back, however...it is still something I have to work on everyday.
The people in this forum are amazing...use us.
In response to journals...I have done this for years.  A few months ago I looked back on a very old journal...I didn't even know who that person was.  A journal is for your journey and by looking back you will see how far you have come.
Good luck and please use us as we can help.
Avatar universal
What have you been up to?  We haven't heard from you and are wondering if you have tried any of our suggestions and if you have, has anything worked?  We'd love to hear from you.
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