Help can’t cope with any stress 😢: After dealing... - Thyroid UK

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Help can’t cope with any stress 😢

After dealing with many symptoms I still can’t get a handle on coping with stress. It’s so bad that I feel like I could have a nervous breakdown every time as I just can’t cope. I feel like it’s the end of the world and I’m falling apart overwhelmed with emotion.

My anxiety goes sky high and I just want to sob. I’ve got supplements, have counselling and meditation but when even a small issues arises ie neighbours being horrible to me etc I just breakdown. It’s making me so sick and I have very little support so just don’t know what I can do. I need to be able to cope with day to day negativities and unkind ppl.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I think it could be my cortisol levels. Are there any supplements I could take other than having another battle with my GP with getting help specifically as I just don’t want antidepressants as I’m not depressed.

32 Replies


So sorry you are going through this.

I think it could be my cortisol levels. Are there any supplements I could take

Have you done the 24 hour saliva adrenal stress test? You can't guess with these things so there's no general supplement if it's your cortisol levels, you need to know where the problem lies (high/low) and choose the right supplement. If you haven't already done it and want to there is

Regenerus (email results directly to you)

Genova Diagnostics (they email results to ThyroidUK who act as your practioner, then TUK sends them on to you)


Thank you SeasideSusie no I’ve not tested my cortisol levels. Wasn’t sure if my GP would do this. But don’t want to speak to them especially as I’m having a meltdown right now I can’t cope. My doctors has just called which I think is about me taking levo and stopping self medicating so can’t cope with the conversation right now darent listen to the voicemail. Still waiting to here from my MP who I emailed over a month ago.

If I do these tests myself would my GP or consultant recognise the results so they could help me or can I sort this myself?

The stress is triggering ongoing migraines which isn’t helping either



The NHS doesn't do saliva tests as far as I know and they are supposed to be the best. I think you might need a very forward thinking doctor to accept the results of that particular private test, they are very blinkered when it comes to something the NHS doesn't normally do.

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If I get the private tests and the results will I then be able to treat myself or should I look at going on sertaline as Naomi8 suggests and I honestly can’t carry on like this


If I get the private tests and the results will I then be able to treat myself

That would depend on how straightforward or otherwise the results are. If all your results were very low, for example, then you could be looking at Addisons and require further testing through your GP. If they were low but not serious enough for Addisons then adrenal support might be the answer. If they were high then an adaptogen might be helpful as that can lower cortisol.

should I look at going on sertaline as Naomi8 suggests

As far as sertaline is concerned, I have no knowledge or experience of it so can't comment.


If I get the private test and it’s very low pointing towards Addison’s if my gp doesn’t recognise the test how would I get him to test / treat me for Addison’s?

I’ve had quite a lot of very strsssful situation over the last 7 years including my daughter nearly dying 2 years ago being hit by an illegal driver as I was diagnosed with hashimotos, a serious assault and being estranged from my family who are part of a religious sect so not had the easiest time. Addison’s would make sense but us this something I could suggest to my GP to test?

Sorry for all the questions



If your results were low enough to suggest possible Addisons, I do think your GP would take notice and organise testing himself.

Have a look at this thread, you will see the results of the member's adrenal test and scroll down to Humanbean's reply where she has put some links for information.

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If it gets really really bad,I personally would consider medication.

I refused to consider medication until 18 months ago(I am 68).I have lived with anxiety since a toddler.In January 2011 my chronic anxiety tipped overnight into full-blown acute anxiety/chronic panic state.I would describe the state as extremely sensitive.My skin felt SO thin.The world felt too brutal & I felt too vulnerable to cope.(I always remember Virginia Woolf describing her experience as feeling like a little frog hiding under a leaf)

This went on for a nightmarish 2 years.The horrible offhand GP at the time prescribed Cetalopran,which I stuck for a month,despite feeling much,much worse.I now believe the dose was way to high for me.

Then 3 years later I was doing really well on T3,until it happened again.I again woke up in a nightmare world,having tipped over into the same state.

Despite two lovely yoga classes a week,daily meditation & many supplements I found myself in the same state.

My niece seems to have inherited the same genes & she was doing very well on Sertraline.I went to my lovely GP & she prescribed a very low dose,after my ghastly experience in 2011.

I am now weaning off after 18 months,very very slowly,but am now almost at zero.

I have had the best 18 months I can remember due to lack of anxiety.I tweaked my own dose to avoid feeling zonked,spaced etc.

I felt I had nothing to lose because existing in that state,knowing it could go on for ages felt an unbearable prospect.I faced my terror of medication.

If it happens again,I would ask for medication again,despite being someone who has tried homeopathy,acupuncture,hypnosis,therapy....oh & in 2012 I went to see Dr P after reading his book,believing if I got a handle on my adrenals/thyroid medication,all would be OK.I did the 24 hour saliva test & he looked at my results.


That’s exactly how I feel 😢 I’m just at a loss as to what else I can do to help myself. I can’t just isolate myself as even my horrible neighbours I can’t avoid.

However will I cope going back to work - which I need to by the end of the year. I was on antidepressants for 2 years following a serious assault but I was in a very bad place so had no choice. Mentally I feel more in control but not of my shear panic and emotions I just can’t go on like this.

I’m going to go for a massage this afternoon as it always helps me relax and I’m doing meditation to stop me from crying as I bottle it up. I’m just like a pressure cooker waiting to explode and I don’t like being like this.

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Hi MissFG. I'm sorry you're experiencing this. The best way to deal with stress is to avoid situations that cause stress. Avoid toxic people, situations and events. It sounds like your neighbors might be a big point to the cause of your stress. Remember to breathe deeply when you start to feel anxious. Your neighbors sound very unpleasant so don't interact with them. Take the high road, be polite, but don't talk with them. Don't confront them or argue with them. If they confront you, remove yourself from the situation. If your neighbors are doing something inappropriate, speak with the manager of your building and have them deal your neighbors. Since this does not sound like a healthy living situation, is it possible for you to move?

From what you describe that you are experiencing and the the past events that you speak of, I really hope you will reconsider medication. Right now your body is not able to cope on it's own right now and as you say, you are at a loss as to what else you can do to help yourself. Is there any specific thing that you can think of that happen that triggered this anxiety?

When your body can't cope on it's own and you're at whit's end, this is where medication comes in to play to help with anxiety and emotions because it works on your neurotransmitters. Anxiety is a heightened stress response. The body is on high alert and anticipating fight or flight response. Depression is not just feeling the blues. It is a feeling of hopelessness or feeling like you can't cope. It also causes anxiety, irritability, high emotions and pain, such as migraines.

Aside from taking an antidepressant, there are a few vitamins to consider. Could you be folate deficient? Low folate can cause increased stress and depression. I recommend not taking synthetic folate, also called folic acid, because it is toxic to some people. Take co-enzymed methylfolate instead. Are you taking D? I saw that your D level was a little low a few months ago. If your D is still that low or is now lower, this can induce mood problems. Are you taking B vitamins? B vitamins help with stress. B1 helps stabilize mood and mental attitude. B2 helps metabolize fat and carbs. B5 or pantothenic acid helps the immune systems and handling stress. B7 or biotin helps with mood and stress. B6 helps with serotonin production, as well as other neurotransmitters. B12 deficiency causes inability to cope with stress, causes memory problems. B12 also helps create serotonin and melatonin (sleep hormone). You can buy B Complex vitamins that contain these and other vitamins, or you can buy these individually. Personally, I buy them individually.

About two weeks ago I made a post about migraines and muscle spasms and what I found to cure them. I had had a migraine and neck and back muscle spasms for 6 weeks. It was B vitamins that fixed me! Since my post, with exception of maybe two migraines that went away with my prescription medication, I feel great! My muscle spasms are gone, too. I have to be honest. At first I took a triple dose. A few hours later, I felt the pain starting to decrease. I realized that I must be low in some or all of these vitamins. After that, I took a double dose am and pm for several days. I am now only taking them once a day, or if I feel muscle spasms (which almost always cause me to have a migraine) starting, then I take more. B vitamins are water soluble, so excess is excreted. The ones I am taking daily are: B1, B2, B6, methylfolate, pantothenic acid, and CoQ10 (which can also help migraines). I don't take biotin daily. I also take methionine sometimes. I do B12 injections.

I hope you feel better soon!

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Thank you! Wherever possible I avoid all stress as it affects me so badly. I’ve had a difficult upbringing but also some very serious upsetting situations I’ve had to deal with so any situation where I feel attacked or controlled I get very hurt and upset.

My neighbours I don’t talk too now and have only recently said something a few weeks ago as they parked over my drive and with a migraine and food shopping I had to ask them to move their car. Then last night I saw they’ve put sharp spikes to the top of our adjourning fence whilst I’ve been away, specifically just on my side which I know is to make a point. It’s lots on ongoing antisocial behaviour so I’ve contacted our landlord to sort it for me. But I should be able to cope with things like this not take it so personally and get so upset and ill over it. They’re just unkind sad ppl.

I’m usually such a positive happy person I know it’s something physical especially since having hashimotos.

I take all supplements you said except I take folic acid so will source some enzymed methylfolate. I have B Complex but can’t take them they make me feel physically sick even the smell not sure what it is but I think it’s a yeasty smell but they make me ill.

I think my migraines are a result of feeling stressed but until I get it under control I can’t see these improving. Atm I’m taking at least 1200mg aspirin a day and my referral to neurology isn’t until end of October. I take CoQ10 and it is a real help and ashwagandha.

I need to start taking my probiotics again as they helped my stomach and overall symptoms.


Hey there, I think I know what you are saying, I have been in your situation at some point in time. Tests were looking fine but I was emotionally imbalanced, switching easily between happy and miserable, cognitive impaired and being overall unable to cope to everyday life.

I have actually end up looking at a Sertraline box when it struck me that no, that's not me, I'm not like that and that was the moment when I started looking on what got me to that point. I have switched from Levo to combo T4/T3, got on D3 and B vits supplements and also went to seek counsel.

I needed the happy pill but tried to see what else is the problem before taking it. It took me some time to get better and it was not consistent but after a few months i was quite better, though one year after that moment I got worse again, with higher than normal Acth and increased blood cortisol level.

Two+ years from that point I am stable and though struggling to stay like this I can retroactively identify what was wrong: poor thyroid HRT treatment amplifying a mix of unresolved issues (unaware of them at that time) and poor context generated stress.

I don't know if that helps but this is my story.

Let me know if I can provide you with further details.


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Thanks Caesard so did you end up taking Sertaline in the end I can’t tell?

What helped you? I feel my thyroid I’m treating effectively now with T3 only and my triggers ie Epstein Barr I’m suppressing and going gluten free have all helped. But something underlying is happening with me coping or should I say not coping with stress.

I need to function day to day but don’t want to plaster over another illness ie Addison’s with antidepressants if that could be the cause. If I thought sertaline would help I’d get it straight away but just need to see what has helped others first.

I’m going to get an emergency gp appt tomorrow morning and hope I can either get tested for Addison’s or just get sertaline as I need to do something


No, i didn't took it, after staring at it for 10 minutes. I had that feeling that this is not me and those issues are not psychological driven but physiological and therefore that should be my first concern. I was somehow wrong, as I discovered later, there were also emotional issues derived from the lack of self intimacy.

I've switched the treatment and started to adjust it by symptom relief monitored with tests and started looking into what's wrong with me and the context I was being then. This actions combined worked, even if with this self query I have triggered more emotional distress. I had faith and also tapped on the inner strength I knew I have, just to discover that one's mind can be a strong ally and a vicious enemy in the same time.

I think you're approaching it right, checking the possible culprits before engaging into an options or another.

However, please consider that this kind of stress from a situation like yours is most likely affecting your adrenals output only by itself.

As advice, I would recommend to give yourself time and rest, it's a difficult moment and, before anything else, you should be kind and patient to yourself.

Question: have you went directly from t4 only to t3 only? I am.asking because at some point while searching for an optimal dosage I have reduced t4 too much and felt immediately (one week) worse. On the other hand, larger doses of T4 but also T3 have been heard before to trigger anxious states, insomnia, tinnitus, headaches. I'm not saying it's your case, just want to make you aware of it.

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I was bedridden on T4 only so gradually introduced T3 and reduced T4 so that in the end with the agreement of my Endo I removed T4 totally as it didn’t make any positive affect to my health. I’m doing very well now on T3 only going gluten free and supplementing best I’ve felt physically in over 2 years since diagnosis.

But when I get any stress I can’t cope and have a meltdown which then triggers physical symptoms.

It’s so hard to find the answers as we’re all different with different triggers I just need to eliminate Addison’s and then might have no choice but to trial sertaline at least to help me until my body can recover and cope better with stress.


Sorry meant to say that I am totally focusing on myself for the first time ever and being kind to myself that I actually feel like I’m craving desperately anything and everything to de-stress and relax. But not dealing with the underlying cause as I just don’t know what it is.


I've felt also the perspective of the overwhelming inability to cope but fortunately I didn't dive too much into it. But I've felt it...I knew if i would go lower it would be difficult to get out. When it happened I went up with the T3 (10%) and cleared up the stress factors, with more rest, less work, more sport and self reflection/meditation. Today I feel that I am able to sense and control it, being more in touch with me, my needs and my bidy than I have ever been.

Remember this, there is always something good in whatever happens bad, but you need to recognise and capture it. I think you will be fine.

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If you have low cortisol levels taking Ashwagandha will lower it further. Your Gp might suggest a early morning blood cortisol test to rule out Adrenal Insufficiency. 14 days before any cortisol tests you should stop medication and suppliments that interrupt the HPA axis. I suggest googling it or PM me and I’ll list them for you. Morning cortisol levels should be at the top of your range..nighttime at the lower end.

I hope you feel better soon

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Sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through.

SeaSideSusie’s info was spot on.

You need the regenerus test for cortisol and dhea( cost £90 ish)

The one off cortisol test is unreliable and you need the 4 readings plus dhea.

I certainly would not take anything re adrenals until I’d been tested. I have very high cortisol and that can spike and I can feel overwhelmed. However once I had my results I took action and feel better.

I did also have the thyroid plus 12 done just to ensure all my vitamins were optimal.

Do you have hashimotos or did you decide to go gluten free on your own?

Also having had glandular fever ( Epstein Barr virus) it’s important that you know the level of those antibodies- if they are high auto immune drugs should be considered to bring them down.

According to my sister who is a cancer research scientist if they are high it’s really harmful.

Good luck and no I would not take antidepressants. I have v difficult neighbours so it’s not easy. I agree I am polite but keep to myself.

Di you have any tests you could post?

Good luck

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I’m on aclicivor sorry can’t remember the exact spelling so taking that to try to suppress the glandular fever antibodies as I believe that’s my trigger.

But I think with having a TSH of 147 I was pretty sick when diagnosed and I believe with all the stress I’ve experienced it’s affected my adrenals hence why I still feel like this even with optimal T3 dosage. My thyroid symptoms are all very good but I have all the Addison’s symptoms so hope my doctor tests me.

I’m feeling pretty desperate so think sertaline might be my only option as I’m just a bag of nerves one little thing tips me over the edge that really shouldn’t.



Aciclovir is for shingles

Valaciclovir is the drug you need.

I am on the second one as my antibodies levels were horrific.( after glandular fever) In my case it caused cancer.

My adrenals has already been sorted but after being really ill I started again.

I am v glad I went down the private route for saliva tests tho. ( well everything really as my t3 was nil)

I wish you well.


Thanks do you know how I can get hold of valaciclovor as I doubt I’ll be able to get it from my GP.

I don’t want to overwhelm them with everything so just going to try to get checked for Addison’s today.

Unless I get aciclivor on prescription but could ask it to be changed to valaciclovor do you think that would be easier and they’d do that for me? I just don’t know how I’d justify it



It’s a far more expensive drug/ some surgeries do prescribe it. Mine is private.

Do you know the level of the antibodies- that makes all the difference? ( ie 300)

The higher they are obviously the more serious it can be.


No I only know that I never felt right after getting glandular fever as well as pretty sick. My older sister had it at the same time and not long after me has hashimotos. Based on Izabella Wentz I know it’s my trigger. I’ve been prescribed aciclivor at hospital numerous times long term due to severe breakouts when run down. So know the virus is active.

I’ve been prescribed aciclivor by the hospital so there’s no way I’d get a more expensive one by my GP. Without the hospitals recommendation I’d not be on aciclivor long term. For me it’s better that nothing. And based on research it can suppress the virus as long as I stay on it. Coming off it is a different matter for the future to worry about.

For now my priority has to be what I can do to help myself and what is affordable. My diet comes first which I can control. Then supplements and using the NHS for what help they’re willing to give me.

If I test negative re: Addison’s then I think it will be sertaline for me in order fir my body to have a rest from trying to cope with day to day stresses it can’t cope with


So sorry you're feeling like this.

There is no shame in taking some anti anxiety meds. They can help to tide you over. I don't like taking meds, but if I were in your shoes now, I would (and have!).

We have a local service on NHS that run courses on anxiety and stress management etc. You could ask your GP if they have a similar service? It's called LIFT in Swindon. They teach some good techniques for managing it.

Short term tips that I've found helpful:

1. For 2-3 minutes at a time (not more or it can make you feel light headed), several times a day, try breathing in for the count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 7. The theory is that oxygen fuels adrenaline, so by doing a longer out-breath, you are subtly lowering the oxygen in your body, hence reducing adrenaline. I use it and it works for me. The trick is little and often. In emergencies I just hold my breath and it does the same lol.

2. Use the Samaritans helpline. You don't have to be suicidal to use it. When I went through a period like you're having now, I phoned them 3-4 times a day. I would sob it all out, feel like an emotional wreck afterwards, but within an hour I'd feel lighter (bit like a pressure cooker releasing all its steam).

3. Get out on foot in nature. Movement helps. Nature is calming.

If you absolutely don't want to take prescription meds, there are herbal remedies that can help.

Take good care of yourself and put yourself first :) xx


Good news my GP has agreed to test for Addison’s. I’m booked in with the nurse for 9 am in 2 weeks.

I’m going to stop ashwagandha so it doesn’t affect my results. She agreed taking sertaline would just mask over an underlying issue so no antidepressants for now.

The landlord has written to my neighbour so feel better that I have their support. I’m a bit of a mess and had a good cry at the doctors but feel relieved I can get checked for Addison’s and hopefully get it eliminated or if positive get the right treatment.

Thank you everyone for your kind words having a meltdown on your own is so hard but you’ve all helped with your advice and support ❤️

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Hello MissFG

I read your entire thread and really do feel for you. It is a lonely place to be when you've no support. I know I need to do a 24 hour saliva test again & get my adrenals & cortisol sorted.

Your last post is really positive with the GP agreeing to test Addisons, your Landlord's on the case. And lastly, a good cry does one the world of good 😊

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Yeah I never cry I just bottle it all up 😢 which isn’t good!

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I’ve recently been listening to an audible book called Dare by Barry Mcdonagh. It’s very good easy to follow and makes sense.

If you can listen to it by audible, the guy has a very relaxing voice.


Thanks NickP1 what the book about? X


The book provides simple steps to help you cope with anxiety, panic attacks etc.

Easy to implement. Easy to understand.

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Quick update: I’ve been on sertaline now for 6 weeks and last week increased from 50 to 100mcg.

So far so good. I didn’t have a dip in mood as was advised could happen. I actually felt pretty good,but then had a trauma in my life on top of everything else to deal with, so without the sertaline I think I’d have really struggled.

My shaking / tremors have eased, although not gone. I just think my body isn’t so strained due to the sertaline.

I’ve also been vaping CBD oil for 5 weeks. Ive been increasing the dose slowly to build up my intolerance.

Overall both have been helping me especially the sertaline with my anxiety levels and coping better. So if anyone is concerned about trying sertaline but feel low in mood and suffering with anxiety don’t be afraid to use this to help.

It was a last resort for me as I’d tried everything else, maybe if I’d tried it sooner I wouldn’t of suffered for so long. My body really needed the rest to be able to try to heal x


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