Menopause and Psychotic behavior

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi All;

   My wife has been admitted to all of the surrounding psych wards over the last 10 years,  starting with the first signs of menopause.  I wish to get in contact with anyone in similar circumstances, because I have been unsuccessful in convincing any of at least a dozen psychiatrists that there is any relation to menopause.  

  We have found a medication that stabilizes her, but besides the horrendous expense, I believe it is like fixing a watch with a sledge-hammer.   If you are interested, I think it may be helpful to pool our experiences, and even look for others 'in the same boat'.

  My hope is that because my wife's condition was coincident with menopause, there may a more specific treatment.  Also, I understand menopausal conditions are not permanent, and yet, so far, all medical diagnosis suggest her condition is permanent.

   I am frustrated at the inflexible position of the medical profession;  that my wife's condition is permanent, when the solution to her symptoms at the moment was discovered almost randomly,by the trial  of possibly 10 other drugs first.

                        Regards,    Peter 

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  • Posted

    Do you mind me asking what drug is she currently on?

    Menopause may have triggered it. But the propensity will have probably been there prior.

    I'm sorry you've gone through this.

     

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  • Posted

    Peter, I am so sorry for both you and your wife's situation.  I can't offer a lot but these titles, BOTH are excellent.

    Hormones and the Mind  by Dr.Edward Klaiber

    Menopause and Madness by Marcia Lawrence.  

    Marcia was a school teacher that found herself hiding in a closet talking to her dead husband.  It was Doctor Klaiber who helped her with estrogen therapy and got her problems resolved.  

    Both books are older and can be found and purchased by googling their titles.  I hope these references help.  Years ago, I spoke personally to both authors.  Wonder people and very helpful.  

    I hope you get some help for your wife.  Menopause is nothing to be overlooked.  It changes everything about our body chemistry and our brains.  Good luck.  Your wife is lucky to have you are her side.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Peter - Wow! This must be a heart wrenching experience for you & your wife - I am just curious if your wife has ever been offered any type of HRT?  Have you tried any other type of treatment aside from Drs prescribing more RX's?  I don't mean to offend you in any way, but I just believe Drs are trained to treat symptoms, not causes and perhaps your wife is suffering because of hormonal imbalances that are causing all sorts of other issues i.e. Depression, highs & lows, irritability etc.  just a thought - 

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    • Posted

      Hi Debra;

         Yes we have tried HRT, with minor (if any) significant effect regarding her more severe mood swings.  I have a firm belief that because her behavior and mood are stabilized by 'Abilify' (and also 'Olanzapine'wink,  there is no further perceived need  to investigate other, more specific solutions.

         We have yet to find any psychiatric professional to acknowledge and relation to menopause.

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  • Posted

    Forgive me for asking more questions in an obviously horrendous situation but can you describe the behaviour that led to admission to the psych wards? Many of us here have experienced ‘behavioural’ or mental health issues as a result of menopause. In my own case BDD and depression which could easily have deteriorated further if left untreated (bioidentical estrogen in my case). Again many of us were left to diagnose ourselves and fight unsympathetic and disbelieving medical professionals. I’m sure we will help if we can and I think it’s great you are reaching out to us. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Angie;

         Your reference to 'bioidentical estrogen' gives me something to investigate.  I will sum up my wife's condition as Bi-polar or manic-depression, although I hesitate to elabourate because my wife and I, shall we say "have different perspectives" regarding her condition.

        We have tried HRT, (various) and they certainly relieved 'hot flashes',  and on one occasion,  I felt they centered her bi-polar state, but later episodes were not helped by the HRT. 

      PS  sorry if this is a repeat entry--still figuring this out!

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  • Posted

    Wow!  Thanks to all for your replies.  I will reply to each,  but at work at the moment.  I am grateful for your interest!   
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  • Posted

    Hi (again) Ben;  Pardon my repetition; she has been on 'Abilify' for the last 2 years (on and off).

      I am replying to myself rather than each entry, so that our history is available for all.  (If this works this way!---new here!)

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Angie;

       Your reference to 'bioidentical estrogen' gives me something to investigate.  I will sum up my wife's condition as Bi-polar or manic-depression, although I hesitate to elabourate because my wife and I, shall we say "have different perspectives" regarding her condition.

      We have tried HRT, (various) and they certainly relieved 'hot flashes',  and on one occasion,  I felt they centered her bi-polar state, but later episodes were not helped by the HRT. 

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  • Posted

    Oh my word, im sooooo sorry to here that....however my girlfriend was admitted/committed im not sure which one is correct....anyway, she was in the hospital and I showed her the 66 perimenopause symptoms and she wish that someone would have showed her sooner or earlier because i believe she as well would have been treated medically different.....i pray for us woman because we have hard, but we are strong and we will breakthrough.....keep telling her how strong she is and that u love her....and stay encourage and take care of yourself as well....
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    • Posted

      Thanks Susan, that is our predicament; menopausal symptoms are/were clear to us but have not be considered to be a factor by her Doctors, so far.

                                Regards, Peter

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  • Posted

    Hi Peter. I am so glad that you are a loving and caring husband searching for answer and ended up at this forum. Before I share my story and opinion with you, kindly tell me if your wife's psychosis symptoms are delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations and inability to make decisions or uncontrollable anger and paranoia, depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety related?

    Psychosis come in many forms, and when the majority of symptoms are anxiety, depression, mood swings, irrational thoughts, inability to make decisions and sometimes the odd suicidal thought, it is in my opinion that some of these can and might be related to peri-menopause symptoms, as this is what I experienced for almost a year before going on HRT.

    Let me know, Then I will share my journey with you. I am not a GP nor a specialist and can therefore only give my opinion by telling you my journey. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Lela;

         Her symptoms include all of the above, with the exception of the last two issues ( no suicidal thoughts, although anxiety is hard for me to judge ).   Her mood swings range from unexplained laughter to hours of lethargic inactivity.

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    • Posted

      Hi Vix - I have been so busy at work and have battled to find time to give you guys an update! Yes I am feeling much better. So many symptoms have improved since on the HRT, ie hot flashes, brittle nails, sex drive, crashing fatigue, mood swings, night sweets etc. The anxiety is bit under control but have not being able to shake it completely. I still get a lot of "off" days still, and still have brain fog.But then I just remind myself that peri did not appear overnight and that if will not disappear overnight as well and that I still have a long road ahead of me. My fiance, daughter and friends have been telling me since last week that I look better and that I am more energetic and they are sure that it is because I am on HRT now. So presumably it is a good sign?  

      I have to admit however that I cannot cope without Xanor. AS you can recall, I tried to ween myself of it, but failed. If I don't take it, the anxiety is out of control. I so wished that HRT was suggested to me before considering taking Xanor. But then again, I am also not sure where I would have ended up if I did not take it? This is very confusing. They do for sure make you feel better, and help you sleep better etc. But just remember, even though I took them for 4 months, a lot of my other symptoms did not improve and that is why I decided to go on HRT.

      Side effects that I have been experiencing with the patches, are more frequent headaches, and skin rashes from the patches. Besides that, and the odd anxiety I feel awesome.

      Keep me posted.

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    • Posted

      Hi again there Peter: As said before, I am not a professional or GP, and only can give you my opinion out of own experiences and the knowledge I have gained by investigating my own situation non-stop. I do trust that what I am about to say will non be upsetting - it is just based on my opinion and the fact that you have given. When mood swings range from unexplained laughter to hours of lethargic inactivity it sounds very familiar to having Bipolar? There is also a definite link between mood disorders and menopause, although not completely understood by doctors. High levels of estrogen tent to brighten the mood while low levels promote dampening the mood. Therefor a drop thereof will have particular consequences for bipolar patients doubling a depressive episode. 

      During the peri-menopausal time, a woman will loose her ability to handle stressful situations, due to the drop in estrogen. Some woman - like in my case and maybe in your wife's (and a lot of ladies on this forum) case will unfortunately go through living hell dealing with peri-menopause and some wont even take notice thereof. 

      I have never been an anxious person, nor ever having depressive episodes, however when I was 27 I had a bit of a breakdown due to circumstances and having a very difficult pregnancy and almost loosing my child. I ended up having a miscarriage and 2 months later had a hysterectomy. Had a few therapy session and I was back to my old self. (years ago I got divorce and fell into a depressive episode. A few therapy sessions and I was fine again. Then, one morning in May of this year, I stood up a complete mess. I had terrible anxiety attach it felt like i was going crazy, I needed my mum and dad by my side 24/7 as I became like a little s**tlessly scared girl. I could not go to work, drive on the highway nothing at all. And then came the withdrawal/isolation, I did not want to speak with anybody, and lost interest in all mentioned activities. As I am the sole breadwinner and looking after my mum and dad and brother, I had to pull myself together and go back to work. To spare you all the details the point that I want to make, is that I went for therapy again and the therapist mentioned that due to the fact that I suffer from night epilepsy (which apparently is also seen as some sort of a brain/mental disorder) peri-menopause can be worse for women having such an existing mental disorder. Unfortunately as mentioned in a previous paragraph, doctors do not know nor understand what causes the link. I hope that this will also help you in searching for further answers. Good luck and may God bless you and the health of your wife. A lot of men are completely unsympathetic and ignorant during this time of a woman's life. She is very lucky to have you by her side.   

      Regards Lela

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