Welcome back to the Thyroidcafe. Miles from home, I went for a run. Trying to clear my head, I felt my heart began to race. I tuned into the sound of my sneakers. The crunching gravel under foot. I slowed my pace. I heaved a breath. But thoughts intruded. The house we just bought. Moving the kids away from mom. My mom. Circular thoughts. Without end. Lord, please protect me. I knew this was a panic attack, thanks to a friend’s experience.
Anxiety and thyroid disease
Many thyroid warriors know what anxiety feels like, but let’s define it. Anxiety is “a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.” or “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.” The latter definition felt like locking eyes with myself in a mirror. And I am not the only one, 63% of thyroid patients report having anxiety. Though symptoms very, common symptoms of anxiety are:
- Tummy troubles
- Autonomic symptoms
- Muscle tension
The clinical recommendations sound oh so… clinical. Not to demean them, they are merely limited. Most studies conclude that any patient whose anxiety remains after treatment with thyroid hormone should be tested for anxiety disorders. From there, psychotherapy and medication are recommended… fortunately there’s more to this blog.
What Works for me
As stated above, God is a very present help in time of need. I have learned to manage my anxiety, so I no longer have panic attacks. Preventatively, I take Epsom Salt Baths, CBD oil, cut or lower my caffeine on bad days and get the best sleep and food I can. If I already feel anxious, I try to Vulcan my way out of it by studying my thoughts. Asking: Are they good? noble? true? If not, reject them. This is where writing helps. I also try Chamomile tea. I find, many small attacks against anxiety has brought down this giant.
Those with hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease are more likely than most to have anxiety. While those of us with thyroid disease are all too aware of the symptoms, we need a plan to tackle this beast. I am thankful to have good resources to handle my anxiety, so it’s no longer a major problem in my life.