AnonymousNovember 19, 1996 at 2:58 amPost count: 93172
I am a psychotherapist who also has had GD for about 6 years. First let me address your questions about depression. Basically there are two types of depression: exogenous depression which is usually caused by life experiences (external) that can get you down or endogenous depression which is caused by an imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain chemistry (internal), which by the way are influenced by all the other hormones in the body. Neurotransmitters are nerve cell chemicals that act as messengers in the brain and nervous system. One neurotransmitter you may be familiar with is serotonin, an increase in this particular one gives you a feeling of well being. Chocolate increases serotonin levels, by the way. So, guess what? Graves Disease can really wreck havoc on your neurotransmitters and depression in Graves patients can really be both endogenous – because our neuro chemicals are effected or it can be exogenous because this disease can be hard to adjust to. Just read the bulletin board and you can get a feel for what people cope with every day. Your depression is real, you know that, and you can get help for that. The newer antidepressants are highly effective and they can help get you through the rough spots. I am not a big advocate for drug therapy, but when you need it, you need it. I always encourage my depressed clients to exercise, get outside everyday preferably where you can see some greenery, and make contact everyday with another person, hopefully someone who can be supportive. This bulletin board can be a helpful just to give you a feeling that you are not alone. Is there a Graves Support group in your area? Check the “home page” listings.
As for decisions on the best treatment, the best thing to do is read the bulletin board messages, you can sort them by subject too. Read all that you can about the disease. Ask questions here and of your doctor.
Please e-mail me if you have any other questions I may be able to help you with. I had the RAI treatment.
Hang in there.
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