Depression and thyroid

Patient

Q: Hi, I am a 25 years old girl and I have been strugling with depression since I was 15/16. I can`t remember precisely, I can only remember that everything started with a huge feeling of emptiness, lack of motivation, boredom and loneliness. Now that a think back I remember when I was a child I used to say frequently to my mother that I was feeling bored. I tried therapy and I had been on antidepressants, first Prozac without results and then Paroxetine with some relief but making me feel numb all the time. Recently I was researching and suddenly a hypothesis came to my mind: Can it all be related with a thyroid disfunction? My grandfather and my mother, they suffer from hypothyroidism. I feel the lack of motivation, energy, everything is slow in my brain, lack of sexual desire, very introverted in spite of I try to fake but be around people absorb lots of my energy, I can`t simply relax and enjoy, I have also hair loss and I gained 15kg weight (i am european) last year (at the same time I was on Paroxetine. But I am confused because I did some thyroid tests and the result was negative. What do you think about that? Should I do further tests to explore more that option? Thank you.

Symptoms:  Lack of motivation, apathy, feeling empty, feel like everything is slower, lack of energy, no sexual desire
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question.

When dealing with a mental health diagnosis, a diagnosis can only be made if other medical conditions have been considered and no drug or substance misuse/abuse is occurring. A simple blood test with focus on thyroid disease, diabetes, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, renal function and liver function can be done to rule out obvious causes. I highly recommend you get such a test done.

If the test is normal, a mental health diagnosis should be considered. you indicated a diagnosis and depression has been indicated in the past and prescription medication have been attempted. There are many options when prescribing medication and unfortunately it is a matter of trial and error to see which one suits you best. The ideal medication has no side effects experienced and tremendous observable and obvious benefits in terms of mood stability and anxiety. If you have tried 2 medications in the past, i would urge you to see another doctor who is comfortable prescribing such medications. Most medications should be given a 4 week trial and if it is the right one for you, you will know it.

In addition to medications, talk therapy, exercise and yoga have been shown to treat the symptoms of depression as stand-alone or conjunction therapy.

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