Dealing with Depression in Perimenopause

Posted , 12 users are following.

I'm wondering how other women are dealing with depression in perimenopause. I guess that I am hoping that there is some miracle cure out there. I have been trying to just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.

I have kept a journal from the start, and I can see that things have really intensified in the last year. Prior to that, mood-wise, I was stable. I am turning 50 later this year.

My periods have also changed dramatically: much lighter and shorter. Often, I start spotting on about day 18 of my cycle. 

Some weeks, my moods are fairly stable. In fact, at some times, I feel totally peaceful and blissfully happy. Then, the darkness descends again. It's so difficult shifting between these opposite mind states.

I don't want to take pharmaceuticals, but it is so challenging to walk this path unmedicated.

I keep telling myself that I am so strong and can get through anything, but when I feel down, I tend to have negative thoughts about myself and my life; when this happens, I tell myself that it is just hormones, as, when I feel well, I am confident, energized, and excited about life.

I have a great life: lots of friends, a loving boyfriend, work I enjoy, a home by the sea, lots of interests. I just feel sad that I don't seem able to consistently enjoy what I have. I feel like I am living my life on pause.

Any feedback would be so greatly appreciated.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Bev,

    Your post so resonated with me.  I am in the same boat as they say.  I am past perimenopause and now without a period for over 2 years.  I keep hoping that the emotional and physical angst that I feel will lift for good but I am beginning to lose hope.  I suffer from both anxiety and bouts of depression.  I agree that the shift between these emotions is so difficult.  I too have days when I am at peace and blisssfully happy as you say.  Those are the times that keep me going.  When I am at my worst I try to remember the mantra "This too shall pass.".  I have not tried medication other than an occasional lorazapam for when my anxiety ramps to true panic.  Fortunately, that hasn't happened but 3 times in the last 6 months or so.  The depression is tough though.  It's as if my whole body feels sluggish and the exhaustion is hard to overcome.  There are times that I feel a shell of my former self.  I miss the old me.  Where did she go?  I have no solutions to offer - just camaraderie.  Wishing us all a better day.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev,

    I am the same, I wish there was a miracle cure, I'd tell every woman going through it.

    I've tried a couple different anti depressants, one helped a tiny bit, but then stopped working, the second one made everything way worse, my doctor has tried for a third one but I refuse to take anymore prescriptions and haven't been on any for about a year.

    That's the thing, I sometimes have a stretch of days or even a few weeks where I feel great....then the dark cloud sneaks back in. I get very negative about myself, my life, I tell myself it's hormones, but it's really rough to argue with some days.

    The thing I hate most is when I get in the mood where everything and everyone annoys me....I won't let myself say things out loud but Im sure my eyes give dirty looks. I hate that I feel so mean and negative inside towards some people and have little patients....I think God Im becoming one of those cranky mean old bags. I hope not. Well so far I recognize it and do my best to keep it inside, but still my eyes may be saying it.

    I really try the :great fulness thinking and saying positive things, sometimes it works, sometimes I feel Im faking it.

    I also try telling myself "this is the biggest fight you have ever faught, once it's over I look back and think Im one strong woman to have made it through that" I can't wait till I can say that smile.

    If I figure out something I'll certainly tell everyone smile

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    • Posted

      What a great response, Samantha! As women going through depression in perimenopause, we are definitely strong! It's incredible what we have to go through! 

      One day it will be over for us, and then we can do our "happy dance"! Until then, we persevere.

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  • Posted

    I just want to say that I could've written each you ladies' posts...the back n forth between anxiety and depression is exhausting. But - I, too, refuse to give up hope...this, too shall pass; I am grateful for my life and all the good in it. I think what really bothers me the most is the guilt I feel about feeling anxious and then depressed. Sometimes i tell myself, "how dare I..." then i ask for forgiveness.

    Because i cannot help it, the feelings are real.

    Hugs to all...i think we're here to help others through.

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  • Posted

    I can relate. I take meds for my mental illness but, me and my psychdoc have made adjustments here and there as my perimenopause has been intensifying. One thing that did help me quite a bit was progesterone cream. I apply a dose of 45mg per day at night before bed. It can also be used to help control migraine increases (which I have). I also find that doing guided meditations (lots on youtube) really help me. My friend came over one day and helped me make notes of positivity that I can say to myself when I am freaking out. They say things like, I am loved, I have my s**t together, I am in control of my life, My emotions are all good. It sounds stupid but, it does help. There are supplements to help mood that are found at a respectable health store. Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Valerian. 

    I too can identify with the awareness of the sudden shifts in mood. It is freaky! It is so strange to suddenly have my mental illness presenting differently than it used to. One thing my psychiatrist (who is amazing) said to me is that a lot of women blame the moods on mental illness when in fact even those who don't have any illness get similar symptoms. In the end we need to find a way to accept these emotions and not judge them. I knooooww that is hard. BUT, we are women and we are strong and sensitive - this time is all about shifts and changes. Take care. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Bev, thanks so much for posting this, I could have written it myself, For the past 2 years I’ve got spells of intense anxiety and depression for 10-12 days generally, and then it lifts for another 10-12 days and then it descends again...so helpful to hear I’m not alone as it’s very difficult to confide in people, I got some relief about 18 months ago when I started oestrogen gel, felt amazing for 5 months then it just stopped working so I came off it, though it was encouraging to see that hrt can help, so I’m seeing a gyno at the end of the month to try other options, I’m also trying methyl folate - a broken down form of folic acid, google it, it has some great reviews and there was a thread on here a couple of years ago discussing the benefit with peri menopause, we will be ok, love to all you ladies xxxx
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  • Posted

    oh yes Bev  this is me.  When I'm well I feel full of life and start making new plans,  but I've learned it can change dramatically, over a matter of days sometimes for me.  When I feel unwell again I don't want to go anywhere see anyone and people wonder why I change my mind about plans I've made.  It feels exactly like a rollercoaster, the drops are so dramatic.  I've put up with it for too long, I have looked after myself through this, eaten well, taken exercise etc., but it makes no difference whilst I am still going through this and not knowing how long more for, is the worst feeling too.  i want to just feel well

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    • Posted

      I know. It's crazy, isn't it?! Now, I am feeling well, and am I so productive. Life feels easy, and I am so excited about the future. I try not to get too hopeful, as it can switch so quickly. I then feel totally bleak, and, try as hard as I may, it is SO hard to find positivity, and to believe that the mood will shift again. I just drink in all of the good times while they are here. 

      I agree. It seems that nothing will make any difference. It is only time and waiting for the hormones to shift again. I am a super healthy person: active every day, eating well etc..., but when the darkness comes, I feel powerless against it. 

      It feels like I am living with two totally different people. It is SO bizarre! It's hard to believe that hormones can do everything that they do.

      Hugs and strength to us all!

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  • Posted

    I am having same experiences too but more nerve racking. A feeling of toppling over, Nausea, terrible bloating, feel like I am slowly dying from some unknown illness, as soon as I am having a few good days it starts all over gain, Indigestion, acid reflux and the list goes on. Has anyone have bloating accompanied by constipation?

    I am sick and tired of being sick and tired with low energy and feeling sick most of the time.

    I really try and mask it because I don't know how to explain what is happening and why it is happening. I was happy when I stumbled on this forum and realized that other women are going through the same and I am not dying. LOL!

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  • Posted

    I can only tell you what I think worked for me.  I had 8 to 10 years of crazy anxiety...crazy thoughts...suicidal thoughts.  Scared myself silly.  Didn't trust myself at all.

    This was from about 2010 on...but got really bad starting 2012 when suddenly the dizziness hit...couldn't even drive for two years.  2016 was so bad with depression and anxiety that I didn't even want to get out of bed anymore.  I hated everyone so intensely during that year!

    In November 2016 after attempting to leave my husband 5 times. lol!  and having terrible suicidal thoughts, a friend introduced me to Bach's remedies.  They helped immediately.  There are 38 different remedies.  I carried the rescue remedy in my purse full time, and took two drops of 5 others dailey for about 6 months.

    By April 2017 I was not needing them anymore.  They heal emotions...they change thought patterns.  I have no idea how...but they do!  I found myself thinking better, feeling better. But still not a lot of energy...and I am a very high energy person.

    In August 2017 i found a high potency vitamin that I take every day now along with 2 vitamin D.

    And I have to say that I am feeling fantastic!  

    I am postive, energetic, no anxiety except the odd thought that warns me that my period is coming the next day.

    I am 48.

    I have no idea what the rest of this peri will bring.  I know I still have a few years left of hormone changes.  But for now...I feel great and will continue what I am doing!

    I am travelling again!  Loving life...loving the people around me.  No fear, no thoughts, and I get out of bed each morning looking forward to the day ahead.

    I hope you find something to help.  Watch your sugar intake.  Eat clean, real food.

    I forgot to say I also did a sugar detox in there as well.

    Hugs!

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