Thyroid UK
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Anxiety & depression overwhelm after NDT & stress

I have been on T3-only for over a year,with big improvements until I hit a stress wall at the same time as trialling some NDT.Result is a relapse into anxiety & depression,since September.I am addressing cortisol issues & also sex hormone imbalances,staying on T3-only,using Paul Robinson's circadian protocol.

Keen to avoid SSRI antidepressants,but beginning to think I'm going to have to try to find one that addresses the anxiety without unbearable side-effects,as I am getting desperate for relief & feeling mentally ill some of the time.

Any advice based on similar experiences gratefully received.I have posted about this before more than once.Your responses keep me going.

Have upped D3 with K to 5,000 daily

Have upped methyl B12 to 5,000 daily.

Am using high dose progesterone cream

All for 3 months,then reduce.

Have got Holy basil,Ashwaghanda,Rhodiola to try after my cortisol saliva test is done after Christmas.

16 Replies

Hi Naomi8.

I'm sorry to hear you are having's horrible. I'm taking the same supplements as you but added in magnesium citrate too. I take 200mg daily in the evening. The RDA is up to 400mg but I had to back off as my stools got a little too soft (sorry for the TMI). I've found that my mood is a lot lighter and I'm normally a bit miserable and a bit snappy and easily upset. Magnesium is well known for its calming properties and keeping the nervous system and muscles in good order.

I top up also by taking magnesium (Epsom Salts) by skin absorbtion too, either in a lovely relaxing and skin softening bath a couple of times a week (2 cupfuls added under running tap) or a foot bath (half a cup dissolved).

Many of us have magnesium deficiency and other minerals despite eating a varied diet because it may be depleted from soil that foodstuffs are grown in, either through overproduction, chemicals etc..

It can take some time for minerals to address deficiencies, especially if you have been deficient for some time.

I also found that walking for pleasure really helped, especially if it was somewhere nice. If it's cold have fun wrapping up, go for that walk and then come back and run a nice Epsom Salts bath with a few drops of lavender does wonders for the soul!

I'm sure others will have some suggestions. It would be nice to have something that can help rather than going down the SSRI route. :)


Thank you so much for your reply.It really helps,as my biggest fear/phobia trigger is isolation & loneleness.I find coming on this forum a comfort,as well as a fantastic resource.

I am 67 in a few days & due mainly to this illness,I do not have enough energy to socialise as much as I would like,though I do attend yoga classes as regularly as I can & have found a friendly local group.I had to relocate 3 years ago & this coincided with 2 years CFS,which is very isolating.I miss my friends back in Wales,where I lived for 32 years,but my husband had to relocate due to work.We walk every day & T3 has given me the energy to walk daily.Today we walked for an hour & a quarter,which is my limit in one go.

I am taking 500ms magnesium bisglycinate at bedtime.I find this to be the gentlest form.I buy it in capsules,as the tablets taste awful.

thanks again




For loneliness it may be worth seeing if there is a U3A in your area .One started in my area a couple of years ago and now has nearly 200 members taking part in many indoor and some outdoor activities including theatre trips and occasional all day trips..

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This is a peculiar one, but since I went low carb I have been frequenting ketogenic diet groups on Facebook (I'd prefer one on here, of course!). There have been a number of people reporting a drop in anxiety when they went keto (or just when they gave up sugar, including that in fruit, completely). And I too have felt calmer and been less likely to get into a panic/fugue state. I am also sleeping heaps better, and waking up bushy tailed in the morning!

I've only been properly keto (less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day) for two months, and I think it is probably early days to say that the diet has definitely reduced my anxiety. But given that this is normally my worst time for depression and anxiety due to SAD, I think it is probably helping quite a lot.

And as someone that has been on pretty well every anti-depressant ever (except, I am happy to say, mirtazapine) my recommendation for an A/D that is really effective for anxiety is sertraline. It does have the usual side effects of dry mouth etc, but at least I didn't have bed soaking night sweats on it.


Ruthi-many thanks for your helpful reply.I have recently got to know my niece & she has been very open about her history of anxiety & depression,which has helped me accept I need medication for a bit.She has shared her experience & knowledge of anti depressants & anti anxiety medication.She is on Sertraline & says she had no side effects & it started working almost immediately.She says its the best medication she has tried.I believe there is a genetic component to this condition.Being hypo is,I realise a very important factor,but I don't believe its the sole factor.I worry that SSRIs & thyroid don't mix well.Do you have Hashi's?

I tried Sertraline for 4 days in November but the nausea,blurred vision & brain fog were scary.I see my GP on 7th January & then go down to the south coast for 3 weeks.I intend to start the Sertraline again & see if side effects improve over 3 weeks.A friend told me she spent 3 weeks completely out of it,but after that,has done very well on an SSRI(Venlaflaxine)

thanks ain for your feedback,So helpful



I don't know if I have Hashi's, because it was never tested, but probably not. I had a spell of five years on Lithium for my chronic depression. This is usually used for bipolar people, but my then consultant was a great believer in it for chronic, endogenous depression. It worked very well, but a well known side effect is thyroid damage. My hypo symptoms appeared about eight years after I stopped taking the Lithium.

The nausea only lasted a few days for me - unlike the Prozac which had me throwing up for weeks before I decided I'd rather be depressed! You could try starting on a very small dose and working up, that was what was recommended to me for the Prozac.

I agree about the genetic component. My father was chronically depressed, but especially in winter.


Thanks again.It would be so good if the side-effects subside.My father used alcohol to self-medicate from 15 years until his death,for anxiety & depression,I am sure.I do not drink & do not like using medication.The GP gave me a few diazapan but the effects are awful & not helpful,and I feel worse the next day.They were prescribed as short term aid for my panicky feelings.


ps I am sure I am affected by SAD.

I am very interested to hear about the ketogenic diet.I came across a youtube video by Sarah Myhill,who follows this diet.I also think dairy may be implicated in my anxiety levels.

Since I became anxious & depressed,I am struggling to eat.I have lost a lot of weight,as I have no appetite til the evening.I will look into this diet.


Eating once a day is not a bad thing at all. But you do need to make sure you eat enough then, and that what you eat is nutrient dense. So lots of leafy green veg, animal protein and good fats.

Loss of appetite is, of course, a symptom of real depression (as opposed to the kind that GPs diagnose because of ignorance of thyroid disease).


Hi Ruthin

I hope you don t mind me asking but why not mirtazapine to treat anxiety my anxiety is through the roof at moment an dr has prescribed mirtazapine I had it years ago and the problem then was it made me gain weight and have awful dreams I really don t know whether to take it again .i have to do something as my anxiety is so bad

Thanks Piedo

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Mirtazapine's list of side effects include convulsions as well as weight gain, raised cholesterol, nightmares, mood disturbance......

Sertraline is far better for most people!

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That s interesting my cholesterol is raised any way through under medication ( I believe) I have had a TT and only take 100 levethyroxine

When I took mirtazapine before I had dropped it to 1/4 of 20 mg tablet because of side effects and my stubbornness about not wanting to take AD s

My anxiety is so bad now I really don t want to do anything not good with Xmas on doorstep !!


Hi Naomi, lots of good advice here always.

Regarding meds for anxiety or feeling down, I'm on a low dose of Citalopram (20 mg daily). I understand individuals have different reactions to various meds but I can honestly say it has saved my sanity. It's like invisible help. No sense of taking it but not so low,or edgy anymore. I have been on it for 4 years now and remember explaining the relief to my doc as being 'so this is how most people are all the time'. I was a mess at the time which affectedmy whole life, not to mention my son's when I flew offnthe handle in a split second.

Good luck x


Does your cortisol tend to be too low or too high?


my last test(2012)when I was in the same mental state as now for 2 years) showed sample 1-post awakening-outside range(low):sample 2 outside range(high):sample 3 outside range(low):sample 4 prior to sleep-outside range very high.

I am weaning off Holy Basil & Ashwaghanda & re-testing after christmas.I have stocked up with HB & Ashw.& also bought Rhodiola


Oops I meant to say that I now play Bridge which a great game. A term of lessons after Christmas could change your life - this is not an exaggeration.

I'm 60 and play every week. It's fun, stimulating and sociable. If I could get back into the habit of walking there / home after it would be even better! Angela

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