The Depression Hypothyroid Connection

One of the many unfortunate symptoms of Hypothyroidism is Depression, but its easy to think they are unrelated conditions and treat them separately with separate medicine. In some cases they are unrelated, but on Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) there is a long list of inspiring stories of depression that went away when people started using natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid to treat Hypothyroidism. I am one of these success stories.

I didn’t have full-blown, year-round depression, so I never thought I was one of those people who needed anti depressants. What I did experience was a low-level sadness that felt almost like the muscles in my face were heavy, making the act of smiling unthinkable. It wasn’t a long-lasting depression or hurtful to those around me.  Just a general weight-of-the-world, dragging feeling.

The unusual part is I felt this “Hypothyroid depression” most noticeably during the months of March, April and May, which always seemed odd to me.  One would think the dark part of winter would be the worst time for depression. Not in the spring when the days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and everyone is happy. I should have felt great, but instead I felt miserable. Every year starting at age 13, I dreaded the doldrums of spring.

When I started researching Hypothyroidism, I learned something really interesting about depression. According to nutritionist and Leptin expert, Byron J. Richards, when daytime high temperatures vary 25 – 40 degrees over a period of a few days, the thyroid system really struggles to keep up. This means fall and spring seasons are hard on the thyroid and can cause a mental funk or depression. So that was it, incredible! Finally an answer that made sense.

This type of depression is so subtle, its easy to pass it off as related to other things in life, or not even call it Depression. While other Hypothyroid sufferers experience depression that is much more intense.  The good news is depression has gone away for so many of us after Hypothyroid treatment with natural desiccated thyroid medicine. After getting my thyroid medicine to the right dose I am happy to report I can finally enjoy a spring.




Miss LizzyThe Depression Hypothyroid Connection

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  • J. G. Oliver - May 18, 2010

    Wow, I hadn’t read that page from the STTM site. I’ve had the more severe variety since my teens, so I hope that the dessicated thyroid works as well for me as it has for all of those hypoT patients with success stories. Sounds promising! For those still trying to find the right treatment; I’ve found that avoiding sugar, simple carbs and processed foods can lift severe depression to a degree. Plus, "fake it ’till you make it"; put on your best cheery act as often as possible and you WILL feel better than if you give into it (though sometimes a person as no choice about that). The brain fog, constant exhaustion and depression are definitely the toughest things about being hypothyroid and having adrenal fatigue. I’m so glad that you’ve found relief! It’s good to know that the right treatment CAN cause such a profound turnaround for so many people-and often in just a few months time after living with those symptoms for decades!

  • Lizzy - May 21, 2010

    Hi JG,Thanks for posting. I definitely agree foods make a difference. What I find so amazing is how many people are being told to treat the result of the problem (depression, asthma, arthritis, high cholesterol, etc…) and not the root of the problem (hypothyroid and adrenals). Or worse, being told they don’t have a problem.But to understand this we have to remember that doctors have a "point of view" like everyone and there are different schools of thought. Just like the difference between talking to a Republican or a Democrat, we get different perspectives. It’s the same with medicine, and we have to ask which school of thought we want to follow.

  • Rebecca - July 30, 2010

    I’m so pumped I found this post – I’ve suffered from depression on and off for many years, including one episode that required medication. The really interesting part of this post though is about the seasonal changes – fall and spring – and how they affect someone with hypothyroidism. I’ve suffered pompholyx (hand eczema – blisters and peeling skin on my fingers) for years, always at the time changes each year. So every fall, and every spring – peeling, blistering. No explanation from anyone. This pretty much explains it for me though – my system couldn’t handle the temperature changes. I used to get hives as a young teen as well, again, no explanation. Oh, unraveling it all is so good.

  • Lizzy - August 2, 2010

    Hi Rebecca,So glad this was helpful to you! Interesting that you have skin changes with the seasons. I have heard of others experiencing this. But I also have heard that severe dry and cracked skin is related to hypothyroid. Much of my chronic dry skin problems have resolved on the right thyroid treatment.xxooLizzy

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