I'm very curious as to who here has taken anti-depressants to cope with menopause?
And if so, did it help? Did you eventually stop taking it?
I'm 47 and now post menopausal. I haven't had a period in well over a year and my blood work also indicated that I am post menopausal. During the time that I was in peri I experienced a lot of anxiety and depression. It kind of came out of nowhere (I didn't know I was going into peri) and my moods were all over the place, and it caused some fighting with me and my husband. I ended up going to a shrink and went on Lexapro. The lexapro did help and although my husband didn't ask a whole lot about it, he knew I went to the shrink and when things got better I think he was just happy I wasn't so moody.
Fast forward a few years. I know I'm now post menopausal and feeling okay so I discontinued the lexapro. That was about seven months ago. I felt okay going off the lexapro, although I did go through the "brain zaps" which is very common coming off an AD. Not fun but I got through it.
Now I am having some issues with my workaholic husband, and rather than listen to my valid concerns and requests, he takes the position that "I need to get back on my meds".
I am feeling very resentful of this because I truly do not feel like I need the lexapro anymore.
Has anyone else ever gone through something like this?? I'm starting to regret that I ever took the lexapro if now I'm going to be told I need to be "on my meds" every time I have a complaint. And this issue with his work IS legit. He works six days a week and we never do anything. Yet he manages to spend a night out with the guys every week, and in the summer he spends his only day off (Sunday) golfing.
I suspect your husband has always been a workaholic so now you expect he will be different? Perhaps you were so distracted with you own ills that you didn't notice or rather you were so tired you didn't care and then when you were on an antidepressant you started feeling better and now you are 'back' and you now want your husband to change? I wish it worked that way. Don't know what to tell you but your husband prefers the 'old you' the one that was too sick/tired to care what he was doing. So you are going to have to figure out what to do with this new found energy if you want to stay in this marriage. The next time he says go back on your meds tell him that they did what they were suppose to do and there is no need for them anymore...this is who you were suppose to be all along. Tell him you are sorry if you have neglected him and you would like to know if he appreciates you being there or does he want a life without you...other than going back on meds(that is such a lame thing to say anyway) what does he want from you? ...and is he willing to share his free time with you? You might as well get his honesty so you know where you stand and that might make your future choices more clear. I am sorry for your situation.
Hi and thanks for the reply. To be honest Ann, my husband was not always this much of a workaholic. I don't know what kind of hormonal changes men go through in late 40's but I think he is the one who "needs meds" because I think there is some depression going on. I remember when I was in peri before I realized what was going on with me I was really moody with him for probably 4-5 months when in reality I needed to take charge of my mental health.... which I did. Now I feel like I have this history or whatever of being on a "psych med" so now it is used against me, and yes that is very lame. That is why I wanted to know if others have experienced that stigma..... just because they went on an AD during peri. I can't take HRT so that was my only option. I was glad it helped, but now I wish I would have kept it to myself that I even took the stuff.
I wonder if divorce is common during this phase of life, seems to me it is a high risk time and that is just sad. I know he loves me and I don't want to get divorced, but navigating through the BS is difficult. I wish there were more efforts made by doctors to educate men and women at this phase of life. It's like meno has this bad rap but men don't go through changes that also puts them out of wack?? Or if they do it is a "mid-life crisis" cured by buying a corvette or getting with a much younger woman, where as women need psych meds because we are psycho??
Hmm I wonder if my husband had taken an AD at some point in his life if I would have told him to "get back on his meds" when I was in peri? Truth be told maybe I would have, LOL!
I was offered them but refused. I had a hormone problem so I felt we should control the hormones. We changed my bcp while I was in peri and then switched to HRT when we felt that it was time. Still on it 7 years later..and doing fine.
While I don't really have any advice for you, I can definitely sympathize with you. At least once a month or so my husband suggests that I go back on meds. I was on Prozac for eight years. He knows that my mood swings are hormone-related yet he still says dumb things like this because he doesn't know how else to deal with me. When I remind him that some of my hormonal problems are most likely related to taking Prozac, he shuts right up. Prozac and the other SSRI's lower testosterone. I was also on the pill for 18 years. The pill lowers testosterone and also suppresses the body's ability to make progesterone and can, in turn, cause estrogen dominance. So here I am at 38 y/o with very low progesterone and testosterone. Coincidence? I think not. I'm using a bioidentical progesterone cream that seems to be working well. I'm hoping that might help bring the testosterone up on its own, as I'm not looking forward to paying $50/mo. (that I don't really have) for testosterone cream because my insurance won't cover it. I'm not crazy about the possibility of 'manly' side effects from it either. Good luck with your husband. I swear I wish just for one day they could be us and see how it feels.
Last edited by kittywitty; 03-19-2009 at 11:37 PM.
As time goes on I become more and more convinced that there are some things that men will never get about women, and it's probably true that there are things about them that we will never get. In fact I was watching my husband's big excitement over March Madness basketball and I really didn't get it. I didn't resent it, he watches sports all the time my point is I can't relate to the sports obsession.
The other day I recalled this movie I saw one time.... darn I wish I could remember the name. It was a comedy about a pro-football team and the stuff that goes on behind the scenes at games etc, well one guy was on steroid pills to make him stronger had this real tough guy personality. One of the players from the other team somehow switched his steroid pills with estrogen pills.... and after a couple days they show the guy a mess and crying all emotional like (exaggerated of course) to his team-mate saying "I just need to talk about my feelings, I just need you to understand my feelings".... it was halarious. I actually laughed out loud just thinking about it.
It's true women do seem so much more emotional. Maybe when our husbands tell us to "get back on meds" they don't mean much more than "get off my back about whatever it is your complaining about".... while I tend to take it much more personal like he is calling me a psycho.
Truly though, looking back I do wish I would have kept it to myself that I was taking the lexapro. When my moods evened out on it I should have just said -- honey I just realized how wonderful you are so now I feel better Just kidding.... sometimes I need to joke about this stuff to cope.
As to your situation with the estrogen dominance, did you have blood work done? I had no idea SSRI's lower testosterone. The only labs I had done were for thyroid and FSH. I'm glad the progesterone cream is working for you and I hope it helps bring the testosterone up for you too. I don't blame you for fearing manly side effects. Hey if you take testosterone maybe you'll throw your husband through the window if he tells you to get back on your meds, LOL just thinking about that movie again.
By the way, you are 38.... when you get through the whole thing, no periods for at least a year, etc it really does get better, so know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It kind of reminds me of adolescence, things are haywire for a few years and then the body adjusts.
LOL That movie sounds vaguely familiar. I can't think of the title, though, either. Maybe I'll ask my husband. Haha
Yeah, the issue with the SSRI's isn't the kind of thing doctors will tell you about. I had to find out through my own research. If you weren't on the Lexapro for too long, you might not have been affected too much by it. I had a hormone panel test done a few months ago: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, FSH, DHEA, thyroid, and . Estrogen was actually slightly low but not too low according to the doctor, so I don't know that it's actually an issue of estrogen dominance for me. However, my ratio of estrogen to progesterone, is extremely off. Everything else seemed okay except for the low T and progesterone.
Hmm I wonder if the reason SSRI's lower libido is because of the affect on testosterone? I was on Laxapro for about a year and a half. It did affect my sex drive. I just faked my way through it a lot of the time and I don't usually have to do that, it went away when I went off the lexapro. It's a shame the stuff we take to feel better always have some kind of negative side effect.
Actually, I remember reading the insert on the lexapro package and one of the side affects was depression! I was like WHAT?? I still took it though because peri was so rough I had to try. Luckily it worked and was tolerable.
It's Saturday and my husband is working. sigh. I hope you are having a good weekend
Actually, I'm having a bad week. I've been feeling really depressed all week. I ordered my progesterone cream too late and was without it for a couple days, so I'm playing catch up. That and I drank for the first time in years on St. Pat's Day which I'm sure didn't help. My husband is home today. He's all chipper and he's driving me nuts. I just shut the door to the computer room because he won't shut up. I just want to be alone, I guess I'll have to leave for awhile. He's also doing things around the house that I should have been done. I appreciate what he does, I just wish I could do it. Just getting out of bed is an effort lately.
Yes, the low testosterone effect is exactly the reason for the low sex drive. The doctors will tell you about the side effect but they won't tell you why it happens. I don't know if anybody will ever come up with an antidepressant for both depression and anxiety that doesn't interfere with the libido. The day someone does, that person is going to be rich! Depression and anxiety are ironically side effects of Prozac, too. It didn't affect me that way really, thankfully. However, I quickly found out that I couldn't have caffeinated beverages while on it or else my anxiety went through the roof. It was probably for the better, though, because caffeine makes anxiety worse. Prozac also made me emotionally numb, gave me tremors at night, killed my sex drive and made my hair fall out. It helped me when I needed it most, and then I had to go off it because I couldn't take the side effects anymore.
I'm sorry to sound so glum. I hope you're feeling okay today.
Last edited by kittywitty; 03-21-2009 at 10:10 AM.
Hey there Kitty feel free to vent to me anytime. I understand what it is like to be in hormonal hell. Do you have a room where you can watch a movie alone? When I felt really bad sometimes I would rent a movie -- something I wanted and not a compromise with my husband so he wouldn't even try to join me, and curl up and just let myself get distracted from my peri issues.
I was actually thinking of doing that today... I had "One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest" in mind.
By the way I wanted to mention something about the lexapro, although I'm not suggesting you should take it now that I know about the testosterone effect.... lexapro does treat anxiety and depression. When I first went to my doctor she gave me xanax for some immediate relief (I literally bust out crying right in the office) as well as the lexapro. The xanax was very effective for the anxiety and I'm pretty sure my doctor would have let me stay on it as long as I wanted/needed it, but after a week on the lexapro I didn't even need the xanax. I mentioned to her how surprised I was that lexapro eased my anxiety so much and she told me it is the choice for people who are both anxious and depressed. Years ago-- 12-13 years I took prozac while my dad was dying of cancer and it made me hyper and anxious. Lexapro had a calming effect. If you ever do consider another SSRI it might be a better choice. I wonder why doctors can't give a very low dose testosterone along with SSRIs?
Do you have xanax on hand? That works well. I know some people worry about addiction but I wouldn't care about that in peri. You can always taper off when things calm down.
Well I hope you at least had fun on St. Pats Day. I think using alcohol in small/moderate amounts can be helpful like a winecooler or two, then again I've always been a social drinker, I realize some people don't like it at all.
Can you send your chipper husband out somewhere, suggest he go somewhere with the guys and watch the basketball craze?
Well I'm glad you have your computer room, and like I said feel free to vent anytime. I hope you feel better soon.
Hey, Maggiee , thanks for the kind thoughts. You can feel free to send me a private message anytime if you like, so we can talk a bit. I actually just tried to send you one but it didn't go through.
Anyway, I usually hidey-ho upstairs and watch my taped Judge Judy shows to get away from the hubby when he gets on my nerves. He hates her. We actually just got back from seeing 'Madea Goes to Jail'. It was very funny. I should rent that Cuckoo's Nest movie someday. I love Jack Nicholson and have seen most everything he's played in.
As far as meds go, I was on at least a dozen different psych-related meds over a ten-year time period. I'm not sure I can even remember all of them. I was never on Lexapro or Xanax, though. I won't take Xanax simply because of it's addictive properties. Anyway, most of that time I spent on Prozac. All of the meds, however, had some kind of intolerable side effect. I'm very med-sensitive and I often get even the supposed 'rare' side effects. It's just not worth it to me anymore in the long run. So, after the Prozac (two years off now), I've vowed to never take another prescription again. Even though I'm sad now sometimes, it's just nice to be able to feel again. When I was on meds, I couldn't even cry at funerals. I didn't care about anything and I let people walk all over me. Yet I was in therapy at the exact same time trying to reverse that behavior and it was becoming counterproductive.
I did enjoy St. Pat's Day. I'm just not enjoying the after effects of it. Funny thing, though, I didn't start feeling like crap until Wednesday night (3-18). Ironically, my progesterone cream order came in that morning. (I've been on it for three months now and it's never made me feel depressed before) I missed my dose Monday night and Tuesday morning and night's dose. I did try a cream I bought at the health store to try and tie me over on Tuesday, but it only has 20mg per 1/4 tsp in it, which it way less than I'm used to getting with my regular cream. I even started spotting. I do feel somewhat better than earlier today, though, so maybe the alcohol is working it's way out of my system? I only had maybe four drinks, but it's been at least ten years since I drank outside of a sip here and there, so it really hit me hard. I just need to remember that alcohol is a depressant. I've had depression all my life anyway so I need to be extra careful.
Anyway, thanks for reading my long post.
Last edited by kittywitty; 03-21-2009 at 06:38 PM.
Hi Kitty, I understand why you don't want to take the meds. There is a certain numbing effect, and to tell you the truth that is one of the reasons I got so furious at my husband for telling me to "get back on meds".... I looked at him like he was nurse Ratchet, and you will know exactly what I mean when you watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
If you understand depression you must watch that movie! It is a classic no matter what, but the "mental illness" side is extremely profound. I think it is Jack Nicholson's best movie. I had forgotten how old it is.... rather how old I am, lol... seriously I can't wait to hear your take on it. However, it is not exactly a feel good kind of movie even though there are some very funny scenes, so keep that in mind, I wouldn't want it to make you feel bad. Like I said it is very profound.
Depression is no joke. I'm sorry you have struggled for so long, but glad to know you have worked on it in therapy. I do believe we can learn how to build coping skills, and everyone is different. It's important to listen to yourself to know what's working for you. For me, sometimes I just need to get out of my head (hope that makes sense) and try to live in the NOW. Sometimes on a bad day I will <look for new recipes> and find something I have never made and spend the afternoon making a gourmet dinner or desert. I found things like cooking and gardening can be so enjoyable if I tell myself to live in the moment. I have a basil plant that I grew and believe it or not the smell of it is uplifting to me. Like I said it's about finding what works for you.
Now I'm going to get real shallow on you and confess I've been over on the "cosmetic surgery" board and I'm getting info about wrinkle fillers so I can get rid of my frown lines, LOL! We ladies have to take care of ourselves (I'm convinced a man can not do it for me) and I'm sick of looking at these wrinkles. I'll tell my hubby I spent the money on Lexapro
Last edited by mod-anon; 03-23-2009 at 10:46 PM.
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Yes, it's almost like he wants me back in that numb state so I'll never complain about anything and just be complacent. No thanks, that's not me. He even complained when I first went off the Prozac that I was being 'bitchy'. That was before the peri even started. I told him I wasn't being bitchy, I just didn't put up with people's crap anymore. I'll definitely check out that movie, though, sounds I could relate. I even had a brother that was mentally ill with schizophrenia.
I actually need to go back to therapy and work on more issues. I suppose when I get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I'll go back. I'm just tired of crying, I want to be happy. In the meantime, I have my cat, and, of course, my hubby. I love both of them very much. It's amazing, though, how comforting an animal can be, almost like they understand your pain.
Don't feel shallow about the wrinkles. I've actually been looking around for a good cream to help with mine.
Last edited by kittywitty; 03-24-2009 at 07:17 PM.
Hi Kitty how is your week going? By the way I know what you mean about animals, I have a dog I adore, my son is grown so she is like my menopause baby, LOL.
I hope you are feeling better. Peri is hard but it will not last forever. Tell yourself that when your brain is making you feel out of control of your emotions. It's only a phase while your body adjusts. I'm in no way minimizing it, just letting you know there is life after peri. Also, do you like chocolate? Good mood enhancer
Yeah I was just at the cosmetic board again. Sigh. Retin-a is supposed to be the best topical for the face, but it takes some getting used to. Start now while you are young and you will look great!
Don't worry Kitty I know you can do this! Be gentle on yourself, sounds to me like you have come a long way in your life and are facing things with clarity. That means you are not afraid, and that is a good thing.
Schizophrenia. One of my best male friends has it, I wouldn't trade him for the world. Ever see the movie "A Beautiful Mind"? I cried during that movie. I actually find schizophrenia to be a very interesting, and many who have it are highly intelligent.
Yes, I like chocolate (a little too much, sometimes ;-) In fact, I just ate a candy bar because I feel like crud today. I crave junk when I feel like crap. Good thing I work out, or else I'd be as big as a house. I was already exhausted when I went to bed last night from not much sleep the night before. I didn't get much sleep last night either because my silly cat kept waking me up for nothing. She had food and water, she just wanted to be a pest. I rubbed her belly and she left me alone for a little while.
I've dealt with more things in my life than I care to mention right now. I'm actually pretty jaded from it, and not alot scares me. This hormone stuff is just yet another hurdle to get over.
I'll probably watch 'Cuckoo's Nest' with the hubby tonight. I'll see if I see any similarities with him and the nurse. I have seen "A Beautiful Mind", and I cried too when I saw it. It just made me sad to know that after all this time, although we're not limited to shock therapy anymore, we still have a long way to go in treating the illness. My brother was paranoid schizophrenic and I believe he was being treated with lithium at the time (during the '70s). When he took the meds, he was a zombie and you couldn't have a conversation with him. Yet if he didn't take it, he was paranoid. On the lighter side, he was an extremely gifted artist and could draw anything you put in front of him. I've heard that the part of their brain that's afflicted with the schizophrenia is also the creative part.
Last edited by kittywitty; 03-26-2009 at 03:31 PM.