Lifestyle / My Personal Experiences / Supporting a Thyroid Patient

3 Ways My Thyroid Condition Can Make Me Feel like a Bad Friend

3 Ways My Thyroid Condition Can Make Me Feel like a Bad Friend

Living with a thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s can take over our lives at times and affect everything from work life to home life and social life.

I’ve been the friend that has been both very active and present in my friendships, but also withdrawn and less present, due to my chronic illness. I have listed a few of the ways that my thyroid condition and the effects of it have made me feel like less than a great friend in the past.

Rachel Thyroid Flare Up

1. Missing Events

Living with thyroid disease can be unpredictable. I can feel quite well one day and then be struck down the next with a thyroid flare up. I often feel quite well when I first agree to attend an event or make plans with a friend but this can always change and sometimes, on the day itself. It’s really gutting. I love spending time with friends and socialising but it’s not always within my control.

When I have a flare up in my thyroid condition, it often lasts for one or two days, and includes heavy fatigue, overall body weakness, flu-like symptoms and migraines. I can barely look after myself on these days, let alone shower, get dressed or leave the house.

If I end up having to cancel plans, it’s really not because I don’t want to see that friend, so I always try to rearrange for a better time.

2. Prioritising Looking After My Health 

There have been times where I’ve had to prioritise my health over saying ‘yes’ to going to a social event. This ties in to the above point a little, as if I’m not feeling great due to my health condition, I will often have to prioritise staying home and resting and perhaps letting someone else down.

Other times, I will say ‘No’ straight away to certain types of events because I know they only flare up my health condition, and I can’t afford to take the time off work for example.

These can include nights out drinking, physical activities that my body can’t handle and meet-ups on a work night, when I need to prioritise making sure I’m well enough for work the next day, instead of being out late. It might sound lame, but this hypothyroid body needs to stick to a bedtime routine otherwise my thyroid condition becomes less well-managed and I can’t afford to skip work – I need to pay the bills.

If I feel particularly well after a period of bad health, I may have to prioritise getting personal tasks and errands done over socialising, because the fridge needs to be stocked, I need to catch up on work and finally tidy up the house now I’m able to. I still have to ‘adult’.

3. Saying ‘No’ To Last Minute Plans

I really don’t do last minute plans all too often. Ideally, my hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are best managed when I’m being mindful of where and how I use my energy. As a ‘spoonie‘, I’ve learnt to get better at saying ‘no’ and learning when I’m overcommitting myself and taking on too much.

In order to prepare for a social event for example, I often rest as much as possible before the event so that I’m as well as possible, but I also often need to plan in rest days afterwards in order to recuperate. Social situations can be draining for thyroid patients in every single way – emotionally, mentally and physically.

What would you add? Let me know in the comments.

You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".


  • Tricia Clark
    July 15, 2023 at 9:18 pm

    It rears its ugly head recently when I was speaking on zoom and I couldn’t’ find’ a word and again when an isolated muscle wouldn’t work half was through a task. Oh and the cramp! or am I bringing false judgement?

  • Tricia Clark
    July 15, 2023 at 9:13 pm

    I reared it’s ugly head when I giving a talk recently; when I couldn’t ‘find ‘ a word!
    Isolated muscular pain which only presents when you’re half way through a task!
    Oh and don’t get me started on the cramp from the thigh down; or am I maligning the thyroid defecit wrongly on that score?

  • Judy A
    July 2, 2023 at 11:55 am

    Feeling guilty about cancelling plans and trying to explain why I felt fine when I made the plan but woke up feeling terrible. This just happened with my niece. We planned to have lunch together and then I felt terrible when I woke up and had to cancel. She was understanding but I felt bad about it. I can’t even think about making plans ahead of time because I never know how I will feel. So limiting. I also know I can’t “push through” because I will feel even worse.

  • Tammy
    July 1, 2023 at 8:15 pm

    Feel so pissed off with life at moment as feel like everyone just believes I should just get on as if normal after all the new diagnosis


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