Return to the Menopause Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Anxiety........

Posted by CatherineT (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 5, 02 at 15:58

Hi all,
I'm going through such a rough spell. I can ALWAYS tell when my estrogen is low, because I always feel afraid.....a sense of doom...... I really hate it. The only thing in the past 3-4 years that has lessened it, is HRT. If you remember, I quit HRT for awhile, and these horrible feelings started up again. I put my patch on 9 days ago, but nothing's changed yet. How have the rest of you learned to deal with this awful feeling? I'm really sensitive to meds, so I've never taken antidepressants, and don't really want to. Anyone out there tried an occasional xanax? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Anxiety........

Occasional???!!! :) xanax is a blessing for me! The "sense of doom" is what originally made me get on HRT.... that to me was the hardest symptom to deal with.... Seriously, xanax has never made me feel "blissed out" but HAS made me feel normal. Like I can function, enjoy life, not get anxious passing logging trucks (ok.. well not AS anxious), and generally sunnier! I will send positive voodoo your way Catherine! :)


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Catherine,
Bless your heart, you are really having a time of it, I
can relate, several years ago my Dr. put me on a low dose
of Lorzapam for anxiety, I am very sesitive to meds also
so I very rarely took any of them but when I did at bed
time sometimes they really relaxed me and I felt refreshed
and other times they made me feel grogy the next day.
The B vitamins are supossed to help with nerves, B complex
is good as it contain all the B vitamins.
Hey, I see you are from Indiana!!! so am I, what part do you
live in?
Im in Brownstown, have you ever heard of it?
I sure hope you start feeling better, I think I will make
an app. with my Dr. to see if I can get some things ironed
out.
Take care,
Gardenpaw


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Catherine: I've suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. It's gotten much worse in the pre-menopause phase of my life. My doctor gave me a prescription for Paxil, which I was supposed to take daily. I did a lot of research before I started taking it, and all the research I did indicated it wasn't the right drug for me. Apparently the anxiety gets so much worse when you stop taking Paxil. So I went back to the doctor and asked her if there was something she could give me that I could take once in a while when the anxiety got to be overwhelming. She gave me a prescription for Ativan (Lorazepam is the generic name). It is wonderful!!!! I don't take it very often, but when the anxiety gets more than I can handle, it does the trick!!! I work with a woman who has had exactly the same experience with it. It's wonderful stuff!!!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

thanks everyone.....It's so good to get support like this! Actually, some other folks have just recently told me of their horrible "withdrawal" from xanax.....even when they only took it occasionally. One had a seizure.....so I guess I'll be very cautious! I'll check out the other suggestions too. When I feel this anxious, I tend to just stay in the house and never go out....which I'm sure makes things worse.
Gardenpaw......another Hoosier! I live a little north of Indianapolis. I moved out here from Pennsylvania about 35 years ago. Where is Brownstown? We have a Brownsburg close by, but I've never heard of Brownstown. I'll look in my atlas.
Thanks again everyone for your help and support!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

HI Cathrine, I managed to get through the anxiety times without taking anything..but it was close.. I probably would have if it had lasted much longer than it did... that is a horrible thing to live with... what helped me was to tell myself that no one has died from a panic attack..over and over sometimes..and to just be aware of what was happening..like: ok..my heart is racing because, I'm getting scared..NOT BECAUSE I AM READY TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK... also, my "fight or flight" has kicked in and I'm having an adrenalin rush...also makes the heart beat faster... knowing exactly what was happening in my body is what helped me... I needed FACTS not more what if's from my head...also I found that I had been breathing improperly during these times...there was a thread on PowerSurge about breathing..how when you hold yor breath, you build up carbon dioxide(?) now I can't remember anyway that also causes the symptoms to worsen..so you need to concentrate on breathing..so you don't hyperventilate...I reposted it here a long time ago, I'm sure it's off the board by now...but I'll see if I still have it in my files somewhere and if you're interested I'll send it to you. It's long, but I thought very interesting... also make sure you are drinking lots of water... can't stress that one enough... judy


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Judy......Thanks so much for your suggestions. You're right about telling ourselves that we're not going to die. All this started a few years ago (plus Fibromyalgia), and I guess after a while of having some of these really funky, uncontrollable symptoms, I did learn that I didn't die.....which helped with the next time. But I have to admit that when my angst seems to come from low estrogen, I lose all ability to reason with myself! No matter what I tell myself, my brain keeps saying "You're goin' down!" ;)
It does help to force myself to try to focus outside of myself when the worst episodes happen, rather than obsessing about the feelings I'm having. Thanks again for your help!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Catherine,
Well, lets see, Brownstown is about 10 miles from Seymour
In. you will probably see it on your atlas quicker then
you would find Brownstown, (small little town) LOL
I know pretty much where you are, I was born in Beech Grove.
Were more toward the southern part of the state.
Hey, Catherine do you do any gardening? I have found that
gadening really helps me relax, Im looking very forward to
spring-as I do every year cant wait for winter to go by.
Drop me an email sometime.
Take good care,
Gardenpaw


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Gardenpaw,
I think you're in an area with alot of wildlife, aren't you? Oh....and isn't that where John Mellencamp is from? I had a roommate one year in college who was from Beech Grove. I used to do tons of gardening, but then I developed Fibromyalgia, and now it's just too painful for me to garden. My family helps, so I still have fresh sugar peas, tomatoes, cucs, peppers, etc.......I just can't play in the garden as much as before. I also can't work in my yard, which is a real loss for me. I keep hoping they will discover a cure or even a better treatment for fibromyalgia. I have really gotten into birdwatching.......which isn't too stressful on my body, but is so much fun. Also.....my husband helped me put in a small watergarden last spring and my kids helped me get it going. That is also alot of fun without too much pain. Nice talking to you!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Natural progesterone cream has stopped my anxiety attacks - as well as migraines, palpitations, vaginal dryness, lack of libido, hot flashes etc. Been using it since Xmas and can't believe the difference. Perhaps you should try it. Only problem left is recurring bladder infections every 4-8 wks.
Linda


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Yes, that natural progesterone cream is a blessing! I wonder why I was not told to use it earlier. I stopped all HRT and was going through such a time! Nervous and anxious all the time and other symtoms. I took Kava for a while and it really did help, but you can't stay on that for a long time.................so I asked my doctor about natural porgesterone cream and she said yes! Bought an ovc brand and have been feeling so much better. Les


 o
RE: Anxiety........

A question for you ladies who use natural progesterone cream. What dosage do you use and how often? I was given samples to try by my GP to treat vaginal dryness, and then upped my estrogen dose. I stopped using the cream, it was costly and inconvenient. I would rather take a pill anyday. I was curious that it seemed to be working so well for you. When I asked my gyn for something orally instead of cream he upped the estrogen instead of progesterone. I figured he knew what he was doing.?????

I also have some experience, both personally, and from outside, about anxiety. Half the battle in managing on your own is "self talk". When you realize that this will pass, and you are not going to die, you can talk yourself down, and breathe yourself through the moment. I have a dear friend whose husband went through hell trying to wean off antidepressants. Worse than any other physical addiction. I am leery of them, but do use Lorazepam for really bad bouts. I prefer symptomatic treatment than long term preventative in this instance.

Daphne


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Daphne
The one I take says: 480 mg of progesterone per ounce and it says to use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon twice a day. The entire jar contains 4 ounces total, so I am not sure how to figure out what I am exactly getting with a 1/4 teaspoon.
The ingredients are stated on the back and it says 1.7% natural progesterone??? Whatever it is, it is working for me, but it is a pain having to rub it in twice a day. I don't get anymore, am sleeping well and the hot flashes are now minimum with the cream and I have only been using it for two weeks. Too bad my doctor did no tell me about this natural cream 5 years ago, before I started HRT. Take care
Les


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi all,
I have found that "5htp" works VERY WELL for anxiety. And lots of other stuff. You can read all about it in a book by Michael Murry. I can't remember the title, but it has 5htp in the title. You should be able to find it or request it at your local library.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi
I'm using an OTC progesterone gel called Progestogel. I live in France. It has one gram so that's 1000mg of progesterone in an 80g tube. Dr Lee recommends 20mg per day so 1000 divided by 20 means it should last me 50 days and the info in the tube says a month. So I reckon if it lasts me 4-6 wks thats about right. I'm not taking a very scientific approach to dosage - I just rub on about 1/2 to one tsp morning and night. I've been using it for a month now and am getting quite good at knowing when the squidge needs to be bigger. If I forget to put it on at night I have a terrible night. It's amazing. And I don't agree that you can manage the anxiety. Mine literally disappeared overnight with the progesterone cream. Miss a dose and they're back, along with the hot flushes. Libido is back and vaginal dryness has gone.
Linda


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Linda
Isn't it just amazing how the progesterone cream or gel works! It is a God send to me. No more sleepless nights, no more hot flashes and truly no more anxiety and jitters!
I guess mybody was screaming for progesterone and I di dnot even know that! Iuse a brand I got at th edrug store and it seems to be doing the job. Les


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi everyone,
I get sooooo frustrated with docs! I'm having tons of problems again......anxiety, g/i disturbances, headaches. I went to discuss things with my OB/GYN. I am on combipatch, and she suggested adding menest or cenestin.....provided an ultrasound shows my uterine lining is okay, and we keep an eye on it. I mentioned just adding progesterone cream to the equation first, and she said "Those creams ABSOLUTELY are TOTALLY useless." So what the heck am I supposed to believe? I have heard LOTS of people say the cream has helped them. Of course, I will do it on my own, if I want to, but why is there such a reaction like this by conventional doctors?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Because the stuff *is* totally useless. The so-called "theory" that supposedly underlies the use of progesterone is a biological absurdity. It makes no physiological sense. The otc progesterone market appeals to women who think that there is a conspiracy out there that wants to deprive women of this miracle cream so that drug companies can sell their inferior products. The story is always the same. The drug companies want to keep this miracle cream off the market because the stuff is "natural" so it can't be patented so there's no money to be made on it. Yeah, right. At 20 USD a jar for 2 cents worth of material and 10 cents worth of packaging, there's an enormous profit to be made. Especially when you don't have to do any testing for safety or efficacy, since you sell your product as a cosmetic. Plus the active ingredient (supposing there to be any at all in the cream) is synthesized in a lab like any other drug. It's no more natural than any other drug you buy.

There's something of a cult about the use of this stuff with many women looking at The quack John Lee as the Source of All Wisdom, and at his books as their bible (a rather good analogy since like religion everything has to be taken on faith since there's no rational basis for the claims made). Admittedly it's sometimes hard to figure out who's a true believer, and who's a salesperson just using the belief to sell a product.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I truly respectfully disagree with you Leigh! My doctor told me to try it and it works..........did not spend a lot of money and the quality of mu life is 95% better. So it may not work for all, but it works for many. les


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Leslie.......how long did you use the cream, before you started to see any results? Thanks.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Yes, Leslie, I'm VERY interested in your results. I'm reading so many good results about this, I'm really considering trying it.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Catherine and Pogoo
Well it has been almost 27days that I am on the progesterone cream twice a day, and I think it was about ten days after I began using it that I started to feel better, slept better and the hot flashes diminished quite a bit. I know everyone has their opinion about what's right for their body, but I get pretty annoyed when someone constantly tries to tell all of us that everything is a scam! As I said many many times before, each woman is different and each woman has to experiment to find out what is right for her. Also, just for the records for a certain lady on this site who is so negative on HRT and progesterone cream; my doctor is very well educated and very knowledgable, and she would never tell me to try ovc progesterone cream if she did not think it would work.
I only paid $12.00 for my large jar of progesterone cream, so go ahead ladies and try it. If it doesn't work for you, then you are not out all that much money. Take care and stay well
Les.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I've noticed in the past year the anxiety has gotten worse. My heart pounds like crazy, and I also get these feelings of doom. My hands start to shake, and I don't know what to do. I'm having thyroid and FSH bloodwork done this week; hopefully I can have a name put to the problem and have it taken care of.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Cheerful1 -- Do you drink coffee? I had to stop drinking coffee. One large cup a day really increased my anxiety. After stopping, I noticed a marked improvement almost right away. I could control it once it started, and stop it with my mind. I drink only decaf now, one cup a day, with no bad effects.

If you consume any caffeine at all, try eliminating that and see if it helps.

Jen


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I've gone from 2-3 cups a day to one cup in the early morning. I still have the anxiety at night, even though the caffeine should have worn off. I'm going for some hormonal-related bloodwork tomorrow, so maybe I'll get some answers there.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Got my bloodwork back: I'm officially in menopause, which surprised the heck out of me. I figured since I still have my periods, I would be peri, not full fledged. My doctor said she would give me something if the symptoms interfered with my everyday life. Right now the worst is the anxiety.

Where do I get the otc progesterone cream? I may try it out, as I'm concerned about HRT.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I notice now the anxiety is hanging on, even when I don't have any caffeine. My hands shake a little, and I'm very nervous.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Today's a bad anxiety day. Had an argument with my DH this morning; when I got into work, I couldn't stop shaking. I knew the argument was my fault, and I can't let the guilt go. It seems stress really aggravates whatever is causing the anxiety.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi cheerful,
Sorry you had a bad day yesterday. I hope today was better. I've noticed that my physical reaction to stress is alot worse now that I'm in menopause. I'm on a beta blocker for blood pressure, and that helps with my anxiety alot. I came down on it a few months ago, since it was making me a zombie, and boy could I tell a difference. On the higher dose, my heartrate was 80 at the dentist's office. This last time with the lower dose at the dentist's office, my heartrate was 130!!
DH keeps telling me to do some meditation. But I think I'd fall asleep! lol!
I hope your anxiety eases up for you.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Thanks, Catherine. Nice to have someone that can relate. I feel better now, but I definitely have to try and avoid stressful situations. I was waiting to hear from my doctor about the results of my sonogram last week, but I'm going to call her today.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I have found that self talk really helps me a lot. I have had some anxiety most of my life. I can remember being a big worrier when I was little. I've never had a panic attack, but I have free-floating anxiety almost all the time.

About a year ago I started doing self talk. When I feel anxious about something, I ask myself "what are you anxious about"? I really try to focus my mind on "why?". Sometimes, the answer isn't what I think it is. For example: I'm anxious about going to the dentist tomorrow. That's not really the answer, so I dig deeper and realize I'm anxious because it's not a fun experience, no one likes going to the dentist, the shots hurt, etc. etc. But when I list out all the reasons in my head, nothing really is bad enough to justify anxiety.

Another example: Going alone to a party. "What if no one talks to me?" OK.... how realistic is that? Will absolutely no one really talk to me? Has that happened the past times you've gone alone? Will you die as a result? Can you leave when you want?

When I hunt for deeper reasons and try to reason them out with logic or common sense, I begin to feel better right away. Focusing my mind on searching for answers also turns the focus off of whatever I'm anxious about.

Someone explained to me that depression is physical but anxiety really isn't -- it's a matter of learning to control one's thoughts and it does get easier. Medication might help at first but the answer really lies in our self talk and how we allow it (or don't allow it) to get out of control. At first it seems impossible, but believe me -- if it can help me it can help anyone. Exercise, eliminating caffeine, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep play a part in all of this. Without those key components of a healthy lifestyle, it would be impossible to focus one's thoughts anyway. But once other things fall into place, and with practice, it does become easier to control our thinking.

In no way am I trying to trivialize the discomfort of anxiety. I never thought it could be controlled just by my own thoughts. But the more I try it, the easier it gets and the more true I believe it is.

Jen


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi, I have been lurking about on your thread here and just wanted to pipe in that I am not sure if I am having menopausal symptoms but it is possible based on what I am reading here. I have been seeing a naturopath to treat me for a combination of toxic overload and adrenal exhaustion (due to stress). The naturopath has me on a series of homeopathic remedies called "unda numbers" to aid in detoxification and to deal with my adrenal exhaustion. I am also taking large doses of nutritional supplements including vitamins C and E, beta carotene, b complex vitamins, calcium and magnesium, gingko biloba and a few others. It is alot to take but I can tell you that I am seeing a difference in my anxiety from something in this cocktail. I also started taking an herbal tea before bed to help with my sleep because the anxiety through the night was really frightening and left me too tired to deal with what was coming the next day. Just getting a solid, uninterrupted sleep has made a huge difference even if it only amounts to six hours of sleep; the quality of sleep is vastly improved. I have cut back to one cup of coffee in the morning and will consider decaf if it seems necessary. I cannot tell you how much I recommend a naturopath to help deal with these problems if you really want to avoid using drugs. They are remarkably skilled at finding underlying conditions that doctors don't really look for and that can exacerbate the other problems.
On the topic of progesterone creams, I recall someone I know using a cream that contained "wild mexican yam" which is apparently a natural source of progesterone and she had great success with it. I will see what else I can find out about it.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I was on occasional doses of ativan or xanax for, as my doctor put it, "when I felt like killing people" and it's made a HUGE difference. For reasons unrelated overall to my perimenopause, I started having anxiety attacks this past December, and started on a twice-daily regiment of clonipan. I cut it back to just one at night which keeps my nighttime panic attacks at bay, but I may need to go back to twice daily when I'm PMSing because the world is just wretchen and I'm just a horrid person with high-anxiety and zero coping skills when I'm PMS.

My problem the the self-talk stuff is that it worked well for me when my periods were still predictable. I'd mark when I could anticipate starting to get PMS symtoms and just plan my life around keeping myself sane. But now that my periods are all over the calendar - 16 days then 40 then 20 then 30 - the tendency to fall apart and go crazy is harder to talk myself out of it seems.

I just posted another new topic about PMS nausea, if anyone has dealt wtih that and has any suggestions. It's really debilitating me at this point.

My caffeine intake on *most* days is one cup of tea in the morning. I'd love to meet with a naturopath, but I live in a semi-rural area with no one like that around, and I don't have the money to do much of anything outside of what my insurance pays for anyway.

sorry to ramble. Can you tell I'm PMSing?!?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi all,
It was hard for me to figure out what was happening to me about 7 years ago. I had no idea that perimenopause could be so AWFUL!! I'm so glad I didn't see this coming!
I had the flu and pneumonia in l995, when I was 45. Then I developed Fibromyalgia. Then lots of other things started happening......including irregular periods and uncontrollable bleeding. I had a D&C and was put on hormones to keep me from bleeding. I wished I hadn't stayed on them, since I think they made matter worse. But.....my point is.........all hell broke lose during this time.......my anxiety and panic attacks went crazy....especially at night. Isn't night awful?? What the heck happens?? I had 2 sinus surgeries, a foot surgery, had debilitating fatigue, chronic daily migraines, developed IBS, and essentially went crazy. I had no idea that it was perimenopause........that it was the fluctuating hormones, that was causing all this. I'm 55 now, and haven't had a period in almost a year and a half. But I do know my ovaries are still occasionally doing their thing, because I get very anxious, get a migraine, all my joints hurt, etc. I find it absolutely unbelieveable and amazing what this period in our lives can do to us. But take heart........it doesn't last forever!!! YAY!!!! Whoever thought we'd look forward to getting older?? My problems have calmed down considerably, and I can feel almost human most days.
And Jenn........I'm the same as you.......as I have aged, I just can't seem to control my anxiety with talk any more.
I am on a beta blocker, which has helped my incredibly strong sympathic response I have to being nervous (like the dentists). But I had to come down on it because it was making me an idiot. So I've had to exchange getting a bit of a brain back, for freaking out more easily.
We WILL get some reward for this, right?? :)

P.S. If you're really anxious all the time, I would consider a beta blocker. It was amazing how it calmed my whole system down, and even made the dentist so much easier. But you might have to sacrifice some of your brain......but for awhile, it's worth it!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I'm debating whether to ask my GYN for something. My body feels like it's shaking inside, and stress really makes it worse. Would I have to take something every day, or only when the anxiety acts up? I'm worried about side effects.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

My dad died last year and then two months later my mother died. When she died I became very anxious, my heart felt like it would jump out of my chest. I went to a cardiologist the next day and he prescribed xanax. When I got back home my doctor prescribed Ativan. I took the Ativan mainly to sleep, and got several refills over the months. I think I started to become addicted to it, because when I'd try going off of it I became MUCh more anxious.
I did a search on withdrawal from Ativan on Google. One person said Ativan is 10x more potent than valium or Xanax, and much more addicting. I decided to wean myself off of it by decreasing my dose, and it only took me about ten days to get to the point I'm at now, which is that I have quit taking it and feel ok.
I will not go back on that one, and really think that for me I feel stronger without using a pill. I think exercise can be more relaxing though I'm having a hard time psyching myself up to get started on that.

There is a book, I think called I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, which describes how awful it can be to withdraw from certain tranquilizers.

I am very curious about the progesterone cream. About five years ago I was taking estrogen and progesterone but thought the progesterone was making me feel terrible...moody and depressed. I wanted to take estrogen by itself but dr. said no. Since then I gave up hrt due to bad press. But how is progesterone cream different from the progesterone pills? Why would the pills make me feel worse?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi erasmus,
I'm so sorry to hear about your parents. That must have been a really tough time for you!
Through the past years, doctors have tried to get me to go on antidepressants, and I just refuse. I know how hard it can be to come off certain medications, and I just don't want to do it. Also, I think some of us are just much more sensitive to coming off meds. My BP is fine now, and when I try to come slowly off my beta blocker med, I get very anxious and my migraines come back. I'm glad you were able to get off your med.
I'm sorry I can't give you much info on progesterone.
I think I was "addicted" to HRT, and it was horrible to wean myself off it, but I eventually did, and am so glad I did. Good luck to you.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Catherine: I would be interested in the beta blockers for my anxiety and headaches, but have you ever heard about beta blockers causing a change in personality?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I've been reading your posts here and am interested in hearing from you all on the symptoms I've had. I'm not sure if its menopause or anxiety I have. About two years ago I stated to experiance dizzy spells. Some days worse then others. I have see a Dr. she has tested me for everything under the sun and all comes back fine. I am on blood presure pills to lower my blood pressure. I went for a few months with no dizzy spells then they have come back.
Last night I started again and still this morning I feel dizzy. Anyone have any thoughts that might help? They seem to happen more when I'm out shopping or visiting. If I'm laying around at home they don't usually happen. Is there certain foods that can set them off?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Gwen, have you had your blood pressure taken recently? If you are on medication to lower your BP, then maybe it is a little too low and causing your dizzy spells.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Cheerful,
I'm sorry I didnt' see your question sooner. I suppose any side-effect is possible, since we're all so different, and drugs affect us differently. I think the main side-effects of beta blockers are fatigue, spaciness (memory problems), weight gain, depression, and lack of motivation.
I think almost any of these side-effects could cause a possible change in your personality, if they affected you enough.
To be honest with you, when I started the beta blocker, I was soooooooo overwhelmingly happy to get rid of my horrible, constant migraines, that it really gave me my life back. The fatigue and memory problems and lack of motivation are starting to bother me, and I may consider coming down even more on my Toprol. But.....like I said, the relief it gave me from my high BP and my migraines was worth it, if even just for awhile.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Ok, I really want to share this with everyone...I had every symptom, but not really enough to go to the doctor...like, sleeplessness, nervousness, crying (just tearing up, really), depression, lessening cognitive function and yes, anxiety; just a general feeling of "Is this what it's like, I am not looking forward to each day". I did go to the doctor during perimenopause and for a while she agreed with me continnuing the pill, but after a year or so she suggested I quit.

I don't even take aspirin, hate medicine and unnatural things and didn't really want to start HRT. I tried Estroven, black cohosh, some chinese herbs an accrupunturist reccommended, accupunture, exercise, and then I got headaches almost every single morning. I'm not a person who even gets sick!

This worked for me - Soy milk. I tried the vanilla first, got used to the taste after day one. Just a cup on cereal. I felt better by the next morning. It was miraculous! I started counting days, and by day 4 or 5, I was back to my regular verbal skills, my thinking improved and also my confidence. I feel great! Then I got the organic soy milk, and its the same. I am myself again. Like before I even went into perimenopause. Might not work for you but I think everyone should try it.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I'm 59 and took generic Prozac for a couple of years. I was afraid of everthing. Later I felt I didn't need it anymore and quit cold turkey, no problem. This past year I had a panic attack but I didn't know what it was, went to the ER. I had tests done and was told my heart was ok. Don't Drs. or nurses know about these things? no one even suggested that a racing heart could be something else to me. I had been to my Dr. numerous times. Anyway, now when my heart races I am able to calm down. I still have spotty periods, sometimes a year apart. Don't remember my mother having all this trouble, I do sympathize with others experiencing anxiety. Lynn


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi. I was wondering if any of you that have panic attacks now had them when you were younger? I had severe attacks as a teen and I am concerned that this means I am going to get them again as I go further into my menopausal wonderland...


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi anathema,
I'm thinking that it's the change in hormones that might trigger it.......just like there was a change when you began having periods, and you might have them "going out" of periods.....but I think it's the fluctuation in hormones that causes most of them. Hopefully that will go away, after you're through menopause.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

There's a British author who has written several books on the subject of anxiety that are very helpful to some people. Her name is Claire Weekes, and if I remember correctly, she is either a psychiatrist or psychologist. The books are probably geared more for the person with chronic anxiety, but give a good layman's explanation of the physiological causes and symptoms, and how to deal with anxiety through understanding and developing coping methods rather than solely using medications. Even if you don't find her methods useful, her books are great sources of information.
Mrs H


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Thanks Mrs. H.......I'll look up her stuff.
Anxiety is my middle name.....but perimenopause sure made it so much worse. It is good to learn to cope, rather than taking medicines, since so often, meds can cause their own set of problems. Thanks for bringing this lady to our attention!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

You're welcome, Catherine. I'm certainly not knocking medications because at times they are necessary, but imo, a good understanding of the process is so very helpful at dealing with this and any other medical problem. Just as you would want to understand the causes and treatments of heart disease or any other body system problem, knowledge seems to help by at least giving you some understanding of all the factors involved. Understanding what is happening, especially when you are extremely distressed (which is common with anxiety :) helps you deal with it much more effectively. Her techniques are written from what seems like a good common sense approach, and even if you do take medications for anxiety, her suggestions and information can still be very helpful.
Mrs H


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Ladies if I want to response to a particual post how do I do that? or can I only post at the very end of the post.
As I read some of the above post I wanted to input my experieces but now I can't remember what I wanted to say...lol yes another thing I have had to get used..forgetfulness, I usually try to make light of all the weird changes my body has put me through since starting all this memopause crap..excuse my french but to me thats just what it is....would really like to find the person who came in and snatched the old me.
I never had a problem w/ alcohol until I started having the prememo syptoms, the anxiety attacks were awful, afraid to leave the house and I ran my own service biz so that meant drivng the freeway everyday so in order to get the nerve up to do that I would talk myself through the day then by the time I got home I was as tight as a sailors knot so it started w/ a drink to help relax me (per dr's suggestion) well 4 yrs later I had been in rehab, lost my biz of 17 yrs and went through a living hell, my whole life changed, I was no longer that strong person my family & friends were used to. I was very lucky a friend came to my rescue one day,she moved me in w/ her I vowed I wouldn't let all this stuff change who I liked being once upon a time.It was a long hard road but through trail & error it has gotton much better. No alcohol-as that makes the depression & panic attacks worse, very lil caffine-infact I did no caffine for almost a yr and we are talking a 2 pot a day person here. I did alot of reading and tried many different things, not sure if it my new routine of doing things or if it just the tail of memopause but I almost feel normal again.But it wasn't easy getting to reknow myself...that I could pages on but won't bore you. Like alot of you here I hate taking a med for this a med for that so I try to watch my diet and that seems to help alot. I take oil of olay vitimins and estroven everyday if not in a weeks time all the old stuff comes back.
sorry to ramble just feels great to be able to talk to people who understand.
dee


 o
RE: Anxiety........

[yes dee (previous responder), you can only respond to the last post, but just address a message to the individual a few posts away in order to get a specific message across should that happen to you again....]

lots of interesting stories....

as an anxiety sufferer from WAY back but sorta got it under a bit better control as a mature adult, Mother Nature now comes along with good ole Menopause to throw me for a loop. To make it short, I surprisingly found that when I religiously kept up with my Calcium + Magnesium intake, I could sleep through the night. My main complaint was waking up after 5 hours and twiddling my thumbs... then falling asleep 2 hours later... i could get in 8 hours but it wasn't the same as I needn't have to explain in this forum.....

Ohter benefits, surprisingly my carpal tunnel improved -- it actually brings down the swelling!

good clean living of course is the basis; had to ratchet down the caffeine. but all together, I feel MUCH better than I have ever felt and I "blame" calcium.. a good 1000 mg + vitamin D + magnesium.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Just brought up this thread... earlier today in a nonrelated forum this woman expressed severe anxiety... I DARED suggest the beginnings of peri-menopause and was told in uncertain terms that it was awful that I even MENTIONED hormones! How SEXIST of me! I informed these people that soon, sooner than they wish, they may be suffering this, so it behooves them to pay attention! I may have been off-base, but did it hurt to ask if the person might be menopausing? Touchy people! :o)


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi heathen,
How very strange that they over-reacted the way they did. Sorry about that! I've found that some forums just aren't very nice places to hang out. There was nothing wrong with you bringing up the possibility of perimenopause. I think that person is having problems and inappropriately took it out on you. lol! .....by the way she responded, she probably IS menopausing! ;)


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hello Ladies
I have not had the time to read all of the posts because I am on my way out to bingo.....lol but tomorrow I will be reading every single one. I am also the queen of anxiety. I am 55 and going through the irregular bleeding big time. Great posts!!!!!!!!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

i just started using the progesterone cream 2 days ago and ive noticed it makes my heart race fast for a few mins.i am so sensitive to any medicines i wont try anything because of my recent reacurring panic attacks.thats why i kneed to know if this is normal or not.it is a prescription proges.cream made up at my local pharmacy.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I noticed I started posting here 3 years ago. I started HRT last November, which has alleviated some symptoms, but the anxiety is still here with a vengance. I describe it as a surge in my stomach that won't go away. It's aggravated by the stress I currently have in my life. Is there anything natural I can take that won't interact with the HRT?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Cheerful........I'm sorry I can't answer your question, but I was thinking the same thing about me! I was anxious posting this 6 and a half years ago, and lately, I've been more anxious than ever!
I was working out in the garden 5 weeks ago, and something happened......I don't know what. At first, I thought I had just gotten dehydrated, but the strange feelings never went away, and I've been incredibly panicky ever since, and have even had to start back on Toprol (a beta blocker) to slow my heart rate down. I don't believe this!!! I'm so totally bummed out. I just know its my hormones. As my OB/GYN said, we can have fluctuations in hormones 10 years after we quit having periods. (I quit about 3-4 years ago).

What's frustrating is my regular doc sort of blows me off when I say I think its hormones.
What dues we have to pay for being women!!!!
To put it crudely............it sucks!!!
Cheerful......do you drink/eat any caffeine? I have realized this week that I just can't tolerate any caffeine at all. In fact, sometimes just eating simple foods makes my anxiety worse!
How about xanax? Have you ever tried an antidepressant? I'm afraid to, since I get so manay side-effects. I do use a little xanax now and then.
You have my sympathy and empathy!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I have one cup of coffee with my breakfast. Sometimes on weekends I'll have Coke. I wonder if even that is too much.

I'm taking more magnesium to go with my calcium (I have osteoporosis and am on Boniva). The magnesium helps a little, but I can't remember the last time I actually felt relaxed.

I was on Prozac for a while, but it made me feel too dopey.

It really does suck, and I really wish men went through this. I feel this time of our lives is not taken seriously by them.

That's why I'm so happy to be part of this forum, because you all get it.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi cheerful,
I discovered that the one glass of coke a day I was having, was making me too nervous. I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place, 'cause I need that little bit of caffeine for energy.......but it was making me too nervous.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

i am new here, but i am having the worse time of my life. i don't know where to turn. i always think about death and dying. i'm constantly scared and worried, even more than normal. no one gets me. please help


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I'm having the same thing happen to me as the crispycritter had. I'm taking my calcium/magnesium; I sleep about 5 hours, then wake up and I have a sort of panic attack that lasts about a half hour, then go back to sleep for about 2 hours or so. What I wouldn't give for an uninterrupted 8 hours sleep.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

mensingchele, I have those thoughts, too. More so after turning 50. I am 54 now. My 46 yr old brother passed away last Jan so these thoughts seem to bother me more. I have always had anxiety but more so now, too. I don't think you are alone in what you are feeling. I have been lurking for awhile and find out I am not alone in this peri-menopause when reading the forum here. I hope it is okay to mention another site called Power-Surge. A menopause community. There is a thread on thinking about death and dying. So much on there. Some of the symptons-it's like I am not alone in this. Take care!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I was feeling good for about a week or so, but this morning for no reason, I started shaking and my heart wouldn't stop pounding. I'm sitting here trying to calm myself down.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi,, ANXIETY<< WHAT ANXIETY!!!! LOL . I woke the other morning at 3:30 am. and thought I was dying. couldnt breath, coughing then swore I seen my own death, I am scared to sleep anymore!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I notice lately that when I'm stressed (which seems to be all the time!), the anxiety seems more enhanced than it used to be.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi,
I am 52 years old and missed my first period in june. Since then I have had 2 periods in July and one in August. I have been having anxiety and full blown panic attacks since June. My Doctor did a complete workup on me and found nothing. I was prescribed effexor and took it for two days. I couldn't stand the dry mouth and "druggy" feeling so I stopped. Now I am sitting here tearful, anxious and afraid to even take a shower. I've tried estroven, valerian, valium, you name it. When will this end?


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Peri.........I hope I'm not repeating myself. This thread is about 6 years old, so I may be saying some of the same things I've said long ago.
During perimenopause, I would wake up every night (sometimes more than once a night), gasping, in a total panic.
Things got better the further into menopause I got, but I was found to have sleep apnea. I'm sure that's what I was suffering from when I would wake up gasping, heart pounding.
I think that when our estrogen drops, our muscles become lax......including those in our throat, and we start to have apnea when we sleep.
Does anyone say you snore?
I'm using a cpap machine, and it has definitely helped.
I also started on zoloft and occasionally take xanax, which seems to have helped my anxiety too. I just had to take it, since I was getting to have panic attacks all the time. oh....and I started back on a beta blocker, which slows my heartrate down, which is good. For some reason, it would take off, and then I would freak out.
As one of my old therapists used to say "better living through chemistry". haha I fought taking any of these drugs for so long, but it got so bad, I just had to compromise.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

I'm finding the magnesium to be of some help. I take 500mg in the morning, and another 500mg during the day or before bed. It's not a cure-all, but it takes some of the edge off.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi all, new to this forum. I've suffered with anxiety off and on for years, it started due to reasons unrelated to hormones. But now that I am 49, and been in perimenopause for several years, the NP says that could be making it worse.

I don't think anyone should feel bad about taking medication if anxiety gets really bad. Anxiety can become a vicious cycle that is hard to break. The way I see it, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, emotional despair, etc. are more damaging to the health than a moderate dose of prescribed medication. When the anxiety has been really bad, I have taken an anti-depressant and a low dose of Xanax, and eliminated caffeine. Also take a multi-vitamin, B complex, Calcium/mag, Fish oil, exercise, eat soy foods regularly, and practice breathing exercises.

Someone mentioned Dr. Claire Weekes who wrote a book called "Hope and Help for your nerves". Although it was written 40 years ago, and is somewhat dated, it was an enlightening and very helpful read.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Just thought I'd bump up this thread and see how you all are doing; has anything changed? It hasn't with me. Seems to have gotten worse over the years.


 o
RE: Anxiety........

Hi Cheerful, good grief! Still having trouble? That sounds like me! I have had "menopausal symptoms" for 14 years, since a hysterectomy . So I have a lot of empathy. I want OFF prescription meds! I can't seem to taper the .5 estrogen lightly enough to keep from getting a migraine, but I'm going to the doc this week. Maybe he has some insight I haven't found online (I'm not holding my breath ). I've been using the .20 black cohosh twice a day for a little over 2 months, it doesn't seem to be helping as I still have flashes and some anxiety even with that and the .5 estrogen. I take calcium/mag/D. And get this: my vitamin D showed up low on a recent blood test! So I'll start taking that soon as I buy some, maybe it will help? I'd surely like to not be so stiff and achy. I also started maca about 5 weeks ago and can't tell a bit of difference. I don't know if I'll keep taking maca; surely in 5 weeks I should be able to notice I'm taking it?
I'm going to give the flax seed and the soy milk a try, why not? I just don't want to switch one prescription for another, although that might be better than continuing on HRT, with breast cancer in the family ( mother, first cousin).
I eat wayyyyyy better than most people I know- we grow most of our vegetables and beef comes from the farm. I don't tolerate food additives very well and avoid them if I can. ( I don't like to eat out, don't use packaged or canned foods, avoid sugar, etc). All that helps, but! When am I ever going to be flash free?!
Let me know how you are!


 o
RE: Anxiety........

It's ridiculous. Do these "menopausal symptoms" ever go away? Now that I've started to take the Activella every other day, I wonder how that's going to affect me. I've also gone off Boniva, per my GYN's instructions. Still taking calcium/mag/D.

I always felt the human body was one big chemical reaction, and we're still trying to find out the right combination to make us feel better.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Menopause Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here