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As I approach menopause, and things have started to get a little erratic hormonally, I am becoming increasingly concerned that menopause is going to cause a big emotional shit show for me and I'll end up more destabilized than I already am. Pdoc has said that in his experience with patients it doesn't necessarily change anything. Wondering if anyone here can speak to your experiences, and whether/how menopause affected your MI. I've heard a lot about middle of the night anxiety, which is an awesome thing to look forward to. But how were you otherwise? Did anything get better? Right now I'm feeling like I'm in perpetual PMS even though my period is like two weeks late, and I'm wondering if I can look forward to feeling shitty all the time for two years. I just can't with this right now.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Unstrung Harp said:

 Wondering if anyone here can speak to your experiences, and whether/how menopause affected your MI. 

Keep in mind that this is just my own experience, and you might not experience what I went through.

Basically, I went through menopause about 6 years ago.....I didn't have any hot flashes, which was lucky for me....Doc said that not everyone gets them....My periods just kept getting further and further apart until they stopped..

I can't lie, though....Menopause caused my MI to get much worse......I didn't even have an anxiety disorder  before menopause....I still don't know what triggered the severe anxiety, the OCD, or the chronic insomnia that I'm still dealing with, even now, 6 years later........I can't even work anymore because it's so bad.

Before menopause, I just had the severe depression, now I have anxiety disorders on top of that.

I truly hope you don't experience anything like this.

Edited by CrazyRedhead

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Rage. Extreme rage. Started estrogen replacement, and it’s gone, poof. Irritable, yes. Rage, no. Good luck. 

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1 hour ago, CrazyRedhead said:

Keep in mind that this is just my own experience, and you might not experience what I went through.

Basically, I went through menopause about 6 years ago.....I didn't have any hot flashes, which was lucky for me....Doc said that not everyone gets them....My periods just kept getting further and further apart until they stopped..

I can't lie, though....Menopause caused my MI to get much worse......I didn't even have an anxiety disorder  before menopause....I still don't know what triggered the severe anxiety, the OCD, or the chronic insomnia that I'm still dealing with, even now, 6 years later........I can't even work anymore because it's so bad.

Before menopause, I just had the severe depression, now I have anxiety disorders on top of that.

I truly hope you don't experience anything like this.

 

35 minutes ago, DammitJanet said:

Rage. Extreme rage. Started estrogen replacement, and it’s gone, poof. Irritable, yes. Rage, no. Good luck. 

That's disheartening. Thanks for answering though.

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Just now, Unstrung Harp said:

 

That's disheartening. Thanks for answering though.

No no...it doesn’t happen to everyone...don’t worry about one person’s experience. Please?

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20 minutes ago, DammitJanet said:

No no...it doesn’t happen to everyone...don’t worry about one person’s experience. Please?

I know it's just anecdotal and that not everyone has a hard time. It's just something I'm worried about lately because I haven't been doing all that well in general and at some point before long I have to worry about menopause on top of that. But I did surprisingly well during and after pregnancies, so maybe this will be like that for me. I just feel like I'm stuck in PMS right now and it's making me worry.

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The during and after pregnancy does make it sound hopeful. I was that way too, maybe just a bit hypo, but no crashes, no big mood cycles during those times.

Like CRH, my period just kinda slowly vanished. Not really sure if I even had hot flashes, I don’t have a/c during the summer, so maybe I was just hot. And I can easily overheat in winter indoors, so <shrug> maybe I didn’t. 

I’ve been through a shit-ton of stress these past few years, so I would think that would just aggravate things, but my mood cycles have not been as erratic, and the highs and lows don’t seem as sharp. Definitely not when compared to a decade ago and beyond. I mean shit, my studio burned and my husband died, but no big crash, no deep depression. Did get hypo this spring, but that might just be due to stress easing up. I also seemed to have gained patience lately, which is a shocker. 

I guess all I’m saying is, don’t believe it *has* to be bad. Maybe this is temporary (I hope), I know you’ve been under a lot of stress. Fingers crossed this is just a blip that will ease up. 

*oh, and I think, IIRC, my last period was sometime around October-ish 2017. I really wasn’t keeping track until I noticed it wasn’t showing up. 

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50 minutes ago, Unstrung Harp said:

 

That's disheartening. Thanks for answering though.

Please don't take my experience personally......It definitely doesn't happen to everyone.

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2 hours ago, Rabbit37 said:

The during and after pregnancy does make it sound hopeful. I was that way too, maybe just a bit hypo, but no crashes, no big mood cycles during those times.

Like CRH, my period just kinda slowly vanished. Not really sure if I even had hot flashes, I don’t have a/c during the summer, so maybe I was just hot. And I can easily overheat in winter indoors, so <shrug> maybe I didn’t. 

I’ve been through a shit-ton of stress these past few years, so I would think that would just aggravate things, but my mood cycles have not been as erratic, and the highs and lows don’t seem as sharp. Definitely not when compared to a decade ago and beyond. I mean shit, my studio burned and my husband died, but no big crash, no deep depression. Did get hypo this spring, but that might just be due to stress easing up. I also seemed to have gained patience lately, which is a shocker. 

I guess all I’m saying is, don’t believe it *has* to be bad. Maybe this is temporary (I hope), I know you’ve been under a lot of stress. Fingers crossed this is just a blip that will ease up. 

*oh, and I think, IIRC, my last period was sometime around October-ish 2017. I really wasn’t keeping track until I noticed it wasn’t showing up. 

That's encouraging. I think my mother said once she barely noticed menopause. But she also didn't have MI.

1 hour ago, CrazyRedhead said:

Please don't take my experience personally......It definitely doesn't happen to everyone.

Understood. Thanks for sharing anyway.

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I don’t notice it affecting my mental health.  I had a hysterectomy in my  late 40s with ovaries left intact, so I have to go by other signs.  I am 55.  But, when my son started weaning from breastfeeding, I had my first psychotic break.  Don’t know if they are related but it was a hormonal change.

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12 hours ago, confused said:

I don’t notice it affecting my mental health.  I had a hysterectomy in my  late 40s with ovaries left intact, so I have to go by other signs.  I am 55.  But, when my son started weaning from breastfeeding, I had my first psychotic break.  Don’t know if they are related but it was a hormonal change.

Thanks. I guess I’m curious if i should be advocating for some kind of hormone treatment approach with my pdoc and gynocologist to smooth the way, since I can get fairly intense PMS symptoms and am thus worried that the hormonal changes will really mess me up, but I don’t know what that would look like. I’ve been looking at some herbal teas and supplements, but most of them seem to address hot flashes, which are not an issue for me yet. I ordered some dong quai tea, which I think is supposed to help balance estrogen.

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9 minutes ago, Unstrung Harp said:

Thanks. I guess I’m curious if i should be advocating for some kind of hormone treatment approach with my pdoc and gynocologist to smooth the way, since I can get fairly intense PMS symptoms and am thus worried that the hormonal changes will really mess me up, but I don’t know what that would look like. I’ve been looking at some herbal teas and supplements, but most of them seem to address hot flashes, which are not an issue for me yet. I ordered some dong quai tea, which I think is supposed to help balance estrogen.

Omg, dong quai, please be very careful. That stuff is potent, and maybe not in a good way. I was trying to straighten out my cycles (late 90’s), they’ve been irregular my entire life. Took it for a couple of weeks, then my period started... and it was heavy for three weeks straight, even after I had stopped taking it. I had never had that happen before. It is very scary stuff, IMO. 

I did take chasteberry (vitex, capsules), and it straightened my cycles out, don’t recall any s/e. Don’t know what all it does, you might look into it, much gentler. 

While on the subject of herbals, St. John’s wort grew me into the worst mixed episode ever. Strongly suggest avoiding it at all costs. 

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1 hour ago, Rabbit37 said:

Omg, dong quai, please be very careful. That stuff is potent, and maybe not in a good way. I was trying to straighten out my cycles (late 90’s), they’ve been irregular my entire life. Took it for a couple of weeks, then my period started... and it was heavy for three weeks straight, even after I had stopped taking it. I had never had that happen before. It is very scary stuff, IMO. 

I did take chasteberry (vitex, capsules), and it straightened my cycles out, don’t recall any s/e. Don’t know what all it does, you might look into it, much gentler. 

While on the subject of herbals, St. John’s wort grew me into the worst mixed episode ever. Strongly suggest avoiding it at all costs. 

Good to know. One of the herbals I was looking at recommended for menopause symptoms, maybe chasteberry, was said to interact with antipsychotics, so I have to watch out for that too.

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Only my experience.  Menopause impacted my MI a lot.    I was more symptomatic.  The ranges of my moods became more extreme. 

I had hot flashes.   They are annoying but nothing horrid. I still have them from time to time.   

I was at the most unstable of my life.  Lots of other stuff was going on so it may be hard to separate it all.   As I was less stable I was going through med changes.   Lots of variables. 

I am done now.  In general back to regular bipolar moods.   Lol regular?       

For me menopause was over a long period.    Not always bad, not always good.   

In the end it ends.   And then IT ENDS. 

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Hmmm. Well I had hot flashes for mainly about 10 years and then at times after that. On the one hand, I never had any mood changes I attributed to menopause. And I had severe PMS in my 30s. But on the other hand, I’d mainly been depressed for my mood, and then I was post menopausal when I had a terrible manic episode and seemed to tilt more toward manic ever since. I can’t say if it was related. And I was anxious anyway but I wouldn’t say worse, well, maybe not generally anyway but I’m a bit more anxious about going places and driving. I wouldn’t say menopause was something I noticed affecting my moods but I still had my ovaries. However, then they had to be removed due to a cancer and at that point I did see moods—I hated my life. Then I got on estrogen and life was good, especially my sleep. I realized menopause had messed with my sleep. 

So, I think it really varies how menopause hits us.  It can be hard if hot flashes from hell give you insomnia but not everyone gets that like I had.  Try to get a feel how your Drs feel about HRT so you know what to expect—my PCP would never give me any HRT, it was a GYN I finally saw who let me try it and stay on it.  I was so foggy headed without it.  I’d be wary of herbals interacting with psych meds but my GYN did say acupuncture can help menopause symptoms  oh, FYI, some antidepressants control hot flashes and in fact are used for them and menopausal moods in low doses sometimes  so anyone on them might have a bit different experience.  Honestly, for me the hot flashes and sleep issues were the worst. PMS was more when I had moods that were extreme.  But again, everyone is different.   

 

 

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1 hour ago, WholeNewHomeBody said:

I really think Spinal Tap attempts to explains it best:

Hope this doesn't contravene rules.

Ha!. Good analogy.

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It seems like my mother's depression got much better post-menopause than it was before menopause.  I find that hopeful.   I am just starting the postmenopausal years, so it will be interesting to see what happens.  I know pregnancy wasn't too bad for my MI symptoms, but considering I'd been on crack before I got pregnant,  anything would have seemed like an improvement.  But I digress....

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I am in perimenopause not post menopause, however my auto correct apparently does not like the word perimenopause and keeps trying to unhelpfully change it for me 

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