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Bipolar and Perimenopause

(5 Posts)
CandyOcean Sun 31-Jul-16 17:43:03

Do any of you have any knowledge or experience of how perimenopause affects bipolar? I live with Type II with mixed features, and have recently started getting intense irrational anxiety and paranoia. My GP has increased my meds but I feel quite dissociative at times and like I'm having an out of body experience.

I also feel totally useless and full of self loathing, no suicidal intent but fairly frequent ideation. Oh, and just to compound things, I'm a mental health professional (although off sick since last week as I feel unhinged).

Hello, btw, I'm new here smile

CandyOcean Sun 31-Jul-16 17:44:44

Should add, I've had perimenopause symptoms for at least a year; my menstrual cycle is anything from 13 to 72 days long and has got very heavy. Bloody bodies/ brains!

SofiaAmes Sun 31-Jul-16 17:57:31

Bipolar can absolutely be significantly affected by perimenopause. Here are two articles: Psycheducation.org and Webmd.com. If you google, there are zillions more.
Has your gp tried hormones (ie putting you on the pill)? This can sometimes help. However it can also sometimes be very problematic. You should be seeing a mental health expert like a psychiatrist to assess your meds. It's not appropriate to have a gp doing this when things are this complicated. I would also recommend going to a hormone specialist. The NHS has several very good ones.
Sorry you are feeling this way. There are very good medications these days and lots of research, so there is hope that you will get to a better place soon.

CandyOcean Sun 31-Jul-16 21:57:40

Thanks for this. My GP usually works closely with my psychiatrist so I'll ask her for a referral. I haven't felt this unhinged in years - the intrusive thoughts are nonstop and I've got no concentration at all.

I haven't tried any hormones yet but I'll ask about getting some bloods done which may suggest possible treatments. I'm going to settle down with those articles now. Thanks so much for your speedy and useful response smile

SofiaAmes Mon 01-Aug-16 02:03:25

I have a ds with bipolar and although don't suffer from mh issues myself, I suffered terribly with perimenopausal symptoms (bladder leakage 3 weeks out of the month, depression for the first time in my life, evil period cramps for the first time in my life, severe asthma attacks, irritable bowel etc. etc.). I went from specialist to specialist for all the different symptoms for 3 years before someone suggested I see a hormone specialist who solved ALL my problems (other than the evil exH) by putting me on the pill. I totally feel for you. I also recommend vitamin d (get your levels tested when you go for bloods) which can be helpful both with the moods and the bipolar (my dad is a well known scientist who works on this).

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