Thyroid Disorders Community
26k Members
Avatar universal

hypothyroid and depression

In my previous post I mentioned that I just began taking ERFA thyroid from Canada 3 weeks ago.  I'm only on 1/2 grain daily.  I know this is a starter dose and I know it is pretty early in the game to expect spectacular results.  Here is my problem.  I am currently taking Wellbutrin (now for about 3 months)...it is not relieving my depression symptoms in the least.  Talked to my doctor (psychiatrist) this afternoon and explained the situation to him.  My symptoms read from the pages of a textbook....feeling depressed, feeling restless, difficulty concentrating, crying jags, unfounded feelings of worthlessness, feelings of sadness, loss of interest in normal daily things and things I used to enjoy, forgetfullness, easy mood changes etc.  The thing is, these symptoms do come and go throughout the day.  They seem to fluctuate easily.  I have felt like this probably for the last 5 years and the only thing that worked well was Cymbalta.  Initially when I took it, it worked great, but then it seemed to stop.  I have tried other antidepressants but nothing has worked as well.  That is when I really began looking into my thyroid as the culprit.  Anyway, here is my question.....should I begin Cymbalta again (doc says yes) even though I am just beginning a thyroid med.  I know there is such a big depressive component to thyroid nonfunction, but I don't think I can stand feeling like this while I sort the dosage out...I have three boys to raise.  Has anyone else had this problem when beginning meds?
TSH 3.2       range .4-4.5 (I have read this could be .3-3.0, as range is outdated)
free T4 1.0   range .8-1.8
free T3 3.0   range 2.3-4.2
6 Responses
1756321 tn?1547098925
"Once your natural serotonin levels are low enough to cause syptoms it is very difficult to significantly raise serotonin levels enough by food alone. SSRI's or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and SNRIs, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors do not actually increase the amount of serotonin molecules in the brain. SSRI’s are thought to block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin by certain nerve cells in the brain. This theoretically leaves more serotonin available in the brain. However if you have low serotonin to begin with these medications either will not work well, or work for a while then "poop out". - To read more: Intergrative Psychiatry - Serotonin.
Avatar universal
O.K...what should be my next step then in your opinion?  I think taking Wellbutrin has really thrown me off.  I actually (not intentional) forgot to take it yesterday and today.  I have had zero mood swings so far.  Coincidence?  Should I go back on Cymbalta...that has been known to work well with me, then "poop" out....then work well, then "poop out" etc.  Frustrating!!!!
1756321 tn?1547098925
Your thyroid isn't optimally treated which isn't expected since you just started 3 weeks ago. The stated "conventional" treatment for hypothyroidism is to aim for a TSH is between 0.5 - 2mU/L. As symptoms rule the show this is just one lab to take into account.  Many feel their best with free T3 and free T4 in the upper end of the reference range.  

All antidepressants have the black box warning of suicidal thoughts and actions. In the cymbalta anti depressant trials, 9 attempted suicides and 4 actual suicides occurred in healthy, non depressed people who volunteered to make extra money. The case of 19 year old student Traci Johnson, healthy with no mental health issues who hanged herself in the cymbalta trials, was big news.  When this story broke, clinical trial volunteers dropped 20%.  

From the article "Alternative Treatments for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress-Related Disorders: Dr. Podell’s Perspective on Brain, Mind, and Mood"...

"Alternative Treatments for Depression: Nutrients and Herbs

Nutrients and Herbs:

Inositol - Intracellular Second Mechanism

S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe) - Improves Methylation Pathways

Fish Oil - Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid

Tyrosine - Amino Acid, body uses to make Norepinephrine and Dopamine

Eliminate Wheat Gluten - May apply if blood antibody test is abnormal

Anti-Hypoglycemia Style Diet - Mood Stabilizing Effect

Folic Acid - Improves Methylation Pathways

Vitamin B12 - Improves Methylation Pathways

Tryptophan - Amino Acid, body uses to make Serotonin

L-Carnitine - Improves mitochondrial energy metabolism

Thiamine (Vitamin B1) - May help energy pathways

“Allergy” Elimination Diet - May be helpful for some

Herbs and Hormones:

St. John’s Wort - Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor

Estrogen - Often helps in perimenopause; usually does not help during menopause

Testosterone - Possibly helpful for both men and women

Thyroid, especially T3 form - Double Blind Studies Show Improvement even if thyroid blood tests are normal

DHEA - Adrenal gland hormone

Appropriately paced exercise conditioning - Many studies show benefit"
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for your insight!  I am looking into many of the thingsyou mentioned.  Do you have a personal experience with 5HTP?  Has anyone you know used it with success...and with what dosage?  
Avatar universal
I think yo need to talk to your Dr about the FACT. That when you absentmindedly forgot to take your Wellbutrin for a couple of days your felt BETTER.

That may be worth exploring further.

Depression and Hypo are directly linked at least in some if not quite a few people.  many people on this site have reported that they were able to eliminate or at least reduce their need for anti-depressants when they got their Thyroid levels optimized for their individual requirements.

Hopefully that will happen for you as well!
1756321 tn?1547098925
I haven't used 5HTP personally but i know it's a popular supplement for depression.  My major mental health issues were due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
Have an Answer?
Top Thyroid Answerers
649848 tn?1534637300
Avatar universal
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
We tapped the CDC for information on what you need to know about radiation exposure
Endocrinologist Mark Lupo, MD, answers 10 questions about thyroid disorders and how to treat them
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.