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Anxiety Attacks

Posted by shayshay56 (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 9, 07 at 19:48

Up until a couple months ago, the perimenopause symptoms for me were relatively mild, however I started having hot flashes which I can live with, then recently I experienced a couple anxiety attacks. Those, I can not live with. I woke up one morning feeling anxious for no reason, then had to drive to a meeting. I started feeling dizzy, my hands started tingling, had shortness of breath, etc. It was so scary, I almost pulled off the freeway to call my husband to come pick me up. I made it to my destination, but I felt so out of control, like I was going to crash the car. I have never in 50 years had a panic attack. This morning, I woke up feeling anxious again, couldn't concentrate on things I love to do, like read the morning paper, read my emails. Have made an appointment with an OB/GYN. That appointment can't come soon enough. The anxious feeling is so terrible like my body and mind are out of control. I exercise regularly, incorporate flaxseed, omega 3 pills, soy, etc. in my diet. I have also started to read a wonderful book called 'Wisdom of Menopause' by Christiane Northrup, MD which has given me great insight and enlightened me about perimenopause. However, she does not mention much about anxiety caused by perimenopause. Would like anyone's thoughts on anxiety during perimenopause, what has helped/not helped. Thought I could go through this with no problems, being that I am a healthy woman, but the anxiety is really taking a toll. I would welcome any wisdom and suggestions relating to perimenopausal anxiety. Thanks much...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Hi Shayshay,
I feel your pain. I had some pretty awful panic attacks during perimenopause too. The little brown paper bag became my friend! Actually, I'm not kidding. It really helped at times, to slow the hyperventilation down.
I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. If it gets really bad, you might want to try some medication.
Do you eat much sugar or drink much caffeine? It might help to reduce those if you do.
I guess I started to have so many of them, that I finally realized that I wasn't going to die, and just waited them out.
Panic is so weird though. It convinces us that something really, really awful is happening, and its hard to reason with it.
One thing I learned to do was accept that the attacks were going to happen, and it was okay for me to do whatever I needed to do to feel safer.........like ask my husband to stay with me for awhile, or allow myself to not go somewhere when I felt really vulnerable.
I'm sorry I don't have more to offer you. Be sure you're getting all your vitamins and minerals. Perimenopause can be a really rough ride......but the good news is that it eventually ends! Hang in there shayshay.


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I'm sorry you're having a tough time of it. Anxiety is no fun at all. In the last few years I developed problems getting to sleep due to nighttime anxiety. I take Omega-3 and 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan), as well as pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamins. These have somewhat relieved my symptoms. In addition to these, I sometimes use Xanax before bed if I'm feeling particularly bad, such as the week before my period. About five weeks ago I started taking Wellbutrin, and this has been very helpful. I don't get palpitations very often now, and I can't remember the last anxiety attack I had before bed.

Another thing to think about that may be causing anxiety is certain allergy, cold and sinus medications. I can't tolerate pseudephed or many over-the-counter allergy pills -- they give me palpitations and make me feel weird and wired.

I agree with limiting caffeine and sugar consumption as well. As our bodies change, sometimes we lose the ability to tolerate certain substances. At this point, I don't even consider having more than one cup of coffee a day, while years ago I could drink several cups throughout the day without it causing any ill effects. Limiting sweets can help stabilize mood and energy levels, which can go hand-in-hand with anxiety.

Since you are exercising, you already know this has a positive effect. Yoga can also be very useful in reducing anxiety. I have also used breathing exercises and meditation to reduce anxiety. These last two can be done almost anywhere (although I wouldn't advise meditating while driving!) The best thing about exercise, yoga, breathing and meditation exercises, is that there is no medication involved and they bring a sense a self-confidence and empowerment that you can cope with anxiety and panic attacks. My physician recommended these things to me and I'm so glad she did. The book I used to learn to meditate and do basic yoga poses is by Jon Kabat-Zinn, "Full Catastrophe Living" (ignore the title, it's a great book). I have the companion CDs as well. He is a medical doctor who heads up the Univ. of Mass. Medical School's Center for Mindfulness which is a stress reduction clinic. This is a secular, non-religious based form of meditation.

Okay, I'm sorry if this was too much information. These are the things I have tried and found helpful. I wish you the best in finding solutions to your discomfort!

Tina


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I've never had an anxiety attack before either but, like you, after having mild perimenopausal symptoms, I went into to a full blown, out of control, 3-day panic attack last February. I couldn't work or even barely get out of bed. It was like the adrenaline in my body wouldn't shut off and I entered some wide-awake nightmare.

I went on Paxil and take Melatonin before bedtime. I also came to the realization that I MUST take care of myself. I can sense when I'm getting out-of-balance and I try to stop worrying about things. I still get jittery sometimes but no more real panic attacks.

Also, I never drank much but I noticed any alcohol at all just makes things worse. Often the attack came the day after I had a couple of drinks...so I don't drink at all anymore.

I also got some guided meditation tapes and they are great for relaxation.


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I never had a panic attack in my life...until I hit menopause. I tried everything short of drugs. The one thing I found that really worked for me was something I read on a website about panic/anxiety attacks. It gave all of the reasons why it works-but bottom line for me-was it worked. What I do is start controlling my breathing--consciously. I try to breathe slow in to the count of 2 and out to the count of 4. Next I breathe in at the count of 3 and out to the count of 6--then in to the count of 4 and out to the count of 8 and so on. There is something about the longer "out" breath that helps balance the gases in your brain. Hyperventilating (as we do during an attack) somehow makes CO2 build up (or lessen?) in your brain--which screws up your levels of plain old oxygen. Don't ask me how it works--I flunked chemistry--I just know it works.

I hope this works as well for you as it does for me. I used to get my attacks while I was driving--even if I had someone in the car with me! Now the attacks are very seldom--but if they come--I know what to do. I can even do it without anyone around me noticing what I'm doing.

Bullsigh


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Thanks to all the wonderful women who reached out and replied to my post with support and suggestions for reducing anxiety. Reading your personal experiences has done wonders to mitigate my fears about having another panic attack. I deeply appreciate the time you took out of your busy lives to respond to me with kindness and wisdom. Happiness and love to all of you!


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Anxiety. It became the bane of my existence! Enter Progesterone cream. I love that stuff! It seemed to balance me out. I take Estroven for the first two weeks of my cycle. Progesterone cream for the last two weeks. Works for me. My worst symptoms were anxiety, feeling like I wanted to climb out of my skin. Other physical symptoms were skin burning sensation, bone pain. Those are still there, but I can live with those more easily than anxiety. Calcium and Magnesium help too, plus B12. I am 54 and still having periods. I don't mind them...just these weird side effects. God bless you and keep you. I hope you find a solution.


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Hi shayshay,
I think alot of us would be lost without the internet. It really lets us connect up with people who are in the same boat, and it can be very comforting! Good luck to you, and don't hesitate to post here any time.


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I've already said this on another thread but several months ago when the bouts of anxiety started for me, I thought I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown because I did not know it was/could be a symptom of perimenopause. I get extremely hostile, can't do anything because I can't concentrate for longer than a nano-minute, and my heart races. I can feel the anxiety coming on when it starts. It's awful to have to live with it.

It's really disconcerting that so many women experience this horrible anxiety with perimenopause yet, we aren't forwarned about it in menopause books or by our doctor's.


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WARNED,, find me a dr. that says these symptoms are normal.for this stage of life. I have yet to get someone to tell me memory loss and anxiety is a menopause problem. Even the OBGYN's are iffy on them. My therapist who I love says there are no facts to support it. Sometimes I am suprized just how backward western medicine can be. The bloating and stomach problems are common, cant find a dr. that says that is hormonal. I guess I am going to the wrong drs. Maybe I need a endocrinologist.


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It makes me wonder if its perimenopause, in combination with today's world. Maybe its our food? preservatives? additives? cell phones?? Its just hard to believe that our grandmothers had these kinds of problems. Maybe they did and they were just stoic about it??
Maybe it seems like ALL of us have these problems, because we come to forums like this where people with these problems tend to congregate??
I have the theory that we are all different inside. Some of us function best with high levels of female hormones. They affect a ton of functions in our bodies. And when those levels start dropping, everything in us starts having problems. Some of us have brains that send out alarm signals when it senses changes.
I'm curious if those of us who have soooooo many problems at perimenopause/menopause, also had alot of problems when starting periods. I know I did. I developed alot of bizarre, scary feelings. I had major emotional problems during those first few years of having periods.........but maybe that had more to do with the family I had than my hormones??
At any rate......some of us are definitely are tortured and tormented during this time. When you think about it though.......(and I hope I don't offend anyone's beliefs), we're here to reproduce. And when that ability is gone, our systems naturally begin to deteriorate.
I guess our challenge is to find things that make life liveable for us again.......Ways to feel less anxious and crazy again.
A year ago, I thought I was "out of the woods" as far as going crazy........but it came back.
I really think its the fluctuations that make us crazy and not the low levels of hormones.


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Catherinet...I have talked with *many* women who have already gone through their change of life and only one had the same problems with extreme anxiety/mood swings that I am experiencing. I have four sister's, none of them have or had the same perimenopause experience that I am. They all have hot flashes and I have *yet* to have a single hot flash or night sweats.

So yes, every woman is different as to how we respond to the hormonal changes. Those of us who are experiencing the extreme end of the spectrum are forced to seek solace on internet sites because I think we are definitely in the minority.

Also, I never had problems related to menstruation, ever. Never a cramp, or a headache or breakthrough bleeding, etc. Because of that I always *assumed* I would breeze through memopause without a problem. WRONG!

I'm wondering too if it isn't more the eb and flow of hormones each month that cause the anxiety. I've decided to start keeping track of the days I'm most *out-of-sorts* and see how it factor's in with my period(s).

I'm also going to try going without caffeine and sugar and see if that makes any difference at all in my level of symptoms. Oddly, I have not had my usual pot of tea this morning and I have a headache starting.

It is so comforting to be able to come to this forum and talk about what is happening. I'm grateful to all of you who keep posting here. : )


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I need to get OFF CAFFIENE. I have done it before, and it did help some of the severe mood swings. I know that caffiene jacks with the adrenal glands, which is what supposed to take over after the estrogen goes away. So maybe the caffiene would be a great place to start. Catherinet, you are right about "like" people gathering at the same sites. But thank God for that.


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Before I ever had any problems with panic or anxiety, I would not have bought the manopause connection, but when I went to my late thirties with NO psychological symptoms then WHAM, I'm a nutcase, I do now believe there is a connection. Now it may be that the tendency for mental instability was always there, and never showed itself until hormone changes started, but it's too much to be mere coincidence, imo. When this all began for me, I first called my mother to ask her if she had any of these symptoms. The answer was no, of course, so I called my paternal grandmother and started quizzing her. Bingo. A couple of my aunts had the same roller coaster problem. At least I knew then that it wasn't complete insanity on my part :)
The only way I can describe the anxiety and depression that I have experienced at times over the past ten years is pure hell. Anyone who has not "been there" does not understand it. I sincerely sympathize with you guys, and to the OP, I hope everything settles down and gets more back to normal for you soon. Hang in there and hold on tight.
Mrs H


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My mother had me when she was 37. In my memory of childhood, I think of my mother as frequently being irritable and annoyed with me. I know I wasn't a bad kid either, just a normal active and curious child. I'm an only child so I can't ask a sibling their experience. As a young adult, I remember noticing that my mother seemed anxious. She was not one for heart-to-heart discussions, so she never revealed anything about this to me. It was just something I observed. I think my mom's mood and behavior must have been affected by perimenopause and menopause.

Many women of my mother's generation just didn't talk about menopause -- my mom always reported her change as "normal" and reported no complaints or issues. I would guess that the anxiety I am currently experiencing is similar to what I observed in my mother years ago.

At this point, it doesn't really matter what symptoms my mother had or how she handled them. I am more interested in how others in the same boat as me today are grappling with issues surrounding perimenopause and menopause. I think this is a more useful view -- these discussions yield more current solutions and allow us to share information that we might never have had access to years ago. I continue to be grateful to have the opportunity to talk with all of you and share our experiences. We are fortunate indeed.

Tina


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Went to see my internist today, she gave me a Rx for wellburtrin 300 xl I took it about 5 years and got off of it several months ago. I have put on 15 lbs. since then. She said that my reflux and gas were probably because of the weight and to try the wellbutrin for 3 months to see if I felt better, there fore felt like exercising and generally feeling more happy. I dont know, my therapist who I say afterwards wasnt as thrilled. He feels like Wellbutrin isnt the right drug for me. What do you guys think?


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If I were considering going on a psychotropic drug of any kind, I would trust the opinion of a psychiatrist or therapist over a GP just because it's their field of expertise. Afterall, would you go to a brain surgeon to treat an infection in your lungs? That's just my two cents and probably worth about that, lol.
Mrs H


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Thanks I got it filled, but I am not going to take it right now I am working on counting my calories and walked for about 20 mins this morning. The gas and reflux is killing me esp the gas! and Bloating. I am trying not to take crap I dont need. Ya know?


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Having a bad morning today. Feel like I'm hyperventilating, and trying very hard to keep my temper in check. Had a fight with DH last night, which doesn't help. I so want to run away from home and not deal with all the crap in my life right now.


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Since I started this post a month ago, I am feeling so much better! I no longer feel all the symptoms of anxiety, (sense of doom, heart pounding, lack of concentration, wanting to get out of my body, etc.). I went to my doctor and he agreed that my anxiety was a perimenopausal symptom. He prescribed an anti-depressant that I take at bedtime, and in just 2 weeks it has made a tremendous difference in my well being. I normally do not like to take meds unless they are an antibiotic or one that is taken for a short period of time. I am very hard on myself always wanting to heal without meds, but this time I realized that there are situations where I need temporary help and it is 'okay to give in' to medication that helps. Not forgetting to help myself in other ways such as diet, exercise and thankfullness for the loving family that I have. I also traded caffinated coffee for decaf. I still wake up at times feeling a slight bit blue, but do not have the extreme anxiety I experienced a month or so ago. Also, I have to add the fact that my husband has been so supportive of my situation. My love and appreciation for him grows deeper every day. I could not go through this alone. I have 2 beautiful daughters and great friends, but somehow this was too personal to share with them. I guess, I always want to be the strong one that can handle what comes my way. Anyway, I want to let the other wonderful women who have shared their personal experiences on this post know that if they are going through anxiety right now, it is okay to take medication that their doctor has prescribed. Don't be hard on yourself and make sure you are your own advocate at the doctors office; speak up and don't be ashamed to tell your story. And to 'cheerful1', today is today; tomorrow is a new day. You know in your heart that running away from home is not going to solve your problems. If you need emotional support, please, go see a counselor. It is okay and many of us have sought counseling to help get our lives in order. Or talk to a trusted friend, and keep posting on this site. We are here to reach out and support each other through difficult times.


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shayshay, I'm glad to hear you are feeling better. Anxiety can be so exhausting. Just having access to the mental and physical energy that was channeled into tension and worry can make you feel so much lighter and clearer!

cheerful1, those evening arguments sure can be disruptive to sleep and leave one feeling wrung out and irritable the next day. I hope you are feeling better today.

Tina


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Today's a little better, thanks. Took a nice long walk yesterday, which helped. I've always said that the human body is one big chemical reaction. That urge to run away was so strong. I knew I wouldn't follow through on it, but wow.


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cheerful1- hang in there. I've been there more than once, had times when I just wished I would not wake up the next morning. I have read and heard for years that the answer to this is to extend yourself to other people, and don't focus so much on your problems. Well, I partially agree with this, but on the other hand, I believe you do need to focus on this crap and try to resolve it, not just act like it's not there. My preference is to dig to the root of the problem, and try to understand it instead of taking something that will make me feel "normal" again. It has taken me years of dealing with my own emotional garbage to even prick the surface and start sorting it out. It's is a journey that continues, and is at times, extremely difficult. At other times, it is actually enjoyable, and like new worlds are opening up to me. I decided awhile back, that whatever life brings to me, I will try to face head-on instead of running away like I have done all my life. I have happened upon a few books that really helped me change my perspective on life in a positive way. I am a person who has to be whacked on the head hard before I pay attention. Well, life has thrown me a couple of real curve balls, so I am trying to learn how to swing from a new direction :)
Don't give up the fight. If you need medications to help, take them. If you need professional therapy, seek it, but look for a really good therapist. There are days when I feel like I need to put on full battle gear, lol.
Mrs H


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Mrs. H (by the way, I'm also a Mrs. H) - I need to face things head on also. I've run away too many times (figuratively, not literally). I'm also the type that learns lessons the hard way. It will be difficult but not impossible.


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shayshay,
you don't say what meds you went on that helped with your anxiety. Would you share that info please? I have been having debilitating anxiety...every single morning, and though some days it eases for the most part, it is so intense in the morning that I am dreading facing every day. I can't live this way. I'm doing breathing, meditation, vitamins, Xanax (which helps sometimes) and feel I've tried everything but antidepressants. Thanks.


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Sunny,
I noticed that most of these posts are several years old, so I'm wondering if you'll get a response. But, you expressed exactly the same sentiment and feelings I'm experiencing. I'm 50, perimenopausal, and dealing with debilitating anxiety. It's definitely cyclic in nature, but when it's bad, it's overwhelming. Mine is worst in the early mornings and I spend hours trying to talk myself into a calmer state. It's exhausting. By afternoon, most days, it subsides somewhat, but not always. I'm pursuing several avenues trying to find relief. So far, the cycling continues. I'm waiting on some results of hormone testing at present, which will take weeks. The last few days have been so bad, I'm tempted to resort to prescription meds, which I have so resisted. I'm a nurse. All this started last year when I was almost through upgrading my degree. It has undermined my ability/desire to work in nursing. I am so discouraged to be feeling so useless after being strong and capable for a lifetime. I found this forum because I desperately needed to hear that I'm not alone. Please know that you aren't either. I don't know if any of the other posters are still out there, but if so it'd be great to hear how they are doing now. I have started taking a compounded B vitamin injection, that may be helping. The jury is still out. I vacillate between flailing about seeking relief and thinking I should just accept it. I don't think this will ever be 'acceptable'. Sorry this is so long, but I hope we can offer some support to each other.


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I have been reading all these posts as I have been having anxiety which I am no stranger to as I suffered from a chronic anxiety and panic condition in my twenties (due to sexual abuse suffered when I was young).
I am 44 in a couple of months and for the last approx. 8 months have been having night sweats and recently unexplained anxiety and mini panic attacks for the last 4-5 days. When I read about anxiety in perimenopause I was devastated, I got the better of my condition although it took me 10 years, then I had post natal after the birth of my second child and now I have to start the battle again, I just don't know if I have that energy, this saddens me deeply as I have two beautiful children and a wonderful husband. I know what it was like when I battled it last time, I don't want to have all that anxiety and panic again.
:(


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Dear LadyShooby and Snoogle,

I read your posts and have been trying to come up with some positive advice to get through menopause and anxiety and panic attacks but it is not easy.

I am 50 and am in menopause. I started 8 years ago, missed my first period, had my first nightsweat, hot flash, headrush, and severe panic attack all happened the same day. Over the last 8 years, I have been to countless doctors, many tests, acupuncture, spiritual healer, 2 different psychologists, I can go on and on. The last 2 years have been the worst. I started HRT therapy 3 years ago and it did not help because my body would not absorb the hormones. I was not producing estrogen, testosterone, or progesterone, which the doctors felt was causing me to have severe anxiety, panic attacks, awful crushing fatigue, adrenal failure. Basically, I was a non functioning woman. I have been married 26 years, have 3 children and use to be so energetic and loved life, exercise, entertaining, etc. My husband has been my rock. Without him I don't know how I would survive. Ten months ago I decided to try Bio-identical hormone pellets. They have bettered my life 50%. I go to a support group one night a week which is a self-help group. This group teaches you how to cope with anxiety and panic. It has helped a little bit but still each day is a struggle. I believe menopause effects each person differently. Some are luckier than others. I don't know if it will ever end for me. However, I did not ask for this nervous illness that came from menopause but I have it and have to accept it in order to heal. Please know you are not alone even though sometimes you feel so lonely, scared, sad, and disgusted. You need to fight through the symptoms, find the right doctor who will listen and help you, Remember your not crazy. When your down and out hug your kids husband, friend, etc. Love and be good to yourself. I believe things happen for a reason we may not find out what it is right away but one day we will. This experience has made me see the world differently. I appreciate the littlest things now, enjoy the moments I feel kind of normal and I never let little things upset me. Nobody ever tells you what to expect when going through menpause. I feel like writing a book with the real truths. I'm sorry for such a long post. I hope that both of you and any other woman reading this post takes just one day at a time and keep looking for answers from health professionals who care and understands.

Sincerely,
Terri


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I'm having severe anxiety & panic attacks & this has been going on for several weeks. I feel like I'm jumping out of my skin all the time. Exercise helps, but only temporarily. I keep hoping to wake up and feel normal again. How long is this going to last? It started just before this last period & the bleeding is gone & still I am suffering. I am 52 & I have had these symptoms before, but not this bad. I already have panic disorder which I've had since my early 20's & was house bound for 8 years. I fought my way back & now this & I can't go anywhere again. I am totally devastated. I am phobic of meds, so trying to take anything will make my anxiety worse. Not sure what options I have, if any. I feel like I'm losing my mind.


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Hi How is everyone out there? I am so glad I found this site that I can vent and speak freely. I started a few weeks ago on a Sunday in church, something the young speaker said triggered in me a bad time I went thru yrs ago when I got depressed. And that was 5days before my period. It's been almost a month now and I haven't been able to shake off the anxiety that comes on goes during the day. Then I get like negative thoughts that upset me that I even pay attention to them!!! Shoot!:( I Ned help I am turning 48 in January, and I totally think its the perimenopause, and that day in church I was going thru a fluctuation of hormones and now how do I stop!! Please help me feeling tense and anxious all day is no fun. Thanks for your time. Looking for answers.


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I read that if you are an anxious person then anxiety will most likely be worse during peri-menopause/menopause. Since I have a history of panic attacks and anxiety it makes sense that I am now, at 48, experiencing this again. Like many others there are mornings that are just terrible, for what seems like no reason at all! Shakiness, nauseated,irritable, short tempered and on and on... We are not alone and my only relief is knowing that this will pass and once menopause is over I understand that it is like bliss, pure bliss.


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Read the posts on this same website, but the thread is called "WEIRD ADRENALINE RUSH". The menopause symptoms are the same: anxiety with or without adrenaline. Helpful stuff on that thread, too.

We are NOT crazy. But we live in a culture in which we eat "crazy" things -- not what God made for us to eat -- and we drink water with chlorine in it, which destroys our thyroids. I think we are paying the price for our modern food and water supply.

Glad we can support each other as women by sharing information. We are all different, and every little bit of information is a step in the right direction toward finding what works for you as an individual.


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I actually read that post because I have been having the adrenaline rushes myself. Not every day but they come out of the blue sometimes almost as if it is the beginning of a panic attack and then it goes away unlike the panic attack.


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The anxiety attacks I have been able to get rid of with homeopathic estrogen. Bumping up my regular dosage of 1 sublingual drop in the morning and 2 before bed to 5 in the a.m. and 20 at night has done wonders for that, for me. But then I started having the anxiety come back, slowly, a little at a time. So I started taking testosterone drops and by tinkering with it, I worked up to the same dosage: 5 and 20 drops.

I was kind of worried that I might grow whiskers or something with the testosterone, but actually just the opposite has happened. I have a stray coarse hair on my chine somewhere about every month, but since I started the testosterone -- no more whiskers! And the anxiety is gone.

But I am still dealing with adrenaline surges -- not every night, but if I don't take adrenal cytotrophin (Enzyme Process brand) or enough thyroid hormone or enough estrogen or testosterone.

Anyway -- I posted on the other thread called "Weird Adrenaline Rush" with all the brands.


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I'd like to share something that might help someone.

Several years ago I was experiencing what seemed to be anxiety attacks, although at the time I was afraid it was something neurological. I think I was just drinking decaf at the time, and had been for years. All I got from the doctor were prescriptions for an antidepressant and anti-anxiety.

I happened to be at breakfast with friends and a guy at the table mentioned he went off coffee due to anxiety and was drinking only green tea (caffeinated), and that helped. So, I went off all coffee. It didn't take long, maybe weeks, for my symptoms (anxiety, numbness in parts of my body, my head just feeling not quite right, restlessness) to subside.

For a few years I rarely drank coffee, but when I did (only decaf), my head felt weird, hard to explain, not quite dizzy, but different, and somewhat anxious. Coffee didn't even taste good anymore. This year I had an occasional cup of caffeinated coffee, as that was the only kind that tasted good to me, and had no symptoms! Hmm. I now drink one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning with no symptoms.

So, I have a theory that maybe it's not the caffeine at all, but something they use to process coffee to decaffeinate it. I haven't found out what it might be yet though, or why I developed the symptoms after years of drinking decaf coffee. Maybe because I was in menopause? I don't know.

I still stay away from decaf coffee because when I do, my head feels off-kilter, I start feeling anxious and I now dislike how it tastes.

Just wanted to put that out there, in case anyone else has experienced this. It's worth a try, especially if going to decaf didn't help.

I thought it would would be hard to live without coffee, but I went to herbal tea, but it really wasn't that hard, and it's worth trying.


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The post by "lostnj" really concerned me when I read she has been going through this 8 years! Does it really last that long? I am 43 and just started perimenopause. I am a very positive person and have NEVER had an issue with worry or anxiety. My first attack I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something and went to the hospital! lol! Anyhow, I keep getting this awful anxiety every evening around the same time. The week before my period I get it so bad that I feel as if Im losing my mind! It makes hot flashes sound fun! My doc sent out an anti anxiety med that I refuse to take! I have always been funny about taking meds. I am very health conscious and am careful with my diet. I have had my hormones, thyroid, and everything that can be tested--- checked out! I cant believe people can deal with this! It was so encouraging to find Im not the only one. I will be posting to let everyone know if I find any relief. Please post and give your experiences also, as it is very encouraging to know others are surviving this too! My heart went out to the nurse who posted!


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

tmfair12,

I'm sorry I worried you about my on going dealings with menopause. It is not as bad for alot of woman. Unfortunately is has gripped me worst than most. Doctors call me an enigma which is not very comforting I have not had a period for 18 months and before that for 15 months. I wish I could give you some positive advice. The only thing I can say is to be kind and gentle to your own dear self and take one day at a time.

Terri


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Just a year ago I was living my life to the fullest!! I have a wonderful husband and three beautiful children!! We went on numerous vacations, Disney, mountains etc., very, very happy time. I never had anxiety or panic attacks in my life. One day last year we were at the movies and I thought for sure I was having a stroke or something. I told my husband and we went to the ER. This kept happening on a daily basis. It resulted in about 5 hospital trips(MRIs, blood work heart monitors ultrasounds,thyroid tests,etc). You name it. all negative. I was 39 going on 40 at the time. I finally decided, no matter what I will not go to anymore doctors. One neurologist told me I was having seizures which increased my anxiety, mind you I am on computers all day and can play video games with my husband for hours and never in my life had seizures, so deep down I knew that was a load of crap!! But it took me awhile to shake that diagnosis. I wanted to actually sue him for the mental anguish of that one. Anyway, I am still dealing with severe panic attacks!! They are a lot worse before, during, and after my periods! I know it has something to do with perimenopause and our hormones. I think doctors should be more educated about this! This has frozen me in my life as I cannot go anywhere! Especially if it's a place where there is no way out (boats, anywhere desolate, etc.) I feel I need to be close to a hospital at all times. This sucks and I want my BEAUTIFUL life back NOW! I am tired of sitting in the house crying and wishing for the person I use to be back! Anyway, I am so glad I came upon this post and read all of these stories, which are exactly like mine!! God bless you all and I hope and pray we all get our lives back soon!!


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

im so glad i came across ur page.For the past few months iv suffered from insomnia,restless legs,sore joints and hot flushes,all of which i can cope with so never went to the docs but the past week has been awful.I suddenly felt what i can only describe as claustrophobia,a terrifying feeling that i couldnt breathe and i was suffocating but i felt the same even outside.When it didnt pass i thought i was on the verge of a breakdown and this made me panic more. I searched my symptoms online and ur forum came up. thank goodness it did because i was on meltdown. Iv managed to calm myself down slightly although the feeling of immense dread and doom keeps coming back but at least i know im not mad and i will be visiting my doctor on monday


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

To all anxiety sufferers:
I feel for everyone who has posted to this site. I too, have recently been thrown into the trenches of this women's battle of mental and physical anguish that comes from having "anxiety, panic and the Pause". If I were to post my situation as it was thrust upon me, it would be identical to majority of the entries on this site (which I agree were helpful in the fact that I discovered I was not alone and no one wants to be alone in a devastating situation). The sharing of experiences and information is very important but I think we need to realize that this disorder is not being treated as a priority by the medical field (yet over 40 million anxiety sufferers exist out there today). So, instead of reiterating what has already been said by so many unfortunate sufferers like ourselves, I'd like to be proactive and suggest that we all join forces and try fixing the situation and get some real help. But in order to do that we need to have the medical field realize that we want, no we demand REAL answers and REAL remedies to treat this "life-robbing" epidemic. We need to make them understand that we�re done hearing that Menopause is a �normal stage� in the process of life. We�re not children and we get that part of the picture. Menopause may be a normal stage of life, but there�s nothing normal about the process that goes with it, which in my description is literally a physical and mental hell on earth. Unless you live it, you have no idea. I think it�s cruel and unusual punishment for anyone to ask a person to just accept this anguish as �normal�. And to keep throwing medicines to band-aide the situation so you meet your sales reps quota in order to get that free vacation for your family or throw blank theories at the patient so you can feel like you did your best for that patient but really it was just to get them out of your office cause you didn�t have a clue is even worse because undermines the sensibilities of the patient and is a waste of time and money annnnnd�..in the end, the patient is still left to suffer. I for one am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired AND I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!! It�s obvious that we all just want to make IT stop so we can have our quality of life back.
It can be as simple as starting a signed petition that would give enough voices to the problem that the medical field would at least treat us as living, breathing, hurting human-beings with real, existing, life-altering pain and suffering. I�m open to any and all suggestions. Even just talking about what we might be able to do may lead to a solution. I will be thinking of solutions and check back periodically. Hang in their sisters and keep the faith. Be well.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Hi Snoogle31 and all on this thread,
I just joined this site and was reading the forum to help get some guidance on my anxiety. I am 53 and in menopause and my anxiety has been getting worse than during peri menopause. I read your post and it appears I have the same symptoms with this debilitating anxiety especially in the morning. I have been to my GYN, and internist, as well as my PCP. All my blood work, EKGs etc are normal. I finally was able to get into see an Endocrinologist who put me on HRT a month ago. I really did not want to but the anxiety made the choice for me. The HRT (prempro low dose) seemed to have helped until about a week ago - I have a follow up this week to discuss. In the mean time I wanted to check with you and see how your progress was going. As a side note I have also been to see a good psychiatrist and we tried a series of different anti anxiety/depressants. The side effects were so terrible I could not get used to them. Maybe I have just not found the right one yet. I am also so adverse for some reason in taking these I had anxiety perhaps self inflicted. I am hopeful you are doing well.�


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I see what I wrote back in 2007, and nothing's changed in my life. I've been on HRT since then, but my GYN is weaning me off of it. I feel sometimes I need professional help, but I'm afraid to go.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

I am so sorry to hear nothing has changed for you. 5 years is a long time to be going thru this. Perhaps we can get some further responses from the ladies in this forum. I will keep watching and update how my visit goes with the Endo Dr later this week.
Take care


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Well I went to the Endo Dr tis morning for the follow up to my getting on HRT 5 weeks ago. I explained the flashes had eased up and I was sleeping a bit better, however the anxiety is still there. While he was a good listener, he did not have any further tests or thoughts on how to help, and ultimately just suggested I go back to my Psychiatrist. Very dissapointing. I explained while I have always been the type of person that was prone to have a small amount of anxiety it never affected me as it does now that I am going thru menopause. I was happy and very energetic, where has that gone! Not sure where to go from here. I hate to go back to the trials of which anti depressant/anxiety meds will work for me. Not sure I have a choice - I just can't sit here and continue to suffer.
Note to Love2all - I'm ready to jump on the wagon with you for the fight to get this menopause/anxiety connection looked at more seriously from the medical community.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

I'm of the belief that the human body is one big chemical reaction. Something had to have happened when we hit menopause, relating to anxiety.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Ladies, it was somewhat of a relief to read your posts about your own experiences with anxiety and other perimenopausal symptoms. I am sure that many of you thought you were going crazy.
I am 44 and have been experiencing mild or at least tolerable symptoms for the last few years. So it hasn't been bad, until last month.... I was on vacation 1500 miles from home with my boyfriend and I had what I thought was a severe asthma attack. My period had come 7 days early and it was very heavy as well. I just couldn't seem to shake the tight chest and inability to get a good breath. I ended up taking far too much of my Ventolin inhaler and that made my shaking, anxiety and discomfort worse. But although i remained slightly anxious i was able to ride the rest of the vacation out.
I got my period a week early again and my anxiety has really stepped up. my breathing got so bad at work last week that i had a full out panic attack and left the office. I saw the Dr who told me that hormones were at play and there is a link between hormones and asthma so he wrote a script for a new inhaler and told me if it wasn't improved in 2 weeks then he would prescribe something for anxiety. Now I'm anxious about that.
I have started B12 1200mcg in the morning, B6 100mcg, B12 500mcg and 30 ml liquid iron at night.
I'd love to hear what others have tried and how people are doing.
Thank you,


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SherryRod, hi what does B12 and B6 help because I was told I have a deficiency in B6 the normal range is 0.8-1.9 and my figure is 0.6.so what can I take.Im currently on BP medicine, antidepressants and anti anxiety medicine and also b-complex and its no picnic sometimes.The depression bugs me including the body aches where one day its this the next its this.Health anxiety over everything.Im 41 and have 4 kids(you can read my other post under perimenopause pains)Ladies I just joined a prayer group that uses the teachings of Elisha Goodman.Prayers have been a big help. Rudo


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Hi Rudo,
I take B6 and B12 for hormone balance. you may also find that your b complex gives you the amount you need to bring your numbers up to 1.9. My mother has been taking the higher concntration of 1200 mcg for a long tme and finds that it helps her since she stopped taking HRT. The B vitamin has also been instrumental in causing her to lose weight without changing anything else about her lifestyle :).
I started taking the vitamins on November 13 and I felt better by the end of this week. I don't know if the vitamins are the reason or if it is because my period has finished for the month and my hormones are no longer rampant. I urge you to speak to your dr about this possibility.
I have also started a symptom journal so I may be able to see a pattern. I feel that this will also be beneficial to my Dr when discussing treatment options.
I hope this is helpful for you and wish you well. My fingers are crossed that your family is understanding and that they are a source of support.
sherry


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

My menopause is cycles of 5 to 6 days of pure hell of panic,anxiety, dread, sadness. I get afraid to be alone. 5 years of this and it is getting worse. I am 56 and looking for help. Exercise helps some but not for long. The panic is the worst in the am. Anxiety meds don't help much. Any advise or just some sympathy.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

bawanawoman - I'm almost 58 and you gets lots of sympathy and empathy from me!


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences, it's been so helpful to me as the Dr.s and most books on perimenopause have not addressed the anxiety, which for me, so far has been the worst of all the symptoms. I have been reading Dr. Lee's book on "What Your Dr. Didn't Tell You About Peri-menopause". He's a strong advocate of natural progesterone creme and saliva tests. I am wondering if anyone has tried this method, it sounds very promising. Also, Black Strap Molasses and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar have many claims to be helpful in balancing the hormones... I'm very hopeful since there aren't the potential side effects that so many of the other treatments that are out there.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

So happy to know I really am not crazy! 46 and missing my first period, feeling like I can go mad! Been a really rough 4 months, panic everyday but have a good attitude! I just hope one day I get to be myself again!


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Banana woman, I have the symptoms as you, except I do manage to hold off the panic attacks now. Can you explain what you meant by the 5-6 day cycles? I am 54 and been in menopause now for a little over a year (last period was 15 mos ago). The cycles for me has a psych doctor questioning if it is cyclothimia (sp?) which is a milder form of bipolar II. I am not sure I agree as I have read many testimonials from folks with anxiety and this seems to cycle as it is not always constant as they have good days and then bad days.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

I can't believe I have just found this forum! I am 69, 16 years post menopausal. Since 2001 I have had what one of my Doctors called 'silent periods'. For 3-6 days every 28- 45 days I have several days of intermittent 'adrenal surges', like panic attacks, but they are not. It feels like 'flight or fright' , intense feeling when one gets a sudden scare. They can last anywhere from 3 - 30 secs., are very scary and debilitating. The first day there could be as many as 10 - 15 lessening each day and usually by the 3rd or 4th day, all that is left is high anxiety and dread. I have big time fatigue for a few more days. After that I return to my normal, energetic and healthy self. I have been across this country (Canada) to visit Doctors and clinics. I have sent blood work and information to the Leahy Clinic, and worked with a women's clinic in Maine. Nobody has clue, except that my cortisol levels are much higher when I am having a 'syndrome'. I have been on bio-identical hormones for about 2 years...no difference. I eat very well, take all the appropriate supplements, exercise. I have a great and energetic life except for these episodic horrors. Any thoughts would be very welcome.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Hi ladies

Just wanted to add "yes" to the a.m. anxiety. I didn't realise the pattern until I read the posts here. The anxiety subsides around early afternoon, and the evenings are fine as far as anxiety goes...but then the flashes take over about one per hour from about 7.00 p.m. and all night long . So basically I'm symptom free from about 2.00 to 7.00 p.m.! All very very strange - I wonder what this pattern means. Not getting much sleep as soooo hot despite the coldest winter this year! I had a repreive for a while with the hot flashes but they came back. I had my last period about 1.5 years ago. The anxiety is awful but in the beginning of meno I had a "jump out of the skin uneasiness" that went on and on.. it was the most horrible feeling, To think this will go on for years and years is frightful. I just can't imagin it.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

Hi everyone. I am 54 and have been having severe symptoms for the past few years now. I had a hysterectomy, kept my ovaries, two years ago, am on HRT patches but the anxiety/depression is getting worse. I don't want to take antidepressants as I tried them before and the side effects are awful. I am paranoid and can't stop crying. It is ruining my life as I am full of fear all the time. Please help.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

We have a lot in common, I had a hysterectomy that left my ovaries, I can't stand the side effects from anti depressants, won't even try any more of them, and like you, anxiety is my most severe symptom. I am sorry that you are suffering, I really know how much it affects your life.
I am doing several things to help with my anxiety, I am doing gentle Yoga and meditation, I have used a technique called "tapping" to ease the anxiety. Search You Tube, ther are demonstrations how to do this. I have the book "Hope and help for your nerves" by Claire Weeks, helps tremendously learning how to deal with anxiety. I cut out sugars and caffeine. Also PLEASE go to the Power Surge web site, all menopause forums, and 2 specifically for anxiety and panic attacks... lots of support there, and you will see that you are not alone with this, which helped me so much.


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RE: Anxiety Attacks

I've been having anxiety attacks -- a feeling of claustrophobia during intercourse when my husband comes down close to my chest. I've never expereinced this before and I'm wondering if it's hormonal -- due to menopause. I'm 57.


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