Suicidality and perimenopause
Has anyone else experienced severe suicidality in relation to perimenopause? Did anything particular help? There is apparently a strong association for some women.
I had a major drop in oestrogen a year ago resulting in severe anxiety/depression/suicidal ideation then. It’s re-occurring now. I have complicating factors of c-ptsd and complicated grief. Saturday was the anniversary of my mother’s sudden and distressing death. I was extremely bad on Friday and early Saturday.
I’ve been calling helplines and had some practical help. It helps regulate me for a few hours then I start to disintegrate again. It’s a feeling of totally failing apart. I do have a psych appointment on Thursday and I’ve booked a counselling appointment with the Australian menopause society as well.
HRT may help but I have to look at how it will interact with my liver disease which can be a complicating factor. It’s a rare disease and not well understood or even known about by most medical practitioners. I just feel totally overwhelmed.
Having a bit of a struggle again this afternoon. A woman at a local cafe asked me how I was. I’ve actually been terrible but I tried to respond both positively and honestly by saying I’m getting there even though I’ve had a rough week. I then got a stern lecture on “pump up your own tires because no one else is going to do it for you.” I’ve essentially been alone and having to try to survive alone since birth with no one there for me. My parents were physically there but emotionally absent because of their own trauma. I know to discard her comment, but it’s like I’m so vulnerable right now and just trying to keep myself alive that people’s judgement and coldness really affects me. I was emotionally bullied relentlessly as a child and I sometimes get the sense that continues into adulthood where people who want to judge sense your vulnerability and tell you what to do in an insensitive way. It’s like I have no filters at the moment for anything energetic that comes into my nervous system. I feel like a bunch of raw nerve endings.
But I try to remember the kind people. I have spoken with a couple of kind and supportive people today and yesterday. It makes such a difference. I’m just so sensitive to insensitivity if that makes sense when I am struggling so much with suicidality. I go into this kind of chaos where the only way out is to end things because it’s all too overwhelming.
I have always been essentially alone. I find people who judge you have no idea what that is like and/or they are covering up some insecurity in themselves by speaking rudely and judgementally to you. I have to keep remembering the inner parent part of me that can take care of myself, which is still not very well developed yet as I was brought up to only take care of others and not myself. It’s like a really alien concept.
Just trying to keep living on a minute by minute basis. I am sitting by a river and small birds are twittering. I have to stay alive because I love nature, animals etc. They are much more reliable to me than the human world. I’m going to lie down on the bench I’m on for a bit. I do feel less alone in nature. I so often feel I don’t belong in the human world which is supposed to be part of nature but can be so removed from it.
As an update I have just spoken to someone on the suicide call back service who was excellent. She helped ground me and to feel empowered again. It was validating to have someone recognise the behaviour of the person working in the cafe today was inappropriate and crossed my personal boundary, and that it is understandable it was triggering for me at this time. My degree of chaos has definitely de-escalated. Still very raw and vulnerable but will just keep going to the things that ground me. I’m dealing with so many layers of complex trauma and it’s like I’m being flooded with multiple prior memories/experiences at the moment, and one small trigger brings up the whole lot at once. Please, like I did today, reach out for help if you are overwhelmed. It is always better to try to connect with a safe human, and just keep going until you find the help that fits with you and you can sense is helping you.
I hope you are feeling a little better, you said you were seeing your psych so I hope that also went well.
I can't speak to the hormonal fluctuations you have had/are having, when I went through peri menopause I mainly had problems with my cycles being super heavy and ending up low in iron.
It's not surprising though that the fluctuation would effect your mood and lead you down a darker path for a time. I am very glad you are finding helpful people on the helplines to bring the escalation down.
I know with my ideation, it didn't take much to break the camels back and that person in the cafe has probably never experienced those types of lows, let alone the trauma that got you there.
Just keep reaching out until you start to feel a bit more stable and trust that you have the ability to get through this terrible experience because you have done it before.
I know how strong that urge can be, but the world would be a much darker place without you here bringing your light to it.
Hang in there,
Thank you so kindly indigo. Yes, I saw my psych yesterday which alleviated my distress levels quite a bit. She gets how the hormonal dysregulation is intensifying complex trauma issues. We are going to try EMDR next to work on deep level early life memories that are still in my nervous system and easily triggered at the moment.
The worst perimenopausal symptoms are extreme anxiety and depression that are more intense and relentless than anything I’ve experienced, followed by lack of sleep. I had a telehealth consultation with a doctor from the Australian menopause society on Wednesday but she said she can’t give any advice at all on treatment until I get clearance from my liver specialist about exactly what treatments are allowable with my liver condition. She seemed to suggest that all standard treatments are contraindicated. When I had the same symptoms a year ago my naturopath suggested a supplement which initially seemed to help, but on further investigation appeared also possibly problematic because of how oestrogen receptors are affected in the liver disease. It does feel like I’m going to have to get through this on my own and just get through the storm.
When I went to the cafe the other day I was really impacted by the comments of the woman who works there as I had been intensely suicidal for days. I’d got up the courage to go out in the world as I started to feel slightly better. There is another woman who works there who’s been very kind to me, so it is somewhere I’ve thought of as a safe place. The comments made to me were like a massive trigger and I just felt myself unravel again after I left the cafe. My rational brain could do nothing to stop it and I just went back into chaos. But the woman on the suicide callback service was so helpful, grounding and validating.
I am trying to focus on some creative photography ideas to direct myself to something outside of the distress. I’m in bed right now just physically shattered from so little sleep. But I think maybe I’ve got past the worst of it, I hope. Apparently it does affect some women this way, even ones who’ve never had anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts before.
Thanks again for being so kind and supportive. I hope things are well with you 🙏🤗
I have a suggestion that may help you while your system is so chaotic. I saw an Osteopath a couple of weeks ago who does a specific method called Cranial osteopathy. It is extremely gentle with no manipulation involved. Just her bringing the system back into regulation with touch. I felt much better when I left and she remarked how much brighter my eyes looked after the session. I will hopefully have another session with her before the Christmas break. It may be worth looking into if you feel up to it.
I hope you are able to sleep peacefully tonight.
Thank you indigo. I can have a look for such practitioners in the nearest town of a decent size which is about half an hour away. There seem to be a range of health practitioners there. I have definitely been helped by things similar to that before. I am really glad you got benefit from it.
You take care too xx
Thank you so much again Indigo. You are so kind and thoughtful 😊
I’m in recovery from a migraine that started in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago, and my mental state somewhat plummeted again, overwhelmed by extreme pain. For the first 24 hours the pain is extreme with vomiting and I cannot even keep down one small sip of water. I can really go to some dark places where I don’t want to be here anymore, but as the pain starts to subside and I can eat and drink a little again, I slowly improve. The migraines are hormonal and do not respond well to medication. I use a cold pack on my head to try and numb the pain.
I’ve been listening to Louise Newson’s podcasts. She is a lovely, kind doctor who specialises in perimenopause and menopause, I think the leading one in the UK. Many of the women she interviews have been exactly like me, extreme anxiety, depression and suicidality. They have ended up in the psych hospital on antidepressants, antipsychotics and sedatives, none of which helped them. Perimenopausal depression and anxiety are very different and do not usually respond to these meds which can actually make things worse. In every case they were helped by hormone therapy which was the only thing that gave them their life back. So I’m thinking this might be what helps me but will need clearance from my liver specialist. I’ve read that hormone patches can be considered ok with the liver disease I have but not the oral medication. Although such therapies used to be of concern in relation to breast cancer, the risk is now considered much lower than previously thought. I do have to take it into consideration as my mother had breast cancer, but it would be wonderful to be without these episodes of extreme despair that last for many weeks at a time. It is so out of control when I’m in it and the usual strategies that would help me seem to have little or no effect. For some women they just get things like hot flashes. I had about 3 or 4 of those only about 4 years ago, but now it is just these extreme distress states that come on quite suddenly then persist.
But I am feeling a little better now. I did find there is an osteopath in a nearby town, though not specifically a cranial osteopath. I was going to a Bowen therapist who is excellent at Bowen therapy but was trying to turn about a third of each session into a counselling session because she seems to be trying to expand into mental health coaching. But I didn’t like being asked so many personal questions in that setting and really just wanted the Bowen therapy. I will keep looking at these kinds of options as they can help to give the body a reset. It’s like my distress levels were so high I was even sensitive about anyone touching me, but as they come down a bit I can probably handle it.
I hope all is well with you. Thank you for thinking of me 🙏
Thank you for updating me ER,
I have been concerned for your well being and I am glad to hear that you have been a little better but those migraines sound horrific to endure, there seems to be no half way with your body, it's all in.
I was one of the hot flashes ladies, I recall having a meal in a restaurant one night and having to get up half way through my meal and stand outside until I cooled down, but that is nothing compared with what you are having to deal with. I hope that you get an all clear to try the patches and finally feel some relief. It's a pity the natural therapy you were trying was not a good match for your liver issues, natural is always a better option if viable.
I have just started reading Soul Retrieval by Sandra Ingerman, have you looked down that path yet? I am guessing you probably have given your interest in shamanism. I thought about you a couple of days ago when I was reading something that mentioned Fibromyalgia, but for the life of me I can't recall at the moment what it was, I will have to get back to you on that. It may have even been the above mentioned book.
I am having a few issues at present with waking up feeling like I have gone a few rounds with Mohamed Ali the last few nights, regardless how many hours I sleep. I am sure it will pass soon, but am feeling very flat in the meantime.
You are in my thoughts,