Mood Swings and heightened PMT issues

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Hi All,

First post for me..... I'm 47 and for the last few (6+) months I have noticed that my mood swings are ricidulous. Each day can be completely different - lots of tears and misery - unable to maintain any real feelings of happiness or joy. It feels like living in an emotionally volatile place and it's exhausting.

My cycle is getting shorter - last 2 have been 20 days and initially horrendous but lasting only really a couple of days. I have a fairly ample bosom and the pain that I experience for the best part of each month now due to swollen and tender breasts is dreadful. I don't want to take my bra off at night.

My sex drive has nose dived, which is hard for me having always been very active in that way. I don't feel sexy at all and have no energy.

I have also noticed that at certain times of the month I find sleep a real problem. I have always had nightmares but they seem more prevalent now and falling asleep can be really difficult on occasion.

I am sure this is early symptons of menopause - would you agree and if so any suggestions on how to combat the mood swings and the sore breasts?

Sometimes I feel like I am going mad sad

Many thanks, Karen

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  • Posted

    It does sound like early menopause. Once your oestrogen starts to diminish other hormones, particularly adrenaline, rush in to fill the gap and play havoc with your moods, temperature, dreams and just about very aspect of your life! The only reliable relief I know of is HRT which your GP may offer you once he/she has checked your hormone levels. Otherwise, welcome to the rollercoaster!
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  • Posted

    Have just read your post having felt exactly the same symptoms for a few months. I would have considered myself a pretty optimistic person, always seeing the positives, but I am struggling to see the joy in anything too, when I know I am lucky to have the life I have.

    I am 49, and find it hard to sleep when I have never had such problems before. My mind takes over in one long panic once i am awake, as I list the things I haven't done or my incompetencies, my body burns from the inside - a bit like major feelings of shame, but more physical. I don't sweat. It's more like feeling on fire.

    Then I seem to have become a tearful wreck, emotionally fragile, crying for no real reason and feeling overwhelmed by things that I would usually take in my stride, convinced that I am about to be sprung for my incompetence at work! I used to be a real coper, and I just don't feel like myself. I find it hard to make decisions, when I used to make them every day. I have started to shake before I go to work, and have palpitations, and just feel that a management role I have held down for years is overwhelming me. I decided today after reading about the peri menopause and how many strong women turn into snivelling wrecks like me, that it was tie to be

    tested for the menopause to make sure I am not going mad but just need some rebalancing. I would rather not go onto medicines, but would rather try more natural remedies. It just seems that each person is so different, I 'd love to know anyone who has sorted the emotional bit out - any advice gratefully appreciated! My rational head tells me it's all in my mind. But my emotional side keeps telling me I can't cope!

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  • Posted

    I can't add anything but you are not alone. Reading these posts I could have written them word for word.

    I'm sitting here having a panic attach about work and feel like some one is going to find out I'm past it and get rid of me.

    Breathing easier now smile

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  • Posted

    Ladies - a bit of an update - I went to the Dr's shortly after I wrote that post AND... she prescribed Elleste Duet 1mg.She agreed that for sure Iwas peri menospausal. I have been taking it ever since and from the first few days of starting it made a huge difference.

    I am now sleeping properly again. No insomnia and no night sweats, My mood swings are MUCH better although there is still a very little blip around ovulation and onset of period but it is so minor my partner doesn't notice now.

    I did however put on half a stone almost immediately and have been fighting for 4 months to get it off. I am exercising lots and being very careful what I eat and I have finally got it off but it's been very hard work. I eat healthily anyway, don't drink and have always exercised so to put on half a stone was devastating but I seem to have a handle on it now and can keep it under controll.

    Go to your Dr's...... at least go and explore the options.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ladies,

    I am fast approaching my 49th birthday and have been increasingly suffering the same symptoms as you have been describing. After severely testing a close freindship for yet another month I finally sought help from my doctor last week

    Apart from being 3 weeks late a few months ago my periods have been pretty much as regular as clockwork since coming off the pill about 6 years ago. In recent years they have fallen into a pattern of me feeling either weepy or irritable for just one day exactly a week before my period was due. That would then start gently, with little happening until about day 3 or 4 (now day 5) when I could be guaranteed to have exactly 24 hours of pain, front and back, sometimes excruciating. Then 24 hours of flooding, followed by a tailing off.

    In recent months the PMT seems to have changed into DMT...During instead of Pre! My doctor did a blood test for various things last December, including checking hormone levels. These were normal. Last week he just checked blood pressure (rather high...unsurprisingly!) then prescribed part-time use of Fluoxetene, an antedepressant (Prozac, I have since discovered). As my periods are pretty much regular it is far too soon to use HRT. Also, the hot flushes I was having all last year seemed to disappear this year. Last week I did have a couple of nightsweats, despite feeling cold all week.

    My worst symptoms, apart from the terrible weepiness, depression and inabilty to think positively last week, have been tiredness, confusion and lack of concentration...a frequent feeling of trying to think through thick fog!. I am lucky in that I am currently self-employed and work from home. However, this also brings with it the feelings of isolation and worthlessness. As I don't have my own transport I rarely see friends so have to rely on texting them for company. Luckily, the few friends I have are very supportive and one, I have just discovered, is going through the same symptoms and has been on a different antedepressant for some time now.

    I have discussed symptoms such as mood swings, poor concentration and flooding with my mum in law and she went through the same until she was put on HRT and it changed her life nearly 30 years ago! My own mum thinks I'm too young to be menopausal, but I see the average age to start is 47. When in my teens I remember a boy at school losing his mum when she committed suicide whilst suffering severe menopausal symptoms.

    It does make you feel like you're going mad at times...but it really does help to have a sympathetic ear.

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  • Posted

    Oh, and my doctor suggested I try soya milk. Not given it a go yet!

    I have a job interview next week...maybe, after being self employed so long, having a proper job again will make me feel worthwhile again, as if my existance matters.

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  • Posted

    I have come to the conclusion that age is immaterial.. you have to be individualistic about this.

    I also had the confusion, lack of concentration etc and I have to say that things have improved in that respect too.

    I am a project management contractor and also work for myelf through various large companies and I need to be "on the ball". my current Boss is great and has been very supportive but it is SO nice to be functioning again....!!!!! smile

    I refused any kind of anti depressant (they were offered but not by the GP I am currently seeing) as I felt that was completely the wrong route and my current GP is very supportive. I am NOT depressed, I am hormonal ( well actually I'm not really now smile ) - they are very different. And the two types of treatment have very different side effects. But only you can know whether you are depressed and they will help or whether your GP has looked at the "catch all" approach and not looked at serious alternatives. HRT is not a last resort - it is a fully tested treatment to a known medical condition.

    OK.. rant over - sorry. I am not keen on the offering of anti depressants as a back stop..... regardless of which and how strong.

    Good luck with the interview next week - people and contact are always good but if you enjoy what you currently do changing might not be the answer xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you!

    I DO enjoy what I do from home but times are tough and it isn't bringing in enough money at the moment so I've applied for some seasonal work which still leaves me time to continue our business too. There are a lot of aspects to life that make me think depression rather than just a hormone imbalance but I am very wary of antedepressants and, indeed, many other drugs including standard painkillers.

    I was put on a circulation-boosting, blood pressure lowering drug at the end of last year, as well as a high dose of diuretics, and I ended up reacting badly to the drug and was taken off it. That all came about because of a foot problem for which I am now seeing a podiatrist! Needless to say, fearing kidney damage, I rarely take the water pills unless pmt bloats me!

    No 2 doctors seem to think alike and, of course, they can't be experts in every field. It certainly pays to be informed and wary. My doctor was just reacting to the information I gave him. At least he wants to see me again before my next period to see if the pills are working. Shame I ever came off the Pill...I felt so much better in those days!

    Thanks for the good wishes...I'll keep posting!

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  • Posted

    Just a thought - your last comment about not coming off the pill. If you felt fine on the Pill it would lead me to think that it is hormone related - the Pill and HRT and very similar..... just something to consider.

    xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Miss Kitty,

    Can't believe how many weeks have passed since my last post! I did indeed get the seasonal job and it starts in November. I should have started the ante depressants last week, pre period, and seen the doctor to see how I'm getting on. However, so far there have been no mental PMT symptoms, just the usual bloating and tenderness, so I haven't popped any pills yet. Period started an hour ago and I still feel my "normal" sunny self. I'm trying not to expect the mood swings to start as I don't want to think myself into a depressed state. I am wondering if the impending "real" job is having an impact on my moods? Every month I've ended up feeling useless and worthless, not helped by the fact that my husband works long and hard 6 days a week and hates his job but can't afford to jump ship yet. I feel so responsible as I try to run our small business from home but it isn't bringing much money in at the moment. When PMT hits I just cease to function properly and it seems to take forever to type in one email or describe an item for sale...I just stare at it or into space!

    I am trying to monitor myself at the moment...I know there are many rather depressing aspects to my life at the moment, but I also know that things always seem a lot worse for a week or more every month. It's definitely a combination of life and hormones. I just get paranoid and oversensitive during period time. If Fluoxetene can definitely help me cope I will give it a go, but I'm still very wary of it Several years ago I kept suffering regular bouts of suicidal feelings...hormone related...but I was lucky that several friends were always on hand to boost my terrible low self esteem every time. Little has really changed, my self esteem is usually poor at the best of times, but I haven't had the awful suicidal thoughts for well over a year. I have never told a health professional any of those things, only a couple of very close friends.

    Are truly good friendships the best antedepressants? I'm beginning to think so! As for the hormones, just when I think a pattern has emerged it changes again!

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  • Posted

    Thank you ladies for sharing your stories - and here I thought I was just going plum insane.....I have not been feeling my own self for about 6 or 7 months now but just thought it was another bout of depression, which I have been battling for all my life. Then a few months ago, i started to have panic attacks out of the blue, add feeling foggy, forgetting the simplest things, nausea, dizziness, stomach issues, and extreme crying spells....I was convinced I might have to be admitted to an insane asylum .... after reading some of the posts here, I think maybe it is "just' menopause approaching, which while still feeling awful, gives me a little bit of hope. No one ever spoke of menopause so I had no idea that it would be this crazyness full of physical symptoms...have a call in to my OBGYN to see if he would suggest a low dose hormone treatment....please share your coping strategies, because at this point I am so confused...i do not want to do anything, do not want to go anywhere, it is completely isolating and I cannot even explain it to anyone taht hasn't experienced it - so, thank you for sharing yoru experiences - it measn teh world to me
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  • Posted

    HI Ladies,

    Madcow - Just wanted to say good luck for the start of your new job.. hope all goes well. I really nd truly believe that hormones play a HUGE part in our well being at this time of life - it really is such big part of feeling blue and worthless. If the anti depressants are working for you than that's great but don't rule out anything else.

    Tanya - glad you now know you aren't going mad........ the joy of being able to produce young is tempered greatly at this time in our lives and I am of the opinion that most women, if afflicted, have no idea of the impact.

    Just thought I'd share this with you - last month I forgot two of my tablets........ Oh my Gosh - very bad mood. Within a week I was not sleeping again, night sweats were back, feelings of anger and misery returned and even though I had put two and two together and made four it was horrific.

    Within 3 days of starting a new pack of tablets (I am on a tablet where you take oestorgen tabs for 14 days at the beginning of your cycle and then 14 days of progesterone and oestrogen tabs for the last half) all the symptons had gone again......

    It truly was the most bizarre 2 weeks. And if I had ever had doubts that HRT wasn't necessary that stopped them cold.

    My view now - don't try and cope... talk to your doctors and find something that works for you. There is no point feeling these things if you don't have to - ask for help smile

    xx

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  • Posted

    Thanks Miss Kitty
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  • Posted

    Thanku that helps x
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  • Posted

    Hi Miss Kitty,

    Thank you for your kind words....one week to go!

    It's worrying me that my period will start at the same time though....the convenience of working at home during such times is wonderful...not sure how I'll cope with cramps and floods! Just hope they are a sympathetic employer with easily accessible loos!

    The other problem is that I am now getting all the symptoms of PMT / PMS I seemed to skip last month! Felt slightly weepy on and off on Saturday, then ok yesterday. Today it's back to the confusion, hopelessness, anger and forgetfulness!

    Hubby popped home half an hour ago and asked if I'd rung the garage about our car problem.....I had completely forgotten about it and have no idea when he asked me to do it! It has taken me half an hour to find their phone number after numerous fruitless internet searches and Yellow Pages searches.....why is simple info getting harder to find??? Didn't help that they changed address a year ago, either! Anyway, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I rang them then realised they are closed for the day!! AAAARGH!

    Anyway, I now have all the classic symptoms, down to just crying with frustration at not being able to find a phone number and even just forgetting how to type in their company name! I could drive to their address but I couldn't even think of the major road they are on! My brain has turned to mush again and I feel so stupid! Does anyone else start talking sheer jibberish to themselves / their pet?? My brain and mouth have disengaged and I come out with completely the wrong words for things....I even start speaking like Yoda!! Totally nonsensical!

    I seem to develope a form of dyslexia of the mouth. Can this really be "just" hormones? Or am I actually going mad? As I have only had a total of 6 antedepressants over 2 months I don't know if they do any good or not, but I guess it's time to give them a go again. Having paid nearly £8 for the priviledge I have to try before I head back to the doc to explore HRT!

    Just wondering if some of the more extreme mental symptoms of PMS need to have a trigger? Like this issue over the garage. I did not feel this way last month!

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