Thyroid Blues

Hypothyroidism is sometimes referred to as “low thyroid”. This means that your body is not getting enough thyroid hormone to function well. It’s often an unrecognized cause of depression. One of the challenges to treating low thyroid is that many doctors will consider thyroid test results alone and won’t consider the fact that each person’s body is different. These doctors go strictly by the thyroid ranges and will not adjust the dose if your results fall within the normal range. In her book, The Menopause Thyroid Solution, Mary J. Shomon (2009) explains how different doctors use different ranges for the thyroid test, and even within those ranges we are all different. The issue of blood testing is complex and it is compounded by the fact that many people don’t feel comfortable questioning their doctors. 

In our work as psychotherapists, it’s important that we understand the relationship between thyroid disease and mental health. Below is a list of the symptoms of hypothyroidism (slow thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (fast thyroid). These symptoms often show up for clients who may have undiagnosed thyroid disease and/or entering perimenopause. I encourage all my clients to get annual physicals and regular blood work. I am not suggesting you work outside of your scope of practice, just be aware that these physical issues can seriously affect your client’s mental health.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism- Low (Slow)Thyroid
Constant fatigue or feeling of exhaustion
Puffiness in the face
Trouble getting started in the morning
Low body temperature
Sensitivity to cold weather
Menstrual irregularity
Depression
Hair Loss
Low sex drive
Poor memory or concentration
Sluggish thinking or thought patterns
Infertility, repeated miscarriages
Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite efforts at dieting

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism- High (Fast) Thyroid
Anxiety
Insomnia
Rapid Weight Loss
Diarrhea
High heart rate
High blood pressure
Eye Sensitivity
Bulging
Vision disturbances

This is not a complete list, these are some examples of the symptoms you might hear about in sessions with your clients. Sources- Depression and Your Thyroid by Gary Ross. M.D and Peter Beiling, PH.D (2006) & The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary Shomon.

Some Thoughts On Menopause

Some Thoughts On Menopause

Some Thoughts on Menopause Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP In my mid 40s I noticed I was starting to sweat a lot, and this was unusual as normally my hands and feet are as cold as ice blocks. Sometimes I experienced painful headaches, irritability, and insomnia. My metabolism slowed down and my clothes felt tight. My energy level plummeted and became unpredictable. And so began my adventures in Menopause. Most of the women I know are reluctant to talk about menopause; especially here in Los Angeles. In writing this article my aim is to reduce the shame associated with menopause by sharing my own story. One of my close friends recommended Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book The Wisdom of Menopause, in which Northrup candidly describes her own menopause. Reading her book brightened my grim outlook on menopause