Wednesday, February 6, 2013

!! ANXIETY!! no one says it better than woody allen, or some ( including me) hypothyroid patients

well, we have all heard plenty about depression being a symptom, and a serious one at that, of hypothyroid disease. i am going to discuss another symptom of hypothyroid disease- and that is anxiety. let me say here, that in most books on thyroid disease, anxiety is only mentioned as a side effect of too much thyroid hormone, or being hyperthyroid. or, perhaps the author will  lump anxiety and depression together as the same problem. i really, really do not like it when they do that!

i myself, as well as a few other thyroid patients that i know- and that is patients who are  HYPOthyroid , have struggled with anxiety and not so much with depression. i love woody allen movies, and he is perhaps the" anxiety king"- always worrying about everything. this makes for a funny movie, but a not so funny life. before i was diagnosed, finally, with thyroid disease, i had extreme anxiety. i found it difficult to get out and do certain things because i was sure that something terrible was going to happen. i also suffered from panic attacks.  let me get one of my pet peeves out of the way: ANTIDEPRESSANTS CAN BE  AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION, BUT THEY ARE NOT INDICATED IN ANXIETY!. in fact, antidepressants can make anxiety worse, especially at first. anti-anxiety medications can be addictive, but they are effective. i think that physicians find it "safer" to use antidepressants because they are, generally, not addictive. 

so now what? again, i go back to suggesting that doctors treat the  cause of the problem, not the result of the problem. not all people who suffer with anxiety are hypothyroid, but it could be a symptom, and should be addressed before deciding on an appropriate treatment.  when i finally started taking  a thyroid hormone replacement medication ( and this holds true for those people i know   who have had anxiety resulting from being hypothyroid) my anxiety was much, much better. i wish i could say that it went away entirely, but i noticed quite an improvement . i have stopped having panic attacks, and i feel that the  quality of my  life has significantly improved. 

talk therapy, behavior modification, exercise- these all help with anxiety( that is one thing that anxiety and depression have in common- these methods do actually help both conditions). i always encourage people to take charge of their health. knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you can control what is happening to you and how well you feel. also, i will borrow a quote from dr. spock's famous book on child care: " trust yourself. you know more than you think." i think that is one of the quotes that i live by. 

so, for those of us who suffer/have suffered from anxiety and are HYPOTHYROID, lets leave the anxiety to  woody and get a better quality of life for ourselves. 


  1. I found that my anxiety was masking an underlying depression. Sometimes admitting one is depressed helps resolve the conflict that is occurring and culminates in high anxiety or panic attacks.
    As for the connection between hypothyroidism and anxiety, who is to say that the constant anxiety does not eventually "burn out " the thyroid. The body is a huge mystery and science is nothing but the accumulation and application of theory.

  2. interesting, i will admit. i still feel that anxiety and depression, while may co-exist, are different disorders, and therefore require different medications to treat. thank you for your comment, however.