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Author Topic: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)  (Read 2322 times)

4candles

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New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« on: January 16, 2017, 05:38:01 PM »

Hello everyone

I've been browsing the forum for some months now extrapolating as much of the wisdom as I can from it and trying to gain solace, reassurance and trying to alleviate some of the desperate feelings I have.
I'm 51 years of age and started Menopause symptoms with a vengeance (urine infections, vile flushes and night sweats) several months ago, having last had a period in May 2016. The FSH test confirmed I am Menopausal. I started Evorel Conti patches a week ago and have noticed some nausea and 'womb-feelings', but no ease up of sweaty drenches as yet.

It has hit me like a ton of bricks  :'( not least because I have always wanted children and had only miscarriages in my 40s after meeting someone (having spent years single mainly due to problems with anxiety and depression .. more on that later). So the symbolism of the Menopause for me is just so hard to deal with. I thought I had come to terms with being childless, but, clearly, I haven't.

I'm curious to know, though, if anyone else with pre-existing mental health problems (in my case anxiety, depression and Dysthymia which is a chronic low mood) has experienced a dramatic worsening of their symptoms coinciding with the menopause? I have really gone to pieces and struggle to cope on a daily basis (I live on my own, human-company-wise, but have a dog who kind of keeps me going.) I've sought help and been visited by the Crisis Team: I'm 5 weeks back on Cipralex/Escitalopram (been on A/Ds for 20+ years with occasional spells off them which never works :o) A psychiatrist has suggested a night-time dose of Quetiapine to help with the severe depression/anxiety .. I feel quite daunted by it, it's usually prescribed as an anti-psychotic but can be used, as with me, in major depression/anxiety. Does anyone have any experience of it?

The GP and psychiatrist also suggested that HRT might help to lift my mood as well, so I knew I had to try it because I'm so in need of some respite from something!

I know I'm being 'tested' and it feels a lot like 'make or break' and I mainly feel broken and can hardly bear the putting on a brave face thing to get me through the day. I haven't been able to work for years due to the MHPs and, in my mid-40s started getting Fibromyalgia and then, 2 years ago was diagnosed with Chronic fatigue Syndrome. Gosh, you couldn't make it up, could you?!

I've also had to 'downgrade' my partnership of just over a year to 'friendship' because I'm struggling so much and have so little to offer. The lack of self-esteem I experience makes it very difficult for me to engage with anyone.

One more thing... and do you know this actually feels like the WORST thing of all to me, and the thing that I just cannot bear? I have Androgenetic Alopecia .. Told by a Dermatologist several years ago .. now the thinning is so horrible. I've become obsessed by it and, to be honest, just don't know how to cope at all because it really got bad around the dreaded Meno melt-down. I won't bore you with the details now but may post on it in the near future.

I realise if I could rid myself of self-pity and the Ego, or at the very least have a sweet pixie face that could handle a shaved head ... I'd feel a lot better .. don't seem to be able to do it though ::)

Thank you for listening.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 06:27:41 PM by 4candles »
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CLKD

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 07:23:22 PM »

Oh join the Club, or one of the several groups on here - you are no longer ALONE!

HORMONES  >:( ..... can cause menopause symptoms to feel worse.  It ain't called The Change for nowt. 

In the 1990s I was advised by a Psychiatrist that I need a low-maintenance anti-depressant for Life.  That was hard to accept but once I did, hubby and I had a Life again.  Panic attacks were my main problem ........ by chance I upped the medication I'm on 12 months ago and found that it has eased anxiety feelings >PHEW<!

How much knowledge does your Psychiatrist have of menopause?  Is there anything to lose by trying the Auetiapine  I  especially if it's taken at night.

You are taking care of you by seeking medical advice, downgrading your friendship and joining us here >wave<.  Have a browse round.  Make notes.  Some ladies find that keeping a mood/food/symptom diary as when we feel well, we can forget how awful symptoms can make us feel. 

We have a few ladies on chemotherapy and there are Links to various hairdressers that advise on wigs, could this be helpful to you?

Keep posting!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 10:05:51 AM by CLKD »
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Tempest

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 09:05:29 PM »

Dear 4candles, I just wanted to reach out to you as YES, although I'm in surgically induced menopause I've suffered much more mentally since menopause began. Now, I DO believe a lot of this is hormonal but one thing I can also say is that this hormonal turmoil really magnifies things - especially unresolved issues in our lives that seem to become amplified at this incredible period of change and upheaval for us. And of course, the instability in hormones disrupts the neurochemicals in our brain and can make any pre-existing anxiety or depression much harder to deal with! I really do identify and empathise with you.

My Psychiatrist has too offered me Quietapine (a low dose of 25mg nightly to start) and like you, I have the very same reservations so I am holding off at the moment whilst trying to establish a steady form of HRT. I may need to add it in - I don't take any other medications for mental health but if my HRT regime really doesn't settle things sufficiently I will be looking at the possibility again as Quietapine is supposed to work very well to stabilise moods - and at low dose, the side effects are minimal.

Can I just also say though that menopause symptoms (especially perimenopause, which is often not recognised by Gp's) share SO MANY of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and CFS that it may very well be that you might not have these conditions - it's all related to the change! If you take a little time to browse around, I'm sure you'll be astonished to see how wide ranging the symptoms really are! Knowledge is power, and it can make you feel so much better to relate to other ladies and discover that you're not going completely crazy or developing other health conditions (the number of women who are told they have fibromyalgia or CFS wrongly at this time of life is truly astonishing)! :o

Now, you've just very newly started HRT - this is a good step and it takes up to 3 months to see the full benefits of HRT, with further improvements as time progresses. You should feel a lift in your mood, along with easing of aches and pains and better sleep too. A good idea is to keep a wee notebook to track your progress as I know myself when you're feeling low that it's hard to  notice the positive  changes as they can be quite subtle, but certainly build up over time. You'll also find lots of advice and support here on your type of HRT - please ask any or as many questions as you like - we have very knowledgeable members such as Hurdity and Dancinggirl who have helped many ladies over the years here with their questions about HRT. And don't worry - no question is ever too silly! Don't be afraid to reach out and ask.

We also have members who who have suffered hair loss and continue to do so, so you're not alone there either! Once you feel comfortable, please do start your own thread and I know these members will make themselves known to you and offer support and advice.

And please - you're allowed a little self pity as we all are. This is TOUGH on us ladies and there are many like you here who would love to connect with you. One thing we all need to try to practice most of all now and as we move forward is a little (or a lot) of self love and self care. Yes, that's probably the hardest of all, I know! If we can help you in any way to feel reassured, supported and more confident then we are certainly happy to. (And can I say that I LOVE your forum name, and totally get the reference)!

Warmest wishes,

Tempest xxxx
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Hurdity

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 11:10:02 PM »

Hi 4candles

Just to say  :welcomemm: from me too. Sorry to hear about all your health problems.

I hope the HRT works for you - but I was wondering why you have been given Evorel conti - because this preparation is usually given to women who are truly m post-menopause ie have been without periods for at least 12 months which you haven't. Maybe as a trial?

If they don't work, personally I would try the sequi preparation - which gives two weeks of oestrogen only and two weeks of both oestrogen and progestogen and then a withdrawal bleed. This gives you a chance to see how you feel on the oestrogen only before adding in the progestogen.  However you may well be fine and give them a few more days yet - hopefully you will soon notice a reduction in frequency of flushes and sweats! :0

Hurdity x
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4candles

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2017, 09:09:39 AM »

Hi again

Thank you so much for your kind replies, insights and welcomes.

CLKD - I think taking an anti-depressant long-term is a small price to pay if it means you can have a life .. The Psychiatrist I saw was a one-off from the Crisis Team, not specifically a Menopause expert, but he spoke of mood/hormones and thought it was worth trying the HRT to see if it helps.
I agree, I don't have much to lose by trying the Quetiapine. It sounds a bit 'heavy duty' when you read about it though. I think I will give the HRT a fair whack first and then try the Q if I'm still not well enough.
I'm not quite at the needing-a-wig stage yet, but the way things are going, I may well have to consider that, so, yes, could you tell me how to find the links to various hairdressers please? Thank you.

Tempest - Thank you for your heartfelt response and reassurances. My forum name landed quite randomly in my brain in a rare light moment. Glad you like it :) You are absolutely spot on about the hormonal disruption and neuroendocrine maze (hell?!) I heard a radio programme recently which featured a woman who had had Post-Partum Psychosis, and, low and behold, at the Menopause, the Psychosis came back. My Mum, who is Bi-Polar, also went to pieces at the Menopause. I simply don't understand why Nature has inflicted such sufferings as part of 'natural' processes! Interesting that you are contemplating Quetiapine too (of course i've already read far too much about it). The Psychiatrist said it comes 'with a cost', referring to the heavy sedation it can involve. I'm certainly not ruling out trying it in an attempt to improve the quality of my life. Everyone reacts so individually to different medications don't they?
I just don't feel anything like the person I was and the distress over my hair just makes me feel I am never going to feel okay again, even if I get the hormones and mental health on an even keel.
I have often mused on the Fibromyalgia/CFS diagnosis. The symptoms certainly crept up during the Perimenopause .. I did silly amounts of research, not accepting the general 'mystery' which shrouds the 'conditions' and always wondering why women are affected far more than men, and, often, women of a 'certain age'. I am also tentatively wondering if, since the M has really kicked in, the aches actually aren't as nasty (I was aware of this before staring the HRT). It may be a coincidence but it would help amidst this mess to have one less thing to worry about ???
And I totally agree about self-love and self-care. I can manage the latter, but not the former ...

Hurdity - Thanks for welcoming me and for your advice. When I spoke to the Dr about HRT I mentioned that I'd find it difficult to deal with a bleed because it would remind me of former fertility/grief over childlessness. She prescribed the Conti but I did question that because it's less than 12 months since I had a period, as you say. She double-checked in a great big medical tome and said it was ok to take the Conti if my period was 6 months plus ago. So I went with it. Of course I realize that I may bleed anyway as my body adapts to the HRT. I'm very daunted by it all, especially as, reading on this forum, this HRT may not be hair-friendly :( I do look forward to the night-sweats clearing off though. I find these far more intolerable than the hot flushes in the day!

Thank you again for your support X
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 09:12:58 AM by 4candles »
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CLKD

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2017, 10:12:26 AM »

I am going out soon shopping for pyjamas - I know how to live  ;D but dropped by:

Dr Kathleen Dalton in the 1970s/80s found a huge relationship between hormones and mood i.e. Pre-Menstrual Tension.  She set up National Association for Pre-menstrual Syndrome [NAPS] and they Staff there advised me to eat every 3 hours.  That is a carbohydrate diet to be spread across 24 hours for ever.  This evens out blood sugar levels to stop that awful dip when the body is hungry which can cause anxiety. 

It took me several goes B4 I realised how important eating little and often regularly.  Even in the night.  At the time I had a puppy who needed to pee in the early hours, she soon learned that there were biscuits by the bed when we got back inside  ;D.

Do you feel less alone?  The Psychiatrist seems to relate hormones and mental health and is treating you as a person not a condition.  Maybe try the medication and see how 'dulled' it might make you feel, is it possible to get started on it and then adjust i.e. every other day or every 3rd day or does it need to be taken continually?

Also, if you have a close family member with manic depression (I refuse to use Bi-polar!] then you are apparently, predisposed to mental health problems.  So I was told  >:(

Off to search for pyjams!
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4candles

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2017, 11:55:58 AM »

I am going out soon shopping for pyjamas - I know how to live  ;D but dropped by:

Dr Kathleen Dalton in the 1970s/80s found a huge relationship between hormones and mood i.e. Pre-Menstrual Tension.  She set up National Association for Pre-menstrual Syndrome [NAPS] and they Staff there advised me to eat every 3 hours.  That is a carbohydrate diet to be spread across 24 hours for ever.  This evens out blood sugar levels to stop that awful dip when the body is hungry which can cause anxiety. 

It took me several goes B4 I realised how important eating little and often regularly.  Even in the night.  At the time I had a puppy who needed to pee in the early hours, she soon learned that there were biscuits by the bed when we got back inside  ;D.

Do you feel less alone?  The Psychiatrist seems to relate hormones and mental health and is treating you as a person not a condition.  Maybe try the medication and see how 'dulled' it might make you feel, is it possible to get started on it and then adjust i.e. every other day or every 3rd day or does it need to be taken continually?

Also, if you have a close family member with manic depression (I refuse to use Bi-polar!] then you are apparently, predisposed to mental health problems.  So I was told  >:(

Off to search for pyjams!
Buying pyjamas is full-on living as far as I'm concerned! (And i'm guessing you don't have night-sweats if you can wear PJs ;D)
The regular eating makes a lot of sense, For as long as I can remember, I feel jittery and more uncopey if i've gone too long without food, so that's a useful tip. As is having a night-time nibble as well ...
It sounds like i'd start the Quetiapine at a low dose for a couple of weeks, and see if I can tolerate it, then build up the dose if necessary. Being dulled off a bit would be welcome, given current anxieties, but I'm not so keen on the hung-over feeling possibility though. I'm to forge ahead with the Cipralex for another 6 weeks or so, then add the other med if necessary. Another option is to take 2 different anti-depressants. I'm spoilt for choice!
My grandmother had severe mental health issues too, and, as a teenager, I found my mum after the first of several suicide attempts (Lithium stabilized and saved her). So  nature/nurture proved to be a toxic combo for me. My heart goes out to folk with any health problems, but, to folk with Mental Health sufferings in particular. They are so insidious and can impair quality of life so much.

Thank you for asking .. I do feel less alone through posting on here. X
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CLKD

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 03:01:32 PM »

My Dad had Lithium with some success!  I won't use 'bi-polar' because people are more than 2 types of mood!  'bi-polar' to me suggests that a sufferer is either so depressed they can't move or so high that they never sleep, Dad was both at times but did have some even-ness too.

Have a look-see at the NAPS web-site and see whether there is a Forum where you could ask advice about eating regularly.  It certainly helped me a lot when I was peri..   Also eating slow release foods stuffs, i.e. porridge  :-X  :beaurk:, bananas, dried fruits and nuts have been useful as have those energy bars/drinks that the Pro-cyclists take, Dextrose tablets have been a Life-saver.  Keeping hydrated helps too.

On the AD I swallow: 5mg in the morning and 10mg at night plus 20mg BB morning and night, helps keep me OK.  Eating regularly is a must otherwise ........  :(.  I do feel hung over some mornings or head-achey but it's worth it to be able to function.  If I feel too hung over I miss a complete evening's worth of medication (sorts my bowels too  8))

Keep posting!
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babyjane

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 05:02:25 PM »

Hi 4candles, welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing.  Yes, my chronic anxiety and moderate depression (which I didn't realise I had until this last year) hit me with a bang 2 christmasses ago so I guess the lowered levels of oestrogen could have been a factor.  I also take Cipralex, low dose and, like CLKD, probably need to take it long term but I am struggling with needing meds and still fighting it at the moment but I think common sense will eventually prevail and I will realise the benefit of the support for my brain.  I feel better on it than off it.

Sharing with others who understand is certainly therapeutic and I owe some of the ladies here a lot of thanks, they know who they are.

Keep posting, and yes, I love the 4candles sketch too  ;)
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Hurdity

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2017, 06:07:36 PM »


Hurdity - Thanks for welcoming me and for your advice. When I spoke to the Dr about HRT I mentioned that I'd find it difficult to deal with a bleed because it would remind me of former fertility/grief over childlessness. She prescribed the Conti but I did question that because it's less than 12 months since I had a period, as you say. She double-checked in a great big medical tome and said it was ok to take the Conti if my period was 6 months plus ago. So I went with it. Of course I realize that I may bleed anyway as my body adapts to the HRT. I'm very daunted by it all, especially as, reading on this forum, this HRT may not be hair-friendly :( I do look forward to the night-sweats clearing off though. I find these far more intolerable than the hot flushes in the day!

Thank you again for your support X

So sorry about this 4candles and I quite understand re the bleed and fertility - but yes this progestogen is one of the androgenic types - so if it doesn't suit there are others which are less so.

Hurdity x  :bighug:
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4candles

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2017, 11:48:44 AM »

Thank you for further replies folks.

CLKD .. It's great that you have found a medication regime that works so well for you. That's a major achievement in itself. I will check out the website you mentioned.

Babyjane .. It does sound like the low oestrogen and your increased anxiety wasn't just a coincidence. I have taken antidepressants for yonks and found that they appear to keep me away enough from the 'edge' (but often I don't realise they are actually helping until I decide to have a go without them. In my case, it's always been a big mistake to come off them.) I have really struggled with taking them too, and done far too much Googling ::) I was diagnosed with anxiety as well and I know Cipralex can be helpful with the depression/anxiety mix. I'm 5 weeks into taking 10mg now but not feeling any better. Apparently it may take longer to become effective but it's so hard waiting! But if you feel better on them than off them, that admission alone suggests that common sense is already prevailing ;)

Hurdity .. thank you for that info. Which section of the forum would be the best place to ask about whether any other members have Androgenetic Alopecia? It is utter torment to me at the moment, on top of everything else :(
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Hurdity

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2017, 12:02:31 PM »

4candles if you pose the question in the Other Health Issues section with that name in the title - and maybe a translation - then hopefully it will catch other women's attention. I think there a re women with similar problems - definitely hair issues - not sure about that one....

Hurdity x
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4candles

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Re: New member with a lot of gloom ..(apologies)
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2017, 04:50:18 PM »

Thank you once more Hurdity .. I've done as you've suggested ;)
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