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    Includes Expert Content
    Menopause (perimenapause) and Bi-Polar Disorder
    jaded7364 posted:
    My name is Becky and I'm 38 years old. About11 years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Well, that in itself is misunderstood and usually not believed in. Ask my husband, he believes and thank God, he's still around and is good to me. I've had the ups and downs associated with it and depression is the worst side of my symptoms. About 2 years ago I went 6 months without a cycle and my doctor told me that it was ok and if I didn't want to have a period, that it was ok, otherwise he could put me on birth control (I don't have any biological children due to infertility issues). I never knew that not having a cycle was normal. I asked about menopause, because my Mom mentioned that she was 35 and it was around the time my brother was conceived and born. The doctor kinda laughed it off, but checked hormone levels and said they were fine. They started back to normal for about 7 months and it happened again Then he told me I had a small fibroid in the back of my utereos . Well, regular MD told me it was peri-menapause and that my gynecologist had just put me on birth control concerned her because I was over 35,overweight and exposed to my husband's smoking. She immediately told me to stop. I've got a point, sorry. I've been regular for close to a year, but they are heavier. I already had mood swings and the anxiety, but they eventually mixed with the perimen or menopause (OB said 12 months without cycle was menopause). I don't care what it's called. He's not going through it. My husband doesn't know what to do, because of the rollacoaster I'm on (he hasn't left me, so he's on there with me, lol). I couldn't tell which was causing the swings or depression, but it was driving me crazy. Then, hot flashes, night sweats, face flushing, feeling that I was burning from inside out. You guys know, so I don't have to go on. I've never had much support other than my husband and I'm blessed to have him, although at this point my constant chatter (don't know what that's about) has caused him to start tuning me out. Scared that I'm losing him and my mind...worry, that's another thing that's multiplied. So in closing of this BOOK (lol), I just wanted to say that I would much like the opinions and support of women who know and are familiar with what I'm going through, because I've always felt alone, this is making that feeling go through the roof. I welcome any comments-good or bad. Thank you.
    unbalanced responded:
    I'm glad I found someone I can relate to. My name is Sandy, and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about 5 years ago. I am now going through "the change"--it really stinks! Just a little history first: I had a grand mal seizure in my teens when my period started, and had small seizures off & on during my period. To stop this I had brain surgery in 1994, where a piece of my brain was removed, and the seizures stopped. The emotional problems, however had just begun. Because my problems were triggered by monthly hormones, they told me menopause would be bad--they weren't kidding! When I went through perimenopause about 5 years ago, I was a basket case--crying all of the time. None of my doctors (I have many) could figure out how to regulate the chemicals in my brain & get my emotions stable. Then, my family doctor put me on birth control pills & it was like night & day--I finally had some relief. I was on them for years & stayed pretty normal--I thought I was done with bipolar. Because I was approaching 50, the dr told me to stop taking birth control. I need help now! My blood test shows I'm in menopause & I'm full-fledged bipolar. Up 1-2 days, depressed 3-4 days & normal in between. Oh, I have those terrible hot flashes & night sweats too!. I'm on disability so I work part-time & have missed lots of work. I have an appointment with my gynecologist today to discuss possible hormone replacement. I know there's a risk with hrt, but I need some relief from these crazy emotions-NOW!!! To tell you the truth, I don't care if it will shorten my life, I just need quality living in the present. I hope my gynecologist can help my today & get things moving in the right direction. know my story is a little different from your's because of the brain surgery, but it's all related. Hormones on top of bipolar is a DOUBLE WHAMMY for us. Becky, I wish you luck during this time, and I wanted you to know you're not alone in your misery. We're not "crazy" either! The chemicals in the brain are so sensitive, and we're at the mercy of this "thing" in our head. To leave you on a humorous note: After my surgery, one of the neurosurgeons told me, jokingly that "I had a good excuse if I do something stupid---I don't have all of my brain!" It's no joke anymore! It stinks royally! Hang in there!
    jaded7364 replied to unbalanced's response:
    Yeah, it seems like people like us are hit with it twice when we're going through menopause and have a disease like bipolar. I had a hysterectomy in February and had to have a bladder repair done when the dr who did my hysterectomy cut my bladder during that surgery. Yeah, and I ended up with a catheter for about 6 weeks and became acquainted with bladder spasms. OMG! Never have I experience such physical pain. I couldn't have children, but some women told me it was pretty similar to labor pains. They were caused by the cath I'm sure, but everytime I moved, tried to stand sit or used the bathroom (ya know), they hit me and didn't let up completely for about 3 minutes or so. I pray I never have to experience anything like that again and I don't wish that on ANYONE! My husband has become more patient that ever. He has his own mood swings now and I can't even blame him, ya know? We just kinda say what we have to say, if it turns into an argument, we get it all out and then we get over it pretty quickly. He's been so much more understanding than I thought any man could be. I'm always suspicious about people's motives, his included, but you can't live your life the way we do and worry about the small things. I'm never gonna be right, I don't think...physically or mentally. I've just decided that this is it and I've gotta live with it. I have some pretty bad days that I can't hide, but there are the good ones, too. I get to enjoy my husband and my relationship like we used to. I thank God I have him. He's been my rock through all of this. I make him crazy, I'm sure, but like I told him, you only see the outside and what I show. The rest of it I deal with so you don't have to. I wish you the best and you hang in there, too.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to jaded7364's response:
    Dear jaded7364,
    Sorry for what you have experienced. Just a couple of thoughts specifically about the bladder spasms. If they are still an issue, there are medications that could be helpful. One ancient remedy is something called B and O suppositories, which can help bladder spasms. Also, a medication called Uribel can help; even an ancient medicine like Pyridium (which is also available over the counter )-it's the stuff that turns the urine orange-can be helpful.
    So if the spasms are part of the picture, those things might be helpful.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    jaded7364 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Thanks...the bladder spasms slowly went away after the cath was taken out. My main problem now is pain around the bladder. Not sure if its a type of spasm, but I'm not sure if it's related to the bladder or my ovaries. It's almost constant and it's off and on as far as severity. Sex is painful, as it was before the hysterectomy. Seeing my gyno next week. My urologist keeps saying the bladder pain is part of the healing process...I'm post op for bladder surgery 7 months. He acts like I'm too sensitive...who wouldn't be after all this. My gyno on my last exam noticed some "granulated" tissue on the bladder. She's not the one who did my hysterectomy...refuse to go back to him. Not sure what that meant , but I'll see her next week. Thanks for the feedback.

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