Home Health and wellbeing

Beating the blues without antidepressants

Josephine66Josephine66 Lilydale, VICMember Posts: 79
Just wanted to share with others feeling down and depressed as a result of menopause or post treatment....

My GP had prescribed an antidepressant for my hot flashes and low mood. Crying a lot and constantly anxious. Anyway stubborn me didn't want to take antidepressants as I live with a husband who has bipolar and I needed to keep my mind clear even with the tears.

I've been taking NeuroCalm for months. 1 tab at night to help sleep. My naturopath suggested I take 2 or 3 per day to help with anxiety.

Up the dose a week ago and I feel like a new woman. No more crying over spilt milk. Actually feeling rather chilled and don't give a shit about much. 🙄

Still have hot flashes but not as bad.

Hope this helps someone xx



  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,002
    @Josephine66 These look great but seem a bit pricey. Where do you buy yours?
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 3,336
    I've been prescribed a huge range of antidepressants over the last 25 years. This all started with a critical episode of post natal depression. I've never been a little ray of sunshine and a difficult upbringing meant I was acustomed to being unhappy. Being clinically depressed is something else.
    I've learnt to distinguish between being blue and being desperate. That has been a lifetime in the learning. I have also figured out that unless I am desperate the side effects of most antidepressants make my life more difficult as I feel like I'm living it under water. I won't take them anymore unless I'm likely to top myself, then I have to embark on a year long journey of getting the dose right then weaning myself safely off them.
    My reasoning is that if you are clinically unwell, pharma can help. If you are a bit lost, time, and good quality couselling tends to heal.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,960
    @Josephine66 Great that you have found something that works for you.

    @zoffiel I had my first experience of antidepressants over the Christmas holidays.  I waited until I didn't have to drive anywhere in the morning for a few days.  It was a low dosage but I felt like a zombie for about 15 hours afterwards (didn't help me sleep, of course) - no way I could function on them.  Fortunately, I don't feel as if I need them now, anyway.  Except for the past night of poor and little sleep and now I could bite someone!
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    They're working OK for me. Initially they made me feel jittery but after about three weeks that disappeared. No zombification!
  • Milly21Milly21 Member Posts: 111
    I am on the hunt for a natural tablet to take for hot flashes and mood,but struggling to find anything that I can take with tamoxifen and blood pressure tablets,taking evening primrose and pretty sure it not doing much.just bought some melatonin for sleep but haven’t tried yet.
  • Josephine66Josephine66 Lilydale, VICMember Posts: 79
    @Milly21 I was on melatonin but you can't take it forever. From memory taking this too long reduces what the body naturally produces?

    @Zoffiel living with a husband with severe depression and bipolar, has phyciatrist appts and takes several meds is enough for one household. You're right though,  being depressed and having depression are not the same. None the less butchered hormones post BC leaves us feeling a pretty low and for some of us crying far too often. 

    @kmakm we do what works. Good you don't feel like a zombie. I need to feel calm and clear to cope with husbands shit. 😞

    @Sister they seem to help my sleep too. 

    @Blossom1961 I get them through my naturopath. Brand is metagenics and yes expensive.

    I've been told sage tea helps cool down the insides reducing intensity of hot flashes. Having a cup now, I'll post again in a few days with a verdict. 

    Have a lovely day ladies 🎀
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Hey @Josephine66,

    Great that you have found something that works.  Double check with your team about the phytoestrogens in it if you are ER+. 
     If you aren't awesome but they don't like you taking those things if you are...why?  Because it's another thing they don't know if it interefers with hormone therapies.
    Check on the herbs app but I am pretty sure that pueraria contians phyto's.

  • Josephine66Josephine66 Lilydale, VICMember Posts: 79
    @kezmusc good point, yes I should've noted that in my original post. I am ER+ however am choosing not to take hormone therapy. I've had a couple of goes and have decided my quality of life is more important. I didn't cope on hormone therapy 😞

  • Giovanna_BCNAGiovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hi @Josephine66
    See below the about herbs and botanicals link, a great resource to search current evidence
  • SirrahSirrah Noosa Sunshine CoastMember Posts: 77
    Hi everyone, a bit late to the discussion but thought I would suggest 2 alternatives.  I have tried about 6 natural or alternative products for the relief of menopausal symptoms, all unsuccessfully. (I had a surgical menopause after endometriosis at 39 yo and was  told by GP that I am in the 10-15% category of women whose menopausal symptoms never resolve, yay!!!)  Several months ago I read on another B/C forum that lots of ladies were taking Happy Hormones and so tried the powder (they also have capsules) - available online. Altho I felt generally healthier it did nothing for my hot flushes. Several others suggested half dose of Effexor which is an anti depressant and I jotted down the name but didn't feel I needed it.  Fast forward to 4 wks before my DIEP and thoughts of if I was making the right decision saw me not sleeping well, stressing, crying, generally feeling down so my GP prescribed Effexor and altho there were initial feelings of nausea it was worth pushing thru.  I have felt very calm and the hot flushes went after 4 or 5 days! It makes life so much more bearable, I am much calmer to live with and it seems for me the "natural" products aren't effective. Hope this helps others in the same situation.
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,409
    I take cannabis oil for depression but it does a lot more than treat depression. My chemo brain neural pathways are being healed. My PTSD is touch wood gone. I am on low dose but I hope it interferes with any cancer returning.
    I also eat cashews in down times as those are supposed to help lift depression too. I like the honey roasted ones though and they tend to pack on the weight so its not a regular treat.
  • QueendonutQueendonut Member Posts: 20
    I have so far managed to avoid the antidepressants but sometimes I think I should give in and take them. 
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    @Queendonut I started on antidepressants during chemo. I'd never been on them before. My mental health was deteriorating and while reluctant, having had a family member who refused to take them and suffered horribly as a result, I had promised myself I wouldn't make that mistake. It took the combined gentle suggestion from my counsellor, GP and breastcare nurse in the space of 24 hours to get me onto them. It was the latter who tipped me into agreeing. She used the same words as the others but somehow in a way that seemed so logical and sensible. I can't remember exactly what she said, but the gist of it was 'why suffer if you don't have to'.
  • QueendonutQueendonut Member Posts: 20
    Wise words- i think i will be a little more likely to accept the next offer from my `Dr.  
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,974
    @Queendonut I speak openly about my mental health and menopause. The societal stigma surrounding these overwhelmingly common conditions drives me nuts. K xox
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