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Hi all,
By now I'm sure you all know my story, how an anti-depressant I had for years (a tricyclic) worked very well, UNTIL I hit the menopause! Since then I have tried 3 different types of SSRIs whilst weaning off the old drugs, plus two lots of hrt (which I can't take now because of my age - increased risks) but each sent my anxiety through the roof. In desperation I gave up and reverted back to the old meds, plus a tranquilliser now, but one that's sort of half way between a tranx and an anti-depressant and not addictive according to my doc. I saw a psychiatrist and she said to stay on these meds for now, but I don't think they are really working to full effect going by how they've worked in the past (blinking menopausal hormones!)

I didn't take any of the SSRIs for more than 2 weeks, the last one I was on definitely lifted my depression, which helped a lot, but the anxiety was awful. However, I've seen posts here saying you really do have to persevere for a very long time to get the full effects. A friend of mine from church has only just begun to feel a lot better after taking Lexapro for 3 months! Another lady I know said it was 6 months to work on the one she took!!!!

I've got problems in my life too which really don't help, I only work part time, funny shifts as I'm a carer, and I really feel I need more to do, a different job maybe. I can't stand being in the house, especially with nothing to do, and get so stressed trying to fill my days, even though I've got good friends and we go out a lot and I attend different church functions throughout the week, but there's still loads of time to fill and I get so bored and lonely. I am going to start earnestly searching for work this week, which I'm sure will help, though again there is the worry that if I'm not good when re-starting the SSRIs, how am I going to cope with that? I know I need to work and use my brain!!

I'm also suffering from "empty nest syndrome" as both my girls are at university, although they finish this year and both will be home by the end of June. I worry about the youngest one though especially, she's had such a great time at uni and will miss her friends there dreadfully! I also have their graduations to attend, so that's another event to deal with and makes me wonder if I should change drugs just now.

I've had so many different drugs in my system over the last 18 months, I'm sure my poor body doesn't know if it's coming or going! I'm wondering should I just "stay put" until these major events are all over? I'm seeing the psychiatrist again 1st July and don't know whether to ask THEN about re-trying an SSRI. I know I don't want to take the tranx long term.

What I'd like to know though is, would you guys support me through it if I did try an SSRI again. I feel that eventually these may stop the obsessive thinking of myself, which I don't seem to be able to shift, though it has "lightened up" a bit recently.

It would feel good to be able to come onto these posts talking to people who really KNOW what's going on. I'm sure my friend for whom the drugs have just begun working would help too.

Hope to hear from you.

Healing love,

Hi Tami,
Thanks for your reply. These boards really are a Godsend, people who can REALLY understand what you are going through and give help and advice. We are blessed in that respect, and I think going through something like depression/anxiety/menopause certainly makes you a more compassionate person towards others' suffering.

I have decided that as I am reasonably stable at the moment, just for now not to think about changing my meds. I think I just have too much to cope with at present, what with my holiday in Spain beginning of June (I hate flying too, so that doesn't help!) and my girls' graduations coming up in July to risk it. I will wait until I see the psychiatrist again on 1st July and discuss it more fully - after all they are the experts and the doctors only know a little bit about each medical condition.

I'm so glad you are feeling better. I think I'm still having problems with the menopause symptoms because I still get really odd feelings, mainly physical (tremors, tiredness, etc) and still some mental ones, like the feeling strange, almost like an alien some days, and I KNOW I did not get some of these things before in the past, it was just the straight forward symptoms of anxiety and depression without all the other rubbish!!

As I stopped my old drug dead (which didn't help at all!) when I had HRT, and only began taking it again at the end of January 08, it really has not had a proper chance to get back in my system. Also, I was weaning myself off it slowly when trying to SSRIs too, but am now regularly taking the correct dose, so I have REALLY messed about with my drugs. The psychiatrist asked for a blood test to see what's going on with all the drugs in my system, so that should be interesting when I go back to her and get the results!!!!

Not sure if my old, reliable drugs will work again, but I have to give them a bit longer I think - maybe I'm also coming through the menopause a bit more too now and my body is adjusting to the hormonal change. I've got a lot more work now too and lots more to do, which gets me out and about a lot and in company, so that helps also.

It seems like you have been through the same sort of life events as me over the last few years. It is a really difficult time for a woman, and as you say we don't need the HUGE problems that the meno brings along to add to it.

I will keep you posted as to how I'm doing, and if I do eventually go back on an SSRI I'm sure I will be back on this board frequently for help!

Keep in touch.


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