Hello Beautiful Blossom!
Today, let's talk perimenopausal depression ... cuz I've just experienced my first true/serious bouts of it ... and it suuuuuuuuuuuuucks!
Let me start off by saying, "Holey Shiz Fuzzbuckers." I'd use the real words, but I try to keep my site pure and clean, lol, but for realz.
But seriously. Perimenopausal depression is HARD.
Let's get some basics about me:
- I'm not usually a depressed kinda human.
- However, in my formative years, I experienced complex-multiple trauma, so I've been through shiz and know depression intimately.
- Until recently, my perimenopasual transitioning hormones have been creating a "phenomenon" I refer to as the "sobbies," similar to the "weepies," but bigger and harder.
- Weepies ... you get a little emotional, maybe a tear or two slips out.
- Sobbies ... your face melts, your chest aches, and you cry like the world is falling apart. However, strangely, you can feel completely emotionally ok ... like, I've been sobbing my face off while thinking about what I want to do when my hormones get done making me cry. It's sorta an outta body experience.
What Does Perimenopausal Depression Feel Like?
OK. With that foundation, lemme describe the perimenopausal depression I have recently experienced.
It started gradually. It's a bit like a silent creeper. I felt a little down. But nothing big. Nothing worth even really noting.
As the hours ticked by, I noticed I got gloomier and gloomier. Isolated. Lost. Feeling terribly defeated. Thinking: what's the point? Why live if this is life?
And before I could fully process what was happening, I was deeply, darkly depressed. A heavy black blanket of suffocation weighed down on me.
Just misery. And darkness.
And then the tears. Rivers of tears.
And then as if by the kisses of love fairies and the light of the stars come to rescue me, my hormones would release me from their horrible spell, and I would suddenly be my usual bright self, as though I'd never felt deeply depressed at all.
Important Takeaways When Coping With Perimenopausal Depression
My takeaways to share with you:
- The power of your hormones is IMMENSE.
- Your hormones can take you from beautiful you to devastated you with such stealth, you may not even realize it's your hormones. You might think you a truly a depressed person. (In the time that the hormones are doing whatever they are doing in your body to cause the perimenopausal depression, YOU ARE TRULY DEPRESSED!)
- Don't try to navigate this alone. My episodes so far have only lasted about 8 hours (THANK THE STARS!!!!), but I've felt so badly, I consider my wellness state compromised and requiring assistance. Hug your honeybun. Call a friend. Keep a loving human nearby to hold you and help you. It's that scary serious!)
- Talk to your doctor.
- Talk to your therapist (I have mine on speed-text.).
- Self-Care to Sunshining MAX!!!!
This perimenopausal depression is so deep it CAN / WILL SHUT YOU DOWN. Your life activities stop. Until you get through it, you are outta commission. It's non-negotiable. Your hormones are fully in charge, and you have to ride the ride. And it is a shizzy ride. You'll want off of it so badly. You'll cry. You'll beg your body to be kind.
So, again. Do not try this at home, alone. Or at work. Or anywhere. Have someone with you. Someone you can hold on tight to.
And know. It will not last forever.
Self-Care & Coping Through Perimenopausal Depression
A couple of quick notes for self-care that I have found especially helpful:
- ANY stress (mental, emotional, &/or physical) will upset your hormone balance, and for some, like me, even a small amount of stress can do it. So DE-STRESS!!!!
- Yoga! In everything that I've read, the number one go to for all hormones challenges in the movement category is Yoga. Not walking. Not running. Not any other form of movement.
- Ujjayi breathing ... quiet space ... 5 minutes of this ... everyday ... life-changer!
- Hugs, more hugs, and more hugs!
- Having your loved-one gently rub your back, down your arms, the base of your neck ... the connection makes a helpful difference while you are suffering.
- Having your loved-one gently talk you through. Remind you this won't last forever. You will get through this.
- Coloring, creating, arting.
In all of the reading and researching I've done, I can tell you the big helpful push is to get your stress levels down and your oxytocin levels up!
Note: Oxytocin is a happy hormone in your body that can reduce the cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your body created by ... you guessed it, stress! When your body makes cortisol (when you are stressed mentally, emotionally, or physically), it makes less of estrogen and progesterone (exacerbating your imbalanced and transitioning hormones during perimemopause ... which makes your symptoms, like depression, worse.)
Read this great article at Healthline for how to get your Oxytocin levels up!
Well, Beautiful Blossom, I really hope this has helped you understand perimenopausal depression better. I hope it gives you some ideas for how to cope with and navigate this challenge. I hope you get the love, help, encouragement, and support you need to help you cope better, more healthily, and get you back on your happy feet as soon as possible!
I've linked a number of my posts on My Body Is an Alien blog series ... all about hormones and perimenopause/menopause. You can click to dig in deeper and get a more comprehensive understanding.
I hope you feel better soon!
I'm hugging you SO BIG!!!
And remember ... always, always, always, reach out to your care team for support! That's what they are there for!
Be well, Beautiful!!!