Can menopause cause delusional psychosis?
Can menopause cause delusional psychosis?
All women seem to at some time fear menopause. We hear horror stories from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and their friends. The word use to be almost taboo. It was a time that was said the "women were crazy" in my home growing up. When I suddenly was faced, with a hysterectomy, I immediately faced menopause and I did not go into a delusional psychosis. It is believed to be a trigger factor among many triggers that can invoke delusional psychosis in women. It is being researched and can be read about at www.camh.net. Research is showing that the chemical changes caused by menopause can be a triggering factor for a psychotic break in women. To say that it is the only cause is silly and women need to not fear this time in their life. Rather embrace it and just be prepared with a good gynecologist to help you and your body through a time of passage from a young woman to a more mature woman.
Hi YES! It is possibly low estrogen. Estrogen needs time to decrease from the body naturally. A hysterectomy can shock your system. Here is my story and I hope I can help others to avoid this nightmare.
About 2 months after my hysterectomy I went into a full blown psychosis and was in the hospital psych ward for 6 days. It was caused by an estrogen called estradiol. My estradioll level was in the luteal phase Normal level is between 43.80 - 211.00. My estradiol was 6.5. The hospital did not take the right test and gave me Haldo which is a anti-psychotic drug which is NOT suppose to be given to low estrogen patients. It make it worse. I did not even know who my family. I began spitting out the haldol and feeling a bit better they let me go. At home I began shaking and my eyes started to become unclear and than I finally realized it was low estrogen. I ran to the refrigerator and drank a big glass of cherry juice along with handfuls of pecans. Many foods are loaded with estrogen. I was completely fine in 20 minutes. No one at the hospital realized it was low estrogen. I could have been stuck in the phyc ward for years until the estrogen process was complete.
My symptoms were began mild and than increased in intensity. My symptoms included many headaches and shooting pain up my head, shaking hands, pain in back, weakness, tired, legs and arms were heavy, my eyes would not focus, full memory loss, tongue not working, hands would not grip, and more.
Please do not let a hospital mis-diagnosis you. That 6 days I spent in th phyc ward was so terrible. I do get estrogen blood test regularly and I regulate it with a special natural estrogen diet with only estrogen filled foods. I hope this helps. Take care
Hi, I just read your story regarding the psych ward experience. You are not alone - the same thing happened to me. I am a Mother of six sons and have a husband. They did not have a clue what was happening - I was forgetting to go to work - would have moments of fearfullness - glaring at the tv - not responding - moody. However, nothing violent. My family contacted my sister (big mistake) and she advised them to have me 302'd - basically that means you are escorted by the ambulance (and sometimes a policeman arrives) then hauled to the physc ward at the nearest hospital. Then you have a permanent mental county record that you cannot have resended (so I am told). Family then notifies my employer that I was having a mental problem - now that went over real well! To make a long story short when I returned to work it was shortly after that I was advised I could nolonger hold my position! Then they embarrassed me by making me go for a drug test, (because I refused to sign a release form for my doctors information) and of course it was negative. That meant I was not taking the medication I suppose. How horrible - I should not have been released to go back to work period - the after effects lasted for months. I was a professional working for a major communications firm for almost 15 years! Now I am currently back to homemaker. All because a doctor mis - diagnoses me and insisted I had to be on psychotic drugs the rest of my life. They more than likely advised my employer of this too - which cost me my job. Horrible - not only did I loose my job - I lost my Mother - the new home I was building - my entire, substantial income - and was not even allowed to collect unemployment. My life was basically destroyed over these incidents. Then the doctor had the odasity to tell me to go on disability if they won't give me my job back. Why would you even suggest that a more than qualified individual go on disability? The first time they kept me for 6 days - the 2nd time it was for 30 days. Then my Mother decides to pass while I am locked up in there - never had a chance to say goodbye. I tried to tell the doctors over and over I was going thru menopause. They would not listen to any of this. I begged them to notify my gyne who worked in the same hospital where I had all my children delivered. They refused to listen - after all they were talking to a physc patient, right? I had excellent insurance at the time, so I guess 30 days seemed like a fair stay. After all they were feeding me the meds to support their claim - so why not. And I know that goes on too - I happen to know alot of nurses that work there. I am sure this happens to other women and I consider it to be a crime. Believe me they have no respect for you when you are left there. The 2nd time I was delivered, I was in the emergency room and was advised to remove my clothes. I calmly replied, Could I speak to the emergency doctor on duty please? I suppose that prompted them to take that as a violent and uncooperative response! I was thrown onto a bed - my hands and legs (spread eagle) were strapped down and my clothes were violently cut off including my bra and panties with a pizza cutter device of some sorts. It was totally humiliating, considering it was the local police department crew. They pulled my rings off and took them to the waiting area where my husband was. He did not have a clue as to what had happened and neither did I. They removed my diamond ring and just left the room. Thank God they returned it to my husband. I am an older women and my menstral cycles did not cease until 59 years of age. You can't imagine how rough they were and laughing as they left the room. I was lucky someone threw a sheet over me at the time. I was mortified and kept the clothes for proof as to what they did. I was advised this is standard proceedure if you refuse to undress! I never had a chance to refuse anything. I then went upstairs where they proceeded to force meds such as resperadol. They could not decide if I had pychosis or bipolar disorder. Oh but they had plenty of drugs for both. It was just terrible and now I have a permanent county record which I had hoped I could afford to have resended one day. (NOT!) Then when I was released they they forced me to attend a clinic for shots and counciling, because I was refusing to take meds that I knew I did not need? I have 3 years of college under my belt. There is no way I am bipolar. I was studying to be a RN prior to my accepting a far better and rewarding position - so I thought at the time. I forgot to mention I had a beautiful and expensive black coat on the 1st time I was sent to the hospital. I never recovered the coat - they could not locate it. I had to call the hospital when I got home to insist they reimburse me. I was lucky to get a lousy $150.00 for a $300.00 coat. Imagine that - it must have walked out the door. The 2nd time I called them to let them know what had been done in the emergency room - they would not reimburse my loss of clothing - they claimed they had no record of the officers cutting my clothes off! I told her I would be happy to bring the remains to the hospital if need be. Of course they sent me a letter to confirm NO RECORD OF THIS BEING DONE! I guarantee you they probably never even checked my estrogen levels. After all who ever heard of a women having her menstral cycles ending at 59 years. Not too convincing I suppose! I am planning to request those blood results so that I can see the estrogen levels myself. My family doctor who has cared for me for years was mortified when I told him what happened. He assured me I am still a bright and wonderful person - even if I lost my job, my mother, my house and who knows whats next. He agreed it was probably menopause and to try to put it all behind me. Then I had to write him a check with no job! I have been fine now for 2 years and am still medication free - the only thing I needed recently was a cataract removed. I would love to share this story with other women or anyone who might be interested in reading this. This is a true story and I have alot of more detailed information I left out. Something needs to be done in these facilities - I literally walked the hall in circles just to get alittle exercise. They lock you in and you never see the light of day! Terrible! I guess it was the boredom that added to my lengthly stay. And of course I acted the part - especially when you are bored to tears and have nothing to due except wait for chow, pills and 30 days of doom. Then came the trips to the clinic - just as bad - I was forced to get shots for weeks and weeks after I left that hospital. One day the counselor at the clinic ask me how I ended up in the situation I was in? She knew I was fine! The next thing I knew she was out the door for another position. She seemed disgusted also with the whole system. I would get soo ill after those shots - I could not even drive - I had no energy - depression - horrible sleepless nights - halucinations and you name it on the drugs I was forced to have injected after I left the hospital. I was told this was court ordered for a certain period of time ontop of everything else. I had to gradually ween myself from these drugs - I could not stand what I had become - a lifeless zombie with no income to say the least. I thank God I had the strength and will to follow my instincts. This was a terrible experience that no one should have to go through. I still will say this one more time - I think it is a crime what is going on in these facilities. Heaven forbid if I do need the help of the police - I am certain they will know me - they were local - one is my next door neighbors friend. Can you imagine how I feel when he drops by for a visit?
I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with psychiatric misdiagnosis and maltreatment during perimenopause. Like you said, this type of situation is much more common than most people might think. I too was in a psychiatric hospital during The Change although it was a private hospital and not nearly as trauma-inducing as the facility you were in. Through conversations with some of the other women on my ward, I slowly began to realize that what I was going through was in some way related to my history of childhood abuse and my perimenopausal changes. I was appalled to see how many women in the hospital were struggling with similar life issues and with no access to healing practices other than psychotropic meds. After being released from the hospital, I immersed myself in a variety of tranpersonal healing therapies and was soon able to go off of all the medications I'd been prescribed as well as the bio-identical hormones I was taking.
Statisitcs indicate that 15 - 20% of women going through perimenopause will experience some type of serious emotional upheaval. It is because I know I'm not alone in what I went through that I've written a memoir about my experience which I hope to publish sometime this year. I truly beleive that speaking out about these types of experiences will help to lessen the struggles of women going through similar situations. It's also important to keep in mind that while I was able to resolve my crisis through transpersonal healing practices, some women may need to chose a different route==there are many online articles that discuss the relationship between estrogen and psychosis that may be helpful.
I sincerely wish all of the women who are struggling with some of the more serious challenges of perimenopause all the wisdom and strengh they will need to bring themselves to a place of healing and wholeness.
I am just coming out of the throws of what one could call a few weeks of hell. Layer by layer, sexual abuse memories have been triggered and I went into "another world" to cope with it. I went to the Land of Oz basically. It wasn't until coming out of it that the sudden sweats and hot flashes started. The mood swings are still there, but my instincts have told me it is the hormonal surges and drops. A true storm within the body. I have also had jolting type events while sleeping, and with each jolt a memory flash will surface. It has also been a time where I have been much more spiritually alive at times. I suspect our electrical circuits are firing like mad, and as we shed this stage of our life, we are also shedding buried things of the past. It is our "resurrection" of sorts. The earth is quaking, there is thunder and lightening. We may even tap into 6th senses. Rebirthing ourselves, into a new purity. Washing away the old that no longer serves us. Antipsychotic drugs will unfortunately stunt the unfolding of this new flower. We need love in our midst. Support. Times alone. Reassurances from others who have gone before us. If we are to do it successfully......we are in essence crossing our own Jordan River, to get to the other side of womanhood. The side where the wise sages are. Some days I feel like the crazy version of the 7 dwarfs have taken up residence in my being. But, that is where I have to stop to remind myself.......they are just dwarfs. Companions for a season. I am Snow White. You are Snow White. We are going through a very special rite of passage. Let us come together to help women traverse this path safely...... out of psyche wards and into a much better educated society. Medical, hormone, spiritual. Blessings to you all. <3
My wife has myasthenia gravis (diagnosed 2005) and just turned 40. During the weeks leading up to her birthday she began to exhibit symptoms of psychosis and she too was "locked away" in a locked down behavioral health facility where they threw everything in the book at her including seroquel, geodon, lithium (black listed for MG patients), and zyprexa (which had a paradoxical effect and increased her insomnia ten fold), all while they denied her any MG meds (cellcept and mestinon). The nurses actually called her fluctuating muscle weakness a "behavior." As her husband and caregiver, I thought I had seen it all. She was released after five days and returned home with severe mood swings but none of the delusions and paranoia were present until last week. Yesterday I took her to the local emergency room because she was complaining of severe pelvic pain and was in a confused and angry state. Her family showed up and of course a confrontation ensued. This resulted in the filing of a mental hygiene warrant and my wife being strapped to the bed like an animal. I am livid and heartbroken at the same time. My wife entered the ER and is now being held for who knows how long in yet another behavioral health ward 45 miles away. I am adamant that they test her estrogen levels as I am POSITIVE that she is in the throws of early menopause given that the same has happened to so many other women. Statistically I have read that up to 75% of women under the age of 40 who have an autoimmune disease can be predisposed to early onset of menopause.
First I am so glad I found this site. I believe it answers what my problem was. On 11/2/13 I was with a friend and having a great day. We left my car at a local store and she drove her car. We went shopping. I found a book I wanted. I was so happy. Had lunch, shopping for clothes. We went to a movie. At the end of the movie. I did get this feeling that I hadn't had in over 20 years. I think this part is a form of epoleptic seizure. I get an "aura" I all of a sudden think of this town I like and BOOM, I am there!! It was at the end of the movie, the credits were rolling. I put my hands to my face and I know I did start to cry. I don't remember anything for about 5 minutes because everyone had left the thearther but my friend and another lady calling 911. (thanks - not) So we go to the lobby. Ambulance comes. They ask me questions. They said I seemed fine. I thought I was too. They left. Then for some reason I got my cell phone. I don't remember my friend trying to take the phone away. I called a male friend. I remember saying, I feel weird, I fee really weird. I do recall saying Why does my sister hate me? Next thing I remember waking up in the back of the ambulance with the guy telling me to calm down. When what happened in the lobby was I threw myself on the floor, screaming Why does my sister hate me?!! No body loves me!!! I was throwing a tamptrum there in the lobby. They called 911 again. I guess they seen me having this episode and helped me. I don't remember the rest of the ride to the hospital. They stopped and the driver said, It rained. I remember saying like a child, I didn't know it was supposed to rain. Then I blanked out again. I don't remember being wheeled in, going into the room, them changing my clothes, nothing. Then I would come to and know what I was saying. Then I would blank out. When I would come to. I had a feeling like something strange happened. They put pads on the side of the bed. My friend came in. I asked her where my glasses were. She showed me. Then I told her somethign personoal. She said oh it's ok. Then she rubbed my arm and said we'll find out what's going. I told her, don't touch me. You sound like my mom. Just then I looked and there was my mom standing next to me. My mom is dead. This is what happened, however, I HAVE NO MEMORY OF IT AT ALL!!! Apparently, I then swong my arm over and hit my friend in the arm (thinking I was speaking to my mom and cursed at her. Screaming, Why didn't you have us go to Michelle's wedding! Now she can't get over that we never went. She hates me for it. (My sister got married 25 years ago. Our mom got upset at her and we didn't go to her wedding) my sister still holds that against me. I guess I let my mom know that night how I felt. But it was my poor friend that got it. Then I guess I asked her for a priest and my rosary. But for me, what I remember was seeing my mom. Then I seen the wall turn what was supposed to be pretty wall paper. Then in the corner of the wall was where it was going to open up and God was going to come and get me. I then seen my funeral and heard people talking about me. What type of person I was in life. Then I could feel what it would be like to be dead. I didn't have an outter body experience. But it was close. I remember this part screaming for a priest and my rosary. My friend told me that when I asked her for a priest, she said I don't think I can get one at this time. It was 11:00 pm or so. I do remember screaming at the top of my lungs get me a priest and my rosary. My friend was in the hallway with a horrible look on her face. I was a mad woman. Litterly insane. They got me my rosary. I was praying. Saying I was a loser. Really negative things. So later, the nurse told me my friend left. At the time I was like ok what ever. But then later I was like, what? She left me!? I'm alone. They gave me a "vitamin". No, they gave me a pill to dope me up. They released me at 2:30 am. No ride home. I did get a friend to take me. The sad part, my friend didnt' want to speak to me. She wouldn't tell me what happened. She didnt' tell me until almost 2 months later. So I could see why she was afraid. She said she thought she was looking at someone having an exorsism. I remember at one point feeling like I was possessed by the devil. Then my dr said I need to see a pshycitrist. I don't think so. So today, I found out I am at full blown menapause. I'm 45. I knew I was going through pre-menapause for a long time now. I wonder if this was the BIG ONE. That made it be final menapause. You know?
I love the way Judity Hetherington put it and truthfully that really really helped me ALOT!!! I too feel it was like a shedding of the skin. Letting go of the old. All of what I was saying was negative and things that have bothered me for years and years. I still would like to have a conversation one on one (with a mediator) with my sister because a lot of it had to do with her. But after this event, I truly feel as though I can finally take a deep breath and say, If she doesn't like something I'm doing or not doing, oh well. Too bad. Get over it! I know that I cannot please everyone. I no longer go over board trying to please others while I am being thrown under a bus. If this were to happen to me again, then yes, I will consider going to a therapist, but for now, I am doing WONDERFUL. I do not take any medications (hadn't prior to my freak out day as I call it) What's sad is that, it is true. This unfortunate (embarrassing) event happened to me. The friend that was with me that day, I still see her here at work. We are "ok". I know our friendship will never be the same. But I have to remember that it must of been terrifying for her too. I just want to add that for me, this was real. I wouldn't wish that event on even my worst enemy. Christine
YES YES YES I am so glad I found these posts and read your stories--I really thought I was alone. Menopause hit me like a ton of bricks and the delusional psychosis it triggered nearly cost me everything. I was out of my mind--completely. It began with a euphoria type episode--mid-life crisis--stuff. I began painting watercolors hours upon hours each day. I found a had some talent--which made me happy. I was a piano teacher--quite successful--with a student load of 45-50 pupils I taught each week. I started practicing the piano again seriously--like 6-8 hours a day--never had to force myself to do it--I just all of the sudden loved to play, again. Then things started to get really weird. I started to believe Beethoven was talking to me--along with several long-dead jazz pianists. I really started to lose it when I signed into FB one day and there on my friends list was the son of a jazz pianist whom I had idolized--I had no idea how he had made it onto my FB page. I struck up a conversation with this man's son online and eventually on the phone. I was sure that this long dead jazz pianist was trying to contact me through his son---wow--I was so insane. I could go on for hours about all the crazy things that happened. I became totally paranoid--thought that everyone was on a secret mission to "get me." I ranted and raved online--ouch--for a few weeks until I finally angered my family to the point that my mother tried to have me arrested. She was sure that I was "on drugs." That was the turning point actually. I went through all the psych evaluations and was told I was bi-polar and prescribed all sorts of pills. It was then that an old friend of mine came back into my life and literally saved me. She had a beautiful home out in the country where I stayed for six months with my husband and daughter. I did a lot of research and realized that it was menopause and that being "crazy" during this time ran in my family. What can I say, but that it passed. I returned to a state of normalcy without the need for mood-altering drugs. I currently take no medication. I have not experienced any further episodes in over a year. My hormones are back in balance and I am feeling much better. I now am trying to rebuild some relationships that I really destroyed when I lost my mind. Some folks are understanding--others, well... maybe someday...
just remember-- "and this too, shall pass."
My wife, love of my life, and mother of my child suffers from severe stage 4 endomitriosis. About 9 months ago she went through her third major surgery to relieve adhesions from her c-section, and two laperoscopies. Her last surgery was a opherectomy. The doctors made the decision to remove her overies mid surgery. My wife is 40 years old. All was fine, the surgery went well and she seemed to be recovering normally. The opherctomy was supposed to starve the endomitriosis of estrogen thus supressing the endomitrial cells in her pelvic cavity. By the third month her symptoms were back. She was suffering pain upon going to the bathroom, walking, sitting, and sex was again very painful. After a 5.5 hour surgery that took over a year to coordinate she was suffering again. This was disheartening and demoralizing for my wife. In the months that followed she began getting lost in Facebook. Looking up old friends even ones she did not like at the time of growing up. I thought her behavior was odd but did not think it was anything more than a bit of nostalga. I was wrong. About a month ago my wife and I were agruing about always being on Facebook all the time and not dealing with her pain by going back to her ob/gyn. It was that same night she suffled my 11 year old daughter and our family dog out of the house in the dead of night. In the two days that followed she and I were in contact via text message but she had changed. She was very robotic in her speach. She was still telling me she loved my and she did not know what was happening. 2 days after she left the house she stopped responding to my contact attempts. I have not seen or spoken to her since. My wife has always been a very caring and sinsative person and this behavior is completely out of character. At first I believed her leaving the house was just a self imposed time out, When she did not come back I began to get concerned this was far more than an argument. I mean, it is not normal even in a breakup to not come home and not to communicate even through a third party. I now believe my wife has sufffered a complete psycotic break due to a surgical forced meno pause and zero estrogen levels. She has left everthing behind, even her clothes, jewelry, toothbrush, everything. I have no idea what my 11year old daughter is doing while she is out of school, and my wife will not respond to any attempt to communicate. I understand through my sister in law that my wife has entered therapy but I am not sure that is accurate. I don't know how to help her to get medical help. I know she has no idea what is happening because she has never even come close to doing anything like this before. The only thing that explains her disappearing is low to no estrogen caused by a forced menopause. Our house is so quiet. It is if she and my daughter died and everything was left behind. I do not know what to do so I sit and wait for something to happen but I am losing faith she will ever snap back from this psycotic break. I suggest to anyone whos spouse goes through a hysterectomy, opherectomy, or any proceedure that results in a forced menopause they do research on sudden estrogyn loss, low estridol, or any forced sterilization surgery. For now I wait. I love my wife and daughter very much and want the best for them.
YES it happened to me where are all the docs on endocrine psychology!! bring hormone replacement back!!! women are dying and families are suffering ESTROGEN REPLACEMNT SAVED MY LIFE
Yes. I believe this is what happened to me. I went from routine monthly periods to hospitalization/psychosis to no monthly periods. Here is a brief description of my experience:
First, I stopped sleeping completely for several days. Then I felt different (not just exhausted) in a way I never have before - very hard for me to describe but it was almost like being under water. Everything moved at a slower pace and was more quiet. I became aware of losing my memory, even my name and birthday which I kept repeating to myself so as not to forget. I asked a friend to take me to the emergency room two times and each time they sent me home. I became worse. My sisters came to my home and, since by this time I was openly hallucinating, called an ambulance. I was admitted to the ER this time but in order to see a psychiatrist they required I be admitted to the psych ward. (It was never suggested that I see any other type of specialist such as a neurologist or endocrinologist.) No beds in the psych ward.
They held me in the ER for three days waiting for a bed to open up anywhere in the state or surrounding states where I live. During this period of time, I became worse - experiencing psychosis so horrible that I often couldn't stop screaming even though I am a calm person, not prone to exaggeration, nor inclined to the dramatic. So, when a bed opened up, I was hospitalized for a month while they tried various drugs that didn't work and finally resorted to ECT. The Psychiatrist treating me in the hospital diagnosed me as bi-polar. I have bi-polar family members (none have experienced psychosis) and have experienced depression in the distant past. I do not believe I have experienced manic states nor does anyone around me. I had never experienced psychosis before this. I understand it is possible to be bi-polar and experience more frequent depression than mania so possibly this diagnosis is correct.
Even though I am not sure about the diagnosis and neither is my current psychiatrist, I take daily doses of lamotrigine and lithium. I find it more interesting than my doctors or most people around me that 1)I never experienced anything like this earlier in my life and 2)I had normal monthly periods when I went to the ER and none when I left the hospital a month later. In my mind it is unlikely that my illness was not related in some significant way to such an abrupt change in estrogen levels.
Though stigma around mental illness coupled with ignorance around menopause make this experience challenging in an ongoing way, I am well now and seldom fear any kind of relapse.
Thanks and blessings to everyone here who has shared their story.
Hi everyone, Thanks for sharing about your experiences here! We've been contacted by a reporter for a large mainstream media outlet who is working on a story about the connections between fluctuations in estrogen and psychosis in women who are going through menopause. She'd love to speak directly to people about their own experiences and/or in caring for a wife or mother with symptoms. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, May 15 to be connected to this reporter to help her bring attention to this topic through personal stories. For those who do participate: Please avoid posting details about that conversation on this public board before the article is published -- we'll share the story link once it's available. Thanks!
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