Feel like I've had a breakdown. Need encouragement!

Posted , 16 users are following.

Hi all, 

I'm just  47, was regular til last August, with no obvious peri signs, just lighter, shorter periods (4-5 days) for the past 7 years, when I missed a period for the first time. I had developed terrible constipation & felt very ill with it.  After that, by September, I literally don't know what happened. It was like my body literally went into shock & I ended up in hospital with a suspected heart attack. Uncontrollable body tremors, anxiety, panic attack, racing heart, dizzy, diahorea, pressure on my chest & throat, acid reflux. It wasnt a heart attack, but i continued to have these attacks almost daily for the next 3 months, with feeling woozy, nervous, spasms, jerking awake from sleep as soon as I'd nodded off, exhaustion, developed a dairy allergy, agonising reflux, sore tongue, 'lump in throat' tinnitus, vertigo, nausea, loss of balance, confusion, memory loss, stomach pain, chest tightness, breathlessness, joint pain, etc etc. I was so scared all the time!

Some of those symptoms eventually subsided, but then the dark suicidal depression, blurred, darkened vision, utter exhaustion, despair, doom, rock-bottom emotions, racing heart literally just walking to another room. I almost black out sometimes. I feel like I've 'lost' myelf, and have that 'out of body' feeling. I can feel some kind of 'cycle' still happening, & have had erratic bleeding, flooding, light, and missed periods. When I could manage to get to my doctor, I had blood tests and was told I was 'post-menopausal' which is ridiculous, and that 'it looks like you've come through it.' 

They chucked some HRT at me & anti-depressants, & anti-reflux & beta-blokas!!! I never take any meds normally. I tried the beta-blokas & had a horrific night, never again. I tried the anti-reflux but they made my head very very weird. Eventually I cut out dairy which stopped the reflux. I havn't used any thing else because of the side-effects, there's no way I could have felt more ill! I'd have had to have found a cliff to jump off!!

I've been in hospital 3 times. I havn't been able to work the whole time, we have a great coffee bar, which my husband & sons are now running. 

I can barely go out now because of the vertigo, disorientation and the feeling that nothing's real. 

I had a couple of strange thyroid tests back, but the endocrine Dr isn't worried about them. I've lost so much weight, I'm now 7st 13lbs (50kg), although I am making myself eat great food in spite of the nausea!! Test for Addisons disease came back fine. I'm eating good, taking cod liver oil, evening primrose & starflower oil, just started Menopace again (it was too hard on my stomach). 

Has anyone else felt this bad?? Is there anything I can do to ease the symptoms??

Got to say my family need the real me back. I'm the funny one that cheers everyone up, optimistic, creative. Now I feel like a crazy miserable shadow sad

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  • Posted

    Hi Brimbo, I don't have time for a long reply just now but wanted to let you know you are not alone. I was stunned reading your post - I almost thought I'd written it myself and forgotten! I've had such a similarly awful time since last October: Depression, anxiety, tremors, shaking, weight loss and digestive problems that hospitalised me for three nights in November. Gradually finding my way back but it's been horrendous. You will get through this and there are lots of women on here with similar stories. Hold on, we are all here for you.
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    • Posted

      Hi Ruthie

      Thank you so much for your lovely reply. It's been a comfort to know this really is just hormones. Who would have believed it! I've felt so healthy & young that I never even thought about the change of life. I'd been thanking God for my regular periods & never wanting them to stop as I know those good old hormones help keep you young! A few months later I've gone so grey, my skin has sagged, I've lost muscle, I have eye bags & feel 80 years old! I have promised myself when I get through the worst of this nothing is going to stop me, I'm bouncing right back into life!! xx

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    • Posted

      Your attitude has really lifted my spirits this evening, thank you.  I haven't experienced quite the severe symptoms you have but have felt in a storm for a good while now.
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  • Posted

    Hi Brimbo , you poor thing ! , sounds like you are having a dreadful time , I do have some of the symptoms you describe , aches ,joint pains , irritable bowel from time to time ! My anxiety attacks have definitely become more regular , after 15 years of hardly experiencing a panic attack , I used to suffer from the most horrendous panic attacks ,with a lot of the symptoms you are describing , that out of body feeling , feelings of losing control , racing heart ,feeling light headed etc etc ,those moments were the worst of my life and with those feelings came depression ! Seroxat SSRI was my life saver ,am on a very low dose now 10 mg but what I would say ,and like you I don't take pills easily , the antidepressants you have been prescribed may help these feelings ! I found that I had to start on a very low dose as initially it made my symptoms worse and gradually built the dose up ,like I say am now only on 10 mg ,but have noticed over the last year or so that just before my period is due ( I'm 50 this month) panic attacks have worsened , all due to peri I'm assuming ! My main problem is my mood swings , so up and down its ridiculous ,just hate feeling like the wicked witch of the west ( my poor husband is on the receiving end of it all ) really just want to be left alone a lot if the time ! Well most of it actually ! I totally understand that feeling of " I'm having a breakdown " , hopefully there is an end to this one day ! You sound as if you have a supportive family ! Maybe consider the anti depressants , you can always stop them ,but if you do decide to take them , give them time to work ! Best Wishes to you and you are most definitely not on your own ! X
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm hoping this site will help me through the bad days. I'm not happy to try the anti-depressants just yet, as I'm so sensitve to anything at the moment. I tried St.Johns Wort (very low dose) and had a very bad reaction to it. Anxiety went through the roof, suicidal thoughts were insane, so I stopped taking it. Shame as I thought it would be a relief sad

      Yes my husband & family are fantastic, my husband is a minister so prayer is available at all times of the night or day haha! I don't think I'm as bad as I was, & I'm working through personal issues that have come up. I think menopause 'unearths' hidden issues too. I've decided that as I'm incapacitated at the moment I might as well work on overcoming those little fears & disappointments that I usually ignore. Menopause seems to be much more than a hormonal 'change'. 

      Can't wait for the dark, mushy, lonely 'cocoon' stage to turn into the emerging glorious butterfly stage. smile smile

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  • Posted

    Brim, something went wrong and I lost everything I had already written...  All again.

    What happened to you happened to many here in some degree.  The thing about missing a period is the most significant thing... I went from completely health to miserably sick because I missed ONLY 1 period sad  If you were tested for everything and you are "health", try not concern very much, it makes you more "sick".  From what I have learned here, peri/menopause gets each one in its soft spot, some are joints, some are feelings, but in my personal experience, I would say it gets better over time and with some effort.  As you said, you are eating better already, so maybe you are losing weight because of it, or because you are overstressing. Finding the way out of depression is tricky, some do yoga, some take medicine, etc. in any case, I am certain that now you know you are not the only one, you will feel more confident.

    Good luck to you

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    • Posted

      Hi BellaRubia smile

      I like that 'it gets each one in its soft spot'

      The depression is probably the worst thing, it's been overwhelming. I know it's not me, it's something horrible happening to me. I'm a Christian, so I pray, & make sure what I say is positive even if I don't feel it. 

      I try to sing too. if I'm overwhelmed in tears, I've started praying for my kids, to divert too much intrespection. 

      I sure hope it gets better than this, even if it lasts a long time!

      Thanks for your answer smile smile

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    • Posted

      Happy to know that you are trying and somehow improving smile. Just remember, there are several options...  But, once you went to your doctor and everything is about fine, just give yourself a little time, do the basic, eat well, take your vitamins. Someone said about Magnesium, this is a good one, specially if you take calcium and vitamin D as you should.  Maybe you will improve just by doing that, without HRT and antidepressants, maybe not, but I tell you, I am pretty sure that if I had gone to a specialist complaining about this or that, he would probably find I had this, that and more.  LOL.  Got my point? It is a phase, if you are dealing relatively well, maybe you just need time.

      A little about antidepressants, from my point of view, of course. Excuse me if you - or any other who read this desagree, I am just trying to open up a "health" discussion here. First, I need to say that I have always been the happiest kind and the only thing I can not blame peri about is that. Even though, I do notice that ovet time I have became not so easily happy as I used to be. I know some women really have umbearable issues, and those need special help. I understand that. But I wonder, just wonder - we have hard lives (for easy it is), lots to do, families to care, or not, frustrations that appear over time and that we did not have when we are young - it is about normal not being a happy bird all the time!!! See, I was talking to a friend by phone, today.  She started taking antidepressants, She has known me from when I was a young lady, and she asked me if I was not a little depressed (?!) Get the point again? I am not questioning her reasons for taking medicine, I know her reasons and from my point of view, she needed.  But she is "up" and considering me down, lol.  Same way is society nowadays, or you are smilling all the time, or you have something wrong.  Really?!?!  Not sure.

       

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  • Posted

    Hello Brimbo,

    You poor girl, sounds like the hormone fluctuations really have a hold on you. I had a few symptoms in my forties but had regular periods. When I hit 50 I missed a few periods early in the year. All hell broke loose and I started having some pretty scary symptoms that landed me in the ER thinking I had a heart attack. Fortunately my heart was fine. Finding this forum made me realize it was hormones. I get different feelings all the time. Today, it's a slight ringing in my ears and a tingly feeling all over. My neck aches, my right leg felt like it was going numb. This is just one of the symptoms I get. The only difference is how I handle it. I do not let it turn into an anxiety attack anymore. I know it's hormones, I accept it and just try to work through it. I know that sounds easier than it is but  mind over matter does work to an extent. I let anxiety get to me at work, had a meltdown thinking I was dying and ended up in the ER only to find out, they couldn't find anything wrong ugh. embarrassing. Hang in there and try to relax as much as possible. Some go through this will less symptoms and some with more. It's a crappy time for us women but knowing we aren't alone....helps. Take Care Brimbo...hope things get better real quick for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nancy

      Thank you for your kind reply.

      A lady doctor I saw said that it's rare but your ovaries can suddely fail. I guess that's what happened to me, as I seemed to have everything at once. I felt like I was dying! Up until that point I have been so healthy. Eat healthy, swim, walk, run a coffee bar, I've got 5 kids, (mostly grown up) don't smoke or drink & have a good life. 

      The shock has been almost beyond human endurance. I tell you us women are made of some stuff to come through all this!! And when I am through this, we're having a BIG party! (So says my husband :D )

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    • Posted

      Well there's your problem! You need to be a couch potato, drink, smoke and eat lots of sweets lol. I admit I don't exercise, drink occasionally and don't smoke. In fact I live a very boring life compared to most people I know but thats just me and yes, us women can put up with a lot, probably why we generally out live men lol. I sure hope you feel better hun...
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    • Posted

      Brimbo, I took a lot of advice on here and started myself on vitamin supplements. I take Vit E, Vit B6, Vit B12, Evening Primrose, Vit D3, Centrum Silver, Probiotic and I take a calcium, magnesium and zinc combo.  It has reduced some of the nasty side effects of perimenopause. I sleep better since taking 1000 mg of evening primrose. I still have days when I get really weird feelings but I chalk it up to hormones and try not to panic but my energy level, although not where I would like it to be, is definitely better since taking the supplements. Doctors have little to nothing to offer us peri menopausal women because we are all so different so kind of have to experiment to find what works.
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    • Posted

      Writing again as this is the first post in all my trawling through the internet that I can identify very closely with.  I have felt really alone in the idea that my menopause just isn't normal!  It seems to have happened so quickly and I am having a hard time adjusting - I had very strange things going on last year and went back and forth to the doctor which I don't normally do.

      I just thought it was anxiety, then I thought it must be thyroid or another systematic disease.  It started with a skin reaction to a product which is unusual for me, my face reacted, swelling and after that went really dry and wrinkled.  Sagging continued all year, sleep was awful and I'd wake with fear running through my veins, difficulty swallowing at times with tight muscles in my neck.  Jaw clenching at night, hair falling out but then coming back fine.  Dry eyes coming and going.  Peeling lips.  Everything came and went in a flash.  Shivers like the flu whilst my body was hot (no sweat or hot flash as such), weak legs and fear....then it would all go away.  Doctors said it was stress.

      January this year I had a period that spotted for days after but also I had severe back pain, moving to my hip, nausea, bloating, jelly legs, migraine, constipation - all in the space of a few days.  I went to the doctor as the back pain made me think it was an ovarian cyst or something.  Blood tests for thyroid and hormone levels taken - phone call to say I was post, post, menopausal ?!!

      He mentioned the words ovarian failure and although they don't seem concerned about the 'suddenness' or whether this feels natural or not, I do.  It's been really isolating and strange, not what you read about with menopause.  So, in a nutshell, I think my ovaries shut down over those few days because I have now not had a period!  First time ever and my cycles have been normal. 

      This is hard to get my head around and you sound so philosophical it has helped me feel less 'mad'.  I've had the depression too, can't focus, completely scared, dizzy etc but since my periods stopping I have calmed down a lot........but......my muscles feel weaker, I haven't got my appetite back, I too have lost weight (not felt like eating) and still not sleeping well.  My breasts have gone soft, really upsetting and my body just feel different.

      People keep saying that menopause takes years for hormones to wind down - it really doesn't feel like this to me - how about you?   It feels like everything has switched off.

      I also don't want to take HRT for fear of going through this all over again but also because I don't even take paracetamol.

      My remedies have had to be - no work (self employed like you).  Trying to stay calm, accupuncture to rebalance me, breathing, meditation of sorts and trying not to freak out about all the changes. 

      I have added supplements, B vitamins, magnesium and now flaxseed since I found out these are my hormones - although I still find it hard to accept it isn't anything else because so far, apart from this post I have been reading accounts of menopause that sound similar but not as weirdly fluctuating as mine.

      I am 44 and struggling not to see this whole thing as ageing before my time - I look awul and have no energy.  Hopefully on the other side, all will be well smile

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Beetle.  Sorry for you sad. It is not different from what happened to me and many here.  I ALWAYS say, get all tested, to blame peri or menopause, but I heard this history before.  Do not dispair, things get better, believe.  Even in appearance, you will look and feel better when your hormones stabilize somehow.  For two, three months I had a terrible skin, hair, nails.  I look much better, now cheesygrinAnd I am not taking anything but vitamins.  Try to think it as a phase and find your ways, whatever they are.  Big hugs.
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    • Posted

      Hi Beetle!

      Wow isn't this absolutely the pits!? I'm so sorry for your suffering. You're even younger than me for this to happen. I have aged so quickly it's frightening. Always looked young for my age, & still turned heads haha. But now I wake up each morning looking like my own Grandmother, & that's not a joke. My boobs for goodness sake!! 

      I had the peeling lips last week too. And yes, this has all happened very suddenly. I don't know about you, but I was crazy busy the whole year before, pushed myself to the max physically & emotionally. So I was thinking there's an elemant of burnout as well, which has made menopause symptoms worse. 

      I'm now wanting my cycle to just stop if it's going to calm thing down a bit. Although some women say it get's worse (not actually possible in our cases I think!) but i suppose we're all different.

      To be honest I'm praying a lot, reading my Bible, getting my friends to pray for me too. I've been to the docs loads of times, & i will go again. I've done loads of research, educated myself, eating the best i can, taking what I hope are the right supplements, and continually tell myself that this will end, and I will get through this. Even when i feel i won't. 

      I'm the same as you with the hrt, not wanting to do this all over again some time in the future, although i know it has really helped some women, including friends of mine. I was talking to a lady yesterday who had to come off at age 67, after trying & failing to come off twice before, & she said it was terrible! So i guess we've all got to decide for ourselves. 

      I hope you've got somebody supporting you, this can be so hard xxxx

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    • Posted

      Hi - I looked great for my age too - plump cheeks (all gone).  Interesting you say an element of burnout, I think I have that too.  This has followed a couple of really emotionally stressfull years and me looking to turn a page in my life - I didn't bank on this transition though!

      My period has not arrived as usual and I do think some of the symptoms are less, definately not so pronounced..........everything could change.

      I am going to have another blood test next week to confirm their suspicion that all has stopped and talk about HRT - even though I still feel very confused about that.  I don't want to 'miss out' on something that might be good for me, just because it doesn't really fit my values as it were - it's a bit tricky.

      I don't have a great deal of support - but I do have my supplements, accupuncture, writing on here and a counsellor that I was seeing before all this happened.

      As you say, it will end.  I shall try to keep the faith.  xx

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    • Posted

      Do you know what I would like to hear from the doctors?

      - take HRT, it is not cancerous and will make you look and feel younger for longer;

      - we will find the dose you need, and you won't have weird reactions;

      - when it is time to stop, you will do it slowly and you will not feel like dying.

      hahaha

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    • Posted

      BellaRubia

      You and me together, gal!

      Only yesterday I posted a new discussion about all the scaremongering surrounding HRT. As I'm not yet on it, I get truly pi**ed off because I know by the time I'll want to give it a go it'll probably be withdrawn from use!!!

      Just read a reply to me from 'chica'- she calls HRT 'the elixir of life', talked about feeling 'as randy as hell' on it - looks like HRT has my name written all over it :-) !!

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    • Posted

      Hey girls me too !😃 I took it when needed, was on it for 7 years and I was FINE !! It has its risks....but so does asprin !! And the informed decision I made said that the good FAR outweighed the bad......

      My menopausal symptoms were so acute, mood swings, 25 night sweats, joint aches, feminine dryness and itching, weight gain, I was exhausted, that I couldn't have worked, made a sensible decision, kept a relationship

      NOTHING !! .....so the HELL with feeling like that.....6 weeks after taking HRT I was ME again ! ( we will all be individually very different here, and it's

      finding the right drug ) But I told my GP that I would kill the person who tried

      to take me off it !!!.......I gradually weaned myself off those years

      later.....taking a lower and lower dose with my GP monitoring it. Hey I'm

      good these days...truly FINE.....

      talk to your doctors.....don't suffer in silence...good luck ladies. X

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    • Posted

      Hi girls, the problem here is that I feel about right...  I have no much to complain these days, things are reasonably smooth, but is not like I am in my 30's, that for sure.  All the really bad and scary stuff are gone.  So, the question is, should someone like me give HRT a try?!  Would that worth the risk?!  I guess not :S.  But, if I got a yes for all those questions, I would, lol.  Who does not want to be and feel young for as long as possible?!  
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    • Posted

      mel,

      I get a lot out of reading posts like those from your, chica and BellaRubia.

      You all sound like I feel:  I don't see the point in putting up and shutting up.  I don't take any other meds, have a great long-term marriage (32yrs) and want to keep that, as much as I want to keep feeling 18......in my head, as I do most of the time! 

      If taking HRT gave me something anywhere resembling a libido, I'm there gals!!

      Sounds like my Peri symptoms have some way to go as I'm not feeling too bad all-round generally. 

      But the minute they start getting any worse than they are, I'll be back to the GP.  I think I'd rather carry on being 'Me' aged 54+ and take HRT, rather than brave it out trying to cope without any help, only to become 60+, go into full-blown menopause..........but looking and feeling 90! 

      Besides, before I forget how to use it, I'd like mt dear ol' 'Lady Garden' to have a visit from the 'Gardener' every now and again, while HE can still manage itlol!!

      Thanks again mel. x

       

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    • Posted

      Right on girl !! Shaznay those are mine and my partners thoughts entirely !!...Me and my buddies all say....this is a time of our lives when we have to take the BEST care of ourselves ....better than we ever did as young women, 'cos you don't get away with it.....time to be a little more selfish, self aware....and of a mind that WE DON'T HAVE TO PUT UP AND SHUT UP like our mums and grans had to do...,

      We intend to grow older as disgracefully as possible....and that includes an active love life for as long as the " gardener" has a handle to his shovel !! Ain't no good if someone's lost the padlock to the garden....!!!!!  HRT did it for me......

      good luck honey.. Xxx 😀

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    • Posted

      Beetle and brimbo,

      Reading your posts makes me feel like I'm reading my own story.

      I have also been through all these symptoms and more in the last months. Tons of doc visits and the ER. Just got my hormone test back today and it shows that I'm already close to menopause. I'm 44 and have not skipped a period yet but they have been irregular...

      I never imagined perimenopause could be so horrible....

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    • Posted

      Hi.

      I too had sudden symptoms out of no where and blood tests also confirmed close to menopause.  Had symptoms prior to that for approx four years which I didn't recognise as peri symptoms (neither did the doctor ever say so!)  migraines every month, but manageable symptoms.  This hit out of the blue, I am 47. I wrote the below message in response to Brimbo to see how she is getting on 11 months later.  Hope that she answers, as we are so similar, and tell us how she is getting along now and if she has much improved.

      Have your symptoms improved at all yet,  I know how bad i felt 6 months ago and not without symptoms but improvement.  Thought i wouldn't survive at one point! eek

      I have copied my last message below:

      Just wondering how you are feeling now, as I see that you wrote this post 11 months ago.  I had an almost identical experience to you 6 months ago with palpitations, racing heart, visits to hospital, all test done and ok, dizziness and extreme gnawing anxiety, out of body feeling and dread.  Like you, was completely fine and content until this hit suddenly.  Had months of awful symptoms, then dizziness subsided, anxiety improved. Still have palpitations along with muscle aches (but these also have become much less frequent).  Doctors prescribed anti-anxiety meds, which I didn't take and I took a cocktail of vitamins (B's, magnesium, D3), but only slight improvement.  Stopped taking the lot.  Just keep a good diet, drink water and get a good walk in everyday.  I am not symptom free, but not near as bad than those first few months.  Would be good to hear how you are now after 11 months.  I am staying away from ALL types of tablets, to see how  feel for a few weeks.  Hope that things have improved for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi metamorphed,

      My symptoms have not improved yet. In fact, I feel that they are still getting worse. So far right I have not skipped a period yet, but they have been irregular. I'm due to start in 3 days, but do not have my typical symptoms as of yet which usually indicate the start of my flow. No sore boobs so far, no spotting (which I usually do 8-10 days before I start for the last few years), no cramping....

      So we will see...

      I feel horribly though. My whole body is hurting...my ankles, wrists, hands, hips, have a headache, feel hot all the time, could not sleep at all last night. I actually had a spout of rage while laying in bed awake. It was the weirdest feeling ever. I felt like just shredding the room apart with nothing to cause it....

      All I have at the moment, is the hope that this will allow get better at some point. At this time it does not feel like it ever will.

      I'm glad to hear that your symptoms have subsided somewhat. That gives me hope.

      Happy New Year....

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    • Posted

      Happy New Year to you too.

      This has been the worst time of my life! really.  Any small improvement has been a bonus!   Most of any remaining symptoms happen during the 14 days leading up to a period (or not!, symptoms still happen whether the period happens or not).  It is difficult.  Hopefully the people who has this discussion on here all those months ago will let us know if things have improved any more for them.

      take care

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