I have just plucked up the courage to go to my G.P and ask for help with the symptoms i am experiencing. I was given a prescription for an alternative to HRT. When I got them home they are for depression. Is this common to be prescribed?
Welcome to the forum.
The short answer is yes.
Anti depressants can be prescribed as an alternative to HRT, if for example, there is a medical reason for you not to take HRT. However, GPs should be following NICE guidelines, and anti depressants are not the first line treatment for menopause symptoms. Many women are being failed by their GPs due to lack of knowledge around symptoms and treatments and can be incorrectly diagnosed as depressed and given antidepressants, rather than the HRT treatment they need.
Obviously I do not know which symptoms you went to your GP with, and it may be that the anti depressant treatment you have been given is entirely appropriate for you. It does concern me though, that you were unaware that your medication was an anti depressant until you got home. It would have been helpful, and you could have asked questions, had that been discussed during your appointment.
I wonder how many symptoms you actually have without perhaps realising? The attached symptoms checker will give you a really good idea of what you're dealing with - and is a helpful tool for speaking to your GP about menopause.
I'm also attaching a couple of useful articles about the use of anti depressants to treat menopause which you may find useful.
Firstly well done on actually getting to the GP. this can be hard enough as a lot of GPs just don't understand menopause and you leave feeling worse.
I am also on antidepressants instead of HRT. It doesn't necessarily mean you are depressed. They do help with a lot of the symptoms of menopause. Within a week or 2 my mood swings had returned to normal and I actually didn't realise how bad I was until I felt normal again so give them a go and see how you feel.
HRT doesn't stop menopause happening, it just blocks it so the chances are if you come off of HRT you will continue going through menopause, where as antidepressants don't stop it but stop the effects of it. This could be the way forward for some people.
Let us know how you feel in a few weeks.