PMT, hormones and withdrawal – treading on mood eggshells

Mood eggshellsIt’s fair to say I’m not compleeetely on top of things today.

The doctor moved me from Citalopram to Sertraline last month (slightly better for any potential pregnancies) and suggested I try and reduce the dose a little (again in preparation for the same). I wasn’t sure whether this was a good idea considering I’ve been struggling more recently – but also felt it was worth another go given a) things have started to be a little easier and b) the doctors are always telling me my old dose was sub therapeutic anyway (pah!).

Hormone smash

It was actually going pretty well until my period hit. Then those hormones smashed into me with a force I haven’t experienced for a while. Saturday was a real struggle, slow moving, anxious and crying on the kitchen floor (poor old confused Watson). Sunday was a little better – I felt exhausted and raw but calmer. We went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year – it was good to get out of the normal routine but the crowds made me anxious and I cried in the bakery afterwards – overwhelmed by food choices for a birthday breakfast today. At least afterwards Al and I could laugh at some of my more ridiculous tearful utterings –  “I just want some nice bread” (sob).

Mood swings

And today I’m struggling with some serious mood swings. One moment I’m feeling calmer. I’m more on top of things and able to see ahead to all the joy in my life. The next it’s really black. My chest feels very tight, there’s no good memories anywhere and I can’t see a way through at all – the mental trickery of depression taken to an extreme. It seems to take almost nothing to trigger the change. I’m treading on mood eggshells and wary of the world. It’s tricky to trust in any individual moment.

It seems that both medication withdrawal and day to day management of my mental health is massively exacerbated by hormones at the moment. The worst weekend in October was a period weekend too. I need to recognise it and ride it out but it’s hard hard hard. Hopefully the worst will be over this month.

Writing, running and cake

Writing things down has helped – but on days like this I only feel myself when running. So I’m going to run and run and breathe deeply and listen to the world and watch Watson chase squirrels and hope I come back calmer – and ready for some birthday cake.

3 thoughts on “PMT, hormones and withdrawal – treading on mood eggshells

  1. Naomi S


    I have just found your blog and this post was just what I needed to read right now.

    It was like you had described my weekend – awful Saturday, spent moving from the sofa to the bed with regular crying spells and no hope to be seen. The use of the word ‘raw’ struck a real cord with me, as they perfectly sums up how I felt, and often feel, after a very bad day. As much as I don’t wish other people to be going through such awful times, it is reassuring to know I am not the only one. (I also think it may have been influenced by hormones – they are horrible things sometimes!)

    It was also interesting to read about Citalopram and Setroline. I came off Citalopram a few months ago, as I was doing well and I didn’t like the side effects. With my present relapse, my doctor has recommended Setroline. I decided not to go on to it, as I was wary of the side effects, so have opted to try therapy again. Do you suffer from any side effects from either of them?

    Quite a long reply, but this post was like it had been written for me, so felt compelled to reply.

    1. fostress Post author

      Hi Naomi,
      Thanks so much for your comment. Sorry you had an awful weekend too – although I’m glad you found some comfort in my blog. It comforts me further to know that it helped you! Hormones are very very tricky but the first step towards managing them is definitely recognising the influence they can have on your mood.
      Citalopram and Sertraline – a tricky one to answer. I had been on citalopram for almost15 years on varying doses (I was originally – and I now think mistakenly – prescribed it for PMT when I was 17) – I write a bit more about this here:
      As a result it’s hard for me to be clear whether there are things in my everyday existence which are actually side effects from Citalopram – but as far as I know I just experienced the usual – slight dopiness and cottonwool head sometimes and a bit of trouble concentrating but nothing too bad. I think the change to Sertraline probably influenced how low I felt this weekend – but so far I haven’t experienced any other side effects. There’s so many moving parts (hormones, meds, depression, anxiety etc) that it can be hard to know what the direct causes and effects are, if any. I do think that people do sometimes have to try different meds before they find the right one for them though. Mind has some great info on anti depressants too.
      I also wanted to share this piece I wrote about mental trickery – making sense of that experience really helped me so if your experiences are similar I hope it might help you too –
      Best of luck with whatever you decide to do. Be gentle with yourself. Big hugs xxx

  2. Pingback: A celebration of change – and cheese | Clare Rose Foster

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