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DSN13

PMS and menstrual cycle issues during withdrawal

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DSN13   
DSN13

Ever since I started the tapering process from Lexapro (20mg for 14 years, started tapering in January and am now on 5mg) I have been experiencing PMS to the worst degree. Physically it feels about the same, but emotionally I am a wreck. I am overly anxious, shaky and can cry at the drop of a hat. I want to curl up in a ball of tears in bed and not leave my house. I need some support doing this difficult time. Has anyone else experience this as well?

Edited by Altostrata
retitled and split topic

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Nikki   
Nikki

DSN I had a hysterectomy and take bio-identical hormones. If I miss a dose, I go thru what feels like the worst PMS/Menopause. The wires in my head are completely unplugged.

 

I have read many posts over the years on how PMS is exacerbated by WD. It is very common while getting off these drugs.

 

Have you tried Midol or one of the over-the-counter PMS tablets?

 

Hugs

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DSN13   
DSN13

Thanks Nikki. Midol does help - however this morning I took Midol Complete, not realizing it has 60mg of caffeine (the same as a cup of coffee) and I believe that has just made this morning so torturous for me. I'm at work fighting back the tears and trying to breathe through the heart palpitations. Next time I will take Pamprin for sure (no caffeine). UGH. This sucks.

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elizabeth11   
elizabeth11

I'm going thru withdrawal combined with the fact I would swear I'm starting pre-perimenopause.

 

I've had g*d awful palpitations too. Knowing that yours today is probably from the caffeine, the best I can suggest is to just remember that "this too will pass", a 12 step motto.

 

Can you kinda hide out at your desk until the end of the day?

 

You might want to also get your hormones checked. Usually cycle day 2/3 is the best, which because you are in PMS, should be in just a few days. If your MD is clueless about hormones...there are plenty of places on line you can compare the results to let you know if you are high or low. Remember that you know your body best.

 

Keep us posted.

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DSN13   
DSN13

Thank you so much Elizabeth...I hadn't though of the hormone check. I see my gyno next week and will bring this up. And yes, the heart palpitations are awful :(

My day has gotten a bit better as I was able to share with one of my coworkers how awful I'm feeling and she keeps checking in with me. Pretty proud of myself for making it through the day!

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moses   
moses

I get anxious and very irritable 2 weeks before my period. This sucks because I never used to suffer from PMS until I introduced ADs into my life.

I can't wait to be done with this monthly cycle stuff! :angry:

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Barbarannamated   
Barbarannamated

@Nikki... wires unplugged LOL!! I'm sorry to laugh, but it was a great visual!

 

Just FYI, PMS gets longer and worse as we get older, also. I think I first learned that in What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You About Menopause. Physiologically, it makes sense as estrogen production declines. I didnt have significant PMS until I hit my late 30s when my wires became unplugged. It lasted about 2 weeks and was a distinctly different feeling of low. A mean low. I found that some of the PMS support products (Estrotone is one) helped take the edge off. I don't know how these would help/hurt during tapering!

 

Chastetree berry (vitex) is an interesting herb. Anyone have experience with it?

B

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Finn   
Finn

I've recently gotten worse symptoms around my period, like I will be incredibly tired or very depressed and lethargic and otherwise moody. In the past, I had cramps or a headache and maybe minor irritation. This worsening correlates well with when I began taking Effexor. It is possible that it is a coincidence because I have PCOS, which means my estrogen level is low anyway.

 

It seems counterintuitive because they use antidepressants to treat PMS, but could there be some link between Effexor and worsening side effects of my cycle?

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

A lot of women seem to find antidepressants affect their cycles, in different ways.

 

They're hormonal disruptors. Some people find the disruption beneficial, others not so much.

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Finn   
Finn

That's obnoxious. This drug is really upsetting my life. Why did I ever agree to this? #rhetoricalquestion

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dunerbug   
dunerbug

My periods are becoming worse and worse. I've always had a slightly heavy second day, but now it's ridiculous. I have to get up in the night and change pads. I leak to my clothes and so on. I'm already anemic, so I feel pretty yucky during. The PMS I experience now is CRAZY!

 

Had a really bad one this time. My boobs were achier than normal this time as well.

 

I called my doc and asked if there was anything I can do to help. Granted, this is the doc that is real big on meds. She told me about all natural progesterone creams. Does anyone have experience using this? She also recommended a low dose birth control pill. But I was sensitive to those pre prozac....don't want to know what they'd do now.

 

I am very hypersensitive since withdrawal and scared to take ANYTHING! at this point. I've even halted all of my vitamins and supps.

 

She said I could find the creams at a natural foods store and that they were made out of wild yams or something?

 

Any feedback would be helpful as I am out of my element here.

 

Thanks.

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GiaK   
GiaK

I went through everything you're going through...and still to some extent...PMS gets worse...etc...the bleeding has mellowed out...the breast pain has also gone away...and PMS is a lot less intense...

 

I tried progesterone cream as well as oral progesterone...I don't recommend people in active withdrawal mess with hormones at all...that said I've come across people who say they've found them helpful...and given I am not in your shoes I don't pretend to know what is right for you...the thing is if you're hypersensitive it's a huge crap shoot...and things do mellow out or go away all together in time...I know it's awful now...very very awful.

 

that's my two cents.

 

I did improve my general well-being with dietary changes etc...that sort of thing can be helpful but is subtle and takes more time

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Meimeiquest   
Meimeiquest

I found some help with mild iodine supplementation--putting a quarter-sized spot of tincture of iodine on soft skin once a day. But I think that's for high, not low, estrogen. Very, very tender I was. Also, I am muddling through menopause.

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Finn   
Finn

I mentioned this in another topic, but Effexor makes the emotional symptoms of PMS way worse for me. During and around my period, I'm more aggressive and agitated, more moody and apathetic and more tired. The timing of when this appeared matches with Effexor.

 

My endocrinologist suggest I go on birth control (I was prescribed low-dose Estrogen pill), but I don't take it because well, we'll say I resist treatment for my hormonal imbalance because of gender dysphoria. I'd rather suffer through low-estrogen and other hormonal imbalances than put any estrogen in my body.

 

I hope you find relief. An unpleasant period is the worst!

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strawberry17   
strawberry17

I have a dreadful time with periods as well now, I don't use any hormones at all, it got so I dreaded being at work on those days of the month, especially if I was going to be out in a school or something. My doctor prescribed anti inflammatories, called tranexamic acid in the UK, and they have helped somewhat.

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strawberry17   
strawberry17

Narcissus are you traumatised now? :)

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

I think I've noticed that my withdrawal symptoms get worse when pmsing or on my period. Is it just me or do others have that problem too?

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Cdav   
Cdav

I also have this problem. It is catastrophic, everyone suffers around me, I become a wreck. It's been improving as time goes by. But still get suicidal feelings and many horrible thoughts plus a flareup of WD symptoms. Now I can identify it's because of PMS and WD together, so I try to be more in control.

 

Does anyone have any advice to manage this? 

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dekiru   
dekiru

I think I've noticed that my withdrawal symptoms get worse when pmsing or on my period. Is it just me or do others have that problem too?

I've got the same thing. PMS is longer too - 2 weeks before period starts. I'm a mess. Just want to sleep.

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

Cdav,

 

I have been having a tough time managing it myself. All I can do is try to get through it. I do meditate and do the things that relax me or watch things that are uplifting and make me laugh helps. Just distracting my mind. What I've been doing a lot is taking baths. I don't know what it is about water but I feels so healing to me. I light all my candles and put in relaxing music and just go into my own little world. Maybe try to distract yourself by doing things you enjoy and make you feel more centered. I've found baths help me a lot actually.

 

Dekiru,

 

Us girls have withdrawal way harder then because of our periods. Lol. Not fair!

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Songbird   
Songbird

Oh yes, w/d plus hormones interacting, what a mess that makes.  As my dose has got lower I've had a lot of depression and tearfulness, sometimes just feel like crying all day for no real reason.  I've been taking vitex capsules which have really helped a lot.  It can take up to 3 months to feel improvement but I had some improvement after just one month and more in the second month.  When I feel grumpy, irritable, anxious, or tense and wound up (you know that feeling, it is hard to describe), I've found magnesium and vitamin B6 help a lot to take the edge off.  If it is really bad I use valerian tincture, which I find very calming.  Of course, responses to herbs and supplements varies between individuals, just saying what has helped me.

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

For me, chamomile tea is a gift from God. Lol. Especially chamomile, lavender, lemon balm tea. Oh yeah, that takes the edge off too! I forgot to mention herbal teas to help with the exacerbated PMS.

 

Songbird,

 

What are vitex capsules and what do they do?

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Songbird   
Songbird

The herb is vitex agnus-castus, sometimes called chasteberry.  I've just read up a bit more about it and apparently it affects dopamine so I guess we should be very careful with it!  Responses are very individual, it can make things worse for some people.  All I know is, I got to the stage of being depressed and crying for about half of each month, and vitex reduced all that stuff by about 90%.  I suspect I am in perimenopause and that combined with w/d is really doing a number on my hormones.  It's probably not good to be on it long-term and I hope I won't have any kind of dependence issues or w/d when I stop taking it, but for now I feel like it keeps me able to cope instead of being a blithering wreck.

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

Thank you songbird for answering my question. :) Some people need to just not take supplements for a while until their CNS gets stronger and that's totally understandable. But for me I don't really believe in just waiting around suffering. Everyone is different and I believe some supplements will work for some and not others and it is all about finding what works for you. I have heard that a lot on this site. I just started taking rhodiola which is an adaptogen. It works on balancing blood sugars and adrenals as well as mood. It boosts all three neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. They all play a role on each other so it makes sense to me to not just focus on supporting one. I think that the SSRI messed with the serotonin receptors which threw the other nuerotransmitters out of whack too. So it makes sense to me to try something like this for support because otherwise I am a miserable wreck too. Now, I just started taking the rhodiola today and I've got to say I've noticed the difference within hours and have found that it was not too activating for me on a 100mg dose. Hopefully it continues to work for me and can take some edge off. If your CNS is strong enough to take supplements this might be beneficial to help with PMS and withdrawal. But as the site says start with a low dose if you are going to try something and just because it works for one doesn't mean it will be ok for another. I've found fish oil to be to activating for me lately but that is suppose to be a really great thing to take during withdrawal. :/ I am going to keep you guys informed on my rhodiola adventure.

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Cdav   
Cdav

Moonlitelotus, thank you for your advice on how to handle this. I'm going to try the herbal teas. I haven't been able to give up a cup of coffee everyday, and I think this is not helping. I also think it's not fair being a girl, hormones make such a mess! I hate 'em. It's probable that women suffer more WD symptoms because of this. 

 

Songbird, I might try Vitex and see how I react to it. Right now I started to try primrose oil, it's supposed to help with PMS and hormones in general. I've been on it two days. My period is due until two weeks, I'll see how it goes next week when PMS starts.  

 

Does anyone feel moody or depressed during ovulation too? Right now I'm having a bout of depression and it is coincidental with ovulation. So I think it might have something to do with it. 

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Songbird   
Songbird

I heard that evening primrose oil does great things for some people, so it is definitely worth a try.  I've tried it several times, but unfortunately it had no effect on me.

 

I heard that rhodiola could be quite stimulating so I don't think I'll risk that.  I gave up fish oil years ago, it was okay for a while but then it started to make me feel weirdly restless.

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

So far rhodiola has been helping me out and isn't activating for me. This is only day two of taking it but I do notice within an hour or so that it is in effect. As I did more research on rhodiola I found that low doses can actually be activating and cause anxiety but research has found that higher doses can actually have a calming effect or make you sleepy. So far 100 mg seems to be good. But I read some people take up to 600 mg woah!! That's a lot. That happens with antidepressants too. Some people get anxiety on higher doses and do better on lower or vise versa. So it's about finding the right dose for your body. I feel 100mg was a good start. I was fearful too to try it because of others saying that it is too activating but so far I'm glad I did. We will see as I keep taking it. I'll volunteer as the guinea pig for this one. :)

 

I felt like the fish oil was actually giving me body zaps instead of preventing them. :/

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Wildflower0214   
Wildflower0214

I have now stopped having my period. I'm sure it's just yet another sign of the optimal health legacy left by Lexepro, Effexor, and Ativan. I just want to take a moment of gratitude, to say thank you to my psych... ;(

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

Yeah my cycle is screwed up too... :/ My period seems to always be late now. But if I were you I would get my hormone levels checked in case that's not from withdrawal. I am getting mine checked as a precaution too.

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Wildflower0214   
Wildflower0214

Yes, I think it is a problem that has just been made worse by WD. I think my hormones are messed up, but it doesn't much matter because I'm too sick to take hormones right now, and I have some serious concerns about taking them. Again, it's treating a symptom, not the root cause of the problem. I have seen that people can balance hormones through diet and supplementation, unless one is menopausal, that's a different story.

 

So right now, I will just have to hang tight.

 

I hope it works out for you, and everything checks out ok for u. :)

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Moonlitelotus   
Moonlitelotus

Oh I will not be taking hormones either! I refuse to take birth control even. I am getting mine checked out to work with my naturopath on what natural remedy might help balance hormones. I will post what he suggests for hormone balance. He has mentioned evening primrose oil before but I wanted to know more about what is going on for sure and doing thyroid testing as well because that can mess up hormones and stop or cause irregular periods. And thank you I hope things go well too. :)

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