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Anxiety and the menopause

(25 Posts)
Greekescape Mon 25-Mar-13 18:03:54

So I ask you is it my age, is it because I’m blonde or can I blame my Mother?

There comes a certain time in your life when other people can use your age as an excuse for those funny little moments you have and for those episodes of complete bizarre behaviour you exhibit. This has become a great bonus to me, as for many years it was the fact that I was and am still blonde that was accredited to my strange behaviour and my husband would quite often blames it on my mother and come to think of it I now believe all have a part to play in my ‘peculiar little ways’.

Take the time I went to fill up with petrol. I’ve got a lovely little black Peugeot 207 and I recognise it by its ‘Blackness’ and its ‘cute little shape’. So imagine how surprised I was to find this rather bemused and somewhat irate man trying to get me out of it. It was only when I realised the Interior upholstery was red, a colour I loathe and detest that I accepted I was in the wrong car and got out. He drove of so fast that I’m surprised he didn’t leave the rubber of his tyres behind. He didn’t swear though so was he being respectful of my age?

Then there was the time I decided to pamper my feet, soft soap, massage oil , removal of nail varnish etc. I couldn’t understand why the varnish wouldn’t come off and I noticed that the usual smell of pear drops smelt remarkably like Blueberry but it still didn’t occur to me that I was using shampoo.

My husband usually just laughs at my little ways even when he finds his new razor blades in the freezer and even my cats get used to it, although Harvey really didn’t expect to be locked in the Airing Cupboard all day and I was lucky he didn’t have any mishaps.

I do wonder though, just how much my Mother has influenced my behaviour as many years ago I invited my College friend to lunch and we all walked up to the pub for a quick drink while the dinner was cooking. When we returned home, the smell was horrendous as my mother in her hurry to come out with us had put her slippers in the oven and the chicken in the shoe rack.

So I ask you is it my age, is it because I’m blonde or can I blame my Mother?

Ron thinks it’s all three.

Have you noticed how many times you walk upstairs to get something and when you get there you can’t remember why? Well don’t panic chances are your suffering from the menopause fog

Lowsie Fri 08-Mar-13 17:08:53

I totally agree. I talk to some friends who are sort of in the same place, but I guess everyone gets different symptoms and at different times. There does seem to be a real lack of support groups like you say. There's practical advice but not much about the fragile, anxious side that we are discussing and its surely not a new thing!! Like you say, most women will go through some form of it. It makes this sort of sharing and airing invaluable since you then feel you are not alone.

guineapiglet Fri 08-Mar-13 13:57:16

You know when we all hear about each others experiences we all feel empathetic and rightly supportive, yet it doesn't always feel the same in real life! I feel that when I try and talk to others it is of no interest or concern... I asked my gp about menopause support groups and she looked blank. If you read these threads and add up all the distress, angst and hard experiences many women are going through, why is support so hard to find? Most women will go through it and having others to laugh and share with is a real blessing..

womblesmissus Thu 07-Mar-13 20:19:32

As others have said, it is so reassuring to hear similar experiences. None of my friends were experiencing similar at the time , now they are starting to catch up and some of them are getting a bit peri I am able to share my wealth of experience! grin

Awks Thu 07-Mar-13 20:11:37

And another. Went to drs today for blood test results to see if I was perimenopausal and he said it was very unlikely I'd ever get pg again. Don't know quite what made him tell me that as I've no desire to and hadn't even thought about it but it did make me feel a bit sad and dried up.

Am officially peri so at least I know. Thank fuck there's an excuse for all my moods smile

Portofino Thu 07-Mar-13 10:28:07

Yes - I recognise the contant knot in the stomach thing. I tell DH it feels like a constant feeling of impending doom.

The other day my boss was clearly unhappy with something I had done. I had a sleepness night thinking about useless I was and how they were bound to be looking for a reason to be rid of me. The next day he gave me a HUGE contract to look after, so presumably he doesn't think I am that crap. It is ridiculous really.

womblesmissus Wed 06-Mar-13 23:05:46

It is such a relief when you do realise anxiety is such a common symptom. I suffered terribly from what I can only describe as constant, low level anxiety until I managed to find something to really worry about which would make me physically sick. My worst moment was when I became so overwhelmed in an interview that I completely froze , unable to speak or move - it was horrific . I had a good gp though who helped a lot and after much discussion and investigation ( and a spell on sage) I decided to try hrt - the difference for me is phenomenal. I feel for the first time in years balanced - if that makes sense- not walking around with a constant knot in my stomach .

Onwards and upwards grin

Lowsie Wed 06-Mar-13 21:36:13

Thanks for all the similar experience share stories, it has completely changed my frame of mind from yesterday when I must admit I did feel quite freaked by the strength of anxiety over such ridiculous things. This is the first time I've ever been on mumsnet and wasn't really sure what to expect so its been a really lovely find. Nothing like the company of equally hormonally unbalanced peeps! By the way am going to have to learn the lingo, Im guessing DH is Husband? DD daughter? if im wrong please tell me!

Follyfoot Wed 06-Mar-13 19:28:30

Another one here too. At one point I started to wonder whether I was beginning to suffer from agoraphobia as going places alone would cause anxiety. But no, it was the menopause. Also I was definitely dithery and indecisive, and needed much more reassurance. And I was irrational but couldnt stop myself - some of the things I said to DH were outrageous really. He looked at me one day and said 'you're in a bit of a tangle arent you, would it be worth seeing the Dr?'. Have to say I acted on his suggestion and HRT has returned me to as normal as I ever was grin

It is very heartening to know that we all suffer in similar ways. Pours wine and hands it round to fellow wibblers....

guineapiglet Wed 06-Mar-13 19:18:30

This thread is really cheering me up, it really does help to hear others are going through the same things - like checking the contents of your handbag over and over again, rationally knowing nothing has changed or been added - what is going on!? How many times do I go to the shops and think, 'oh, not again - ' no shopping bags, forgot the letters I meant to post, cheques to be paid into bank which I left out, drives you mad - we have just moved house to SE and Ive left all my equally menopausal friends behind, miss them terribly, so no-one to laugh about it with at the moment, so thanks to all for sharing!

Shotgun I would be just like you. Yesterday I went for an 'interview' to do some voluntary work, and I agonised about it all night, shouldn't have bothered, the people were lovely and the work looked really interesting. What courses are you contemplating doing, something for work or pleasure ( or both!) - what decision do you have to make and when do you need to apply. THere is an Adult Ed centre up the road and I am very tempted to enrol ( on anything!!)smile

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Wed 06-Mar-13 18:54:53

Hmm think I might have always been like that, Minty.
Thanks for the good wishes, guinea - sorry didn't look at the thread yesterday.
I'm trying to see it (doing the course) as inspirational, but I've woken up at 5.15 four out of the last five mornings, so rationality is leaving the building if it was ever there! I'm also not sure which of two to do - could be worse problems, I know smile.

At least I'm not getting the hot flushes though < positive >.

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 22:01:31

That made me laugh so much. Been there too......... often without the item to post or shopping bags!

Mintyy Tue 05-Mar-13 21:46:59

I have the sleep thing too - early waking and not being able to get back to sleep sometimes - but I have lots of experience with insomnia from when I was much younger so will come back to thread later with some (hopefully) helpful advice.

The thing that gets me down is the amount of time it takes me to get ready to leave the house:

keys
purse
glasses
phone
novel
sudoko book
pen
lip balm
tissues
antibac hand gel
shopping bags
shopping list
anything I need to post
anything I need to drop off somewhere

By the time I have gathered that lot together I need to go for a wee again, so off I go upstairs and invariably while I am up there I will put my glasses down somewhere and then not remember until I am actually in the car so then I have to come back into the house and yada yada yada.

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:26:43

That is an excellent description of it!! Your GP sounds like she( surely a she?) is very clued up, I could do with one like that.

timidviper Tue 05-Mar-13 21:17:38

My GP told me that one of the symptoms of menopause is looking at the 10 different types of potatoes in Sainsburys and wanting to cry because you don't know which to pick!

I am definitely more fragile emotionally.

mum47 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:11:48

Yes I get the supermarket thing too. I used to like going to the supermarket, was a bit of respite from the dcs when younger, would linger and take my time. Now I hate it - always leave my list at home! - find it exhausting, and most of all find packing the bags at the checkout really stressful. Might have to try online shopping!

Actually, talking to others helps, lets you know that how you feel is "normal". I work with a woman who is going through the same but much worse than me and we had a conversation about it earlier this week for the first time, compared sypmptoms, had a laugh about it, which felt good. God help our clients, though, they don't stand a chance!

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 21:05:50

I know I get to the supermarket with a full list and feel overwhelmed, which is absurd. I agree with the taking control approach and you are right about talking yourself through it- I will try that out. I guess the best thing is not to let it control you as best you can, which is easier some days than others.

mum47 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:48:19

Another loony here!

Yes to the feelings of anxiety, I keep having "flashes" in my head where I worry about us being in a car accident.

My mind is at times appallingly woolly. Even simple things like what to make for tea can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Recently, I have been trying to "take control" by being conscious of the reasons why I feel like I do, stopping for a moment to take stock of something I have to organise/decide, talking myself through it and not being so hard on myself. It is working not too badly, I feel a bit more in control, but hmm, not sure how long that will last?!

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 20:38:50

Of course you can the more the merrier/loonier!! So true, I go back and check the door is locked 3-4 times. I am sure the neighbours think I'm crazy. ! My friend who has now gone through the whole lot says the anxiety does go, so there is a chilled laid-back time to look forward to again eventually. Meanwhile I think a glass of wine will probably help.

guineapiglet Tue 05-Mar-13 19:57:29

Hi all, can I join this excellent and reassuring thread!

Over the past year I have got more and more anxious, so I am also going to investigate the sage - sounds like it might be helpful! I seem to wake up and the whole days worries go round and round, but like everyone else, getting it all out of all proportion and imaging the worst case scenario in everything, I absolutely hate feeling like this! Can't go out without being reassured that the gas isnt going to blow up, the fire is off, etc - I never used to be like this, I was very chillled, laid back and relaxed.

It seems to me to be a very cruel trick, this menopause phase we are in - we all have to go through it and so much is change by the day. I think starting something new is a great idea, but I know, like you, I would be anxious about it - don't be! It is a lovely inspriring thing to do smile

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 11:01:31

ooh thanks, sage tabs sounds worth a look. Think I might go and play the boys drums maybe that will help too!!
I constantly wake up early and fret about silly things. Hope yr course goes well, reckon starting something new is probably a really good plan.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 05-Mar-13 10:27:32

I'm nearly 50 and have just sorted the night-waking from hot flushes (was a nightmare, went through each day like a zombie but discovered Menoforce sage tablets - ace).

Now I've started waking at 5am feeling vaguely unsettled and the only reason I can think of is that I might start a course in September. Hardly worth losing sleep over - but back to zombie mode.

Can definitely recommend the sage tabs though.

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 10:12:33

That is exactly the sort of thing I mean. I have a 14 yr old who had started a paper round, cycling there at 6am, so I am completely paranoid about hi-vis blah blah means that I also get up at 5.45 which doesnt help. If I make a silly mistake at work I assume the worst. I guess at 47 it's pretty likely to be hormones but it is doing my head in.

Portofino Tue 05-Mar-13 09:56:56

I am exactly the same. I tend to "fret" about stuff frequently. For example, at Easter dd is off on a holiday camp, so dh and I plan to go away for a couple of days. I am already worrying that we will crash the car and die, and dd will be left all alone. I too used to be very laid back - my anxiety levels seem to have gone back to when dd was a newborn - and she is 9 now. I don't have any advice though.....

Lowsie Tue 05-Mar-13 09:52:37

Am wondering if being stupidly anxious and vague is part of the menopause or a new personality trait that I am developing! Anyone got any words of wisdom or ways of tempering it so that I don't feel like:
My children will have an accident ( on a daily basis I find I am now worrying about ridiculous scenarios).
Small problems or mistakes being blown out of proportion.
Used to be an easy going lady but now a baag of neerves !

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