Landclark, sympathies. Yes. I started peri symptoms at 43, mostly raging adrenaline surges, surging heart rate and hot flashes; cue insomnia, cue crazy. It has been a long stressful road. I was prescribed over a dozen meds over the years, the only thing that has helped me at all is hormone therapy, not the gross vag cream, but the actual pills. Estrogen/progesterone if you have ovaries, estrogen only if you don't. However, data is mixed on breast cancer risk and HRT so discuss with Doctors.
I had everything inside removed and the mood swings and flashing cranked way up. I can't recommend anything for the stress other than the typical stress mgt stuff: deep breathing, sip water, meditate, happy mental imagery.... mine is floating in the ocean, seeing the waves of emotion rolling over me and diving under, holding my breath looking at the sun through the water until it's time to come up for air. The waves keep coming but I control how they affect me, and I really focus on the sunlight sparkling through the foam of the waves. I turn on ocean sounds, i breathe and i wait for it to pass. There are a ton of pics online to help with that image or your favorite beach or stream's edge. Maybe your safe place is a butterfly garden or a book nook, but whatever it is find a mental corner to fix that image and to go there when the fear hits. Like dealing with trauma here, it helps me to understand that the fear is a logical response to brain chemistry, and I work on figuring out what is triggering what. I had issues over the years with excess levels of anxiety, sadness/crying and anger in the shifting hormone landscape.
My anxiety specifically targeted the safety and well being of my kids. Having lost friends to drugs and car crashes in my youth, that became a fixation until they lost classmates and a neighborhood kid to suicide, and I found a new gear for my parental anxiety. My rabbit holes of fear and worry were everywhere. My hormones cranked the volume on that crap all the way up. And this was before world wide pandemic. Ugh.
Track your moods and your cycle, if it helps to anticipate and respond in healthy ways and to be kind to yourself and your ever changing body. There's a book I got called Menopause: What Nurses Know, and it helped me a lot. I was the oldest in my friend and mom group so I had no one to share stories with and actually got asked to stop telling one friend group what was up ahead in the midlife tunnel. Not so much friends after all, now. So I will ALWAYS jump in on an peri and menopause chat to say this shit is scary, annoying as hell and everchanging and nobody talks about it!! Normal is a huge bell curve that covers a lot of symptoms and these are hard changes to navigate.
Most important: you are not crazy. I had a young, smart wonder doctor argue with me that I was too young for menopause, my symptoms were stress related and she wanted me on more stupid SSRI's to manage my "stress". I was stressed because my body was in a biochemical and hormone cascade that was off kilter, and I had no idea what was going on. I almost went crazy. Just like with Infidelity, turns out my gut was right, I was not wrong, I didn't need meds to fix my brain, I needed hormones to stabilize the crazy stress cascade I was having.
Best to you, don't beat yourself up, seek out the best self care you can and try to find some older women friends to hold a lantern and talk you through. Just like infidelity, I found more online support than I ever did in real life.
[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 5:56 PM, Friday, January 14th]
BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year A with MOW, 7 month False R, years of trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.