depression and menopause

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi Ladies

Its been a year now and ive been depressed i mean seriously depressed. Prior to meno i did not experience such low mood as i do now. All of the symptoms that most of you describe ive had to a degree, i just feel like im in another world.

Ive tried different antidepressants and they are not tolerable, i dont last but a few days.

Im pretty scared because i dont know how long i can keep up the show..facing the day everyday. I have two awesome boys that are mid teens and i raise them alone. The responsibiity of them relying on me, is too much. I have moments that are ok, but for the most part i have to fake my way through life and its exhausting. 

ive tried bio identicals, yoga, everything, and my brain is not the same.

Its dreadful. My labs even on the saliva tests that i did show that the hormones are fairly balanced which causes me even more concern. How could i have lost all happiness and my mind at 53? Prior to this i did not know about anxiety or depression. I would get moody and down every month but it was short lived.

Never have i felt so scared and misunderstood in my life. By far the worst thing that has every happened to me. I want to feel normal so badly, i want to live life, but its not there its not in me. I feel almost ashamed and do not know how to explain to my kids what has happened because I myself do not know what has happened..

I wake up with a sense of DOOM and fear, i feel adrenaline rushes and am absolutely exhausted the same time. I keep going because i dont know what else to do.

my blood work is normal. adrenals, thyroid etc. im really having a hard time.

I have no appetite, im nauseous nervous, scared, im transformed into someone i dont know anymore. Anyone understand?



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37 Replies

  • Posted

    I completely understand, and I am right there with you. This has been the most terrifying time of my life. I feel that I have lost myself entirely! I have kept a daily journal for the past 18 months, and I always go back and read the days when I felt well to remind myself that happiness is still in there and is a part of me. My best hunch is that time is the only answer, but when you are in the middle of such darkness, this certainly doesn't feel like consolation. Just know that there are so many women out there, just like you, who are trying to survive this nightmare. Also know that there will be an end to it all. I remind myself that every step forward is a step closer to this nightmare ending! You will get through it. You this forum to help yousmile

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    • Posted

      Thanks a bunch Bev

      Its important to know im not alone. I try so many different approaches and to no avail. Its so difficult when you dont have a support system and your kids are relying on you to be strong when clearly im fragile.

      I have journaled here and there trying to describe my feelings, and to sort this all out.

      when i feel good i cant believe that i ever felt so bad. Most of the days however are low, and so its 28/30 days dark.

      I may revisit another antidepressant, ive been told that you really need to get through a rough period so your brain can adjust to the med and then you get better and find relief. I dont know at this point. its kind of creepy to be adding a medication to my already wierd self you know? Its like 

      i do not want to add insult to injury.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement they mean a lot.

      Im hoping that it does get better in time, i dont know how long but it cant be forever.


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    • Posted

      I get those deep depressive symptoms as well. Unfortunately I also get severe anxiety to go with the. I have a teen kid as well. I don't think it it is only kids that rely on you being strong, in general people expect you to be strong and beneficial for them, otherwise they have no use for you.  That's life. 

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  • Posted

    I too understand all that you have described.  My wake up feelings of dread are definitely better than they were so hold on and keep going. Your boys will help you through.

    Try taking a Vit B complex, b vits are very good for our nervous system and have helped me, also magnesium is good too.

    Thinking of you Mauiblue.


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  • Posted

    Hi Maui, yes I understand. And keep telling yourself it’s hormones doing it. I’m 53 too, doesn’t matter what your blood work shows, you ARE perimeno! I had doctors telling me that I was nowhere near meno, even though my periods are all over the place. A hormone doc is the one who told me everything was very low. I’m guessing yours is too. Have you tried some otc progesterone cream? Might be good for starters unless you can get to a doctor who does bioidenticals. 

    Hormones can really mess with your head. Don’t let them win!!

    Your boys need their mama!

    And the world is a better place with you in it. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you suzanne

      You are very sweet to say those things.

      Im on bio identicals and that is the only thing im really doing aside from half tab of valium if im sleep deprived early morning hours.

      So even with the bhrt, i dont seem to balance. I almost think it doesnt really even matter to take the bio identicals, because my labs show me to be pretty balanaced. (im menopausal now -1 yr w/o period)

      So maybe not even take these, who knows. Believe me ive tried and am trying everything. 

      I think i just need to soldier it through, what else is there? I want to live life and am opposed to copping out of life, i dont believe it that. 

      Thanks again


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  • Posted

    Hi -  I've dealt with severe depression on and off for most of my life and I did find it getting worse through perimenopause. I am now 51 and started HRT, which I feel is helping. I also practice yoga and get plenty of exericse. I also have SAD and it's been sunny a lot where I live, so maybe that has a lot to do with it, though I have become severely depressed in the summer at times.

    I would say keep on a strict schedule of exercise daily - yoga is wonderful for the parasympathetic nervous system. I know what you mean about fear and dread. I have it all the time though I wonder if it's me being 51,never married, not much family and watching my parents get older and me not being well off at all due a disability with the depression all my life and Fibro/CFS.

    But the main thing I wanted to tell you is that getting in a dry sauna a few times a week, has also been a great help for me. It boosts endorphins and other neurotransmitters and relaxes me, promotes deep sleep, and I tend to feel better the next day.

    Do some research on sauna use for brain health and see if there is one nearby you that you can go use a few times a week - or if you can, buy one for your home. They are about $1500 to get a far infrared one. I am so happy I discovered the sauna for depression and anxiety. And I am glad I finally got on HRT as things were getting worse and worse for me. But I am still dealing with anxiety and dread and should cut down on caffeine.

    Best to you!

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    • Posted

      Hi Catherine

      I would absolutely love to get into a sauna no doubt but where we live there is no such sauna  sad

      I live on an island so there are minimal resources. I never thought of the infrared being good for depression and anxiety. What a great tip of advice. Perhaps down the road.

      Im sorry you have had a long bout with this. You are all to familiar with depression then. Do you take anything for it? I am thinking of giving another antidepressant a go i just dont think my brain does well with them. Im told to really hang in there until you feel better.

      I also used to have the stamina to exercise but im so weak i really can summon the energy. I should force myself. I know its great for mood. I try to do yoga and guided meditations whenever i can and that helps sometimes.. I have moments of positivity and im happy but its short lived.

      the morning hours are with anxiety about nothing. Its so strange. I am not trying to think of anything its just there with me.

      I like coffee and i know its really bad for us at this time, but its enjoyable, then i pay later. 

      Thank you for opening up and sharing. im grateful to be able to come here to know im not alone.


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  • Posted

    I am in a very bad place myself.  I have posted numerous times in this forum to different people regarding my symptoms (of which I have many)  I am 55 and have just reached menopause.

    The place I am in right now is that i do not allow myself to be happy.  If I do, I am afraid something bad is going to happen.  I literally go through the day in one mode, with no emotion.  I am actually so sad for myself!  

    It is actually bad, that I want to sit here and cry.


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    • Posted

      Hi Nancy

      I think that the root of you not letting yourself be happy is based on fear.

      I only say this because of how i feel. Most of my anxiety is fear.

      You can do small things that you give yourself permission to feel 'happy' about. Little accomplishments, then go back to your neutral mode. Its a form of protection for you. Its maybe your way of surviving psychological or emotional hurt. Our brains have weird ways of protecting ourselves that are disproportionate to the situation.

      I fret and worry so much, and I tell myself to let it go, but i cant. The depression is out of my control, i have no idea how to handle it. Ive tried, like i said in other posts, different things to help myself.

      I totally feel for you, im there... Lets hope the menopause goes by sooner than later.



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  • Posted

    Hi Mauiblue,

    I have tried numerous antidepressants to no avail. Like you, I don't seem to tolerate them very well. My psychiatrist told me that nothing trumps hormones, not even antidepressants. The best thing to do, he indicated was to recognize that I am on a rough patch of road, but that it will pass. That's the thing with feelings, even the darkest ones, they do come and go. Keep busy and try to distract yourself. Also, any time you feel well, relish it, record it, and then read it to yourself when depression comes back.

    It is awful, though, having to fake your way through life. I do that all the time because I refuse to give up. I keep reminding myself that they are only thoughts and feelings, and nothing is permanent, but it sure is tough to cope with. Sometimes I feel so sad that I can't enjoy life the way that I want to and the way that I used to.

    It is wonderful, though, to have a community of women to vent to because they are the only ones who truly understand. I have relied a lot on my boyfriend, my mother, and my close friends, and although they are great supports, it is hard for them to really know what is happening to me.

    Keep going, like the rest of us, and one day it will be over. NOTHING lasts forever!

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    • Posted


      What a powerful statement your psychiatrist made and it made me feel even more understood. Thank you for sharing this. Wow, yes the hormones are really something else. 

      Yes it seems like a lot of women are tolerant of the antidepressants during menopause or so it seems from what ive read. But for me it is like adding insult to injury. I already feel awful and they made me worse. Did you give them enough time to work and what were your side effects just curious.


      i do best when busy, working or whatever. Sometimes though the mind gets in the way and i am not able to be at peace even in my own skin and thats when it is rough.

      When im low on sleep and food its also very difficult. 

      Thank you for your inspirational words.

      Im not sure how all of us manage, with kids and work, its really challenging to say the least,



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    • Posted

      Hi Mauiblue,

      When on the antidepressants, I couldn't separate my perimenopause symptoms from antidepressant side effects. When I was on Trazodone, my psychiatrist indicated that it would probably only make my symptoms worse. He indicated that antidepressants only have efficacy for biological depression, but not for hormonal mood swings. He also told me that in his mind, going on hormones is "playing with fire". 

      Sometimes we just need to be patient with ourselves, our bodies, and our minds. I know that this can't last forever, so one day it will be over. In the meantime, I will do my very best to take care of myself and stay strong.

      In reading the boards, the only consistent recommendation for perimenopausal depression that I have seen is high doses of B6 (100 - 300mg daily), which I just started this morning. Having a bit of a better day, so not sure if it's already working, or if its placebo.

      Wishing you the very bestsmile

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    • Posted

      Hi Bev

      Yep i think the same. I sure wish i could see your psychiatrist, he/she sounds right on the money.

      As i was saying to many women find relief with HRT or bio identicals, and i thought that i would too, but i think that its maybe not so good to mess with these as they are powerful indeed and our bodies need to wind down on their own.

      I also dont think that bhrt can help with mood disorder/hormonal imbalances..Yes for sure it helps with the hot flashes etc.

      I could care less about hot flashes as they pale in comparison to losing your mind so to speak rolleyes

      I tried one night of trazadone, and it was scary, just as you dont really know what your feeling because you have two things going on in your head...i felt zombie like. I was desperate to sleep so the doc gave me a trial of them and i took 1/2 the 50 m. dose. 

      Yes the B's are awesome, always best to take them as methylfolated already converted to folate.

      i swear i do all of the things im able to do..Vit. D, B, fish oil, i dont drink i dont do anything to cause this so its all hormone related for sure.

      Thanks again, hope to hear back sometime its lovely to have support and reminders of our sanity..little things like that.confused


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    • Posted

      Hi Mauiblue,

      Yes, it's amazing to have a psychiatrist who doesn't push psychotropic meds.

      I agree that dealing with physical symptoms would be a cake walk compared to this!

      Well, we will be stronger in the end, and able to deal with anything else that comes our way.

      Like me, it sounds like you are doing all of the right things. It's only time.

      I have enjoyed our chats. Please keep in touch.

      Sending happy thoughtssmile

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    • Posted

      Hi Bev

      Thank you for the support, yes we are all in this together and it is to say the least 'character building at its highest intensity)

      I only wish this would happen to men instead of women because it would have been scientifically resolved in one way or another. 



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    • Posted

      Hi Mauiblue,

      That made me laugh re - if men had to contend with such challenges!

      I just count down the days and am so proud of myself for getting through each one.

      I would just love to return to stability and to be able to feel content and happy

      One day it will comesmile

      In the meantime, we keep forging ahead.

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