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  • Anonymous
      Post count: 93172

      Hi! This is the first time I have posted to this board and I will try to be brief. I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for the last 15 years. After about 11 years, I became pregnant and was anxiety free for the next 12 months. Then I developed GRAVES DISEASE and my anxiety came back at about twice the strength it was before. I had the radio active iodine treatment 3 years ago and am now hypothyroid and since then, have had only about 4 or 5 blood tests come back normal. The problem is, that if my levels are not exactly where they should be, then I have this terrible anxiety and panic attacks along with hundreds of other symptoms. Can any one relate to this problem? If so, I would love to hear from you. Thanks for listening!

        Post count: 93172

        Yes, I can relate. I was diagnosed about two months ago. I have always considered myself to be an anxious person (never incapacitated and never any panic attacks) but in the months prior to the diagnosis, I was extremely anxious (again not incapacitating) but I thought it was because my life was in an upheaval (which in reality it was with work and personal life) so I just chalked the anxiety up a normal reaction to life stress. Well eventually the anxiety got so bad that I couldn’t function. I didn’t want to leave the house I was so anxious and also lethargic. I also began to experience some symptoms of panic. I didn’t feel normal so I went to the doctor, was diagnosed with Graves. They put me on methimazole (it takes a while to kick in) and in the following weeks I was still highly agoraphobic, anxious, and experiencing panic attacks with greater severity. So my endo sent me to a psychiatrist who put me on benzodiazepines and started me working with someone on cognitive therapy and that has helped tremendously. I am now pretty much back to normal with respect to anxiety and panic. My feeling is that in those people who are prone to high anxiety and panic (which it sounds like you were) Graves makes the symptoms worse. And it can bring out these symtpoms in people of normal temperment. The psychiatrist told me that he has seen several Graves patients who when they are hyperthyroid but more commonly when they are in the hyper to normal or normal to hypo transitions develop panic attacks. And I read in a psychiatry textbook that 2/3s of people with Graves meet the criteria for generalized anxiety disorder. So there are some very well documented connections between Graves and anxiety/panic and other mental manifestations. There have been some recent posts about the mental manifestations of Graves with references for articles. You might want to flip back through the last 30 days or so. I hope that you have been and are being seen by a psychiatrist for anxiety and panic because there are some very effective medications and non-pharmacological treatments for these disorders. If you have not seen a psychiatrist I would highly recommend it especially one who specializes in anxiety and panic because I bet that he/she could improve your quality of life immensely.
        All the best,

          Post count: 93172

          Wanted you to know what an excellent post I think this was! Thanks for taking the time to sooth a fellow warrior! Y’all are great! Humor is what Jake and I have stressed to everyone from the start. You have a disease and it;’s not the end of the world. While your lifestyle may have to change, somewhat, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a life! I think the two of us are testament to that!

          Your advice about taking someone to the doctor with you was a great idea. I recommend that to all. Sometimes even someone without graves’ can miss vital info that the doctor gives you. And yes, a journal or notebook is of importance with this disease(and others). If you write it down you can look back later to see what was said. When stressed, for whatever reason, our minds can play tricks on us, allow us to “forget”, if you will. Guess that might be considered a safety mechanism, of sorts.

          Didn’t mean to ramble on. Just wanted to let you know I liked your post!

          Wishing you good healthand happy times,

          Have a great day!
          JAN, online facilitator

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