I was loading the dishwasher when I realized how bad I felt. I was sad. Sad like something bad happened. It reminded me of how I felt after the loss of my sister. It was in that moment I acknowledged the direct connection between my emotions and menopause.
Like so many other women in the menopause phase of life, I typically power through the insomnia, aches and pains of menopause.
But every month during my menopause cycle (there is a cycle and I’ll talk more about it in another post), I noticed I’m either feeling energized and upbeat, or I feel physically depressed and lethargic.
I believe there is such thing as bipolar menopause.
Anyway, it took me awhile to get to there, but last month I started thinking about the long-term impact persistent menopause symptoms have on the mind, body, health, aging and the quality of everyday living.
For example, lack of sleep is known to lead to anxiety, depression, irritability and difficulty paying attention or focusing.
Both hands raised here.
So, with long-term health and emotional wellbeing in mind, last week I met with a female physician who specializes in menopause.
I wasn’t expecting much leading up to the appointment. I’ve already met with several other physicians who “specialize” in menopause and treatments.
My appointments with them left me feeling disappointed and hopeless. But not this one.
This doctor actually knew a thing or two about menopause. It was so refreshing to talk with her!
She listened, smiled and understood what I was talking about. Even better, she knew what SHE was talking about. Did I mention she made eye contact with me?
I was able to open up to her about my concerns and struggles. About my insomnia and depression.
I had this idea that maybe I could take medication ONLY as needed while in the menopause moment or cycle.
Most meds typically have to be taken continuously to feel the results– I didn’t want to do that.
Guess what I learned: Dr. Menopause said I can take medication cyclically.
That was music to my ears! She told me doctors” have been prescribing low dose Lexapro for the treatment of pre-menstrual syndrome.
She clarified it’s not handed out like candy or to everyone with irritability or cramps, but there are women who struggle with severe cases of PMS and this medicine has been working.
There are other kinds of medication, too, but in my case, this is the one that Dr. Menopause determined to be right for me based on my health history, my goal and my desire to only use it as needed.
Even though I still need to do some research on it because it is an SSRI, I felt compelled to share this with you, because it took a lot for me to ask for medication to help me through those difficult days.
I wanted to be someone who could just weather it. But no two people are alike.
If like me, you’re struggling with menopause to a point that it interferes with your mental and emotional wellbeing or with the quality of your life, I want to encourage you to have this conversation with your doctor, a menopause doctor or maybe even a psych doctor.
It’s okay to ask for and need help.
That’s a rap for now, friends. I hope this finds you at the beginning of a great week!
Your health is the most valuable currency you have. Take care of it! 💫
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Lexapro may not be right for everyone. You should always talk to your doctor. This post is a part of my story and is not meant to treat you or anyone else reading this. #TalkToYourDoctor