Various reports have speculated that Denton may have succumbed to the pressure of her job, or the intense scrutiny and controversy that has been focused on a high-profile university job given to her longtime partner, Gretchen Kalonji. Still others are looking at the thyroid connection as a possible explanation. At this point, no one knows if it was her thyroid, or a combination of many factors, to blame.
One thing is for certain: There is a very real connection between thyroid disease and depression.
The suicide of another thyroid patient prompted Dr. Barry Durrant-Peatfield, author of The Great Thyroid Scandal and How to Survive It, to write about the strong link and frequency of depression and hypothyroidism. "Depression causes untold misery and destroys lives," says Dr. Durrant-Peatfield, in his important look at the connection.
It's not always easy, however, to tell if you're just feeling a bit moody and have a temporary case of the blues -- or are suffering from a clinical depression. Even after thyroid diagnosis and treatment, depression can sometimes continue, an unwanted side effect of coping with long-term chronic illness such as thyroid disease. My Online Depression Quiz can help you see if you have some of the more common symptoms of clinical depression.
Sources: Ken McLaughlin, Becky Bartindale and Lisa Krieger, "UCSC leader had severe thyroid problem," Mercury News, Jun. 27, 2006, Article
Soraya Gutierrez, Matt King, "Denton's death puzzling for friends and colleagues," Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 27, 2006 Article