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Menopause misery?(63 Posts)
My menopause began 3 years ago and it feels like as the hormones disappeared, I became a different person. I used to feel so much joy in the smallest of things - flowers, sunshine, the thought of holidays, fresh coffee, a new book to read. I wasn't a completely 'up' person, I have suffered depression at times, and my life hasn't been marvellous, but I was able to enjoy myself to the max when well. Now its like I have lost my mojo and everything is a bit shit. I was thinking on the way to work today what would cheer me up, and I can't even think of anything. A year ago I had cancer, and though I trounced it, I feel like what was the point of surviving when we're all going to die anyway. Which makes me feel guilty when I was so lucky.
Sorry to be such a whinger!
I can't be arsed to do anything I used to like, my friends invite me out and I go, but though I act cheerful, I'm really just dying to go home and get back into bed.
My life feels a waste, though my kids are great, my job is worthwhile, it all seems a bit pointless really.
I am on medication for anxiety and I've done counselling, which makes me cringe to hear the sound of my whinging voice going on and on, when so much horrid shit goes on in the world. Mindfulness and living in the moment makes me tired, because every moment is followed by another moment in which I feel nothing but disassociation with everything I used to enjoy.
Hi. I'm sorry you're feeling like this. Have you had a chance to talk it out with your gp at all?
The menopause thread is a great source of support. The lowering levels of oestogen can frequently cause depression. It certainly did in me.
The NICE guidelines on menopause suggest HRT rather than antidepressants, but if you've had depression before probably worth talking to your GP. My mood lifted incredibly when I started HRT .
The tiredness etc went for me after a while too. I had blood tests and needed vit B12 and iron.
Yes, but I find it hard to articulate my misery! I don't cry much any more ( I used to be quite emotional) I feel flat and disassociated and can't believe I sort of miss those up and down hormonal feelings.. I feel like I'm emerged from a decades long mist of hormones, like a spell has worn off! And I'm looking around thinking wtf was that all about...
I have wondered about HRT, I really don't know much about it
I had a prolapse op at the beginning of my menopause journey. I lost the sparkle from life (if there ever was any and was just generally cba. It was like I just did not get over the op - I was laid out for the 3 weeks after it but never got back to where I thought I should be.
However, I was having so much joint trouble and had started on HRT - the nurse said to ask for a arthritis test, which I did. No arthritis, but I was vitamin D deficient.
Make sure you have had the b12/iron/thyroid/vitD tests etc.
Give yourself a big hug, some treats, and plenty of sunshine.
I had vitD which helped in about 6 weeks. I have also been on a couple of trips to the far east which was eye-opening and want to do different things to what I did before. I got better gradually, just not in a big bang way. Since then DH has had a very worrying illness and the kids have failed uni and come back home and I have weathered that so far!
If you want to find out about menopause and whether to try hrt, I can recommend a good search around this website (in the morning!)
Do look after yourself. I think if you are feeling depressed, you need to be kind, have some early nights and some fruit and clean sheets, like if you had measles or something .
I still have 2 dependent children, and feel like they're getting the worst of me right now...they're lovely, but I feel quite distant sometimes. My dh and I have been through a rough patch, and although we're much better now and life is a bit easier, I can't be arsed with it all.
My moods seem to cycle quite a lot with some real downs and the rest of it flatness. Its not a sort of depression I recognise.
OP, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. Please do take the above advice to heart and see your GP / look into HRT. My mum reacted to the menopause in much the same way as you but at the time there was an (unfounded) cancer scare around HRT so she never took it. She's now 70 and has spent the last 20-odd years going through the motions and essentially waiting to die. It's awful, as she used to be really vivacious and the heart of our family. But it's too late for HRT to have an effect now, and she's just sort of accepted it as her fate and given up.
I don't say that to scare you, and obviously for some people the symptoms are short lived and resolve on their own, but there are some powerful hormones involved in menopause and they can be a real bitch. There's help available; please seek it out!
Fernanie, sorry about your mum. That is the future I dread most!
Oh OP, you poor thing - my symptoms were exactly the same as yours and frankly I didn't care one jot about anything. That awful, yawning, infinite flatness. Just horrible.
Went to my (female) GP who was explicit about her disapproval of HRT ('menopause a natural process, our mothers went through it.. 'etc etc). She gave me ADs which helped a bit but not much and after six months of continued misery went back to the Dr. This time saw a male GP who was adamant that HRT was the route to go down. And oh my goodness, how right he was! It was a revelation! I had to try three different types before I got the one that is perfect for me but it has - literally - transformed my life. I have 'me' back, and so does my DH, my DC and my work.
OP, please do discuss the option with your GP and if they turn out to be anti-HRT, try another in the practice. When I was in my 20's I thought that the pill must surely have been invented by a woman, such was its liberating impact on women (and I'm referring to the control of our reproduction here), but now I've experienced the profound benefits of HRT, this too MUST have been created by a woman because it's awesome. Incidentally I do know that it's not for everyone and that there can be contraindications to taking it.
I also echo a PP's suggestion re blood tests - my Vit D and iron were also very low which exacerbated my overall misery, lethargy and general aches and pains.
No menopause experience or knowledge here, perhaps old fashioned, but do you consistently eat healthy, sleep well, fresh air and a bit of exercise?
If I even go a day without this, I always feel absolutely rubbish all day.
User - yy to all of that! I am quite strict with sleep, eating etc But to lose the actual joy of eating, anticipating taste, cooking, enjoying a meal with others, and to lose the delight of lying in bed at the weekend, daydreaming and snoozing, is like hell on earth.
I am quite a simple sort really!
Dancingto themusicof time (great name btw) that is exactly so - 'that awful yawning infinite flatness'
Have you been to the GP and asked about HRT?
I would get yourself back to the GP. I'm sure my menopausal symptoms really affected my marriage. I was weeping all the time, and felt so, so low. Felt like there was nothing much to live for - not in a suicidal way, but just I was so lacklustre and exhausted.
I'm now on HRT patches, and they have been a life saver. I'm not sure if it's improved my marriage (!) but it's changed my whole outlook on life, and I feel so like my old self again.
You do need to start on HRT and not leave it too late, as someone upthread has mentioned.
You have nothing to lose, and lots to gain!
Wow OP. I could have written your post; this is exactly how i feel a lot of the time. I also had cancer last year, and possibly trounced it. But i'm now on tamoxifen which has forced me into an early (and more viscous) menopause (i'm 43). I have thought and felt "what was the point? We're going to die anyway?.." usually during the draining minutae of every day life. I think one after effect of cancer is that it displaces you somewhat. You can silently observe or listen to people getting excited about a new top, worked up about the state of the garden shed, enthusing about a new wallpaper or car, and you think "really? I just CAN'T BE ARSED, what's the point in it all?"
I too have 2 children, and they are brilliant. But i'll be watching this with interest. I don't think it's the menopause which is totally at play here; i think it's the post-cancer armageddon feeling....
Also worth adding that my cancer was hormone positive, so for women like me, HRT is not an option.
So glad to find that other people suffer like this! I thought it was just me! Every day a bit 'meh', can't look forward to anything, no excitement, no 'ups'... But I don't want to take HRT, I really don't. But then I don't want to commit myself to spending the rest of my life feeling like this - anyone got any other ideas apart from HRT?
I do think menopause does make it harder to recover from big knocks and physical illness, both physically and mentally. It does make sense to take stock of your physical and mental wellbeing with diet and exercise, rest etc and make sure you do not have any deficiencies that are exacerbating things, so that you are in the best position to recover.
It is also a time that you seem to get a lot thrown at you in terms of ill health, things not turning out as you expected and a sense of there being no time left to turn it all round! Sometimes it is hard to see the positives, but they are there.
Zaphod - a lot of people swear by mindfulness, yoga, diet exercise etc who do not use HRT. However, if you have symptoms that could be controlled by it, or if you are young and would benefit by taking it for your bone health, then do read the link above and find out what you can. It is not necessarily one thing or the other - it might bridge a gap until you are more able to cope with symptoms.
A lot of women have been put off HRT in the past 20 years after much publicised health scares that did not stand up to scrutiny. This means that there are a lot of older women around with things like osteoporosis/vaginal atrophy/bladder problems that could have been put off for a good few years. There are also a lot more topical oestrogen preparations (for uro-genital symtoms of menopause) available, that can be used by a lot more people and for life.
There are also lots of herb/vitamin supplements/magnets that you can spend a fortune on, but keeping yourself healthy as possible seems the best thing all round.
Thanks, Terry. I'm not young, (56) and I run and exercise as much as there's time for. I have no other symptoms, no hot flushes or mood swings or anything other than meno-brain and this perpetual 'downness', which is why I'd be reluctant to start HRT.
I've found that my ability to cope with stress is reduced since menopause, my mood fluctuates more, I'm hoping that in time I will stabilise
I suppose it is KOKO then
Someone told me to eat an orange every day for energy. I have given it a go and it does seem to work (I think , anyway there is no loss in trying it. Apart from the bits that get stuck in your teeth.) I am also making the most of the sun since I had vitD deficiency.
Valencias are nice if you get a good one .
It sounds like you've had a lot to cope with over the last year.
Is there ANYTHING you enjoy doing?
I felt a bit like you earlier this year. I reluctantly started a pilates class, mainly because a friend was teaching it and I felt I ought to support her.
Well its been a revelation. I really love it, just one hour a week but it gives me a real lift. And I am CRAP at 'hobbies'.
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