SSRIs - Are They the Way to Go??

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Hi All

Literally just joined this forum as I felt a little isolated, having nowhere/no-one really to discuss my perimenopausal symptoms with.  Hold on a minute, that's not entirely true.  I do have someone I talk 'at' - my darling husband - but I think if I want to save my brilliant marriage of 31yrs, I think I'd better cut the bloke some slack and back off!

Well after about a year of experiencing what I believe are some perimenopausal symptoms, I took myself off the GP. Saw a Nurse Practitioner, who I reckon is about my age (54) - but the difference is she looks in control, a bit sexy, and like she might even be getting some even!

I talked about my symptoms: lack of libido; insomnia; slight flushes; inner 'furnice' waking me; frequent visits to the loo and really aching joints.  Please note though ladies, as I think I made a bit of a boob mentioning that I was a little tearful, and had cried when watching 'Don't Tell the Bride' (!)  Bloody idiot - talk about walk straight into her hands.  She was nice, I won't say she didn't listen, but her first course of action was a blood test to check specifically for Vit D deficiency for the aching joints, but we talked about another course of action that she reckoned was a life-changer for some women:  SSRIs = 'Happy Pills' as I conned them.  Oh hum.......well after reading up on these via Google, I was astounded by the number of and diversity of the side effects. 

Honestly, for someone who really wants to get jiggy again, one of the main side effects was, wait for it, 'Lack of Libido' - ironic or what?  Listen, I've never been the 'gagging-for-it' type, but I'd far rather have a smile on my face after a session, than the result of a 'Happy Pill'!! 

Safe to say, they were ignored.  Couldn't see the point on trialing a 4wk course of a drug that would make me more nutty than I actually feel(!), which would take me 4 times as long to wean myself off of!!

I won't rule them out tho', as I have no idea really what's in store for me.  But at the moment I'm more concerned with the physical symptoms that may be able to be addressed (aches, disturbed sleep etc). 

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who is actually taking SSRIs as part of their menop treatment:  positive and negative opinions both appreciated.

I've read some lovely posts today, and the one thing that shines through is that we all want to keep our sense of humour/smiling.  I've definitely still got mine:  I just want a smile on fact that tells you lot 'She's getting some' again!!!:D

No doubt you'll see me on here again.

Merry Christmas Ladies - and don't forget: If the turkey doesn't turn out perfect, remember there's always cheese on toast!  Or, if you're like me, you'll tell them all 'Tough!'.  But lets face it, who's would be brave enough to upset a perimenopausal woman on Christmas Day??!!!!

Happy Holidays Girls smile


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15 Replies

  • Posted

    lol wink     Happy holiday Shaznay, from a  post menapausal sufferer. Not getting any and dont care!  redface
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  • Posted

    Hi shaznay what a lovely post welcome to the menopause symptoms included. Not been offered ssri don't know what they are and don't want to don't need any more lousy symptoms. I'm trying  Valerian for sleeping and lessening anxiety acupuncture for flushes and pain as I also have vulvadynia the joy never stops !!! My long suffering husband is fed up with me and my constant problems. Bless him he's so kind and thinks a pill will sort it all out ( I wish) 

    Cheese on toast would be dished up if the Turkey burnt but I'd probably burn the toast but hey with a good glass of wine in my hand who cares   You have a merry Christmas and keep that sense of humour. 🎉🎊🎊

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  • Posted

    Welcome Shaznay!

    I did a course of Sertaline and believe me, prior to taking it, getting "jiggy" (lol! love that term!) was already off the table prior to starting them. This has been such a wild ride. Oddly enough, looking back, it actually improved that area for a bit as well as taking the edge off of the sadness and nutness I was feeling for some time.

    I have since come off it and ha! getting jiggy still isn't where it used to be.  But for what the med was supposed to help for me, it did. 

    In fact, even though for several months now, I have religiously followed recommended doses of the Vitamin B's and other supplements with little noticable improvement. Wish it were different, hate relying on any meds to be sure. 

    I think I'm a bit sad as I've gained weight (along with the highs and lows of the unstable hormones) prior to taking Sertaline and haven't lost it no matter what I try, have added other things to "help" get me through this phase, it's the holidays and quite frankly am looking forward to them being over quickly.  I don't feel much like myself right now.

    As I write this, I am wondering why I discontinued the meds (guess I felt better and thought I no longer needed them, not sure) and whether it might be a good time to restart them for a short bit, as HRTs are not an option for me and eeek......this up and done biz gets old!

    But that's just me, what may work for me, may not work the same for you. But like you, I had read horror stories about the ADs, yet found it somewhat helpful and didn't have a hard time coming off them. 

    We have to remember, what works for one may not for another. I wish it were as simple as upping the dosages on certain vitamins and supplements. Guess this will all pass, just not as quickly as we would all like!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! I'm thankful for my husband, how in the heck he tolerates this unpredictable woman I've become is way beyond me! 

    Annie xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Shaznay96184,

    Well you managed to put a smile on my face and actually made me giggle when I read your post :-)  Well done to you as I've not been feeling great lately so thanks for cheering me up.

    Ironically I posted only last night asking about SSRI's!  I was on citalopram before I went onto HRT 3 years ago.  The HRT worked wonders for my mood and I didn't need the citalopram again.  Unfortunately I have to come off the HRT due to fibroids and hence my mood is gradually on the decline.  I've got constant PMT at least that's what it feels like sad  Bad tempered, tearful, upset at the slightest know what it's like!!

    I'm reluctant to go back on antidepressants and one member suggested I try herbal ie.  St John's Wort.  So I may give that a try before resorting to the SSRI's.  Plus the advantage of being on HRT was it actually increased my libido just hope that doesn't disappear when I finally come off it altogether.  Getting "jiggy" is an ideal form of exercise lol wink

    So my advice is try the herbal first before trying the happy pills.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas..

    E. x

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    • Posted

      Whaahay Elaine. Santa certainly likes me - just taken delivery

      of my Bioidentical Progesterone Cream!!! Looks like I may not

      be asking the family if they want "one lump or two?" - of gravy, or whether they want to wear their Xmas dinner should they

      dare critise my cooking!! Got something to look forward to

      now. This will be a second try after a 3mth break without

      anything: will only then know if its right for me. Fingers X'd it

      bloody works!

      Gunna read up on 5HTP again for the nuttiness if I find this

      works well for me. Otherwise defo give HRT a try, but stay

      away from the SSRIs for as long as my husband says can ha, ha, ha!!

      Merry Christmas from London, UK

      (Apologies: typing on a Tablet whilst lying in bed (bliss). Bloody thing keeps breaking up words - its destined to be launched

      across the room grrrr!) :-)

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    • Posted

      Elaine, I think my reluctance to start using SSRIs is that my eldest sister (71) has had massive bouts of psychosis for the past 13yrs. Only thing keeping her on the straight and narrow are her meds.  One of which is.....Citalopram!!  Recognised all the side effects of them by witnessing them first hand in her.  Thank God my other sister and I have a great sense of humour, because the other sister's need (drug-leg) to keep getting up and walking around - very randomly - did our heads in!  Thank God for us being blessed with our dear late mum's sense of humour.  She would be have told all 4 of her daughters:  "Ain't nothing you can do about it gels, so just get on with it!" - good ol' Sarf London Salt-of-the-Earth mum.  (Believe it or not, my mum and dad got married on Christmas Day - and I do miss them so bloody much!.......ooops, here I go, filling up again...!).

      Merry Christmas to you all. Lets keep supporting each other in the New Year.

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  • Posted

    Hi shanty, I was prescribed the same for peri anxiety and palpitations, horrific! Anxiety doubled and I lost my 'O' if you get my drift? That is important to me I'm only 45 and felt I needed to hold onto some fun! I've started taking menopace its too early to tell if it's working but I'd try anything natural rather than ssri 
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  • Posted

    I started off on Citalopram - SSRI as I was initially disgnosed with depression when actually it was peri menopause. I took it for about 2 years and weaned myself off it as it really wasn't something I wanted to take.

    It did help immensly with hot flushes but the libido went out of the window and hasn't returned yet - now 3 yrs plus. I'm also post meno now so thought it would all calm down. Not yet thoughsad

    Like you, my other half doesn't get it but is being very patient for now. These discussions keep me sane as I know it's no figment of my imagination when you get wierd sensations etc.

    I now swear by B6 - that has helped with weight loss too. I'm on a very low carb diet which has done wonders for my heartburn and general feeling of exhaustion. You do have to just keep trying things to see what suits.

    I'm not able to take HRT due to family medical history so having to survive it naturally.

    If you can find the '66 Signs of Menopause' by Jayneejay it's great reading and a laugh too. I passed it round an office full of middle aged ladies a while back and we were ticking off which symptoms we had.

    Hang in there and keep reading smile


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  • Posted

    What a great bunch of gals you are on this forum!  Thanks for your replies.  As I've replied to some:  Santa felt for me: he delivered by new supply of Bioidentical Progesterone Cream this morning! Will not really see any results for a little while, but its worth a try. Failing that, I'll give HRT a go - I'm won't be a Martyr to this bloody curse!!

    Oh well gals, Christmas is nigh.  I've cooked the gammon, will cook the crown tomorrow, and maybe have a little drinkipoo tonight, whilst drooling over Daniel Craig in 'Skyfall' (what!  No speedos in this one. *hump*!).

    I've already eaten that many chocolates, I think I'll be starting a new thread 'Does anyone else suffer from Adult Acne?'!  lol

    Come on Ladies, lets put the dreaded curse on the back burner for a day and enjoy some time with our loved ones. 

    Keep posting - I'm so grateful that I can vent my spleen/get some dialogue going/get some answers from those in the 'Know'.  Actually, my husband is completely grateful that I've found this site:  he's sick of me talk about my probs. Just wait till he gets his 'male menopause' - as if!!!!!

    Merry Christmas to One and All x

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    • Posted

      Hi Shaznay have a very merry Christmas and s happy new year . Enjoy your chocolates after all it is Christmas and with Daniel Craig to watch what can beat that. 

      Apart from speedo's. You have made me smile and that's what counts in life . Keep posting. 

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  • Posted

    Merry Christmas to you all. I'm not a massive Christmas fab but this year I'm worse than ever for finding the Christmas spirit, I just feel so down and cba. I know it's my hormones. Actually it is a while since I've taken any B vits so maybe I'll take those again and see if I can bounce back once the holidays are over.
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    • Posted

      Hi middle muddle take heart I'm not a Christmas fan either but it will be here and gone so fast. Then it's a new year I'm trying to practice reverse kegels as I watch bond on tv. The excercise and this should make you smile is called dropping the panties! It's to try and release tight muscles which lead to pain I think I need lots of practice . But if it's a way of helping get rid of permanent pain I'm willing. Happy Christmas 
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