I haven't yet reached this stage yet but my non bp sister has. Whilst she has always been an upbeat kind of person she has suffered some rather extreme lows as part of her pre-menopausal state which have resulted in her experiencing depression for the first time in her life. When she first told me of how she was feeling and how hopeless she felt during it, the words that came out of my mouth were "welcome to my world". It wasn't meant in a nasty way, just to say to her that I knew how she felt.
However, I've done very well coping with my bp and so far have managed to stay med free but I'm scared stiff now of reaching the menopause. If it could do this to my usually happy, friendly, non-confrontational sister I can't help wondering what the hell it will do to me.
Has anyone else reached or gone through the menopause and if so how did it affect your bp or perhaps that should be how did your bp react to the menopause?
I'm in menopause, by surgical induced that is due to endometrisis from my early 20's, and surgery at the age of 30. Now I'm 36.
This is a very difficult question to answer. Menopause and Bipolar Disorder are like oil and water if you ask me. They just simply do not mix well. They are like two variables within the same degree of a few symptoms, and when the two mix, the results are tenfold at times. The mood swings can be fierce, and depression extremely low if not handled in a timely fashion.
Emotionally, the swings can be like a rollercoaster soaring through the trees, and then wildly low in loops of circles til a deep drop to a severe low. That is when one must figure out when to visit both the pdoc, and Gynecologist, if not seen in quite a while to discuss medications or alternatives to what can be done to help the symptoms of menopause and what is working against the waves of both menopause and the depression. Usually, the pdoc will have already placed the person under an anti-depressant by this stage.
There are others who post here that can be of more help. Hopefully they will respond soon, as they can be of a more positive influence with this topic than I am.
Ruth- Where are you? Help.
a loving heart is the truest wisdom
Im 49 and began menopause around 40, cycle free for 3-4 years now however I still do get an occasional hot flash except now it's ususally set
off by a heat factor. I chose not to use hormone supplements for personal
reasons however Ive heard them can be very beneficial. I used natural soy supplements. I will admit menopause did applified the bipolar but ther symptoms can be buffered with estrogen hormones or suppliements, the use of antidepressants, or natural antidepressants. Now that I look back the hardest part was when I was low, really low, I didnt care about anything, not even feeling better or taking care of myself. Maybe it's a plus your sister is going thru menopause now, she can really use the positive encouragment and emotional support and when its your turn she'll know how to be there for you. Just remember the light at the end of the turnnel, Yah no more cycles!!!
Thank God I Am Going Crazy. My Son Is Bipolar. I Had A Complete
Hysterectomy May. I Am 41. I Dont Sleep, I Feel Depressed, I Get Panic Attacks I Have Never Felt Like This Ever...my Son Said Wow Mom Now You Know How I Feel. I Could Go On And On About How Bad I Feel. Thank God For My Kids And This Board. I Dont Get Out Of Bed.
Some Day.. The Not Sleeping Is Unbelievable. I Have 5million Things Going On In My Head. My Gyn Tried Effector, Adavan, Ambian Nothing Is Helping. He Just Gave Me Femtrace.well There Is Not Much Info On It And If I Read Warnings I Got Scared. But I Need To Feel Better And If I Read Warnings On My Sons Meds He Would Not Have Any Meds. By Way He Is Great On 1250mg Of Depakote And Ambilify 10mg 2months Now. So Any Way I Started Femtrace Today And I Will Keep You Posted.. But I'll Tell You I Can Completely Feel For Your Sister. I Never Felt So Not Grounded Before Wow My Family Thinks I Am Nuts. I Start Things And Dont Finish. Now I Guess This Is How My Son And Exhus Feel.
Hope This Helps.
Ps The Hot Flashes Are Bad Too.
I don't want to be the one that lowers this thread, but..the sad truth is that suicide in women is at it's highest during menopause than any other time in a womans life. Fact. That's without any other chemical/hormonal instability. It is not puberty or teenage as the popular press would have us believe.
I am terrified if I tell the truth. I have attempted suicide (drove into the bars in the middle of a motorway). I am dispondent that I can't have any more children now (due to the effects on my condition) and so I feel like I am just waiting for the MP and unable to enjoy the virtues of being regular as clockwork with my periods and clearly of good childbearing age. And I loved being pregnant and I love my daughter. It's all just so unfair.
One of the other folks said about being medicated before you start. Well, I guess that's the physical side all tied up...and monitored...the emotional side now, and when it happens, well, I'm glad and terrified that I'm not there yet.
I wasn't ever able to concieve or get pregnant due to endometriosis. We ended up adopting our children.
There are worse things when one goes into menopause than ending the childbearing years. Trust me. When you are told that you MUST have a complete hysterectomy around the day of your 30th birthday, which is valentine's day, and that you possibly have cervical cancer- but won't know until the surgery- in July, and have fibriod cysts that are so painful you must take Percocet 2 times a day, and hemmorage due to the endo, constantly; feeling bad about childbearing years is another complete issue. I then realize how fortunate I am for being able to adopt.
The grievence of the hysterectomy, menopause, and the surgery still haunt me from time to time, but I try to not dwell on it because it can be very depressing. Instead, I think about the two lives I saved through adoption. My life would never have been complete without my two sons. Look at how blessed you are with your daughter. We are blessed in ways that are unimaginable. Depression just masks over those wonderful things at times.
Now that I take an HRT, it helps reduce the symptoms. The symptoms are there, in a minut fashion thanks to the HRT. Anyway, there is a lot to educate oneself on in positive ways about menopause instead of fearing it. When a person has no choice but to go head first into it- you just go with the flow and endure it!
a loving heart is the truest wisdom
A quick note for ANY of us females here - there is a menopause board here - it is very helpful for the regular symptoms of menopause, and you'll find many women who are sounding pretty bipolar. My grandmother's bipolar disorder was actually triggered at menopause, so don't discount those poor "normal" females who are going through "normal" menopause.
That said, I have to admit that I have tried for several years to find out more about how to deal with the combination of Bipolar Disorder and Menopause. There still isn't alot out there in the way of medical studies. Think about it, when I was born, Bipolar Disorder was still Manic Depression and people were put in sanitariums rather than treated sometimes with a simple salt (lithium) and then go on to lead a pretty productive life.
For starters, I am 52 and have been perimenopausal for 3 years now. I went off the pill expecting that that would be it, instant menopause - but I've been pretty regular, maybe being late by a week or two is all.
My Bipolar disorder was triggered by my hormones at puberty (I was age 13) and here they are again wreaking havoc. Another minus believe it or not is that I have been so absolutely stable on lithium since I was put on it at age 30. No one knows what to make of me when I'm not good ol' easy goin', level headed Ruth.
So now, here I am whacked out sometimes, kind of permanently PMS'd for a week at a stretch, constantly on the low side, and yet totally resistant to taking one more single med other than my lithium.
I'm only working part-time, my husband luckily is at work about 70 hours a week and that has probably saved me from driving him off!!!!
HealthBoards has been my salvation to be honest. I can come here and feel like I can help someone and at the same time can edit and re-edit a post and hopefully make sure it sounds pleasant.
Sometimes I am just a total shrew, and I find that I avoid alot of social situations rather than have one of those "moments" where I feel the need to express myself and come off sounding pompous.
I wish I knew what to tell everyone - I've just been slogging along now for several years, every once in awhile I've started a menopause thread, and I am always thrilled when someone else starts one!!
And before I sign off, I guess for me the scariest thing is that I just honestly don't know if I'm having menopausal mood problems, or if the menopause has triggered bipolar mood problems.
Thanks for listening!!
I have posted on the menopause board before to ask questions. When lurking through the posts, it has made me too, wonder about the mental states of some of the gals and how the horomones effect them. Some are taking anti-depressants.
It is great when you post and remind those of us who are 'wet behind the ears' with this illness how things used to be like for treatment of Bipolar Disorder- aka; Manic Depression. You have such great knowledge and insight to the illness, and menopause as well. After reading your post, it sure makes me appreciate all that we have with pharmacuticals, technology, and etc. Most of us take so much for granted, and that even includes our ability to live a normal life. We are very fortunate.
a loving heart is the truest wisdom
Aw shucks coffegirl2, if I didn't feel like such a total and utter mess I would be able to properly thank you!!
I swear that I used to be intelligent and even a pleasant wife to Mr. Ruth...
nowadays he lovingly refers to me as his "menopausal bitchwife from hell" (and if that gets bleeped it is a shame because it probably is the most accurate description of THIS particular bipolar wife ever!!)
Maybe we can keep this thread going with the other bipolar menopausal women out there - God knows I could use the support!!!
On the 'days of thunder' my hubby will ask, 'now are we b*#chy today?' And usually begin his enjoyment of teasing me and daunting the mood swing, trying to see if there is anyway possible to create a smile. The credit I give that guy for all of his endurance and tolerance. What he puts up with!
That is just life with a Bipolar menopausal woman; the joys, froys, and hooplas that all go along with it. It is the grand of all finallies- THE MOOD SWINGS from h*ll. The hot flashes, the crawly feeling in the skin, night sweats, etc. Gross, should I name some more? The days where one wants to cry for an hour uncontrollably about the Lifetime TV movie and then talk to the next door neighbor for 30 minutes about rose bushes- non stop as joyful and jolly as can be. Oh, what glory!
Okay I'm babbling. Yes- we must keep this thread going. Don't stop gals. Keep posting. I need the support as well.
a loving heart is the truest wisdom
Oh man, remember the credit card commercial with the song "100 years" behind it and the couple that dates, gets married & the scene morphs from him carrying her across the threshold to laying the little girl down in bed?
I cry like an idiot every single time it comes on! Me, who had trouble breaking through the even calm of lithium to be able to cry when my dad died.
I swear that 80% of Hallmark commercials leave me in tears!!!!
For the last 2 years I didn't have any night sweats - but I radiated heat like a little power generator! Now I just keep a squeegee by my bedside and we are all set!!!!
Thanks, and hope you don't mind if I make myself
Vice President of Babbling
Oh my Goodness....can I please chime in here....even if I am non-bipolaree???
I think that alot of great points are brought up here and being on the other side of the fence and having Erin newly diagnosed I find myself being perimenopausal wondering if I may be Bipolar??!! I mean I have a cybertwin who is and now a daughter but heck these past few years I have been really PMSing big time to the point that I even discussed it with my doctor who put me on Wellbutrin for a while there. I really don't think I am Bipolar but between the hormonal changes and having a back disability for over 18 years it sort of has taken a toll on me!!! When Erin was diagnosed I put myself back on the Wellbutrin for a while which helped somewhat but yes I can see that the emotions run high and that I find myself snappy more often than not and also more weepy and emotional too. Heck, Ruth, if there were ever any doubts of us being separated at birth they are gone now because that Chase commercial gets me everytime!!! And the Hallmark commercials, OMG, there isn't a one that hasn't moistened a kleenex in my house....I love the one where the boy comes in from school and his mom comes across the card from his teacher thanking him for being such a good friend. And when the mom asks what it's all about he says it's not a big thing and shares how he included a boy that everyone left out and his mom goes on to tell him that it is a big thing and asks if she can give him a hug!! Oh no,,,here come the tears again, boy oh boy, I can't even write about this!! There nobody can see the red teary eyes!!
Anyway....I LOVE this thread because you can see more and more similarities between Bipolar and non-Bipolar and the hormonal connections. I guess it would be awfully scary for the Bipolar thinking of how it all could worsten things.....is that what is going on girls??? I really am glad that you share all of this because I think that every woman is affected by the hormonal changes and could only imagine the changes it must impose upon somebody who is Bipolar but I would like to understand and think that we are far more connected when we are able to......I think that it gives me as a non-Bipolaree a greater respect and appreciation for what you Bipolars have gone through to a much greater degree for most of your lives. And it's the closest to knowing and understanding what Erin is going through but at the same time makes it sometimes more difficult to interact with one another. Anybody have any suggestions besides moving away???
Thanks for allowing me to join in.....as always this is a great place to be and I appreciate how at home you all make me feel.
(((HUGS))) ~ from another perimenopausal woman....Goody
I would have to say that the closest another woman (or twin) can come to understanding the moods that come over a bipolar woman would have to be during perimenopause & menopause.
Hormones after all ARE chemicals that affect the brain... Try asking a woman who is having true PMS, and one who is bipolar to "snap out of it". Can't.
Judge D, let's talk about that low mood, ok? Is it a bipolar one, or one with a reason?
Let's see, if you're Judge Delerious that makes me Bipolar Bailiff!!
Just wanted to say I think it fantantic how you'll all supporting and helping each other. The twist of humor is the icing on the cake. Wishing you all
a quick trip thru the tunnel of menopause. K