Am I crazy?
My name is Indigo and I am 18 years old. A year ago I was told that I have Hyperthyroidism and have been on and off medication since. My doctor told me that the sadness I have been feeling is due to my illness but recently I haven't been convinced. I feel depressed most of the time, especially at school where I feel scared and vulnerable. I used to be a bright student but now I am falling behind because of my lack of concentration and motivation. I often feel stupid and hate myself for it.
I avoid social gatherings as much as possible and always feel incredibly lonely. I cannot remember the last time I went out with friends, and I often avoid them because I don't feel that I am good enough for them, or feel that they hate me. None of them really supported me when I was ill last year and it really hurt, although they probably just didn't know what to do. I have always been an introvert and had low self-esteem but have recently found it difficult to speak to anyone.
I am constantly tired and have difficulty falling asleep at night time. On most nights I lay awake wondering if there is something wrong with me or if I am, as my friends seem to think, just looking for attention. I tend to over-analyze things and sometimes I feel that I think too much. I have a big imagination and often think morbid thoughts. I am just so confused and go between feeling completely empty to feeling too full of emotions. I am easily overwhelmed. I have contemplated seeing my school counselor, but I don't want to bother her if it's nothing - I hate making a fuss.
I was hoping that you would be able to help me understand what is going on, if my worries are simply part of my illness or if it is something more serious. I can't bring myself to ask anyone I know for help, not because I am afraid but because I feel like I would be disappointing them. My friends and family have always seen me as a happy, together person, but I feel so out of control.
I am sorry you have been feeling so depressed. You certainly aren't crazy. For that, you would need to be delusional, hearing voices and seeing things that aren't there. There are several medical conditions that can cause depressed feelings. Hormonal problems, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and thyroid problems are the most common.
In general, foods, vitamins, and supplements turn into hormones and hormones turn into neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that allow people to think clearly and regulate mood. If there is a problem with any element of this system then depression and anxiety could result.
The symptoms of Hyperthyroidism are an overall speeding up of all of the body's processes which include nervousness, irritability, constantly feeling hot, increased frequency of bowel movements, less frequent menstruation and decreased menstrual flow, weakness, hair and weight loss, change in skin thickness, separation of the nails from the nail bed, hand tremors, intolerance of heat, rapid heartbeat, goiter, and at times protruding eyeballs.
Hypothyroidism is a general slowing down of the body and the symptoms are often depression and sluggishness. There are some thyroid conditions that have symptoms of both Hyper and Hypothyroidism such as Graves Disease.
Also, it is not at all uncommon for people to suffer from a medical condition that causes some depression - to have either a chemical depression or environmental stressors that increase depression. Given your statement that you have always felt low self-esteem and difficulty with social situations, I wonder about a chemical predisposition for depression, independent of your thyroid condition.
If you have a family history of depression, anxiety, or problems with confidence, then it would make it more likely that a chemical depression might be present. Either way, I would definitely seek out the support of a counselor who is adept at evaluating when it is appropriate to refer to a psychiatrist. I urge you not to give in to feeling like you are burdening people or not living up to what they expect. It is not your job to make others comfortable, and they would probably be just fine with the idea that you are human, like all of us, and that an illness is not a crime.
Take care and good luck.
Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT
This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.For more information visit: http://www.asktheinternettherapist.com/