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Teen Depression or Thyroid Disease?

Posted Jan 15 2010 11:11pm
Mini-Me had slowly been getting a little more mouthy, easy to anger, and she had been talking to me less about things that had been bothering her. I attributed it to the fact maybe it was the hormonal change that she was going through and the fact that she had started her cycle during the summer. During this school year, the mood swings had been getting progressively worse. Her grades had been slowly going down hill, but I didn't think that it was bad enough to warrant too much attention. I did what I normally would do and just tell her that she needed to work harder. Then I got a call from her teacher to come meet with her.

Mini-Me's teacher had told me that it seemed like Mini-Me had depression, and the reason she had mentioned it was because she had been there before and knew the symptoms. I still wasn't sure if that was truly the problem, so I didn't make an appointment with Mini-Me's doctor. Well, just before break, I was informed that in three of her classes her grades had done a considerable drop. She wasn't doing her work. I also knew that this meant that probably after Christmas break she would be on activity restriction which means no cheering or being able to attend the dance that's at the end of this month, something she had been looking forward to. I ended up getting another call from her teacher. She pretty much told me that Mini-Me had started becoming withdrawn from most people. She wasn't staying focused, and she wasn't doing her work. I met with the teacher after school, and we discussed the depression issue again. I decided that I would finally get a doctor's appointment.

Because of my thyroid disease, I, too, sometimes get depressed or angry. I know that, in my case, it is hormonal. I wanted to meet with Mini-Me's doctor to do another thyroid assessment. I was told that he would order the test, but that he suggested she go to Kaiser's Mental Health. We went for the first appointment yesterday. I think in some way it helped her. At first, she was a bit nervous about it all, and a couple of days before she asked if only she and I could handle it. I just think it was beyond her and I handling it especially if sometimes I get into my own moods. Sometimes I don't deal with my depression/irritability as well as I can. One major difference is that I don't just 'check out'. I
force myself to focus, because I know that my girls need me.

There's also another issue. Mini-Me's best friend is kind of like her. She gets down about things that are out of their control. Not only that, but a lot of friends that they know and talk to are similar. In fact, one boy always says he's going 'away'. I don't think that can be good. Luckily, she doesn't hang with this boy or talk to him often. Mini-Me's best friend actually asked if Mini-Me could take her to the counseling session. I think it would be good for her friend to seek counseling as well, but she doesn't think that her uncle (who is her guardian) cares about her. I think he does, but in his own way. I really don't know how he'd react if she asked to go counseling.

Everyday is not a down day for Mini-Me or her friend, but there are more down days than up lately. When the psychologist asked if I was interested in medication for Mini-Me, I said that I wasn't prepared to go down that road just yet. I thought maybe she could find some tools to learn to deal with the moods, and if that didn't work, then we could discuss the options of medication. Mini-Me got to see the psychologist alone and told her that she was interested in medication.

Luckily, the psychologist is on the same page as I in regards to medication. Because while sometimes I think it can help, I also believe that sometimes it makes things worse. Besides, I want to see if this is a thyroid thing first (as sometimes it can be hereditary). Herein lies the problem: Kaiser is one to base whether one has thyroid issues on one thing and one thing only: TSH test.

I often was told that my thyroid was normal. I also had been told that maybe it was depression since it was during the time that I was going through my divorce. Well, it had been a few years really(that I had been having symptoms), but I knew that whatever was going on with me at the time was definitely not going to be cured by the Zoloft they had given me a prescription for. I never did get it filled. It took an endocrinologist and a more thorough thyroid panel to find the root of my problem: Hashimoto's.

I took Mini-Me in for her TSH test today. They actually wanted to do a lipid panel, but since she didn't fast, we have to wait on that one. Had I known they wanted to do that, I would have taken her early one morning this week. Depending on what I see when the TSH results come back, I'll know whether to ask her doctor for more testing. I HATE the fact that Kaiser still uses the old guidelines for TSH of .3 to 5.5. UGH! I never feel good unless I'm around 1.0 or just under. A 'normal' person, on average, has a TSH of 1.3. I have had TSH tests done on Mini-Me before. The first was 1.3, but the second was 2.0. This is why I'll know more if this is what's causing her to get more emotional, tired, and unfocused.

My husband's telling me to try not to 'find' things that aren't there. I'm sorry, but I've been there and done that. I got tired of people telling me it was something that it wasn't. Even worse yet, is when my ex had called me a hypochondriac. I think we often know our bodies better than anyone else, and when I don't feel like myself, I know it. I really hope we can pinpoint this thing in regards to Mini-Me. Whether it happens to be, depression medications or thyroid medications, at least we'll know and get her on the right path. BTW, did i mention that there were tons of teenagers at the clinic?



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