Thyroid Disorders Community
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2033435 tn?1329947108

Thyroid OR depression symptoms?

How do you differentiate between hypo symptoms and depression?

It seems to me that since I know I have a hypo issue, I am even more fatigued and unable to get out of bed.

And this makes me think if the way I feel is psychological related, or if it's from being hypo.

In the last 3 weeks I can hardly get out of bed and I can't pinpoint if it's just laziness, depression-related or a hypo symptom. I know hypo causes depression and no one really knows if it's egg or chicken paradox etc.

I feel bad about feeling this way and sometimes I feel that in fact I am a lazy bum using this as an excuse. I am kind of going crazy with these feelings and it would help to understand if it's normal. So far I am getting away with it as I am at least temporarily the only employee in my company in the city, but if they decide to repopulate the office again before I get things under control, I am not sure I'd be able to function.

I am really scared. Did you all feel this way? I will only see my doctor on the 26 and am dreading for my mental health till then :/ And, is there something I could do to feel a little more normal before I start taking meds?
17 Responses
1756321 tn?1547098925
This info is from Harvard Health Publication. The article is entitled "When depression starts in the neck".

"Distinguishing depression from hypothyroidism:

Shared symptoms:

Depressed mood
Weight gain
Reduced sexual desire
Trouble concentrating

More typical of depression:

Restlessness and inability to sit still
Feelings of worthlessness
Inappropriate guilt
Thoughts of death or suicide
Planning or attempting suicide

More likely hypothyroidism:

Feeling chilled or overly sensitive to cold temperatures
Muscle cramps or stiffness
Dry skin and hair
Hair loss
Slowed heart rate"
Avatar universal
It's kind of impossible to differentiate.  Once you know that you are hypo, I would assume the depression is thyroid related until thyroid hormones were optimized. It's such a common symptom of hypo.  If it doesn't go away, you can look elsewhere later.  

I'm sure there also is a psychological element to it.  We're human...our minds prey on us.

If your doctor has your labs in hand and knows you are hypo, is there any way you could call him tomorrow and ask him for a low dose script to help you get through?
2033435 tn?1329947108
thanks goolara. stuff to think about.

problem is I don't want to get treatment from my PCP as she is too traditional (TSH lover etc), and the Dr. I chose from Mary Shomon website can only see me on the 26th. She will start me on Synthroid, (she stated that's what she'll do "if TSH comes abnormal again" this week). And I don't think it's a good idea as all indicate my issue must be FT3 (I'll know better when I get results this week).

probably not a good idea to start on Synthroid before I see Dr. #2, right?

just read Bruce thread on "waves of feeling bad", so discouraging... seems even after treatment people don't feel great =(

1947387 tn?1325644930
From your prior posts, you sound frustrated about the current course of treatment facing you. I'm wondering if part of you feeling more depressed and tired is because of your discouragement or lack of direction in treatment right now? Just an idea- moods can be tricky to pinpoint to a single cause. I have definitely felt depressed because of my thyroid treatment.
2033435 tn?1329947108
Good point Rach, haven't thought about it. While it's great to find out the reason I might have been so fatigued, it's overwhelming to realize that it might take a long time to get the right treatment, dose, etc. Plus I want to start treatment but have my hands tied waiting for an appointment for almost a month =( but there's nothing I can do about it.

Also, broke up with the guy I'm dating yesterday but not sure if it's my wish or something hypo crazyness related. Somehow I don't trust my feelings anymore!
2033435 tn?1329947108
I guess I just wanted to understand if there's a difference of thyroid-fatigue and depression-fatigue, or if feels exactly the same?
Avatar universal
WOW!  I could have written what you did.  However, I am currently unemployed and have been for some time.  I try to check in with myself if I am depressed and some days yes. Some days just not focused enough to do a job search.  Most days I have a lack of motivation.  I beat myself up for being a lazy slug but I really deep down don't think I am.

I don't know if my doctor is thru Mary Shoman but after reviewing her strategy, it is the same methods.  I just started a few weeks ago and he diagnosed me with Hashimoto's after the first round of testing.  I am coming to the end of the TH1/TH2 challenge.  I seemed to get worse and would write how low my motivation was, tired, etc...but all of a sudden today, I felt great. Got up, got things done, and had energy.  And best of all not a single ache or pain anywhere.  I go back on Wednesday and will see what he has to say.

It feels good to know that there are others out there that feels this way.  My mother has been helping me out financially and is on my case about getting a job.  Rightfully so.  However, she knows I have not felt well for a long time and is happy we found the root cause.  In addition, due to this and celiac, I have severe heart disease.  She would not nor does not understand the lack of motivation, depression part that seems to stop me from doing what I need to do.  It is so hard and it makes me feel worse.  I am hoping that this new found good feeling sticks and I can find a job fast.

Good luck to you.
Avatar universal
Yes, if you're seeing a new doctor, it's best to wait before starting treatment, especially if you'll be having labs again before seeing her.

Don't get too discouraged by what you read here.  People frequenting thyroid forums are not typical thyroid patients.  Most people take their pill and feel fine.  We've all gotten here because we have extenuating circumstances.

Educate yourself (I know you are in the process of that), be your own advocate, and you'll find the treatment you need.  A good place to start is by making sure FT3, FT4 and TSH are tested every time your blood is drawn.  Get your results and ranges and keep your own history.  If you jot down meds and symptoms just prior on lab reports, you'll start to compile some valuable information.

Bruce has struggled more than about anyone else on this forum.  He is atypical even among us atypicals!

2033435 tn?1329947108
HashiGirl, thanks for your comment! it's good to know that there are others feeling like us. I hope your good feeling does stick! I found some good articles to send the people who don't get me, my family was also skeptical but now at least my mom believes me ;) Good luck in your job search too - been there in 2009 and I know the feeling. Hopefully you'll feel stronger to look again soon.
2033435 tn?1329947108
Wow, thanks for this great article. Good to see that at least someone at Harvard believes the two things are "related" but have different symptoms, and not everything is necessarily depression-only!

I wish more people did research on this so we would understand the connection better...
2033435 tn?1329947108
Good to know, goolara, thanks! Just a question though... how do you know most people are fine if they don't frequent the forums? Just wondering as we don't read many good stories indeed. Do you know many people or so?
Yes I totally feel for Bruce but I admit I must be a tad hypochondriac as I already believe everything  he says will happen to me as well, lol.
1947387 tn?1325644930
Something I wonder myself.. My mom has had her thyroid "under control" for about 15 years now. I'm starting to wonder if her weight gain, fatigue, severe migraines, and memory loss are thyroid related. She had part of her gland removed has been on synthroid replacement. She is just happy with this treatment, as it make medical sense (she happens to be an RN), and if only she could get this weight gain, fatigue, and migraines under control! lol
Avatar universal
If you want to understand why doctors still don't get it about thyroid problems, just read this and then give a copy to your mom.


Also read this and give a copy to your mom as well.

Avatar universal
Well, certainly there are people out there who don't know enough to know they aren't getting proper treatment, but I've also encountered a number of (live!) people who are hypo and just take their pill every day.  Some of those hypos have looked at me like I just sprouted a second head when I talk about my trials and tribulations.  My dental hygeinist mentioned she had Hashi's when she saw I was on levo.  She's been on meds since she was 16...never a problem.  I told her about my problems getting used to levo, and she clearly got that disbelieving "oh, the poor hypochondriac" look on her face.  She's just one example.  

What I'm saying, though, is that when people are satisfied with their treatment, they don't get on forums and tell you that.  You seldom hear the "I feel great...nyah, nyah, nyah".  In fact, we see "newbies" come through all the time who are having problems.  They get some info, work out their problems, and most of the time we never hear from them again.  No news is usually good news...

I had a tough time of it for the first year and a half after I was diagnosed.  I have a pituitary issue and a heart arrhythmia that complicated treatment, and let's just say my PCP had a few things to learn about thyroid.  However, now I do feel really great.  Even those of us that are long timers on this forum don't post regularly saying how great we feel.

Rach, get your mom's latest labs and ranges, and let's see how good she's really going.  She sounds undermedicated to me!
1947387 tn?1325644930
You know, I actually could obtain her reports straight from her doctor, and discuss this with him directly. Her memory and confusion has been so bad the past year she has signed over access to her medical treatment to me and my dad! :)
1756321 tn?1547098925
Yes agreed. I have Hashimoto's but i'm not thinking about jumping off a bridge anytime soon. :) I will say i have felt happier since starting thyroid meds..only two weeks i've been on it too!

Rach7612, has your mother ever had her vitamin B12 tested? This deficiency can be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's disease/dementia.
168348 tn?1379360675
Hey, unofficially I'd like to add to the Hypo Symptoms:  Brain Fog
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1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
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