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EndocrineWeb Community Advice

Does hyperthyroidism cause emotional instability?

From: Mario Fox - 31 weeks 5 days ago

Hello, all. My friend has hyperthyroidism. I'm a male and I've known her for close to a year. We've quasi-dated during this time. I'm interested in her, but she constantly flip-flops about me. Everything will be great, but once we reach a certain level of intimacy she will will decide that she is not interested in me romantically. She also becomes severely socially withdrawn. There will be times when I won't hear from her for weeks or up to a month. There have been times where we've made plans and she'll completely blow me off. After the periods of social withdrawal she will reach out to me as if nothing ever happened. Needless to say, it leaves me very confused and feeling hurt.
She takes medication for the disease, but I really don't think it's helping her. She frequently complains of symptoms like sore/hot throat, lack of sleep, anxiety, etc.

It's almost as if I'm dealing with two separate people: one is sweet, loving, caring, and fun while the other is inconsiderate, irritable, irrational, and rude. I should add that she has had trauma in her life due to a string of nasty love interests, including a narcissistic Ex who physically and emotionally abused her.

I'm getting the impression from my parents that they would prefer if I stopped spending time with her. However, I don't want to do that. I care about her very much and feel like I'm falling in love with her. I can't tell her that, though, because I know she can't handle it emotionally. I'm trying to decipher how much of her behavior is part of the disorder. I get mad at her when she treats me poorly, but I'm not sure if I should be mad at HER or at the DISEASE. I'm also trying to figure out how much of her behavior is due to her past trauma, and if the disease contributes to it or vice versa. When she's at baseline she's the ideal woman.

I would appreciate if somebody could help me understand the following questions:

-Is indecisiveness part of the disorder? For instance, the fact that she will invite me to a romantic place one day and then tell me there's no "spark" (almost literally) the next. I've also noticed her flip-flop in other areas like possible careers.
-Is the social withdrawal common?
-Is it possible to cycle between hyper and hypo symptoms?
-Is over-sensitivity part of the disorder?
-How should I address my concerns with her?
-Should I set boundaries of some kind to protect myself emotionally?

Thank you, anybody who takes the time to read and reply. It's greatly appreciated.

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1. Social withdrawal as a response to the illness itself and/or the anxiety it creates is common. If you are a source of emotional stress (ie. making unexpected changes and/or triggering high emotional reactions suddenly) then yes this could be potentially be part of a cause for withdrawing from you.
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes, but gently, if you chose to address a concern do so certain that you mean what you say. Give her time to absorb it. Let her withdraw. Accept that adapting to change in her circumstance is likely to be a slow challenge.
5. Yes. But again, once you set those boundaries mean what you say

The above doesn't apply in all cases of course, basing this on my experience only.

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