Prozac, Perimenopause & PMS

PROZAC SAMPLE ADEarlier this month I wrote a post (“Depression and Hormones”) in which I shared that I am going through perimenopause.

For the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve been struggling to get out of bed. I still manage to get up, but an hour later than I normally would, which is 7:30 AM — even if I go to bed early. I can function for the most part, like shower, do my chores, go to physical therapy, etc. But last Monday, getting out of bed was a lot tougher than usual.

During the day, I had thoughts of wanting to die. I had also started PMSing and wondered if that, along with the perimenopause, was what was making my depression symptoms worse than usual. So I e-mailed my psychiatrist, described what was happening, and made an appointment for that Wednesday.

On Tuesday, I felt worse. I didn’t get out of bed until 10:00 AM, which is very unusual and late for me, and I had intrusive thoughts of suicide: like I should just go ahead and OD on one or all of my medications. This frightened me, but I had no plans for carrying that out. I didn’t exactly want to exist any longer, but I wasn’t going to take my own life. I immersed myself in a book and read until my husband came home from work a few hours later.

When I met with my psychiatrist the next day, the doctor suggested putting me on a low dose of Prozac. He said that the FDA has indicated that that particular SSRI, or serotonin reuptake inhibitor, helps remedy mood symptoms that are possibly related to perimenopause. (My regular antidepressant isn’t an SSRI.)

He said I should give it 3 or 4 days to work, but I know better — as I mentioned, I’m currently PMSing, which makes everything worse. I’ll give it a month and see how it works. It’s been 5 days, and I’m able to get out of bed again, and haven’t had suicidal thoughts. Showering is a struggle, but I’m able to do it. I’m able to walk to my physical therapy appointments alone, but doing chores is still tough.

Incidentally, I decided not to try progesterone cream or magnesium glycinate supplements, which I mentioned in the post I linked to above. I’m going to see how the Prozac works first.

My psychiatrist also suggested that I get my thyroid levels checked. Some of my symptoms, like constant fatigue and feeling cold a lot, could be an indication of a thyroid problem. I’ll see my primary care physician in about 2 weeks, so I’ll mention it to him then.

Photo credit: Hari Seldon via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-ND

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