Depressive symptoms during artificial menopause

Hey ladies

I am currently under artificial menopause to stop my whole cycle. I am suffering from strong side effects but I think I can stand them. However, I am living strong depressive phases that I don't usually get. They are quite frightening. When I told my GP she said the therapists waiting lists were long and that my treatment will be finished by then. I can not help it and I feel my partner has difficulties to understand mental health issues as well (he tries, but sometimes gets angry). Do you have any advices ? I really don't want to get into depression, endometriosis is faaaaar to much already. :(

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  • I only did 2 cycles of artificial chemicals induced menopause and found it had such strong neurological effects particularly on cognitive function, memory, pins and needles that I discontinued it due to concerns. I was alfeady stressed and borderline depressed when I started and have a long history so would be difficult to attribute it to that treatment.

    You need to decide if you can tolerate the side effects or find them too much.

    I'm not sure what it's like these days but anti depressants used to have a loading period of about a month before kicking in.

    None of about 6 or 7 family of antidepressant ever worked for me so I went down the route of lifestyle changes to try to address things ( sad lamp, rescue dog, exercise, nutrition, job change, divorce, therapy). I found Kalms of some use with my anxiety.

  • What hobbies u got? I'm finding crochet & adult colouring helps loads.

    I find keeping myself busy helps with not feeling so depressed.

    At beginning I found I was very tearful, cried at anything even if it wasn't sad 😒.

    I'm find the pain hard to deal with & im now on morphine cos painkillers wasn't working, I'm bk to hospital on the 1st June, I'm hoping he agrees that I need my hysterectomy now not later.

  • Look into back flower remedies. I make up a remedy and it helps my Tearfuless. You need to look up which you need for your symptoms then make your own so you can probably get from a homeopath. I know a few people have found them usefull for the menopause mood swings. I'm on my 5th zolodex and will refuse to take more than 6 that the manufacturer recommends regardless of the consultant as it's very strong nasty stuff. Good luck xx

  • I was the same on synarel ,I was given livial to counter act a lot of the menopause symptoms and it is great ,its helped so much ,maybe ask ur doctor about it x

  • Hello, really sorry to hear that you are having such a horrible time.

    It sounds like you need to contact your prescribing specialist about this. The class of drugs used to induce a chemical menopause are called "GnRH Analogues/Agonists". These drugs suppress your body's production of oestrogen / progesterone levels and thereby your monthly cycle. This can bring relief from cyclic Endometriosis symptoms, but (as with all medications) "GnRH Analogues/Agonists" have side effects; as well as a potential loss of bone density, these drugs can cause brain fog, and mood changes (including depression and anxiety etc.).

    These adverse effects are caused by the hypoestrogenic (oestrogen-deficient) state "GnRH Analogues/Agonists" induce, so many specialists prescribe them along with complementary dose of "add-back" HRT is often prescribed alongside them, which "adds-back" a little bit of oestrogen and progesterone and can help ease some of these unpleasant side effects.

    You should let your specialist know asap that you've started to experience changes in your mood. They should should be able to advise you about "add-back" HRT options and emotional support.

    But in the meantime your GP should also be supporting you with your treatment. Which particular brand of "GnRH Analogues/Agonists" are you on? Have you tried taking the drug advice leaflet (provided in the box the drug comes in) to your GP? It will offer them guidance as to how to support patients suffering from side effects. All the big drug companies have pharmacologists whose job it is to advise Specialists, GPs and other medical professionals about their products, potential adverse effects (including mood changes and depression) and how best to manage them. So you could also ask your GP to contact the drug company for more advice on how best to support you.

    Sorry that is such a long reply, I hope it's helpful though.

  • I had double the usual dosage of livial but the side effects persisted. I don't think they are all to do with the cessation of oestrogen, some must be the drug itself. And if you add so much hrt back in again you do start to wonder what's the point in the first place....

  • It is definitely a case of trial an error - swapping drug side effects for Endo symptoms. Patient guidance provides generalised advice about the impact these kind of treatments can have (be it positive or negative), but every single woman's experience is completely different and unique.

    Some women find GnRH Analogues/Agonists very helpful without any "add-back" HRT, some need a low dose of HRT, some need a much larger dose of HRT, and some women may find that some of the side effects they experience are more debilitating than the Endometriosis symptoms they are intended to suppress.

    However, at the end of the day your treatment has been prescribed to improve your health and quality of life. If you are worried that it is having a negative impact of either of those then your prescribing specialist and GP really need to be offering you support in addressing that.

    I forgot to say in my last post that this is a very useful website:

    medicines.org.uk

    If you type the name of the drug you've been prescribed into the search box you can download and print out the "Summaries of Product Characteristics" (SPCs) and "Patient Information Leaflets"(PILs) for that drug. Then if your GP or any other medical professional is not familiar with the drug or its side effects you can provide them with this information yourself.

    Anyway, really sorry that's such a long post again, but I hope it helps and that you are feeling a bit better soon.

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