Date: July 23, 2019

MY GP GAVE ME ANTIDEPRESSANTS

At least one a week if not more often I encounter a patient who will tell me this story:
“I have not been feeling myself lately. I snap at the kids for no reason and then get really upset over it. I also get very anxious about things that did not bother me before and this is really affecting my work. I saw my doctor who checked my bloods test. It came back normal and therefore I was told it cannot be menopause and I should consider taking and antidepressant or antianxiety medication”
My dear patient if you are in the right age group you simply are perimenopausal.
I often tell my patients the story of similar things happening to me and recall of when I would not sleep at night over my first son starting secondary school and losing half of his uniform routinely at school. I laugh about it now.
Antidepressant can be a solution if you do not want to consider hormonal treatment. I would recommend you have an informed discussion with a menopause specialist as chances are that you will change your mind and that a low hormonal dose will make your life much easier.

WHAT ARE MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS?

When you start reading menopause website you will find an endless list of symptoms. From your joints to your hair every possible human symptom will be listed. This can be very confusing and in clinical practice I have shortened the list to four main symptoms.
These are the the symptoms that do affect your everyday quality of life and that is why I simplified the list.
If you score at least three of them and are in the
right age group (over 45) then your diagnosis is made. As I explained before don’t worry about your hormonal blood tests results as they will be often be normal.
The symptoms are:
-hot flashes and night sweats
-trouble in sleeping (very often caused by the night sweats but not only)
-mood changes including anxiety and irritability
-tiredness (again very often caused by not sleeping well)
You can decide to put up with all of this baring in mind it could continue for 10 years or to get some help. The choice is yours.

© 2020 menopause.ie