Miss Diagnosis

Thyroid and Bipolar: Miss DiagnosisMay is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Under a doctor’s care for hypothyroidism, a Hypothyroid Mom reader named Courtney Rundell ended up in a mental hospital and was misdiagnosed Bipolar. A year later, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid disease that can cause symptoms of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Neither her psychiatrist nor endocrinologist reconsidered her bipolar diagnosis.

She took psychiatric medications for 7 years, even during pregnancy. After childbirth, she experienced postpartum psychosis, chronic illness and the 4 psychiatric medications she took daily to survive stopped working. [Read more…]

When Thyroid Disease Masquerades As Psychiatric Disorder

When thyroid disease masquerades as psychiatric disorder

One of my most popular posts at Hypothyroid Mom was a post entitled Mental Disorder or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism? A reader contacted me soon after the launch of my blog in October 2012 with a story that has haunted me to this day.

Dear Dana,

I found your blog Hypothyroid Mom and feel a need to contact you directly. I was an energetic successful person and in one year I fell down and literally broke. I was put in a mental health ward because I went days without sleeping, felt so tired I couldn’t function and found myself delusional and couldn’t stop the words running through my head. I was diagnosed bipolar and drugged up with medication. I saw the line of bipolar patients waiting every morning in the psych ward for electric shock therapy. The only thing that saved me from electric shock was my mother yelling NO.

For four years I was drugged up so bad that my mind wasn’t right. I told the psychiatrists and doctors that something wasn’t right with me. From 110 pounds my weight went up to 245. I was so tired, suffered pains from fibromyalgia. My heart rate was pounding at 155 and my blood pressure was through the roof. They just kept telling me I was bipolar and that I was a hypochondriac.

Finally after 4 years of bipolar medications to the max, a close family member was diagnosed with hypothyroidism so my doctor tested me too. I have a family history of thyroid disease. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I’ve suffered so many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism you list on your blog for so many years.

Every single time I attend a bipolar support group I ask everyone if they are hypothyroid and every time half the people raise their hand and the other half have no clue what it is and they don’t know if they have been tested.

Jana

This post sparked so much interest that many thyroid sufferers contacted me with their personal horror stories of psychiatric disorders. I can’t stop wondering how many fellow thyroid sufferers reading this post right now are struggling with mental health issues? Is it possible that many of them have been misdiagnosed? [Read more…]

Mental Disorder or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism?

Mental Disorder or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism?

I stopped breathing momentarily when I received a message from one of my blog readers…trying to think back to all my years of work with children and adults with various forms of mental disorder. Is it possible that some people suffering from mental disorder are in fact undiagnosed or under-treated hypothyroidism sufferers? This reader has left me thinking over all I have learned about mental disorders and all the cases of children and adults I have worked with over the past 20 years. She has turned my perspective on mental health literally upside down. [Read more…]