menopause how long????

Hello i was just wondering if any of you gorgeous women out there could help me. im only 38 and as most of you know i had my debulking last august. Im having a lot of trouble with the menopause side of things. Im not taking any HRT for the obvious reasons but also because the ones i have tried made me feel really poorly. I have kind of got the flushes under control although i do still get them and the night sweats are fairly infrequent. But the emotional side of things are another matter, I used to be quite tough and if people upset me i could just brush it off but these days things really get to me and really upset me. I have people walking all over me at work because im not sticking up for myself like i used to.. I was just wondering if any one else having had the menopause early have any similar problems and how do you cope with it.. I would appriciate ANY advice, or even just a kind word.

feeling very very low

thank you

love suzanne. xxxx

44 Replies

  • I'm as interested as you in answers to this. I don't seem to have too much emotional side but omg the nights awake sweating and the hot flushes, urgh. A couple of low weepy fits is all.

    You poor thing -- to have a massive confidence dip on top must be dreadful. Got to remember: it's a complete change in your state of normality. Somehow I think that's the thing to accept...

    Have you talked to GP? Maybe can treat empirically -- focus on the emotional impact with a bit of short term medication like an antidepressant maybe? Must be help out these.

    It also won't last for ever - but I'd love to know that too. Problem is its likely to be different for everyone...

    Hang in there OK?



  • Thank you so much.. I think i will speak to my Gp i want to avoid antidepressants if i can. the way i feel id be to scared that i will come to depend on them..

    I control my night sweats with a little pill called clonidine. it doesnt stop them all together but it sure does make a huge difference. shame it doesnt solve my other problems.

    Thank you for your kind words

    love suzanne. xx

  • They are a tactical tool. You can control whether you overdo and stop monitoring your own reaction and slide into the too- frequent/ too- long territory. Confidence:you play a big role in managing your own care under the NHS!

  • So sorry you're feeling low Suzanne but it is nice to hear from you. If its any help, just remember that all of on here think you're great, especially when people in work try to belittle you, and maybe that will give you the bit of push you need to remind them that its you they're dealing with and tell them where to get off!

    You can do it.


    Linda xxx

  • Thank you linda.

    im sorry i havent been on for a while but i dont like burdening you all when im down..

    i think your all great too. I know I can always depend on you.

    I have to try and find my inner strength but i just dont know where its hiding.

    thank you I hope your well.

    lots of love suzanne. xxx

  • Have you tried mind mapping? Lots of free tools on web and even better with paper and coloured pencils. Do a total mind dump OUT of your head to a place you can see the problem as a whole. Start with listing your feelings now. Your feelings before. examine what's changed, why and how?

    Prioritise the things that are biggest problematic outcomes. Work out what you must tackle now versus later. Even ID the things you can live with. Break the things that are now aims as projects and work out the FIRST step towards the goal. Then do it. Then repeat. Add drawings to it. Sad faces. Angry faces. Cartoons of the bit heist person at work. Zzzzzs above a cartoon youfor getting better sleep. You get the idea. Break it down however you like to get it OUT and it's a step to feeling lots more in control.

    I have mind mapped all along. My medication chart is one. My how to have cancer and not lose all my clients nightmare is another. My due clutter the house and life is another. V powerful!!!

  • When you are feeling down is when you need us all. Don't worry about coming on to say 'Help!!!!!!' My neighbour has had some antidepressants for menopausal symptoms and she swears by them. They make her feel so much more positive. It may only be a short term thing, but you would take painkillers for a sprained ankle, so why not take something for a strained confidence? You will find it again, I am sure

    Love Wendy xx

  • This should have gone onto Suzanne's comment above! Oooops! :-S

    W xx

  • Thank you wendy..

    I hope your well.

    love suzanne.. xxx

  • You need to try and put the work crowd back in its box though. That's simply not on. As soon as feeling stronger though not before. They may have no idea that what they say or do has this impact and most will probably be horrified. Some bitches ma remain but no cleaning product is 100% effective so...

  • I feel they know exactly what they are doing.. The main person used to be a good friend of mune and i thought she understood me and what id been through but i was soo wrong.. I need to try and seperate my work from everything else but its not easy. Especially when i used to love coming to work but now i hate it.

    Thank you for all your advice it is so appreciated.

    love suzanne. xx

  • Dear Suzanne ,

    So good to hear from you ..but sorry to hear you are feeling so low at the moment ..Wendy is telling you what we would all say ...its now you need us all ...

    The thing is not to bottle it all up ..time to talk .... GP is a very good start even better if they are good at listening to you .... family and friends are next on the list ... later on your boss at work has got to sort out the bullys who are making your life hell ...

    Treat time ...a bit of pampering ..nice massage ...bit of retail shopping ..mind you its a bit hectic in the shops at the moment ... a coffee and a chat with a close friend ....

    Its one hell of a lot to go through with at any age Suzanne and you might not think it yet but you will feel more confidant in time ... Keep talking to us xx

    Take good care now .

    Love Jan xx

  • Thank you Jan..

    Your comment lifted my heart. its nice to know people care and most of all the women on here understand me far better than anyone.

    I feel like my boss is part of whats going on at work and hes due to retire in the next couple of weeks so he wont want to do anything about it. I have been looking for other jobs but times are hard and there is very little out there.

    I feel like i need a shot of something to help me be the person i was before all this cancer stuff.. But we all know we will always be a little different.

    I hope you are well and thank you again.

    love suzanne. xxx

  • Hi Suzanne,

    We love hearing from you, whatever you have to say, lots of love x G x :-)

  • love you G..


  • Hi Suzanne

    Lovely to hear from you hun and so sorry to hear that you are feeling rough.

    As always you have had brilliant advice from the other girls.

    In my real life I work in medical education and a few months ago I ran a workshop on HRT and the menopause. I obviously had to do lots of research to refresh my memory and to prepare the material.

    The latest thinking, in the research I did, is that menopausal symptoms in those experiencing a natural menopause last between 2 and 4 years in most women. There is very little evidence on us little hysterprincesses as thankfully there aren't that many. However there is no reason why the duration of symptoms should be longer in us.

    HRT in patches or tablets is the best ( as in most effective ) treatment for hot flushes, but antidepressants are also widely used for hot flushes, particularly in women who have had breast cancer who are not allowed any oestrogen in most cases. They are not as effective as HR, however their effect on mood is of course particularly beneficial in cancer survivors, where depression affects at least one in two people.

    I had terrible issues with persisting pain and consequent low mood, but feel a wimp on here as I didn't need chemo. I was prescribed Citalopram 20mg and took it for about 18 months. It was fantastic and really helped me at work where I have some extremely difficult people to cope with. There is no evidence that they are addictive if taken as recommended. I came off them gradually over about 6 weeks and had no problems. It was such a relief to feel the benefit on my mood and sleep and this has remained.

    Many people also find CBT courses very useful. One called "Living life to the full" is free on the internet.

    I do hope that this helps a teeny bit, you have had such a rough time that it's no wonder you feel bad sometimes.

    Take care of yourself.

    Love and hugz

    Charlie xxx

  • Thank you charlie.

    Its only the people on here that actually acknowledge the rough time ive had. Everyone seems to think i should be back to normal now and i can certainly say that some people dont think before they speak. With everything that has happened i am not the same person i used to be. I feel ive had my whole woman hood taken away i look and feel so different. I HATE THE PERSON I SEE IN THE MIRROR. But no one can see that. they just see suzanne they dont see whats going on inside.

    thank you for the hugs Charlie

    love suzanne. xxx

  • Babe I think we all know mirror syndrome to some degree. Today am slobbing in loose wooly things with stupid warm scarf I hate on the cold bald head... Bright red in face after double hit taxol and cisplatin on weds, and shaking like an old old lady.... (am 47).

    I have burly young tree surgeons doing work on my dodgy oak and popping in and out for tea, which is nice to look at, but I know I'm not well when I cannot be arsed to tidy myself up and have a laugh.

    And that's without all the emotional crap that comes with it all. Hang in there -- you are NOT ALONE, OK?



  • Thank you Sue..

    I hope you feel better soon i really do.. You must hang in ther too. Your not alone either. You can PM me any time im not so great at my own worries but seem to be pretty good with other people.. Say Hi to the tree man for me .. Lol.

    lots of love and prayers..

    suzanne.. xxxx

  • Oh Suzanne I m certain that you are as beautiful and kind as the posts you write. Medical problems not half as massive as you have had are a big under recognised cause of trauma. It all takes a very long time to get over, and you have done so well. Hang on in there , time is a great healer.

    Charlie xxx

  • Thankyou so so much ladies. As ever you are all here for me.

    Thank you.


  • Hi Suzanne

    Sorry to hear you are feeling very low I remember the feeling really well..

    Have you tried asking in Holland and Barrett for advice with your problem.

    I used to take supplements for the menopause from H & B

    but sadly after my chemo I cannot for the life of me remember which ones

    I took...HaHa.....but they did help me.It could have been St.Johns Wort

    but you will have to check.

    I hope you will be feeling better soon and as all the ladies have said...

    keep in touch as it will help you get through your problems a little.

    Love Angie xx

  • Thank you Angie

    I have tried some supplements from H&B Black cohosh was one of them but i found very little relief from this. I think im suffering more from a mental state of mind. And for the life of me i cant shake it off.

    Thank you

    lots of love suzanne.


  • Hi Suzanne

    It's impossible to remain strong all the time, but remember we've all been there and no how you feel, there;s certainly no shame in it. It must be worse to have to go through all this at 38, but stay strong.

    There is a lot of help out there, but sometimes I think just offloading here and knowing so many people care about you helps. You have been offered lots of good advice which I can't really add to, but I'm so sorry you are having problems at work as well.

    Taak care and keep us posted, we are all here for you.

    Love Linda xx

  • Thank you so much linda,

    Yes you are right knowing all you gorgeous ladies care makes such a huge difference to me. you all give so much good advice and care it lifts my heart it really does.

    Thank you

    love suzanne.. xxx

  • Hi Suzanne

    I didn't have an early menopause - in fact I hadn't completed it when I was diagnosed at age 55 - but I did have similar symptoms and do remember that I was vulnerable to bullies at work. I also found citalopram very helpful alongside some counselling sessions at my GP. I also bought a book called "Cognitive Behaviour for Dummies" which has useful practical advice.

    Repeating what has already been said, this is the place to come to when you're feeling down. That's what friends are for.

    Much love

    Mary xx

  • Thank you Mary,

    People can be so cruel cant they. I often wonder if the people at work were to be (god Forbid) struck down by a serious illness, if it would change the way the treated people. Im sure it would as its certainly changed me.

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Lots of love suzanne. xxx

  • Dear Suzanne

    I've been wondering how you are. I'm really sorry to hear you're feeling so low and send a big cyber hug to you and good wishes.

    There's a lot of sympathy and good advice on this blog. I have to agree with PRChick about mind-mapping to help sort out the wheat problems out from the chaff, and then deal with one thing at a time. When you're down thoughts and problems seem to whizz round your head but writing things down seems to me to be a good way to start to order them and tackle them. I hadn't heard of the label mind-mapping before but must've done just that without knowing the theory some years ago when I had some really major problems on my hands. I loved the idea of adding little drawings. I had a pack of coloured felt-tip pens and wrote down my ideas and solutions in different colours. When I started a lot were black, and when I had happier and more positive ideas I'd choose a colour. It was nice seeing the page turn from black into rainbow.

    The other thing I'd heartily recommend is counselling. Perhaps your GP can recommend someone on the NHS. If not it's worth forking out and pursuing this line. Trouble with GPs is that they have about 10 minutes a patient if you're lucky, and it does seem that if you had emotional worries before you started the menopause that the hormonal imbalance will just exacerbate it. Your doctor isn't really there to sort out those things and is likely to prescribe anti-depressants. A counsellor will certainly empower you and help you put everything in perspective so you can start tackling the things that are, and have been, getting you down.

    Please keep posting and let us know how you're feeling. We think the world of you and won't be putting you down. Sending loads of love. xxxx


  • I can post a starter mind map to print and extend -- Annie do you know any way to do this as you seem a veteran of this forum?

  • Sorry for butting in but I would want to find a much more complimentary label for Annie than veteran. In fact, her multiple talents defy labelling. She's just our lovely Whippit! (Hope I'm not embarrassing you, Annie ;-) )

    Really like your mind map idea. Now you've got me wondering if it will prove possible for others to edit anything that is attached to a post unless its something that can just be cut and pasted into a word doc. Look forward to seeing developments.

    Linda xx

  • I was just thinking is something of a screenshot/jpeg pic people could copy, use as inspiration and adapt really, on paper -- not a file!

  • I understand. I was just musing on the technical possibilities, or perhaps, impossibilities. :-)

  • And I didn't mean veteran as in old, just well familiar! You are, of course, entirely right!

  • Oh I know how you meant it. I was just being mischievous. A bad habit!


  • Dear PRChick

    Lol - I've just logged in - rolling along the M4 back to Cardiff in a National Coach. I did laugh at anything thinking I have any talent at all at IT but I'll do my best. You can certainly copy in a URL. I've just Googled mind-map and found some images. I can post in their URL, so I'll try it now - hope I don't hog too much of this thread with my experiments.

    Here's a nice one with pictures like you mentioned, and different types of lines between thoughts - nice big thick ones for important traces, and little dotted ones for mini paths.

    eeek not sure this is going to work!


  • yay it worked! I'm really looking forward to learning more about this PRChick. xx

  • Have just created a free blog - Whippit's Wisdom - but it won't let me upload my files - so I haven't been able to upload the url to the the mind map I created just now in Apple's version of Powerpoint. 'My Dog's mind map'. His is delightfully simple and it goes like this: Food, Walk, Frisby, Sleep, Lick Bits, Food, Walk etc. etc.

    The Internet connection isn't too good on this bus but when I get home I'll look into personal blogs and ones that allow you to upload your own files and will post up Monty's Example Mind Map for you if I can. xxxxx

    Thanks for all the kind comments. I really don't deserve them.

    Love Annie xxx

  • And, I can add to this, having met Annie in London yesterday, she is as lovely and helpful as she seems on this site ;-) We had a lovely day.

    Love Wendy xx

  • You imagine when we all meet up in London next year Wendy and have a massive group hug. It was absolutely brilliant meeting you, Babs and Anne - and there were others of you too but not enough time to work right round the table. I'll definitely be making up for that omission next May!!!

    Here's to us all - a wonderful lot of ladies and each of us a vital role to play.

    Group hug all! xxx

  • Totally agree, Annie! It was brilliant to meet Babs, even though she hadn't been feeling well the day before, and to catch up with Anne and also others .....I am SO bad at remembering names :-(

    It will be wonderful to see you all in May

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Love W xx

  • Right I'm going to bung up a mini site ASAP to explain as these as I think it will help. The idea is to put one central idea in the middle -- I'm thinking lots of us go through simply feeling e.g. Confused. Then draw lines out with questions like WHY. What is causing that?

    And what do I want to know? And what impact is it having? What could I do to help myself? Etc.Then you can draw lines between them and it helps your mind sort it out in a balanced left brain/right brain way I.e. using the creative bit to help the rational bit along...

    The doggy one made me laugh! But the count your blessings mindmap is also a great idea for us lot! You can do it for ANYthimg!

  • Thank you Annie. I think the world of you too.

    I like your ideas of writing things down in colour, and also the counselling idea. My partner doesnt like the idea of me talking to someone else about my problems i think i thinks id be calling him all the time when really my problems are more about me than him.

    I am really wary about the anitidepressants so if i can get by without i think i will try.

    Thank you again for being here for me.

    Lots of love Suzanne. xxxx

  • Dear Suzanne

    Nobody likes to admit they have problems. Years ago when my former marriage was going through a lot of difficulties I plucked up courage to visit a Marriage Guidance Counsellor. I went on my own for much the same reason that you give - my husband didn't want me talking about problems and he didn't want to face up to having problems or talking about them. Just as soon as I'd been once he went along on his own - probably to put his point of view - and we went on from there.

    I'm not saying your problems are relationship problems - but if you're in a relationship and you feel you have problems then surely they become a relationshp problem until both parties are satisfied they're resolved. You have a take on it that he would be fearful you'd be putting the blame on him. Perhaps you need to be able to air these feelings in a comfortable environment with someone experienced who can help you both find a solution.

    Going to counselling doens't always end up the way you want it mind - but if you do face up to problems it's tough in the short-term but makes for happiness in the long run.

    Wish your husband would understand how much this site means to you and not find us a threat.

    Loads of love xxxx Annie

  • Thank you Annie.

    I wish he would understand too it would help me enormously then he could see how much i need you all.

    Thank you Annie.. xxx

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