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Depression vs Menopause?

(12 Posts)
Ginandtonic4all Wed 20-Nov-19 07:46:12

I was wondering if anyone knew how you decide if you are having a bout of depression or have entered peri?

I have not been on depression meds for over a year and life from a practical point of view is ok and hasnt changed in that year.

But I am and have been for a few months tearful, anxious, sad, waking up at 4am every day, brain not so sharp. All things that could be depression or peri.

Physically my period have got lighter but are still regular. Bone aches are pretty constant. Bouts of sore breasts.

I am 46.

I am scared that if I go to the gp they will just assume depression and prescribe anti depressant.

Any advice, experience etc would be very welcome.

SunnySomer Wed 20-Nov-19 07:53:13

I had very similar symptoms but no history of depression and have been very successfully treated with HRT. I was a bit younger than you when I first went to the doctor (about 41) but had to see three to be “diagnosed”; the first doctor told me to do more cardio exercise, the second wanted me to take antidepressants and the third took my symptoms seriously and suggested HRT.
Does your GP have a gynae specialist? For me, this was the person who agreed my issues were hormonal and not depressive. At the practice I go to (which is large) you can specify the doctor you’d like to see depending on what is wrong with you, but I appreciate this is unusual.
Best of luck getting through this.

CatUnderTheStairs Wed 20-Nov-19 07:53:17

Maybe suggest peri first yourself. Are there any reasons you can’t take HRT, it might be worth trying that first.

I had the anxiety etc first before hot flushes and night sweats. tbh I was probably a bit depressed as well (v stressful time) but the hrt helped me cope a lot better and gave me the energy back to do stuff that helped me get through that. (I know that not all depression can be helped by exercise etc but mine could be managed with that).

TotheletterofthelawTHELETTER Wed 20-Nov-19 08:03:42

I had similar symptoms to you in September but I’m 38. I went to dr and they did blood tests including a hormone level check before deciding what it was. I hadn’t considered peri-menopause but it was the GP who suggested that could be a cause.

Anyway, my hormone levels were normal and for me it was anxiety but I wanted to say there are options you can ask GP for, so if they suggest depression ask for a hormone level check first,

CatUnderTheStairs Wed 20-Nov-19 08:28:36

I was 36 when it first started. Problem is blood tests are inconclusive as if it is your hormones they can be fine one day and all over the place the next.

I’d have a read of the nice menopause guidelines and look at menopause matters website.

makingmyway10 Wed 20-Nov-19 08:39:31

Hello. I am 45 and have suffered mood swings, poor sleep and headaches and feeling low with bone ache and odd cycles for about a year now. I saw my GP who was sympathetic but said HRT is in short supply and may make things worse? She suggested the minipill. I have been taking it for a few months and its has made my periods lighter but not really helped much with anything else. I had a hormone test but the GP explained that they not very reliable for the reason other poster has said and it was not helpful. I am thinking of going back but our GPs are not very helpful re Menopause and are reluctant to presecribe HRT. I don't really know why. Does HRT make a big difference?

JinglingHellsBells Wed 20-Nov-19 08:58:09

The medical advice from Nice and meno specialists is that if your symptoms coincide with peri changes ( erratic periods and othr symptoms - which yours seem to) then the first line of treatment is HRT. Nice states very clearly that ADs are not first line treatment.

There is a very good video as well as fact sheets on the website of Dr Louise Newson on this- look up ADs v HRT.

CatUnderTheStairs Wed 20-Nov-19 08:58:29

making your GP isn’t making s lot of sense if that’s what they said. HRT can make a huge difference, it did to me. Read up on hrt and menopause and go back.

JinglingHellsBells Wed 20-Nov-19 09:01:20

makingmyway10 If your GPs are reluctant to give HRT it's best to ask why and challenge them. You have a right to treatment that might help. If they won't prescribe owing to their own 'prejudices' rather than medical reasons, they have to state what they are. GPs would not withhold treatment for other 'reason's if it helps, so why are they llike this with HRT? If you say you want to try it and are aware of the small risks, they can't really refuse.

The advice from all research on HRT is that for women under 60, benefits outweigh risks.

Look at the website of Menopause Matters and Dr Louise Newson and the British Menopause Society.

makingmyway10 Wed 20-Nov-19 09:39:18

Thankyou, good advice, will do some reading. The Dr was sympathetic and thought I was most likely in peri menopause but was reluctant for me to try HRT. She said the minipill was the first stop. It has stopped the horrendous heavy periods but has not helped any other symptom. I will book another appointment to discuss it further, the next free appointment is in 5 weeks! I have plenty of time to do some research. Thank you

Ginandtonic4all Wed 20-Nov-19 10:11:30

Thank you all. I think I shall read up and go and suggest hrt. This feels different to depression. More unlinked to emotion, more physical but it's awful!

makingmyway10 Wed 20-Nov-19 11:17:39

Sorry ginandtonic had no intention of hijacking your thread! Hope all goes well for you. smile

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