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Topic: Depression and menopause

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. KatrinaS
    KatrinaS avatar
    2 posts
    30 December 2019
    Hi first time poster here. I have had depression since I was 16 am now 54 years old. Have been on medication since I was 20 but depressive feelings have always lurked in the background. But for the last 3 years or so it has been worse, resulting in feelings of anxiety and now social anxiety...I dont want to go out and socialise....I am ok at work but not with being out in a situation where I have to chat to people and make small talk. I feel everyone is judging me and I find no enjoyment in anything really. I have a wonderful husband but try and hide my feelings of despair from everyone as I dont want to make others feel bad. This includes immediate family. I dont have many friends as I am just not interested in staying in contact with people.I dont really have any time to myself as my parents live with us 6 months of the year and I feel I have to be oh so happy and normal when I am home...but all I want to do is curl up in a ball and avoid everyone. Sleep used to be a saviour but now I am experiencing insomnia. I was wondering whether other women at peri menopausal/menopausal age has found their depression/anxiety has worsened? I feel like a shit mother to my 2 younger girls still living at home (11 and 17) because I am no fun and dont want to go anywhere with them. Christmas has been a nightmare. My gp has left the practice and I have to try and find a new one whom I can relate to.
    3 people found this helpful
  2. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3497 posts
    30 December 2019 in reply to KatrinaS

    Hi Katrina and welcome to the forums,

    I found your post very interesting to read. I'm 34 and menopause isn't a factor just yet for me and yet I was nodding along with everything you wrote thinking that sounds just like me too.

    I'm not quite sure how to pinpoint what is wrong but I suspect my medication might need another review.

    You mentioned your GP has left and I was wondering if you've always had a GP managing your health or have you ever seen a psychiatrist? They train as a doctor and then do years of extra study specific to mental health. Seeing as you've experienced depression for such a long time do you think it might be helpful for you? (It's ok if you don't feel this will help by the way... Just me sharing thoughts).

    When you said you feel like a crap Mum it made me a bit teary. I feel the same. You're not. Neither am I. Ok so we just want to be alone and don't feel up to being fun Mum but that's also an important lesson for our kids to learn! You're not simply a parent but an individual person too. Sometimes that means everyone else has to come second for once because we need some care ourselves.

    It's so hard to change that old 'Mum the Martyr' pattern so many parents fall into. It's ok to ask family and friends for help but so hard to start doing! You wrote about not wanting to make your family feel bad and once I was the same.

    I'll be very blunt... I was suicidal before I let my husband truly see how desperately low I felt. Is it ok if I ask if you've experienced thoughts of suicide or harming yourself? This is a safe place to talk. It can help a lot to put what you're feeling into words. You can even print your posts if you want to show someone how you're feeling if the words won't come.

    I've waffled enough arrgh. I'm worried about you. If you want to keep talking we're listening and care. Noone here judges.

    Hopefully tonight you get some rest. Please take good care of yourself. Forget being Mum for a bit and just be a person who needs some TLC.

    Nat

    1 person found this helpful
  3. KatrinaS
    KatrinaS avatar
    2 posts
    30 December 2019 in reply to Quercus
    Thank you Nat. Yes I have felt suicidal many times but always in the back of my mind is my kids and how they would cope if I wasn't here anymore. I have seen a psych many years ago but it wasnt a great experience as I felt he was very impersonal and just wanted to get rid of me. That was a long time ago though. Part of experiencing this depression is the feeling of total apathy and feeling its just too hard to reach out and find a health professional who understands. I dont know where to get TLC from. Battling the thoughts in my head is exhausting. Thank you for your response I really appreciate it.
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Quercus
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    Quercus avatar
    3497 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to KatrinaS

    Hi Katrina,

    Thank you for coming back to talk.

    It was very sad reading that although you have children and a husband you clearly love you don't know where to go to be given some love and care for yourself.

    It made me wonder if the apathy you described means you've stopped asking for help (or perhaps haven't asked those who love you for help at all?). Does your husband know that you have thought about suicide?

    I know it is a very hard topic to talk about because it frightens people. When I've told people before they have gotten upset thinking I'm at risk but I know for myself being brutally honest is part of my safety plan. If I admit I'm not ok I'm trying to keep myself safer by making sure someone else who is around me knows.

    It is awful that when you took the chance on trusting a psych they let you down. I wish I could say it doesn't happen but it does. Would you consider taking someone you trust with you to the doctor? Prior to the Psychiatrist I saw a psychologist who said I didn't need to come anymore because I was fine. My husband asked me to write down how I felt on a bad day and took me back to her. She phoned my doctor from her office.

    My point is reading your posts and seeing the exhaustion rings alarm bells for me. It is too familiar. To me that feeling of apathy is a very dangerous sign. Even if you know in your heart you'll get through day after day because you love your babies, is not a healthy or safe place for you to be in mentally.

    You wrote that finding help feels too hard and I get that totally. Even making a phonecall is beyond me at times. What do you think would happen if you asked your husband to read this thread? Would he organise the medical care you need?

    I mention it because it was the step that saved my life. I felt too empty to do anything to help myself just got through every day caring for my family. I needed help. I'm worried that you do too. Is that a fair thing to say?

    The forums are here, Even if I don't reply immediately ( I have to go to work for a while) you're heard here and cared about.

    Kind thoughts to you.

    Nat

  5. White Rose
    Community Champion
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    White Rose avatar
    6294 posts
    31 December 2019 in reply to KatrinaS

    Dear Katrina

    Hello and welcome. Nat's posts are terrific. I will try not to repeat what she has said. However here is another person who has experienced the same symptoms of depression as both of you. It's not good and like Nat I am concerned about you.

    If I may I will tell you the story of my last few weeks. Nothing exciting or dramatic, just being on the same old treadmill. Unfortunately I have an illness which makes me vulnerable to infections and all the outcomes that follow being unwell. You could have been writing about me with feeling tired, unmotivated and wishing the world would go away.

    Unlike you my family know about me, including the depression I have had for the past 20 years. Nat has spoken about suicide. My family first discovered I was depressed when I attempted suicide. Not a good start. Like you I wanted to hide my feelings and this is a very common desire. We don't want to upset those we love or worry them. But if they knew and could help it would make life so much better. And when they find out how you are struggling (and they will) I think they will be hurt you could not confide in them.

    So although my depression does not worry or affect me much these days it is still in the background and I need to take proper care of myself. Part of this is managing my current illness. I know I need to eat properly, don't we all. In my case it is doubly important because of the potential flow on effects. Just as I was about to start this reply I had a phone call from the nurse at the hospital who had received the result of a blood test I had this morning. It seems my sugar levels were far too low.

    This was all sorted out but the nurse said if I continued to lose weight I may have to go into hospital and be 'fattened up'. My words not hers but this was the meaning. I think I am wandering all round the point I want to say we need to look after ourselves. Nat has told us about how she does this. My children keep in close contact and are always available if I need help. The point is I needed to tell them what was wrong and ask for their help. Please start to talk with your husband.

    Sometimes people do not know what to say or do. Please look under The Facts above and navigate to the information sheets. Download what you want and send for any booklet that may be helpful. No charge. Please get several copies of the booklet for Family and Friends and give it to your family and any friends you can confide in. This will help them and you.

    Mary


    1 person found this helpful
  6. Quercus
    Valued Contributor
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Quercus avatar
    3497 posts
    11 January 2020 in reply to White Rose

    Hi Katrina (and thank you to Mary too for joining in - I've missed you).

    Tonight isn't an easy night. Feeling low is always hard and I feel alone.

    I found myself returning here and wondering how you are doing? Reading your post Mary helped me as always. Had a chuckle reading our posts about asking for help and self care and realising I need to reassess my own health too yet again. How easy it is to get caught up in Mum duties and forget yourself.

    Katrina I hope I didn't make you feel pressured. Even posting is a massive step and I feel like I pushed too hard perhaps. Sometimes posts remind me too closely of how I felt. But this isn't my experience... It's yours. If you just need to talk and I've made you feel uncomfortable or pushed I'm sorry.

    Sending care to you both.

    ‚̧Nat

  7. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6294 posts
    11 January 2020 in reply to KatrinaS

    Hello Katrina

    Haven't heard from you fr a little while. How are you going? It would be great to get an update on what is happening for you. Hopefully all good things.

    Please look after yourself and come and talk to us about anything you wish.

    Mary

  8. Katso
    Katso avatar
    2 posts
    27 January 2020 in reply to KatrinaS
    I have just joined and have those exact symptoms. Not such a supportive partner as he doesn't understand why I can't just pull my socks up. Last six months I've had even more restless nights due to heating up - even more severe sadness which I think is exacerbated by menopause. I avoid any social situations and if I do catch up with people I chastise myself all that night or next day that I am boring etc say the wrong things blah blah so whilst I want to catch up with people or have friends it seems to be worse. I'm feeling quite overwhelmed and just want to feel at peace. I hope you are okay

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