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Help! I don't know if this is PMS or depression/anxiety?

(6 Posts)
MyHuckingFormones Tue 01-Apr-14 19:07:47

I've always suffered with PMS, right back to being a young teenager. I've tried various stuff, the Pill, all the supplements, diet, exercise. Even tried Prozac once.

But nothing has really sorted it. The pattern was always the same. A week before AF I'd start getting the Rage, tearful, really low mood, but when AF started the symptoms would go.

I'm in my early 40s, and for the last few months it seems to have started getting worse and the pattern has changed. Symptoms start about 4 days before AF, but then continue all the way through AF sad

Plus along with all the usual symptoms I now suffer with bad anxiety, something I've never experienced before now and it's really horrible sad

It started getting worse last Autumn, and I thought I was just suffering from stress because life had been very stressful lately. Saw my GP who started me on ADs. I didn't mention I thought it might be PMS related because I wasn't sure.

The ADs seem to have stopped the anxiety but when AF is due it comes back, big time. And last all through AF and a bit beyond then I'm fine again.

MyHuckingFormones Tue 01-Apr-14 19:11:54

Also I wondered if it's your GP who has to refer you to a gynaecologist, or can you self refer to one?

I'm worried that I actually have PMDD, not just PMS and need more expert advice and treatment.

I don't want to be taking ADs when it's actually hormonal problems that I have.

Songbird Wed 02-Apr-14 13:36:24

Hi, I have PMDD and only take ADs for the 10 days before my period is due. I generally don’t and have never suffered from depression or anxiety, but noticed 4-5 years ago my PMT was getting steadily worse. It only really clicked into place when I completely lost it one day, couldn’t stop crying over a lost shopping list hmm and freaked out DH by wailing ‘I feel like the walls are closing in’. My period started the next day, and I realised this quite often happens. I would have days where I’d have uncontrollable rages or crying fits and then come on the next day. Once my period starts I feel fine (then the physical pain starts but that’s a different story!!). That time I went online and googled ‘PMT depression’ and found websites on PMDD and it all made sense. Out of the long list of symptoms I found, the only one I hadn’t experienced was ‘feeling suicidal’ shock.

I made an appt with the lovely female GP at my practice (had to wait a couple of weeks which was good, actually) and went armed with a ‘symptom diary’ and printouts from the internet, but I didn’t need them in the end. She prescribed me Citalopram 7 days before I was due, which has gone up to 10 days because I noticed the symptoms starting sooner after a couple of years, and here I am 4 years after my 'wft is happening here?!' moment. Really, the worst it gets now is slight rattiness and a vague un-named feeling of ‘impending doom’ for a few days, but the lurching emotions have evened out considerably.

I think a symptom diary would definitely help you. My doctor said it’s not uncommon at all so you shouldn’t feel afraid of telling your GP and not being taken seriously. They will decide if they need to refer you to a gynae or not. Also, if they suspect wonky hormones they can do blood tests for you – this was ruled out by my GP.

I have recently insisted on being referred because I fear I may have endometriosis (which can itself lead to depression), so it will be great to finally see a gynae who can look at all my symptoms – mental and physical. I will definitely go with a diary to that appointment as I’m now getting ovulation pain as well as everything else!

Sorry for rambling, and Good Luck!!!

Songbird Wed 02-Apr-14 13:36:38

WOW that is long!

MyHuckingFormones Fri 04-Apr-14 10:11:16

Thank you for that Songbird, I really appreciate your reply.

My symptoms are definitely getting worse, eventhough my periods have been getting much lighter over the last year. My periods have always been medium to heavy. But for the last year they've been light, just one day of spotting followed by a light flow day and then 2 days of spotting.

AF started last weekend, and all this last week I have felt anxious and have had a sense of dread. Also am very, very tired and desperately craving sugar.

Symptoms are slightly better today but definitely still there, but that's because AF finished yesterday so that fits in with what I've been noticing about my cycle.

fairbalance Fri 04-Apr-14 15:22:24

It sounds like peri menopause to me. Take a look at the Menopause Matters web site and forum. No you are not too young many women start having peri menopausal sypmtoms in their early 40's

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