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Old 11-12-2003, 07:43 AM   #1
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PollyPrissyPants HB User
menopause and bipolar...

hey hoosier, this one's for you....
i too am going through "the change" as they say...i HATE that term!! anyway, i think i'm in perimenopause although i havent had any hormonal tests...don't really care to know officially as i'm not a candidate for any hormonal treatments due to a long history of family breast cancer...i truly believe it's related to my bipolar, or not really related, but they do intertwine....i am way moodier than in the past, no concentration, no short term memory, waking several times during the night and the hot flashes, let's not even go there...
my pdoc has mentioned that menopause will heighten bipolar, i think he said due to the dwindling estrogen...he said some studies have shown that pregnant women w/ bipolar sometimes "lose" their bipolar during pregnancy due to the high levels of estrogen they produce during the pregnancy...(funny, my exhubby always said my mental state was never better than it was my second trimester)...i asked then why cant they treat it w/ estrogen (even though i cant take it) and he said the amt needed would be impossible to administer externally...
anyway, a point thats encouraging...he also said that after menopause it has been seen that bipolar symptoms can drastically decrease and in some cases disappear...i have no idea why, if high levels make it better then why would the end of menopause make it better also?? any med students out there looking for a research topic?? this one would be huge, probably bigger than anyone could anticipate....
all i know is i had better start sleeping soon or i'll be a walking zombie...i even wake up when i have taked mega doses of sleeping pills...and the sleep deprivation contributes even more to my "state"...
it's h*ll getting old!!!

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Old 11-12-2003, 08:25 AM   #2
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HoosierBj HB User
Polly! I have about 20 volumes of things to say about being bipolar and perimenopausal... Right now I'm so thrilled to have company that I have writer's block!!
I don't even know where to start. Here's my timeline:
Age 13 Onset of bipolar disorder (another estrogen issue?)
Age 30 Finally correctly diagnosed as bipolar (lots of stories btwn 13 & 30!) Put on Lithium and turned into a textbook "compliant lithium responder".
Age 30ish to 47 "The Great Plateau". Worked, met & married, no highs, no lows.
Age 47 - 50 My first perimenopausal symptoms appeared in this time period also. I couldn't function at work (no concentration, stared at computer screen for loooong minutes, my learning curve flattened to a straight line, I became stressed out over nothing, couldn't proofread my own work. I ended up turning in my resignation in early 2002 and haven't worked since. Add "power surges" scanty periods, and an amazing amount of rage inside for such a Ghandi-like person.
Moods? Haven't felt such moods since 1984! Very unsettling.
Can't count on how I'll feel a week ahead.

Ok, that's chapter 1!!!
What is your situation with work and home? I've read your other posts on some of the threads I post on, but for the life of me can't remember (!!) if you mentioned that. Thanks again for opening up this thread and letting me vent. I am just about to go nuts with no one to discuss this with. (Oops, I'm already nuts!)
The guys will know to just bypass this one, huh?

Old 11-13-2003, 06:45 AM   #3
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PollyPrissyPants HB User
hi again...the guys really shouldnt bypass this one since they are victims of our wrath...but i'll bet they will
my story is quite similar to yours...i suspect my BP reared its ugly head around parents separated then divorced...i went from shy obedient one to very out of control, drugs, drinking, skipping school and rampant sex...this continued until i was about 22 when, as i wrote in another post, i became desperate to turn my life around...thats when i consciousy found my "normal, stable" hubby and played the role of stable housewife and mother...i was seemingly "ok" for the next 15 yrs or so...thats when, out of the blue, i had a severe depression breakdown...i was put on various antidepressants which all made me manic but my original pdoc kept reassuring me that i was just feeling "non depressed" and that's what it felt like...meanwhile, i was having affairs and partying all the time at the expense of my family....i knew somewhere inside it wasnt normal....when we moved to CO i read a story of a woman who was BPII, undiagnosed for years...her story mirrored mine so much that i found a pdoc and he confirmed my self diagnosis....anyway...from there it getts better, then ugly again, then better, then ugly....right now, jury's out as to what it it...i feel ok for the most part but have been fighting the urge to cut myself again, have pretty much socially isolated myself and have been a slug...but i'm ok with it all...
well that's my part one....there's more depth to it but when i sit and delve into it, i can sometimes put myself in a dark place...can't afford that today as i have a doctor appt(repeat follow up pap test on an abnormal one last june, can you believe they lost the one i had last week?? eeeekkk) that i must get to...seems something as small as getting my butt up and out of the house in a challenge and i need to work hard at meeting my obligations...
i dont feel coherent today so i hope this post made sense....

hoosier, are there tests that will tell what stage of menopause one is in??? thanks, PPP~~~

Old 11-14-2003, 06:03 AM   #4
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HoosierBj HB User
I thought there was, but my doctor told me they can't check for estrogen loss (an FSH test?) until I'm not having any periods.
I know a bone density test can be done...
Have you had "power surges" or hot flashes?
Another trick I heard is if you are able to ask your mom, most women start into perimenopause about the same time their mother's did.

I've got all the guardian angels flyin', so hang in there on the Pap test. Isn't the waiting and worrying just the pits, especially when you're putting on "the front" for everyone else?
Come here and be you!

Old 11-14-2003, 06:39 AM   #5
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sweetpoison68 HB User
Polly and Hoosier
I am soooooooooooo happy to find this particular post!!!!! I just had a hyst in sept.I am only 35 but i had problems for a long long time they just wouldnt give me a surg date because i was too young!!!Finally they agreeded i needed this surg .. I was put on the patch right after surg then my doc gave me a new brand i put it on and 2 days later i could hardly walk from leg pain{lasted 2 weeks too much estrogen in my system}!!!! I took the patch off docs orders and went to the ER to make sure i didnt have blood clots..I turned out ok long story short.I went back on a low dose 2 weeks ago and no pain but it seems my dose isnt high enough!!I have not been diagnosed by a doc but i sure do fit most of the symptoms of being b/P...I would have to say if my estrogen isnt high enough my mood swings are CRAZY!!!! At low doses nothing works right.I am currently taking flaxseed oil 1 tbsp a day to stabilize my hormones.moods.along w/estrogen patch....ETC..I have had symptoms of B/P for along time.My d/h watched a show on it about a yr ago and he doesnt normally get interested in such shows..anyway he asked me since i read alot if i thought i could relate.....hhhmmm..I also have a friend about one year i worked w/him he is not on meds either it took alot of patience for everyone to work with us,lol...He is 13 yrs younger than me but oh my how i could see my younger self in him!!! I did alot of reading to try and improve myself and have come along way however i am still unlike other people...I am very good friends w/this kid i am trying to help him as much as i can ..sometimes he pushes me away and i just wait it out and he thinks and thinks and comes back around..I am experiencing all the things i have put others through w/him!!!I am now rambling,lol.Just had to reply to this post..glad it was put out there as nobody understands what im going through.I am getting the looks of disbelief except from my b/p friend well he doesnt know about hormones lol but the rest he has been a tremendous help for me as well as myself helping him!!!I feel as if everyone is tired of hearing about my menopause i hush and am treading this road alone or so it seems..good day thanks for listenin

Old 11-14-2003, 07:28 AM   #6
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PollyPrissyPants HB User
hello hoosier and sweetp....
hoosier, i wish i was like my mom...she went through menopause at record speed when she was 41...just stopped having periods, no hot flashes, no misery to her knowledge...but i do remember her getting quite whacky but i just thought it was because she and my dad were getting divorced...maybe her whackiness was actually the menopause crazies...funny about your tests (not "ha ha" funny, more the peculiar funny) close friend back home hasnt had a period for 3 years yet her dr says her tests show she hasnt gone through menopause...there is no other explanation for it...if i had better insurance i'd look into getting checked by a dr, oh so much else, i'll diagnose myself...the hot flashes are miserable, yes indeed...last night i just wanted to strip off my clothes and run outside into the cold!!!! do you wake up several times during the night?? i know you do to pee from the lithium (see...i have been reading!! lol) but do you think you wake for other unapparent reasons?? i havent had an uninterrupted sleep night in over a year and the exhaustion adds to all my other symptoms...even horse tranquilizers dont keep me down...

sweetp...isnt it the pits when no one wants to hear when youre in distress??? yet when they have a concern they are the first ones to go on and least thats been the case in my so called life....this board is the best though...i had lurked around here for months before i started to post and even then i only posted sporadically...still dont post all that much, but i find comfort in reading so many stories that mirror mine...not that i would wish these circumstances on anyone, but still, it's sister had a hysterectomy when she was 40 and had a tough time getting her estrogen levels regulated...i remember her getting killer headaches that lasted days...took a few years (probably not what you wanted to hear) but she is now adjusted and doing well...keep an eye on the BP symptoms though and maybe see a dr about it?? both BP and menopause are bad enough on their own, but combined?? that's just bad, bad, bad....

anyway, i cant really think today...having trouble w/ concentration...i'm not sure if i even addresses either of your posts...nice to "visit" though....

Old 11-14-2003, 07:05 PM   #7
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HoosierBj HB User
I am in so glad to be able to talk to other women in my shaky little boat! My next question is what you do for a doctor when you're Bipolar & Menopausal.
I haven't seen a psychiatrist in a decade... My GP prescribes my lithium and he's always done my Pap. He also thinks that menopausal symptoms are all physical. No cognitive, mental, etc. I really need a change, huh?
Is there such a think as a psychiatric ob/gyn who can pull this all together??

Old 11-14-2003, 09:14 PM   #8
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 173
sweetpoison68 HB User
Not one single night yet have i slept through the night w/out awaking to a soaking wet lil tank top then when i jump up to dry off i am freezzziinnggg.I have to have a fan on me every night!!!...I have been takin xanax again and it really helps .I only wake up once slightly damp...Of course i always have to take a trip to the bathrom when im up ... .I have to be up at 5 am and its 12:30 am//HHEEHEEE ..nighty nght ladies..Its great to know im not alone anymore..Talk more later gotta go make money tomorrow...

Last edited by sweetpoison68; 11-14-2003 at 09:20 PM.

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