Thyroid UK
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Anti depressents and thyroid symptoms


Me again, sorry! last visit my GP was concerned I was a bit tearful, I explained I was pretty fed up of feeling ill and not finding any relief or improvement, I think from her approach she felt that some of my symptoms could be related to depression and having been depressed before and finding relief from medication I can understand where she is coming from. I have made it very clear that I don't want my ever worsening symptoms dealt with under a veil of depression when I know there are physical issues that need dealing with.

However, I did wonder if they could be useful as a muscle relaxant and in regard to how they thyroid affects dopamine..

I know this is going to come up next week when I see here and I don't feel that I need than mentally but wondering if they would be of use physically?

11 Replies

Until you are sure that your thyroid level is optimal, antidepressants will do no more than mask the thyroid symptoms. The long term effects of low thyroid levels will not be prevented by taking antidepressants. These can include high cholesterol, breathing problems, swollen ankles, high or low blood pressure, enlarged heart, hair loss, brain fog, and many other problems.

Added to which, there is a growing body of evidence that antidepressants do not work anyway in many cases, even where there is no underlying health problem. In fact, some patients whose depression has not responded to antidepressants have been given Liothyronine (T3) and it has helped them!

The decision will always be yours, but please do bear these things in mind before agreeing to the anti d's.

Have you had a thyroid test ready for seeing your doctor?

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Sorry to hear you are not well.

I have read your other posts so I have an idea where you are up to.

The trouble is you can't test for depression so you just don't know that you are depressed. We all fight so hard for the thyroid meds etc justifying why we need this and that but anti depressants are literally given away. Also added bonus to the surgery for every person on them.

They are used for migraines sleep and muscle relaxation but are not licenced for these conditions.

Years ago the top range of thyroid was 29/28 now it has been reduced to circa 22 and in my surgery 18. I do not believe at levels of 24 your body will feel over medicated unless you have palpitations. I apologise if I have missed anything feel a full thyroid test with blue horizon is a good idea. You need like the others say a full picture- low vitamins and low free t3 can cause depression symptoms.

Also have you had a proper saliva test for adrenals? This is vital to know where the dhea levels and cortisol levels are. If either are low you will feel awful and if the cortisol is high- stressed. All are serious.

Yes a leaky gut is not taken seriously but is easily rectified by a stool analysis test, if there are any issues and you have low stomach acid , low probiotics or high bad bacteria again you will be tired as food is not absorbed.

Sadly it all costs money but sometimes it's a question of crossing off things to see what is left. On the plus side if you can do ten things that help 3 % - singularily that is not much but collectively it's huge.

No in answer to you question I do not believe antidepressants are the answer as they do affect the thyroid and this is not want at the minute and can mask other things. You have to do what is best for you but v few of my patients feel better long term on them and despite the blurb they are addictive. I would suggest you try St. John's wort first and fever few -whilst used for migraines does relax muscles .

Just so you know a blue horizon blood test kit if ordered Monday artives Tuesday and results Thursday. Amazing service and good discount from being a member here.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Depression is a SYMPTOM of hypothyroid not a seperate thing.

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I have edited your reply as you still have not substantiated your comment about antidepressants negating thyroxine.


I have been given antidepressants when I should have had my thyroid treated but I did not know since I never thought of asking for test results and I was serverly depressed since my mid 40s. When I started to look at my results and knowing that my whole family has thyroid issues (just learned few years ago, was not in contact with family ), I realized that what I needed was medication but I had to get the doctor to medicate me and thank god, ultrasound showed many nodules,she agreed. However, I have been and still am undermedicated... I finally stopped taking antidepressants BUT, in my experience, they work at the beginning in reducing body pains and aches however, the side effects : mainly weight gain and insomnia are not worth it. Your body adapt to the dose and the effect diminishes. Coming off medication is really really hard. I have learned since, that people with undertreared thyroid are usually also depressed and have lots of physical issues. I am fighting right now it have an increase in dosage : my endo has reluctantly agreed to add ndt to my Levo thyroxine : 50mcg and only 1/4 of 30 mg of ndt, which means nothing but it is a start. I am fed up with always having to explain to them how I am feleing and being told that they don't want to increase my meds for fear of heart attack because I am 60.

Think veyr well before starting ads, I have had lots of issues with them and they have never helped me maybe because problem was my thyroid.

I would review instead with your doctor your thyroid medication.


Well GPs can reduce you to tears... :0)

I do half mean what I say, I have cried in the GP's office because I've genuinely come to the end of my tether/I've been in pain/I just didn't know where to turn and was so fed up of being ill.

I too was given antidepressents when I was borderline hypo (I don't know my numbers; I trusted doctors enough to take their word for it). I took them for five years and to be fair, they sorted out my anxiety - I couldn't leave the house for example. I felt more on an even keel. Then I decided to come off them. It took the best part of a year. I reduced them so, so slowly.

BUt my Hashi's still wasn't controlled. It was ignored...

I look back now and could scream! :D

I found out (thanks to *here* and some blood tests) that I needed T3.

Now I can't go back to the GP without dodging antidepressents. Chest pain was waking me up and I'm tachicardic. I had to fill out an anxiety form and prove I wasn't anxious before they "gave in" and let me have an ECG.

I had a quick look at some past posts and you're deficient in Vit D (that can make you feel rubbish). I don't know what your B12 is but a low b12 can also bring on depression and a lot of neurological symptoms e'g headaches, brain fog, weakness, sleep that isn't restorative.

A b12 deficiency is debilitating and will incapacitiate you physically and mentally.

I'll never dismiss antidepressents out of hand. They do have their place but leave no stone unturned first.


Hi, Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time and trouble to respond. You all pretty much echo my thoughts and feelings on it and I remember before I was first diagnosed (and only by going to Dr Skinner privately after research!) they tried to get me on anti depressents which I refused arguing repeadtly that I was not depressed but ill. A few years later I spent a couple of years on them when I was actually depressed having a very stressful time and they helped. Once I had control of my circumstances I came off them and I don't feel the need for them now, my only interest in them potentially was would they be useful as a muscle relaxant and help with the anxiety and pain, but I didn't realise they could actually make hypothyroidism worse! something I obviously want to avoid!

I haven't had a saliva test and the GP wont give me a B12 test at the moment so I will as suggested go for the blue horizen test, I will also get the stool analysis test done as I am concerned about being on PPI's when it could be creating more issues.

Thanks again for the information, really really helpful, I feel like I am begining to gain a better understanding of whats wrong with me and how I can take control of it. The DR just didn't get my reason for being tearful was because i feel so rough and its getting worse not better, I think we are all fed up when that happens.


Often times we must take our health into our own hands, especially when it comes to the thyroid and metabolism. The thyroid, when not working properly, can cause a myriad of symptoms that can be wholly debilitating and destroy quality of life.

B-12 seems a simple fix if one is feeling depressed with little hormonal reserves to take up the slack. Most who are hypothyroid are lacking in B-12 along with a number of other vitamins--especially iron.

Hypothyroidism itself causes systems in the body to slow down. That includes stomach acid. Naturally, with age, we have less stomach acid, but hypothyroidism exacerbates the problem.

We can no longer wait on doctors to "get it." If we did, many of us wouldn't be here...we'd be locked up somewhere banging our heads against a wall. Truly a horrible shame, especially in light of the fact that we can change most things about our thyroids ourselves: vitamins and nutrients!

If our stomach acid is too low and not allowing us to absorb the nutrients and vitamins of the foods and supplements we ingest (as well as our thyroid medications), then we can replace that acid ourselves. Research is the trick!

We must use our heads so we can figure things out for ourselves. Doing such has certainly saved my life. Doctors will never know our bodies as we do. With knowledge and research, we truly can become our own best medicine.

I can honestly say I feel you deep in my heart. It is a shame that the vast majority of doctors have no clue as to how the endocrine system works...that includes endocrinologists! Nothing is ever as simple as they make it out to be.

Know that you can be well when you either find the right doctor for your problems (the one you have is not sufficient), or you decide that you are going to figure things out for yourself. Blood tests and lab work can be ordered online (at least in the U.S.). I hope that is available to you as well.


Anti-depressants are not a substitute for proper thyroid treatment. The euthyroid state feels really good, compared to being hypothyroid and on an AD.


Do what you feels best I found it hard to deal with being hypo. I have it due to stress and the best thing to help me was AD's I'm only on 10mg citalopram and I feel like a new person dealing with things much better not getting upset at a drop of a hat. Best thing I done as hair has stopped falling out etc as my anxiety has reduced. The doctor said its just a short term thing Til my Levo kicks in and my symptoms are disappearing every day. I'd avoid Prozac thou s did try that and that can cause hair loss so doc took me straight off it when she realised she rang me to tell me too so some docs do care and not putting you on them just to get rid of you but to help you through the anxiety of this awful illness xx


Marram's post got me thinking. Yes, depression or other mental illnesses are often treated with straight T3. This makes me wonder if lack of T3 is your problem. You might have low T3 due to too low thyroid medication dose or you are on the right dose of T4 but you do not have the necessary enzymes present in your blood to convert the T4 to T3. Do you have your recent blood test results? if so, post them here and let's have a look. It is better to get your dose right than to mask your symptoms with an antidepressant.


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