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Advice:
Menopause and PTSD. What a nightmare. lol
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I realize this is a specialized question, but I really want to connect with women who have been diagnosed with PTSD, and who are either experiencing perimenopause or menopause.

I'd like to know if going through the change of life exasperated their PTSD. A lot of my perimenopausal symptoms are identical to my PTSD symptoms: Mood swings, depression, concentration and memory issues, generalized anxiety, panic attacks, etc. I can't tell what's causing what...and therefore don't know how to treat the symptoms I'm experiencing. Further, I believe the hormonal surges and/or depletions are exasperating my PTSD and depression.

My doctor wants to treat my perimenopause as a mental illness, which it's not. This just annoys me. Grrr. It's a natural process. I don't want to be on another anti-depressant when what I need is to be treated with hormones or supplements. Every time you take a new medication, you put yourself at risk for long term, serious side-effects.

Any suggestions on how to make the transition easier would be helpful. I could have five or ten more years of this ahead. Gah. My PTSD is hard enough to keep stable without throwing perimenopause and its raging hormones into the mix.

If you're too shy to write about it here, please message me. I think it's important that we talk about this. I haven't found any information about this topic yet. Yet again, women's health issues get overlooked by the medical community. Gah.
Posted on 10/21/07, 06:42 pm
19 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Advice
Reminder: This is a support group for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We trust you will do your best to remain positive and helpful. For more information, see our rules of the road.

You may also create your own Member Groups where you can moderate the discussion.
Advice:
Email me when others reply to this topic help
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Reply #1 - 10/21/07  7:47pm
" Oh yeah! Good question! Menopause definetley exaserbates ptsd and vise versa. It's really important to be on those supplements. I take adrena-sense and thyro-sense, Udo's 3,6,9 and liquid calcium magnesium. Also nerve tonics. "
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Reply #2 - 10/21/07  7:49pm
" I just bought some expensive HLA which is an antii-aging premium oil and good for eyes which I need, which is why I bought it. Plus journalling, exercise, stretching, massage, and lots of self care. Pile it on. "
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Reply #3 - 10/21/07  7:50pm
" Time to get spoiled. "
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Reply #4 - 10/21/07  8:14pm
" I've heard that flax seed oil that is high in lignuns. omega 369, black current seed oil, and progesterone cream will help stabilize mood and level out those hormones. It helps with skin and hair, coincidentally. Of course, some of these supplements are damn expensive, and it's hard to know which ones to buy. I use a premium multivitamin and add B-6 100mg daily, a fatty acid supplement made for women, and a calcium/magnesium combo. I've heard you can take all the calcium that you want, but if you don't have enough magnesium, your body won't be able to absorb it and you can actually OD on calcium which is bad. lol I've heard Zinc is important for mental health, too. "
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Reply #5 - 10/21/07  8:16pm
" And yup...spoil yourself. lol Of course, that just makes good sense for anyone. Quite often when we are struggling with mental health or physical issues in a busy life, we forget to engage in self care. We need to in order to be healthy and happy, I believe. "
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Reply #6 - 10/21/07  8:18pm
" Oh yeah, it has to be natural progesterone cream. No synthetic crap. That's so hard for the body to metabolize.

This hormone cream apparently really does stabilize mood swings and sex drive, too. Let's face it, a healthy sex drive is indicative of a healthy mind and body. We don't have to lose that in middle age. "
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Reply #7 - 10/21/07  8:19pm
" I am so glad you asked this question. I've been worrying about menopausal issues too. I'm perimenopausal. I hit the big 50 with a bang 3 weeks ago. What I'm mainly noticed is short term memory problems and some moodiness. My sister pokes fun at me which is ironic she does the same thing, she's a year older than me. Her memory isn't worth a flip either, I just get caught more in forgetting things. I'm anxious to see what posts come about this. Thank you again. "
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Reply #8 - 10/21/07  8:37pm
" It's my belief that if sexual abuse is part of your trauma, that 'the change', or even our normal menstrual cycle affects our PTSD. For instance, my PTSD is always horrid in the week leading up to my period. That's when all women in their reproductive years experience hormone surges.

Unfortunately, when we are perimenopausal, the hormone surges are more severe sometimes and erratic in when they occur. I'm starting to feel hormonal throughout the month now. It's funny, because I can see a connection between my mood and my skin when I peak hormonally. Odd.

Since menopause is tied into our sexuality, it has a powerful impact on how we see ourselves which does affect our PTSD on a psychological level, I believe. And of course, the hormonal surges affect us physically/mentally. "
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Reply #9 - 10/26/07  7:11pm
" Glad you brought this up. I'm 50 but haven't started having any menopausal symptoms yet. I've read a lot about it and menopause does sounds a lot like PTSD and depression.
I plan to go the natural route when the time comes. I don't want to take estrogen or other hormones. "
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Reply #10 - 10/26/07  8:56pm
" I'm not sure how far into the process I am because my menstrual cycle is still regular. The changes to my skin are not too severe yet, but my PMS does seem more severe. Tat could be more PTSD related than perimenopause, however. I wish my doctor would do a hormone panel so that I could know for sure how far into the process I am. He refuses to do one.

I read a book called "Before the change" which talks about preparing your body for it so that you can lessen the severity of the symptoms when it's time. The doctor who authored the book said that women should start preventative treatments in their late 30's. (That shocked me.) So, I'm trying to take natural supplements now, to help with the hormone depletion that I believe is occuring just based on my age (47).

Some lucky women experience no symptoms. You could be one of these, DD. Or, maybe you're a late bloomer. ;-) I've heard some women don't go through menopause until their late 50's.

I just wondered if perhaps women with PTSD experienced more severe transition symptoms as a rule. My gut tells me this is so, but I could be totally wrong. "

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