Mental health and thyroid issues research ideas and help :-)

Morning everyone! A bit off topic but I'm planning to do my last year psychology dissertation on thyroid issues and mental health. There's no researches going on at my university in this respect, but one of my professors has agreed to supervise me. I have no clue where to start. So I'm asking for any ideas and guidance? Also, if my project is approved I'd need at least 100 participants. Early days yet, I'd really be grateful for any help.

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12 Replies

  • it depends on what kind of help you're asking for, if you need volunteers then i would like to offer myself. i have depression & anxiety issues and other mild/subclinical hypo symptoms and started thyroid hormones only 2 months ago with no obvious results as yet.

  • That's great rainbow 100! If I can design my research I will surely need! I'm a participant too, having suffered my whole life from all sorts of mental health issues. Thank you!

  • This is definitely an avenue that needs well done. I think many of us have been there and "got the t-shirt"

    Inadequate dosing, increasing too quick or too slow, too much Levo and / or poor nutrient levels - all contribute. Etc etc

    Happy to help. See my profile for more

    Can pm me

  • Thank you Slow dragon! I've just checked your profile, hat a ride eh? Unfortunately many of us have been there too many times. It seems you are slowly getting there. Me too thanks God and this site :-)

    I'm doing some readings to begin with. Not sure what my research question will be yet. But I will need help that's for sure.

    So I'll be in touch. If you think of any ideas I'd be thankful :-)

  • Sounds like an awesome idea! What angle are you thinking of coming from?

  • Vix.. not many ideas right now to be honest. But would be how many people suffer with thryroid plus mental issues, and what sort of issues are most common. Early days. I need to come up with something by next week or I'd go into other projects...

    Have you got any ideas?

  • Is it a statistic-y project or more looking into the neurochemistry?? (sorry I'm not an expert, is that what you call like hormones and stuff acting on the brain) of hypo/mental health?

    *One thing I find really interesting is that (for me at least) depression related episodes and hypothyroid depression feels different and I'd be very interested in why that is and whether there is a differentiation between the 2. So it could be something like whether people with hypo+ mental health issues have a tendency to get a certain set of symptoms over "regular people" and whether that is linked to hypothyroidism and how it alters brain chemistry and all that jazz.

    *If you select volunteers based on the fact that they have already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and mental health issues then you might be able to look at what issues are more prevalent, what treatments they felt work best for them (in terms of both thyroid i.e. t4, t3+4, t3 and ndt) and for the mental health issue as well (therapy, a/d, group, exercise).

    Finally, there is a forum member who is actually a published scientist. His name escapes me but you might be able to pm him for help if you have a look round the posts for him.

    Hope this helps? I'm no expert and there are a heap of people on this forum much more well informed than I am...

  • It surely helps. I'm just starting my readings too. As the projects going on have nothing to do with hypo x mental health, I thought I wouldn't be able to do anything like this but one professor said he'd supervise me. So I'm on really early stages and any help or just talking and discussing things with someone will be great. Thank you for taking the time to reply and I think at the moment the second case is the one I'm thinking of, people already diagnosed.

    I'll try to find out who's this published scientist and read on that!

    Thank you very much :-)

  • The Scientist is Diogenes

    I will have a think about possible angles.

  • That's really nice of you! Thanks

    I'll find Diogenes too :-)

    update! Just found him here. Looks starting to read his posts. thanks again

  • The thing that would be absolutely wonderful to have researched is whether the people who are offered anti-depressants instead of levo, when their TSH is elevated but 'in range' a)actually are depressed when evaluated via the standard tools like the Edinburgh test and b)get any better when they take the anti-depressants.

    We all know in our hearts what such research will reveal, but its always a good idea to have evidence! The tricky part will be to get a suitable cohort. You would probably need to find a few co-operative GPs who allow you to interview the said patients at the beginning and after a suitable period of treatment. The few that find their way onto this board aren't really that representative. Mind you, GPs might be really happy to redirect what must be heartsink patients to them.

    Even better would be to do a controlled trial comparing levo, antidepressants and no treatment. But that might be difficult to get approved and done in a psychology setting because it becomes 'medical', and there would be funding involved.

    Or you could look at depression symptoms in patients (on levo, probably because introducing such concepts as T3 or NDT would probably be a step too far) and see how they correlate with the Ts. TSH is a blunt instrument but probably adequate in such a case. You'd need a control group, but there are plenty of almost sane people in universities!

    If you could show that higher TSH (say over 2.5) correlates (or doesn't) with more depression symptoms that would be of value too. And that could be conducted via members here. All you have to do is ask those who are on levo to fill in a questionnaire, and give you their latest test results. You would need a larger sample than 100, but it should be reasonably easy to come by - and I imagine that Louise would give you her blessing and let you send out a blanket request for participants. You could do the whole thing via one of the online survey tools, so that data handling wasn't too onerous. (the likelihood is that the uni already has a subscription to one of those services)

  • Ruthi!! I got all excited reading your ideas! It's an undergrad course, so it seems we wouldn't be able to get approvals to interview patients on the NHS. And yes I'd need at the very least 100 participants so I was thinking of an online survey, mostly to ourselves (in this site). So probably your last suggestion is the most doable one. Yes we do use an online survey, cant recall which one now, but its very practical. Thank you for taking the time to reply and all these good ideas!

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