Can anybody relate to how I am feeling?

I have been diagnosed with an under-active thyroid and only recently began treatment and I have been doing plenty of research and trying to get well informed. I seem to be able to find out about many things biologically, but there doesn't seem to be much about the emotional side.

I find that my mood can be completely ruined over basically nothing in a matter of seconds, and then I feel ridiculously alone because I feel like none of my family or friends can understand why I get upset or emotional the way I do. I have also found that certain things that never really bothered me a few years ago, like being around young children, has become something I simply can't tolerate.

Many of my family and friends have young children, and I would never say that I hate children or anything, but honestly the anticipation of being around them or just being there gets me so irritable and stressed out. This makes me feel even worse because I can't help how I feel, so then I feel guilt ridden because I feel like this makes me a bad person. I've tried to explain that I can't stay around them for long because I just get stressed and I tried explaining that I can't help getting worked up - but I think people just think I am being horrible. I still feel drained and exhausted a lot of the time, so I can't keep up with all the physical demands of playing with them for hours.

I just want to know if people have felt the same, or similar about different situations? I feel like I am not helping myself because I am getting upset thinking this all makes me a bad person. People make me feel like - what kinda of women, ill or not, does not want to be around their nephews, nieces and god children all the time. I just feel like a monster for wanting time to myself and to try and regain a relationship with my partner. After all, we have been under strain with everything. I feel smothered, stressed and rather fed up with all the expectations placed on me.

I am so sorry for the rant, and please no harsh comments. I already feel awful as it as. Maybe some advice or personal experiences? Thanks.

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34 Replies

  • I don't want to be around children all the time (if at all)! After all, they're not yours, you didn't have them and you have no obligation to them.

    I wouldn't even explain. If you're not well, you're not in a position to be doing a lot of socialising, so you don't have to point out that you don't want to be with the kids all the time. Have a lovely time with your partner, enjoy each other's company and if people are putting pressure on you to socialise, feel free to decline with apologies, saying you wouldn't be much fun, your energy is depleted, you really need some rest, etc.

    Who are these people who feel like they should assess whether or not you should have time for your own purposes, and who are they to judge your motivations? xx

  • I try to express to my partner that the most important thing to me right now is trying to feel better, manage my work load and begin to do things together again. You are completely right in what you are saying and I wish more people would be this considerate!

    I think I feel the need to justify myself to them because they are always making a comparison when I try to explain myself, if that makes sense. So if I say, I'm tired and under the weather and I don't think I can make it. Then more often then not I am getting something along the lines of 'I'm tired, I have a kid to look after, you don't see me complaining'. I'm sure you can imagine the numerous other responses. Its almost like people make me feel bad for being ill and for some reason, I seem to let it get to me quite a lot. xx

  • That is kind of a bullying attitude. You may have to temporarily cut these people off - stop sharing your experience - if they judge you.

    If someone invites you to spend time with them and their family and you explain that you're not up to it, if they then go on to say 'Well I have a kid to look after and I don't' etc, they're not listening to you.

    Anyway, that's a red herring. I have a friend who spent his 11 day holiday last year driving something like 5000miles from NY to the Grand Canyon via New Orleans. Now, is that my idea of fun? Absolutely not! Because some people have that kind of energy and some don't, and everyone is different.

    People choose to have their kids and everyone knows parenthood is exhausting. On the other hand, you became ill through no fault of your own and now your energy is compromised.

    Give yourself the rest you deserve and don't be bullied out of it. xx

  • PS. Can I also say that there's nothing wrong with not enjoying the company of kids? Even parents who love their kids don't love every moment with them. Children are just people, you may like some of them and you won't like them all.

    I know you're not saying that you dislike kids, but even if you were, that would be okay! Horses for courses etc. xx

  • You are definitely right, I just need to try to get the time that I need. And as for the bullying attitude, you have hit the nail on the head; if I turn up there is something to complain about, and if I don't turn up then I am just as bad. There is no winning, so I might as well think about myself for a while! True, I don't think there is anything wrong with not liking children, but some people are so quick to be offended by it, even though it isn't necessarily something personal. I'll definitely be sticking to my cats I think haha. Thanks again! xx

  • It does take a while for you to get your medication to an optimum level. It cannot be rushed.

    The thyroid gland sends hormones which go to the millions of cells in our body which need T3 to function normally. We are given T4 (levothyroxine) which should convert to sufficient T3 but sometimes it doesn't and we still have clinical symptoms. Some of them emotional as you state above.

    Take your levothyroxine first thing on wakening with one glass of water and don't eat for about 1 hour so that it can dissolve in your stomach without anything interfering with the medication.

    When you get your thyroid gland blood tests, do not take levo on the morning of your blood test, take it afterwards (you should let 2 hours elapse each side if you have eaten). Ask for a Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, iron, ferritin and folate when you have your next blood test. Get a copy with the ranges and post on a new question for members to comment. If you take vitamin/mineral supplements take them 4 hours apart from levo.

    Don't worry about your emotions - they usually go to pot for a while till you get to an optimum.

  • Thank you for this reply, I know this will be a long process and hopefully I will feel much better in the end. I have been given a top up course of Vitamin D to take as I have very low levels, but I have been taking this at night because I was worried about it interfering with my medication.

  • Sounds like your adrenals could also be exhausted and need looking at for low cortisol. Can cause these types of emotions. I have addisons disease and know first hand. Hope you feel better soon.

  • Hi,

    I truly understand how you feel. You need time to get better. My gold standard was to never use the full extent of my energy (which was very limited) but always have some in reserve. If you need to rest, then rest and plan your week. Have you looked into Iodine and Desiccated Thyroid?

  • I hear you!!! First of all there is no need to apologise for sharing your thoughts! This is what the forum is for!

    It took me a very long time to get well and I can tell you that I couldn't even tolerate my close family, let alone anyone else and definitely not children!

    I spent most of my time in bed or lying on the sofa and can remember friends of my then teenage children and hearing giggling and chatter and not being able to cope with it!

    I lost a few friends as they just did not understand or recognise just how ill I was. The friends who stuck by me would visit, I remember how I couldn't cope when say a couple came and one was talking to me and my husband was chatting to the other, the business made me want to pull my hair out!

    I became the most irritable intolerant miserable woman and am very lucky to say that my husband just trickled along, he worked long hours and did most of the housework. The only social life that we had was when people visited us for a short time.

    All I can say is that you need to talk to your partner, thyroid disease is just so difficult to describe as it affects every cell in your body, everything has slowed down. You will get there, chat to us on here about your feelings, that is what kept me going, I have often said that the internet saved my life! as there wasn't a person, medical or not who understood, all I wanted was recognition, so just rant whenever you want!


  • I'm sorry you're feeling this way Dani14; I've certainly been there myself and it's impossible for anyone who's not been through it to understand. Like Smith8577, I also think you could have adrenal fatigue and should look into this. If this is the case then you will actually feel much worse when you start your thyroid medication because it puts extra stress on your adrenals until they're sorted. I recommend you buy the Stop the Thyroid Madness book, as well as Dr Barry Durrant Peatfield's book on how to keep your thyroid healthy. I've annotated both of mine for easy reference. The ThyroidUK pack is also very good which can be bought directly from TUK. Good luck, you will recover, it just takes time x

  • I agree with previous comments but I think the 'tiredness' associated with thyroid disorder is very different to normal tiredness. Ok your friends and family may see that you look tired, but it's so much more than that. I do recognise that feeling of not being able to cope with being by children when feeling unwell, I think it's because I pace myself to cope with the day (life!) and being by children removes my capacity to do that somehow. Follow your instinct and get better - then they'll acknowledge how much better you are. Because deterioration with thyroid is subtle to others they sometimes only notice when you're better.

  • The quickly ruined mood sounds to me like it could be adrenal – I often find that if something goes wrong, I'll panic like crazy, even if a logical part of myself is telling me there's no need.

    I can also relate to how you feel about kids. I'm "childfree by choice" and while I don't actively dislike them, I don't particularly enjoy their company either. (Now and again I'll meet one and we'll take to each other, but they're usually the "old head on young shoulders" type who you can have a conversation with, not the "bouncing like a mad thing on your lap" variety.)

    I'll apologise for generalising here but some (though by no means all) parents can get a little obsessive about their own children and blind to how other people perceive them. It may be that they "zone out" when their kids behave in a certain way or just that they have more energy to deal with them than someone suffering from a thyroid condition. And a lot of mothers genuinely seem to believe that there's no tiredness quite like "mother tiredness", and it's hard to convince them otherwise so they just see the thyroid person's complaints as invalid. (I don't doubt parenthood is exhausting, but what about someone who's juggling a full-time job with caring for elderly or sick relatives, etc?)

    Dealing with it can be a bit of a minefield. In general, it's not something I have to do often as none of my closest friends have kids. Tactics I've used include couching things in terms of not feeling up to (suggested activity) and saying I wouldn't want to put a dampener on their time with the kid. (Which may not be quite how I really see it, but it seems to do the trick!) Sometimes, though, it's just a case of "This is me, take it or leave it". (eg My sister has godchildren and while I'll buy them the occasional gift now and again, their mother – a family friend – knows I won't be taking them on days out. At least not until they're old enough to buy a round! :-))

  • I relate to this completely. I am hypothyroid with Hashimotos and probably because of this I was never able to conceive. I've come to terms with this and know I can lead a full and good life without kids and do! I like to see my friends kids and my Godchildren but am very glad when they have all gone home! I accept that I get overwhelmed easily and also wiped out if I get too stimulated. These days I pace myself, take my meds and a shelf full of supplements and I meditate which calms me and gives me more energy. I'm throwing a 50th bday party for my dear friend who is recovering from breast cancer, works full time even through the chemo and has three children one of whom is autistic. Saying I'm tired around someone who is going through that seems ridiculous but it is true. I know who I am and what I can and can't do and if others think I am lazy they can lump it!!!!! I try to look after my adrenals because as others have said the intolerant, overstimulated feeling i get is prob because of my poor adrenals. If I'm honest it seems that all my friends with kids are often so tired they are just going through the motions. Make sure you are not the one always having everyone round as it is exhausting!

  • Hi you don't need to explain your reasons to anyone.

    I used to feel I had to explain why I couldn't or didn't want to do something but I just turn down invitations politely now and that's that

    You may find they stop asking and you may feel hurt but you have to get better first.

    If you feel need to give explanations don't say you are 'tired' people don't understand absolute exhaustion of thyroid' so it's better to say you are unwell at mo but will see if you are on the day.

    All the best

  • The thing about Thyroid problems is that (other than being fat, bald and knackered!) we look relatively normal...people can't "see" that we aren't well so probably find it hard to understand/sympathise. I have gone from a good natured, cheerful person to a snappy, irritable old bag. When I'm down the slightest thing invokes feelings of pent up rage-it's horrible. My poor husband tries to be understanding but it's hard for him as he's normally in the firing line!!

  • I know how you feel. I can't tollerate family or friends atm. If I see them im exhausted for days!!

  • Dani14 your post has really touched a nerve with me. I've been thinking about it all morning.

    If you're explaining to your friend why you are declining an invitation and they use that against you, as in 'I've got kids and I'm not complaining', then the way forward is not to share that information with them. When you next decline an invite, you can say thank you, I'd love to come but I can't (won't be available, have other plans, hope to see you next time, have a great time etc). If they have chosen to doubt you then they no longer have privileged access to your private thoughts and feelings.

    Sometimes people don't see things the same way and you may feel very aggrieved if you know you're being totally truthful and transparent about your own experience and someone you love is doubting you but you mustn't then doubt yourself or let your energies be diverted to convincing them.

    If anyone gets on your back about how tired they are and you don't hear them complaining, remind them that it isn't a contest. xx

  • Hi Dani,

    That sounds really awful for you. I really can sympathise with how you feel. I have had low thyroid and felt low mood and very fatigued at times where being around noisy crowds is just too much.When I feel like that I just want to be alone. You talk about the emotional side....but everything is connected.There is a very strong connection between your hormones being balanced and your thyroid working efficiently.. Like you I have researched on thyroid a lot ,especially on how nutrition can help. I found some very interesting books by Dr Marilyn Glenville. She has two books that I find excellent. One is called the nutritional health hanbook for women and the other is Overcoming pms the natural way. Even if you dont think you suffer from pms this book is helpful for the low moods and fatigue which can be related to nutritional deficiencies.Follow her hormone balancing diet and her supplement guide for pms. ( a good multivitamin plus extras of some vitamins on top of that)

    In the last few weeks since reading those books I have totally cleaned up my diet. I am eating loads of fruit and veg fish lots of bananas good cereals with milk organic yogurts and foods high in iron, calcium, zinc (google foods high in these) .I also cut down on caffeine. I am taking a b vitamin complex and getting out into the sun a lot for vitamin d which is really important for thyroid. I feel great in only a few weeks. About 1 month ago before I started this approach I felt awful,tired and irritable, moody... not myself. Its amazing how quickly you can feel better with good food. Eat lots of fortified cereals high in the above vitamins with a milk with supplements in it like iron vit d folic acid. etc. Stay away from too much breads pastries cakes and sweet stuff. It seems that balancing your blood sugars really helps mood. Being deficient in iron or b vitamins can may you very exhausted

    I really hope this helps you and would be interested in your feedback as Im only learning too but so far so good. Good luck, Siobhan

  • I mcan`t stand being around small children myself, with their constant screaming & shouting, & running around. In my case it`s not my thyroid that`s to blame, Iv`e always found kids annoying!

  • I am yet to be diagnosed with Hashis but that's why I am being referred to the endo the gp doesn't want to stick his neck out even though tpo antibodies are 840 and I have every sign and symptom known to man that is obvious in this disease including a lack of empathy for most things including kids! I have a 1 yr old granddaughter who I have 3 days a week as well as working full time and I love her more than life itself but I am so ready to give her back! Other people's kids annoy me the most and to be honest I avoid going to places where they are family friendly especially in school hols. I just thought I was getting a grumpy old woman and never attributed these feelings to the condition and to be fair a lot of adults annoy me now whereas in the past it wouldn't have bothered me. Its finding the balance between making yourself a social outcast and maintaining your sanity lol let me know if you achieve this and how you did it hope you start to feel better in yourself soon x

  • Hi Dany,

    Unfortunately I can relate to your story. Years before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto I started to feel like that psicologically. The things get so bad I had to go in therapy and take antidepressants that I am still taking now for over 15 uears.

    I also have to take sedatives especially before my period because of bad PMS. That's exactly how I felt everything would upset me even the small stupid things and I couldn't stand the noice and the children makes lots of noice. I would cry and had constant fights with my partner accusing him that he does not understand me. Same with my family, with the whole world.

    You shouldn't feel guilty or bad person because of it. This disease unfortunatelly has lot's of hidden ugly sides that belive me not many people will understand if they are not getting trough the same condition.

    Some people with low tyroid disorder get more affected on the mood level and depression that the others.

    There were no other way for me than taking antidepressants.

    Even on them I still get depressed and moody and sad and life seems more like a battle field than a playfield for me. But thinks are much better.

    If the things are really bad think about taking antidepressants they will make the life much easier for you.

    Hope I made you feel less alone, there are many of us around in your conditions.

    Take care and do not feel guilty you did not choose this disease

    Have a nice day,


  • You are not alone in feeling like that

    Hypothyroid severely affects mood and brain hormones and often only resolves when ferritin , folate and all manner of vitamin and mineral depletions are addressed

    also often NDT suits them far better than thyroxine or T3

  • OMG! And I just thought it was because I was a miserable bitch! LOL Seriously though, I have always found kids (especially other people's kids) hard work, and my own were ok but only because I was tough on them (Sorry, kids! They're grown now and OK so I guess they didn't suffer too much!). And these days I find I'm much more tolerant than I used to be. Still waaayyy down the scale though!

  • The fact that you opened your heart on this blog shows that you in fact are far from a horrible person . I don't know your age , are you going through menopause ( peri or post too) ? Hormone imbalances can reek havoc with your body , causing all kinds of symptoms . Most of them don't get discussed by doctors , and if they do it's usually handled by a prescription for depression meds. When you feel lousy the last thing you want is to be around a lot of screaming , loud children or any situation you feel you aren't in control of . I know this first hand . I am now five yrs. post menopausal , and am still dealing with some crapy symptoms . I too have been diagnosed with hypothyroid issues , and later been told by another doctor that my thyroid was fine, all the while feeling terrible ( anxiety, stress, panic attacks , shaky, 24/7 dizziness , headaches , heat intolerance , can't handle the cold , can't sleep straight through the night and many other symptoms . I have been seeing a natural doc. , she has me getting thyroid blood panel tests and also hormone/ adrenal saliva tests every three months or so , these I can do at home. The results showed my hormones were all out of balance . I can tell you this is the best treatment I have received. It will get better ! Take care of you ! Don't be so overly concerned with what you THINK others will say. Do attend functions, if you feel you have had enough, graciously leave !

  • I think we thyroid sufferers all feel this way don't we? I feel that the problem is if we had a leg in plaster or a neck brace on people would cut us some slack and realise there is something wrong because it's right under their nose. But because all of our "ailments" for what of a better word are on the inside nobody can see that there's anything wrong so basically they think we are fine. If I had a pound for each time my husband, family in general called me a hypochondriac I'd be a very rich woman. I definitely feel the same way as you, get irritable a lot and can't tolerate loud noises at all, as I write the neighbours got a lawn mower going - awful - might as well be scrapping his fingers down a blackboard. My advice would be to make sure all your Vitamins/hormones etc are at optimal levels and buy some earplugs - joking! Good Luck!

  • Dani, there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be around young kids - even for those who are not hypothyroid. Don't let anyone guilt-trip you about it. Anyone has a right to set limits based on her/his own comfort level. And while you're getting your health back, you need to take care of yourself however you find necessary. If people refuse to accept that, just turn down their invitations without an excuse or tell them you've other plans.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's 30 years ago; I have no idea how long before that I'd been hypothyroid, as I've always had very little energy. Although I have two children of my own (now grown, thank goodness) whom I have always loved very much, I've never enjoyed being around other people's children (and under some circumstances, even mine). Just the words, "birthday party," make my heart pound and my throat constrict. For years I had a prescription for Librium (or was it Valium?) for times when I just couldn't cope with my daughter's activity level or when I had to interact with others' children. There were times I put my kids to bed, then went into the bathroom, turned on the fan so I wouldn't be heard, and cried my heart out because I was so stressed and exhausted from dealing with them. I once quit a church because I was told I had to participate in my son's Sunday School class; the thought of having to be around a dozen or so kids made me physically ill.

    The Librium/Valium did help. The herbs I took years later when I had to spend time with my mother-in-law (who wasn't just the usual pain in the behind, but unmedicated for at least a couple of psychiatric disorders) might be of use in relaxing if you must be around children: Kava kava (don't take it more than twice daily or for more than a few days) and valerian root; take the first dose of both 30-45 minutes before you expect to encounter the children.

    I wish you all the best in becoming healthy.

  • Yes I do and you are NOT a bad person. Ditto what everyone else has said...

  • As you will have realised from other posts, unless you look "properly ill", there seems to be this assumption that you can't be unwell.

    I look relatively OK most of the time (my husband would probably disagree because he notices the small things that other people don't :) ). A family member asked me why I was walking like an old woman recently - I wanted to scream at them as to why they hadn't listened to anything I have said - because, amongst other things, I have no vitamin D and my body hurts all over, because my muscles are cramping and it hurts to walk, because I am anaemic and doing much of anything is such an effort, oh, and the spinal surgery I had a couple of years ago was a bit of a major op and I still have to deal with that! I don't like to be rude, but think I might start.

    I understand what you mean about being around children too - I worked with small children for 20 years, and I loved it. I had to stop working because of my health and I really missed them all. However, I think another symptom of thyroid disease is turning into Victor Meldrew, and I have become very intolerant of being around lots of people and noise (not just children), and the thought of being around children now is scary!

  • Hi. Glad you came on-it helps to talk and especially with people who understand-we have all been there, and continue to be at one time or another. It might be worth looking if there is a support group near you as then you don't feel so isolated.

    As to unfeeling friends it is down to not understanding and as someone posted earlier it is not surprising as outwardly we may not look any different. There is a post that appeared on here from time to time about telling other how washed out we feel. Can't find the link at the moment but its the Spoon Theory. Basically its about someone trying to explain to her friend how debilitating an illness can be. She collected a pile of spoons, she was in a cafe at the time , and said they represented her energy for the day. Say the number was 12, but by the time she had got showered, dressed and has eaten for the day she has some spoons to get her into bed and say two spare. That isn't a great deal of energy so she has to pick and choose what to use them on. She can borrow one from tomorrow but then that leaves her even more short the next day. It's explained a lot better than this but it does explain how your energy is limited and why you often have to say no!

    Hopefully a little further down the line you will start to be able to cope more and do more as your body responds to hopefully optimum medication but it is a slow process I'm afraid but keep reading and posting as there are plenty on this site able to help and share experiences with you.

    I often tell myself tomorrow is another day!

    I have learned so much on here but remember we are all different and can be affected in different ways so you need to find what suits you, its not one size fits all but it does give you an idea what you might have to try next. Don't be disheartened if some of us struggle for years-it doesn't mean you will and don't think your questions may be trivial. If you are wondering about anything then ask for advice or if anyone can explain what is happening. As sufferers we tend to be more clued up than some GP's and we certainly understand the problems better. Learn to pace yourself and prioritise and remember the most important thing is YOU!

  • your symptoms are like a mirror image of mine. its like reading about myself .

    Most of the symptoms that you describe seem to stem from acute stress . Like you I cannot be near children especially babies and just the sound of a baby crying on tv is too much to bear and I have to switch the channel.

    I can't bear anything that puts any demands on me .telephones ringing , door bells, taps/water , running , alarms , etc especially .these sorts of sounds make me feel very axious and extremely irritable , resentful even .Does this sound like anything like your symptoms ?

    Why should we be suffering from such a high level of stress ???

    In my case I am retired and a full time carer for my Father but I no longer have any work or money worries or debts or anything that should stress me that much .

    In the past 4-5 months the list of symptoms have now got so numerous that I am completely overwhelmed . After reading some of the posts on this forum .I have decided that I will now take responsibility for my own diagnosis and treatment because my GP clearly has no idea how to treat an underactive thyroid .

    Thank you for making such an honest and insightful post , your symptoms have convinced me that I am not making mine up or imagining it all. I'm going to tackle my GP and request a proper blood panel to get a complete picture and base line of my general health and metabolism


  • There is no need to apologize for how you are feeling. You are not a bad person, but dealing with being in a "bad place" with your health. You are not a horrible person, either, just being honest that you are not feeling well right now and your tolerance is just not there. People don't understand thyroid disorders and how debilitating they can be if they don't have it. It is an invisible illness. If you broke your arm, people would accept how you are feeling. But no one, unless they have it, can understand how thyroid affects your whole live. Forgive yourself and if they don't understand, you still have to do what is right for you. Give yourself permission to do that.

  • I understand hon, when everything started with me, I didn't know what was wrong, took me years to figure it out for myself. I went thru some really weird emotional changes. Almost lost it all. Thankfully I didn't. I started taking something called Lithium Orotate, it is NOT the one the doctors give you. You can buy it from amazon or better to get the best from It is a mineral, and allot of us are really depleted. I am not saying it will work for you but it worked so well for me. I am soooo not into Anti depressants, would not take one for the life of me. Hate them, but this worked well for me. Things do not bother me so much anymore, and if they do it is a very shortened time. That is what helped me.some people do not like it but I will never be without it ever. It is probably £20. Also I am taking NDT, been 25 days now, that also seems to sorta help my mind. Private message me if you like. I can only tell you how I felt on these supplements, not for everyone but what do you have to lose? Hope this helps honey x

  • Dear Dani

    i have just recently been diagnosed under active too and yes it does have an emotional side too this is a wonderfull forum and you will get alot of your questions answered here,,its a wonderful forum full of wonderful folk suffering this horrid condition too

    there is also

    all the best



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