Depression & Hormones

13905686325_7b45e24bd2_zI’ll just come out and say it. During my annual physical earlier this year (January, maybe?) my primary care physician told me that I’m now going through perimenopause. That’s the transition period towards menopause. At first, I was like, whatever, until he told me that basically, my hormones are out of whack, which can disturb the depression I already have. In fact, it can make it worse. And it seems like it has.

I wonder if this is the reason that the last ECT treatments that I had this past February and March didn’t work. (ECT doesn’t always work, though this was the first time it didn’t for me.) I wonder if this is the reason that, despite adjustments to my antidepressants, which helped get me past a 3-week depressive episode I had last spring, I still haven’t reached baseline — what I call the state in between being hypomanic and depressed.

My mood always seems lower than it should be, and was like that even before this happened. Sometimes I feel weepy for no reason. Other times, I’m irritable. It’s like I’m PMSing all the time. And my acne is out of control. My face hasn’t broken out this much since I was a teenager!

I feel some slight lethargy that I’m sometimes able to push through. It’s harder to get out of bed. I’ve been struggling with getting into the shower. I hesitate going places with my husband, let alone by myself.

About 6 weeks ago, during my last appointment, my psychiatrist suggested to do the things I don’t feel like doing because eventually, I’ll feel like doing them. Admittedly, I have a good time when I do get out of the house. I’m trying, but it’s hard.

Some friends suggested using an over-the-counter progesterone cream and taking magnesium glycinate supplements. I think I may try this, but I’ll consult with my primary care physician and psychiatrist first, both of whom I’ll see later this week.

Photo credit: healthmindandkat via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

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