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Help! Insomnia and mood swings

(9 Posts)
Picoloangel Sat 18-Feb-17 20:12:00


I am almost 52 and almost exactly on the stroke of 50 I stopped sleeping properly. For several years prior to this I had noticed that my sleep pattern was more erratic but attributed this to DD who was born (naturally) when I was almost 46.

After a terrible few months of feeling anxious, sleeping for 3 hours per night maximum and having horrendous mood swings, I finally went on HRT albeit after many visits to my GP.

After a little tinkering my night sweats stopped, my mood was better (not exactly upbeat and euphoric but much improved) and my anxiety improved a bit too. My sleep improved but i have still had to take something every night and have tried to alternate antihistamines/herbal remedies and prescription tabs because if I take anything long enough it stops working. I paid £250 to attend a sleep course and have tried 5HTP to no avail.

I have always suffered periods of insomnia so already avoid caffeine and late night exercise, drink wine only in moderation (1 glass on a Fri and Sat) and exercise regularly etc. In years gone by I would have a couple of bad nights take an antihistamine and all would improve but now it seems a permanent problem.

I have now been on HRT for a year and I am feeling very low and having terrible mood swings again. The thoughtof antidepressants terrifies me (I don't know why) but the thought of not getting any better terrifies me too. I have really screamed at my DD a couple of times lately and have then cried for hours, feeeling like a terrible mother and worrying that I am going to give her mental health issues with my constant mood swings. She's a happy little thing but a worrier.

I just don't know what to do - I am back to not sleeping most of the time and this is leavjng me anxious, depressed and run down. On days when I have, by some miracle, had sufficient sleep I am much better and on more of an even keel.

I have a v stressful job and work longish hours 3 days per week but generally have no other worries. Oh, except I have zero sex drive and constantly feel guilty about this too.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am just desperate to feel happy again and to give my much longed for and happy little girl the childhood I feel she deserves.

Please be kind - no one could make me feel
worse than I already do about not being a great parent at the momentZ

PollyPerky Sat 18-Feb-17 20:59:21

Poor you sad
The obvious question is....what type of HRT and what dose? Conti or sequential? Patch, pills or gel?
Sounds as if it's not doing the job.

If you are on 1mg or less than 1mg oestrogen you might need more.

Picoloangel Sat 18-Feb-17 22:20:04

Thanks so much for this. I am on Femoston 1mg Oestrogen and 10mg Progesterone - 14 days of each. It's the mood swings and insomnia which are really getting to me - it's an endless vicious cycle.

I'm wondering about going private to see if a better form of HRT might suit me?

I am sad at the loss of my youth too - it's not my prime concern and it sounds shallow but it's definitely a factor in there too

PollyPerky Sat 18-Feb-17 22:34:13

You are on a low dose (1mg)

You may well feel much better on a higher dose. The whole point is to use a type that makes you feel much better and this may take a few types to find what suits.

There is no need for private care if your GP is happy to prescribe other sorts - they are all available on the NHS.

Oestrogel is great because you can adjust the dose from 0.75mgs to 3mgs a day (not daily- you start on 2 pumps and increase if need be over a few weeks or months) It needs a separate progesterone with it.
You can use Norethisterone with it (5mgs x 12 days a month) or micronised progesterone (200mgs x 12 days a month.) Some women use only 10 days if they are sensitive to progestogens.

Timetogetup0630 Sun 19-Feb-17 05:21:28

My sympathies OP because I am also suffering terrible insomnia and night sweats. Wake up drenched at 4am every morning. Fortunately I have very flexible work patterns so I manage to catch up here and there.
Haven't investigated HRT yet though.

Picoloangel Sun 19-Feb-17 07:47:34

Thanks so much Polly. I found I was a monster on then first type of progesterone but Femoston has been much better: it definitely improved my night sweats and
mood initially but has never really helped my sleep and my mood was better but deteriorated. I am not terribly confident in the GPS at my surgery - it took me months to get HRT and by the time i did I was an absolute wreck

Timetogetup sorry to hear this. It's bloody miserable isn't it? My HRT stopped the night sweats completely though they weren't my biggest concern. It's definitely improved things and it's worth a try.

Hope you feel better and find something that suits

PollyPerky Sun 19-Feb-17 08:01:27

Picolo The answer might be something as simple as going up to Femoston 2mg. That seems the obvious way to go!
Can't see any reason why not to. Your oestrogen levels continue to fall quite rapidly post meno so it makes sense that what suited you a year ago may not work now.

When I started with Oestrogel I found 1 pump which is 0.75mgs worked for daytime flushes, but not for insomnia. I had to increase to 2 pumps 1.5mgs for it to really help and have used that for 8 years (am now in my 60s.)

It does sound as if the dose is too low for you AND the absorption from pills is not great so you may well be losing a lot in the digestive process anyway.

Picoloangel Sun 19-Feb-17 08:34:12

Polly that's so helpful. I will try that. It's a miserable time isn't it? Plus I think meno women now have busier and more stressful lives than in years gone by - younger children than might have been the case previously plus elderly parents and working!

I am really grateful - I was at such a low ebb yesterday. Thank you flowers

PollyPerky Sun 19-Feb-17 08:44:49

Yes, it's hard. I've got long distance parents in their 90s, DCs finished uni and working but not really 'settled' and I'm working too (and am much older than you.) I'm not going to put up with meno crap when there is help from HRT!

Thankfully I feel great , so long may it continue.

Good luck!

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