Home Menopause Forum What's on your mind?

Anxiety, moods and Menopause

DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner
edited June 26 in What's on your mind?

Hello on this lovely bank holiday afternoon.

I hope everyone is doing as OK as can be expected in these difficult times. We have all had to face some extremely challenging weeks and life has changed quite dramatically for most people. Living so closely together with our families, no times to escape, money worries and relationships more strained is bad enough but throw menopause into it too......

The time leading up to the first day of your last period is called the peri menopausal stage. This can last for many years. This is when symptoms of reducing and fluctuating Oestrogen really become problematic. Increased anxiety in trying to do every day tasks, confidence being affected; unable to deal with situations or face people as you use to.... or 1 minute you feel so angry with everyone the next you want to sit in a room and cry?. Does this sound familiar?

From my experience it's very common indeed and has a huge impact upon you and your family.

So what to do about it? Well the first thing is acknowledging something isn't quite right and talking to people you can trust; family, friends or your GP. It's about having someone to listen to you, not really giving you lots of advice but listening. So many women feel very isolated during the menopause, you feel the old you slipping away and yet have no idea what is happening. Many ladies say " Where have I gone?"

Once someone has listened to you often we feel better but we owe it to ourselves and those closet to us to then find out what's going on. Are we stressed about a particular situation? lots of things and that you just feel low and can't put your finger on to why?

Remember menopause affects every single women, no women can escape it. We all experience feelings and symptoms in a slightly different way. So finding out how menopause can make you feel is very important. Live Better With Menopause let's women come together, share thoughts, feelings, worries in a safe environment because we have all been there.

If you feel lower than normal, please do not let this control you, get support and seek help. Talk to friends of similar age, find out about work placed policies, does your work offer any menopause support, if not this could be something HR could look into. Talking to your GP, as HRT helps so many women all over the world and talking therapies certainly help. Plus walking in the sunshine, gardening, being mindful and not being too hard on yourself ALL help.

So ladies have a lovely Bank Holiday Monday and if you have any issues relating to Menopause please write into me or any of the Menopause advisors at Live Better With Menopause.


Best wishes

Diane Porterfield Bourne.

Comments

  • Julie20Julie20 Posts: 314 mod

    Hi @DianePorterfield-Bourne that's a really interesting read. Thank you.

    Could you take a look at the post from @jules30 and see if you could give her any advice please.

    Thank you x

  • MonicaMMonicaM Posts: 150 mod

    @DianePorterfield-Bourne


    Good information thank you for sharing that because I do feel that way sometimes that my old self is gone and who is this new woman. I do feel a little frustrated at times about it. My friends aren't postmenopausal right now they are going through a little symptoms but not like mine so they can't really relate unfortunately. I went through this pretty early last period was in my 40's.

    I was wondering does the Essure procedure have anything to do with me possibly going through menopause so early. I heard a lot of patients had serious issues with it and if I had known that back in 2012 I wouldn't have done it. At the time my doctor suggested it to me and I thought it would be a good idea. I haven't had many symptoms like other women have had but I thought it was strange that right after I did it about 6 months later I went into Perimenopause.





  • WombleWomble Posts: 4

    Unfortunately advice on seeking help at the moment from GP ' s etc just isnt helping. As with most people i expect, you cant get a GP appointment because of the covid situation, and havnt been able to to for the last nine weeks. I finally managed to get a phone appointment which was frankly no use at all! The doctor suggested i went on anti - depressants!

    I feel quite desperate andcompletely alone with my symptons of constant muscle ache and recently bleeding after 2 years of no periods. The HRT that i am on has done nothing to alleviate any symptons and as time goes on i just feel worse every day 😔

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Womble

    Thank you for getting back in touch.

    All GP practices are different however things are returning more to normal...slowly. But phone calls are quite straight forward, so not sure why they haven't discussed this in more detail with you.

    NICE guidelines are clear that first line treatment for low mood in menopause is HRT, not anti depressants. However sometimes people need anti depressants and HRT depending on their past medical history etc...But if this is all new then low oestrogen is the most likely cause.

    Sorry I know you have probably said before but what HRT do you take? As the right dose and route of HRT should make you feel pretty good....

    Please mention to your GP you have been discussing menopause with health professionals and you can access the NICE guidelines yourself. The menopause one is number 23.

    If I can help more, please keep in touch and write in.

    We are here to advise and support women.

    Best Wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • WombleWomble Posts: 4

    Hi Diane,

    Thankyou for your reply.

    The HRT i am on is Estrogel pump pack 178 - Oestradiol 80 gram gel. 2 pumps each night which i rub in to the tops of my legs. Then for progesterone is utrogestan 100 mg capsules. I would say ive been on this at least 9 months.. I cant remember.. my memory is so bad. I have felt no better, in fact i feel worse as time goes on. . My dr phone call was with a doctor ive never seen before at my practice but you dont get to choose. She had a very strong accent and im assuming she had me on speaker phone as i had trouble hearing and understanding her - this only added to my frustration! I had bleeding 4 weeks ago after having no bleeding for 2 years and then last week i was spotting. My muscle and body ache is so bad i have to hold onto the side of the bed to pull myself out of bed and then can barely walk without hobbling. I just feel really really bad - physically, mentally, emotionally.

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Womble

    Good morning. Thank you for your update.

    Firstly you do need to inform your GP about your vaginal bleeding. This type of bleeding so long after your periods or starting HRT does need to be checked out. That is common practice.

    Once you have been given the all clear you could then talk to them about increasing your Oestrogen to see if this receives your symptoms. However we can have other health problems as well as menopause, we must never forget that. But well worth discussing all this with your GP.

    Take care and please keep in touch.

    Best Wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • Roobee45Roobee45 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Thank you for posting this. You have described exactly how I am feeling! Fine one day, crying for a couple of days, angry some days. Sometimes I can feel all three in one day!

    GP has given me Propranolol 10mg 2 or 3 times a day. Not sure they're massively helping but I feel a bit calmer. I don't know now whether it's general anxiety or whether it is menopause related? I get quite strong period pains during ovulation and during my actual period.

    Any advice would be gratefully received.

    X

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Roobee45

    Good afternoon and thank you for writing in.

    General anxiety can be caused by many things. But yes menopause is one of them.

    Have you had anxiety on/off most of your life? or is it a recent thing? is there a specific cause to your anxiety? We have all been living through difficult times recently....

    Anxiety associated with the menopause is very common, so if you are in your 40's onwards and can't put it down to anything in particular then it might be the menopause.

    Are you having any flushes, sweats, reduced confidence, aching body, insomnia? These are other common signs too.

    If you do think its menopause then its best to discuss this with your GP and see if HRT would be appropriate for you. Also if the Propranolol aren't helping best to let them know too.

    Mindfulness, yoga and exercise all help with anxiety too.

    Please let me know how you get on with your GP and if I can help please message me.


    Best Wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • Roobee45Roobee45 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Thank you Diane,

    I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was around 19. It peaks and troughs, as I understand depression does. I was prescribed citalopram in 2000 and took them on and off for 16 years. I decided to come off them 2 years ago as I was only on 10mg a day.

    My life isn't overly stressful, just the usual life issues - money, kids etc but nothing significant. I don't think I have a specific trigger or cause... When I feel at my lowest I feel unhappy with things like my job, relationships etc but really things are not that bad. I always imagine the grass is greener...

    I have found this current situation has sparked it all off. Am home schooling 2 of my kids, the third should have been doing his A Levels. I do have health anxiety too so a worldwide pandemic hasn't helped!

    I spoke to my GP yesterday and he said to stop the propranolol, which I did. Woke up this morning with a migraine.. Hoping it's just a withdrawal symptom.


    Just want to feel like myself again. Feel sad and worried most of the time. It's exhausting. Have started taking menopace. Are there any other supplements that might help?

    Thanks for listening

    R X

  • Roobee45Roobee45 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Ps

    I do suffer from insomnia and feel achey a lot of the time. Get quite bad period type pains during ovulation too. My self confidence has definitely reduced. I feel old and dull.

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Roobee45

    Thank you for writing in and giving me an update. It's vital we discuss our health with our GP and you did just that. You have just stopped medication so your body will need time to re adjust.

    We will have menopause as well as other health problems, so its important not to dismiss other health problems.

    These places are a safe place to chat as you are talking to like minded people who understand how you feel. Talking to GP, family and friends are essential. As they give you day to day support and pick you up when we are low.

    We are living through a very stressful time so please do not be too hard on yourself... we can't change anything; just do all we can, keep ourselves safe and try to have a few laughs along the way. You have been on medication for anxiety for sometime and this may impact on your emotions too.

    I do not promote supplements but @Blanka_C maybe able to point in the right direction with health advisors on here or research that may help you.

    HRT benefits many women all over the world and is the first thing you should discuss with your GP to see if it would be suitable for you.

    I have posted a Facebook video on why we need HRT this morning on LBW menopause Facebook group too.

    Please refer to other health experts on here too as its best to utilise their expertise to see what will help you the most.

    Good luck and keep in touch.

    Best Wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • JanesjunoJanesjuno Posts: 2

    Hi there

    this is my first ever post! I’m 47 and have just taken my dream job managing a Primary Care Mental Health team.

    I am experiencing anxiety, loss of confidence, brain fog and short term memory loss. I’m getting so irritable with my lovely, fun husband and hate myself for it. I’m second guessing myself at work and having hot flashes in zoom meetings. I’m also hating the fact my boobs are bigger than ever and I look matronly which is a first for me.

    My GP has been great - we’ll woman check done and I’ve been on Cerelle (mini progesterone pill) for a week now with starflower oil for breast pain

    I practice mindfulness and breathing techniques and know that I should be feeling better but I’m not. Plus tha anxiety has set my IBS off and I have to rush to the loo 4 or 5 times before I leave the house in the morning. Sometimes I have to turn the car around to go back to use the loo when I’m trying to get to work

    oh and I simply cannot lose weight!

    any help gratefully received

    jane

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 320 Community Admin

    Thank you Diane for tagging me in the discussion.

    Hi @Roobee45,

    I just wanted to share a couple of resources with you that might help shed some light on the symptom's you're experiencing.

    I'm not an expert personally, however I'd recommend looking at the following article on supplements / vitamins that may help with a bunch of symptoms:


    We do have a nutritionist on here who will be able to give you further advice on the subject matter:

    Re insomnia and aching, I'll do some digging and get back to you asap. x

    Best,

    Blanka

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 320 Community Admin

    Hi @Janesjuno,

    Welcome to the forum and massive congrats to you!! I hope you had a chance to celebrate one way or another during these times.

    I'm so sorry to hear you're experiencing the above symptoms. I'm not going through the menopause myself but can certainly relate to the anxiety / rushing to the loo / having hot flushes in zoom meetings part of your story. I'm on anti-anxiety medication, which has awful side effects, including increased sweating and frequent bowel movements (😁😫).

    I tried practicing mindfulness and breathing techniques, they sometimes help, they sometimes don't. Sometimes I feel I just can't sit still and 'force' myself to relax if that makes sense. I find increased physical activity helpful.

    I'm not an expert but we do have a couple of resources that are worth reading:


    I'm hoping @DianePorterfield-Bourne will be able to give you further advice. She's our menopause nurse and can also give you more information on HRT.

    Hope this helps.

    Best,

    Blanka x

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Janesjuno

    Hello and thank you for being brave and writing into us at Live Better With Menopause. I can sense your underlying anxiety... new job, great partner and everything should be rosy....but it's not.

    That is how menopause can make you feel; mood swings, hot flushes and not remembering anything. It can really rock your confidence.

    I am pleased your GP has prescribed you the mini pill, this would be the progesterone element of your HRT and also contraception but they haven't prescribed Oestrogen? Did they discuss Oestrogen with you?

    I expect it is the lack of Oestrogen that is causing your symptoms. Taking Oestrogen is a personal thing and something to talk to your GP about.

    HRT helps many many women and there is no reason why it shouldn't help you too but only you can decide what you want to to.

    Please keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

    Best wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • JanesjunoJanesjuno Posts: 2

    Hi Diane

    thank you for your reply.

    My GP said to try the progesterone only to see if that works but I’m waiting for more blood results (hormone profile and T4).

    I’m hoping something works soon as my anxiety is getting increasingly worse.

    thank you

    jane

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Janesjuno

    I'm very pleased you talked to your GP, they obviously want to know what your bloods are showing.

    We can have other things wrong/out of balance as well as our hormones. Other things may need correcting too.

    Once they have these results , do talked about Oestrogen replacement as I think this maybe contributing to your symptoms. Oestrogen absorbed via the skin in a patch or gel is the best way of receiving Oestrogen.

    I hope you get your results soon and then you can discuss HRT with your GP in more detail.

    Please let us know how it goes.

    Best Wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 320 Community Admin

    @Roobee45 @Janesjuno

    Hello ladies, hope you're doing well!

    Just wanted to let you know that we have a live menopause Q&A with @DianePorterfield-Bourne over Zoom this Friday! Thought you might be interested in joining.


    We will be covering a range of topics, including:


     ✅ The stages and common symptoms of the menopause

     ✅ Anxiety, mood changes and feeling stressed

     ✅ HRT - facts, risks and benefits

     ✅ Lifestyle choices to live better with the menopause


    You will have the opportunity to listen in and ask questions live, using the chat function - don’t worry, you won’t need to use your camera or mic. 😏

    Date and time: 6pm - 6.30pm BST, Friday 26th June

    Where: Zoom

    How to join: Simply click on the following link at 6pm on the day: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84236189200


    Hope to see you there.

    Let me know if you have questions!

    Blanka x

    Community Admin


  • Roobee45Roobee45 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Is there a way of listening to this after the event?

  • DianePorterfield-BourneDianePorterfield-Bourne Posts: 138 Menopause Nurse Practitioner

    @Roobee45

    Thank you for writing in. @Blanka_C can you find the link to the zoom menopause talk I gave?

    Hopefully you can watch it via the link. I was a great evening and I am pleased ladies text questions in.

    Happy listening.


    Best wishes

    Diane Porterfield Bourne.

  • Roobee45Roobee45 Posts: 25 ✭✭

    Hi,

    Where can I find the link please?

    Thank you x

  • Blanka_CBlanka_C Posts: 320 Community Admin

    Hi @Roobee45,

    We did record this event yes, however it's not available to watch just yet! We're working on it and aim to upload it early next week.

    I'll let you know once it's available!

    Thank you for your patience x

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