Depression, fatigue, or low thyroid?

My younger daughter has been fighting a lack of energy and motivation over the past couple of years. She has also suffered with serious depression and cutting. The cutting is something she has promised and vowed to never do again, and I know she means it, but we want to make sure she doesn’t slip back into it, ever. We cannot guarantee that she will not, but we choose to believe IN her.

Recently, after counseling, her psychologist recommended antidepressants- something we had thought about but had truly hoped not to have to turn to. They have a nasty reputation-especially among teens, for making matters worse.

However, her new medical doctor went ahead and prescribed my daughter Celexa. She had taken the first pill, and we were sitting at a Chinese restaurant when the doctor called and told us that the good news, compared to the news of depression, was that my daughter’s thyroid function was very low, and that we should stop the antidepressants until Synthroid had been prescribed and taken for a few weeks, etc. The first dose was low, and did not change anything for her, so this time we have a .75 mcg dose instead of .25 mcg, and so we will now begin tomorrow to see what results there will be.

I just want to encourage everyone who has symptoms of depression, but who has either never been officially diagnosed, or who believes they are depressed but don’t want to take antidepressants, to get your thyroid levels checked. It has been estimated that up to a third of people on antidepressants may be misdiagnosed with depression, and may not be seeing any good results from the antidepressants.  So, even if you have been diagnosed with depression, and are on antidepressants, but have never had your thyroid checked, please do.

Other symptoms of thyroid disorders can be found at Web MD, among other sites online. My daughter has some of the symptoms listed, but not any of them were too pronounced. She has areas of dry skin, but she is a teen, so she has the typical breakouts and oily skin, too- so hard to tell that anything was too strange, there. She does tend to fluctuate a lot in weight depending on the time of the month- an indicator of more than usual water retention. She has a sluggish metabolism and low energy, but these symptoms could have been and were chalked up to social awkwardness, depression, or lack of exercise. Thyroid testing only involves a blood test. So, if you know anyone that may benefit from this information, please pass it along.

I can only try to express to you the relief that there may be hope for my daughter to be a happier, more fulfilled person. The idea that her life may be turned around with a small little pill is amazing to me. I am very hopeful. My 17 year-old daughter is an amazing, funny, brilliant girl who is the sweetest person I know. She is compassionate and lovely, wonderful and insightful.  I only wish we had pursued these avenues sooner, instead of simply thinking she was going through teen angst, or suffering because of parent’s divorce, or moving around a lot. None of these things were easy on her, but were not enough to cause the extreme depression we were seeing.

We truly look forward to seeing our little sunshine SHINING again.  We hope that this post will help someone else.


4 thoughts on “Depression, fatigue, or low thyroid?

  1. How is your daughter doing? I also suffer from low thyroid (Hypothyroidism). It was detected until a few years ago, even though I complained to doctors many times. Thank you for raising awareness on what is very common – for women to go to their doctors complaining of symptoms only to be told that they are depressed when the thyroid is the culprit. Also, if you get blood work done and the numbers come back normal, doctors tell you you’re fine when you still feel like crap.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and referring it to others (how do you refer it). I appreciate the support!

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