Blues...Finally Asked for help...anyone Else and What Were Results?

Updated on September 26, 2012
A.W. asks from Cranbury, NJ
8 answers

For the past two years, I have had serious mood issues off and on around my period.Not anger at all, just the blues. It has gotten to the point that for two weeks a month I am an emotional wreck. It started to get out of hand because I started crying at work. Can't really deal with that, at least at home I can go to another room, or just go for a walk. Talked to my gyn and I am starting a low dose anti-depressant. I feel like I should have been able to handle this myself without meds, but since it started effecting my work, I really had to get help. So my question is this, has this happened to you and if so, did it help and were you able to stop taking them after menopause? I ask that because I am almost 44 and thinking it's related to perimenopause.

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answers from Boston on

I have dealt with depression since the teenage years although it was not diagnosed until much later. I had it worse postpartum but that wasn't the cause. I also had perimenopausal hot flashes and sleep issues. I have taken antidepressants for years (2 different ones) but they did not eliminate the depression, just got rid of the really low lows. I have gotten tremendous relief by supplementing my diet with a women's product - it's eliminated the night sweat/hot flash problem and I've gone through menopause beautifully. I have consistently reduced my antidepressant dosage (working with my doctor) and am just about weaned off with no recurrence of moods. I've gotten tremendous support from the product people and have trained to help others do the same. It's been a great experience and I've worked with quite a few women who've had similar experiences. You don't need to go on feeling this way.

I do think you should not punish yourself for having this problem - you can't fix it yourself any more than you can fix any other medical problem. Depression is an illness and not something self-inflicted. It is not a sign of weakness. A combination of nutritional support and medication (even if short-term) will make a world of difference.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

I went through a period of severe scary depression after my second daughter was born. I thought it was normal post partum. Turns out I had a thyroid disorder, didn't find out til much later.

I haven't had that type of depression since but some friends went through rough times during menopause. It's a chemical imbalance and if it can be fixed with meds, why suffer needlessly? You might find this is a good time to seek counseling. It may help you to eventually wean off the meds. But if you need them, take them and enjoy your life!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Similar to Nancy, I had this nagging low-level depression that just wouldn't go away after baby #2. It went on for years, until finally I was diagnosed with a hypothyroid condition. The thyroid medication has resolved the issue for me.

But more importantly, you should realize that simply "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" does not work when it comes to depression. Whether it's due to an underlying medical condition, as in my case, or whether it's due to an imbalance of chemicals in your brain due to perimenopause, or whatever, the problem is NOT that you're not trying hard enough, or that you don't want to be happy, it's that there is a CHEMICAL IMBALANCE. You can't wish that away - nobody can. But it can be corrected with medication, and once corrected and stabilized, you may be able to stop taking medication (or you may not, nobody really knows). In my case, because my thyroid doesn't function properly, I'll probably have to take medication for the rest of my life. But that's okay. Nobody's body functions 100% correctly as we get older. It's just part of life. Some people are diabetic, some people need bifocals, some people need anti-depressants, some people need thyroid replacement. It is what it is. Just take it as it comes, and be happy when you find something that works for you! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Would you tell your kiddo that asking for help was weak? Of course not, because asking for help is realizing you can't do it on your own (which you can't if it's a chemical imbalance), and being STRONG to overcome the those feelings and asking for help.

I would also look at the thyroid situation. I've recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and had wicked post pardum depression 2 years ago. I know my symptoms for hypothyroidism have been around that long, I wouldn't be surprised if they were connected.



answers from Denver on

Hi A., I'm glad you asked for help. As Nancy said, why suffer needlessly? If the pills are helping, then mission accomplished! I am going to explore some of this myself. I am 40, and have a feeling that perimenopausal things are starting to take control. I don't have depression, but a ton of anxiety and extreme irritability, among other things. Definitely going to check out hormones.

If you feel the need to continue to investigate, then great. If you are feeling better with the antidepressants, then fantastic. You did a great thing for yourself and I hope you are feeling better.

And though I can't speak to what happens after menopause, everyone I know that had these kinds of things report feeling better after menopause. Here's hoping!


answers from Washington DC on

I'm so glad that you've asked your doctor for help! I don't know anything about perimenopuase or menopause but I do know alot about depression. I also know that hormones do play a role in our mood & emotions. A lot of the medication is trial and error so if it isn't helping right away don't give up on the medication it does take a little bit of time to work, sometimes the dosage needs to be adjusted, sometimes the meds need to be swtiched out with another one, etc.. As Diane stated it will not take away all of your depression but it does make a huge difference over time. It definitely makes it easier to manage. You will still have your ups and downs but that is the reality of having depression. You shouldn't feel badly for not being able to manage it on your own. You also don't have to suffer needlessly.

Along with medication, diet & exercise help as well. So does self-care, taking up a new hobby (find something relaxing that doesn't stress you out). Some people find yoga relaxing. I find just going outside for walks helps a lot & also the treadmill for the hot/cold days when I can't get outside.

Hope that helps.



answers from Philadelphia on

It very much could be related to peri-menopause. I'm a bit confused why your doc would immediately put you on an anti-depressant rather than trying some other options. That's an extreme thing to do and kind of skips easier options.

For me, I was on birth control because I have never been regular my entire life. I had been "fixed" as well after having my triplets (5 kids) so the only purpose for the BC pill was to keep me regular. After a few years I was having emotional problems. My doc took full blood work and a physical to see where I was at. Although my blood work didn't show that I was entering peri-menopause, my symptoms said otherwise. Blood work doesn't always show hormones rising since they go up and down so much and when my blood work was taken the hormones were down that day and I was doing ok. But the doc wanted to see where my vitamin and mineral levels were at as that can cause problems as well in women our age.

I was 39 when I had my triplets. I was in my early 40s when I started having emotional problems, around 42 or 43. I've had depression and anxiety so I knew the difference.

After all the blood work, my doc did one big change. She changed my BC pill. The pill I was on was the kind that gave hormones for 3 weeks with each week being higher doses than the last, then no hormones the 4th week as usual. The new BC was a type that gave the same dosage of hormones for 3 weeks straight and then off a week. My doc, a woman, felt that at my age my hormones are floating up and down enough as it is. Why have a BC pill that added to the problem.

Next, she had me take what she called a "vitamin cocktail". It would be different for each woman overall. For me, my triplet pregnancy drained most if not all of my calcium supply so I am on high amounts of calcium, which helps stay off my arthritis in my thumbs, which is one of the first places you'll get it. Most women don't get enough Vitamin E so I have a good dose of that. I take a high dose of Vitamin B12 for energy. Also, I take Centrum vitamin at bed time. These vitamins help balance what I'm missing and does make me feel a bit better.

A few years later I started having some more symptoms again as our bodies change and we added Black Cohosh daily to help with mild hot flashes and a touch of moodiness, which helps.

I really think you need to get yourself checked for your hormones. Putting you on an anti-depressant seems to me to be jumping the gun. I think you should try to level out your hormones first to see if that's an issue first, which sounds like it surely is. Ask for blood work, see what you're lacking, fill in the gaps, and even ask about the proper BC pill to go on for the hormones to balance out. You may see better results than an anti-depressant. If you're taking an anti-depressant and don't need it you may not get the results you want. Don't be afraid to go with another doc as well!

K. B
mom to to 5 including triplets



answers from Philadelphia on

Thank you so much for asking this question and thank you to everyone that responded. I've had similar issues since my twins were born 21 months ago. My issues are slightly different because I feel like I have more aniexty than depression. I find it hard to focus at work and about a week before my period I get very anxious about everything. I had always just figured it was the result of have 3 kids but I'm starting to think it's something more. Reading the responses gave me some ideas of what to talk to my doctor about. Tripletmom- your response was extremely helpful so thank you! Sorry I don't have any advice but you're question helped me!

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