Self-Confidence and Worrying That Thyroid Eye Disease Will Come Back Again
Last updated: November 2023
I feel like a lot of my writing here has to do with thyroid eye disease (TED) and Graves' disease really doing a number on my self-confidence. I was sitting back and really thinking about it all, and it really has affected me.
I actually think that my self-confidence drop really happened when I was diagnosed with TED, since one of my eyes looked larger than the other and I knew it was noticeable. Most of my Graves' disease symptoms were internal, like anxiety and heart palpitations. The only thing noticeable was my weight loss, but I did not really see a dip in my confidence at that point.
My self-confidence suffered because of my thyroid eye disease symptoms
When my TED was diagnosed I was so self-conscious and so worried about what people would think. I was in my early 20s and already really critical of myself, so add on a disease that I had no control over, and my mental health took a toll. I remember feeling like I could not even look at myself in the mirror. I looked so different and unrecognizable. It was a really weird and uncomfortable feeling.
I would hang out with friends and we would take photos and internally I was so critical of what I looked like, and I was really jealous of my friends for not having to deal with thyroid disease and everything that came with it. I wanted to be like them. Eventually, I was able to live with it, mainly because the eye doctor specialist that I was seeing told me to give it some time.
I was not given medication because what was going on with my TED was not as severe as some other cases. Between the bulging eyes, watery eyes, and light sensitivity, it was a lot but it was not at the point where they were going to put me on a steroid or suggest surgery.
Will my symptoms return?
Eventually, my TED did clear up for the most part. What I will say is that I am still extremely paranoid about it coming back. I am constantly looking at my eyes in the mirror and asking my parents if my eyes look okay. Sometimes I think I even trick myself into thinking that there is something wrong because I am so paranoid.
I was recently on the phone with my parents and they were talking about how much better my eyes looked, and I even said to them how I was always worried that it is going to come back. I felt it was almost ironic that they were bringing up how much better my eyes looked, when here I am constantly worried that they do not.
My TED diagnosis was really one of the worst experiences I have ever had and I do not want to go through that again. To this day I still worry. I probably always will. I still think about it coming back, and I still worry about how that will affect me.
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