Perimenopausal psychosis

by Jane
(Fairfax, Virginia)

I never had any mental problems my whole life. Perimenopause caught me unexpectedly when I had regular anovulatory bleeding, I began to have psychosis.

I was hospitalized one week and put on antipsychotics for one year. When I went off the meds I had night time narcolepsy and panic attacks. I tried DHEA and it helped a bit. I went off of 1/2 ortho evra patch (which did not help symptoms) and switched to bioidentical hormones, 1 mg estradiol and 200 mg prometrium. This resolved all psychosis.

As an added benefit it addressed developing metabolic syndrome symptoms. Please provide psychiatrists with this information because they have no clue how to treat menopausal women. They should have treated me originally with progesterone and I could have avoided horrible side effects on the antipsychotics.

Comments for Perimenopausal psychosis

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Jun 10, 2009
Perimenopausal psychosis
by: Wray

Hi Jane. Thanks for sharing this. It's a sad fact but they don't know how excellent progesterone is for psychosis.

Dr Dalton used to treat her psychotic female patients with 2400mg/day of progesterone only, via 6 x 400mg suppostiories. These were used at two hour intervals during the day. She's written an excellent book on post natal depression. Another book well worth reading was written by one of her patients. Nicola Owen, who's problems all started when she was fourteen and going through puberty, ended up in Holloway Prison for Women in the UK. Dr Dalton helped her recover and obtain her release by prescribing progesterone which corrected the psychosis. It?s now out of print, but Amazon do have second hand copies. Take care, Wray.

Sep 10, 2009
by: Anonymous

I am 49 years old, and about 5 years ago I began having anxiety attacks and just plain bizzare feelings, as if I were going crazy, and I truely thought that I was! I was lucky to find a psychiatrist to help me, and was put on Zoloft, which has helped tremendously!

However, with all the reading and follow-up I have been doing I believe I am perimenopausal and should have been treated for this instead. Although I am doing pretty well with the Zoloft and scared to go off of it, I am still having trouble with heart palpitations and sweats and heavy bleeding... I had my hormone panel run and am still waiting for the results, although my GYN believes I am estrogen dominant my GYN just ordered progesterone for me today, pill form I believe, and natural soy and peanut oil? I am a tad worried on starting this while still on Zoloft... well not sure what to think just yet.

Oct 13, 2010
by: Anonymous

I am a 49 woman who had 6 months of psychosis. I was hospitalized twice during that time. I almost lost my husband and my children were very upset with me. I am currently on lithium and abilify. I have had my hormone study done and my progesterone level was very low. I am currently on bioidentical hormones which seem to be helping. I am forced to take the prescriptions for 6 months. Anxiety is a problem. I hope doctors will be open in the future to treating perimenopausal women with bioidenticals hormones over perscriptions medication. Psychosis is very scarey.

Oct 18, 2010
by: Wray

Hi there A lack of progesterone can cause psychosis, but I'm concerned you're possibly on oestrogen too, as you say 'hormones' in the plural. You certainly don't need more oestrogen if this is the case. It suppresses progesterone, so there is little point in taking a combined one. Dr Dalton would give 2400mg/day progesterone to her patients with psychosis, you're probably on a far lower amount. She's written an excellent book, please see here. I recommend between 100-200mg/day, the more severe the symptom, the more is needed. Hence the very high dose for psychosis. There are many nutrients which can help with anxiety, progesterone being one. Please see our page on Anxiety for more. Peri-menopause is a very difficult time, I was suicidal then, but luckily found progesterone at 47. Please see our page on Peri-menopause. Take care Wray

Jul 07, 2018
Psychosis at 38
by: Anonymous

I started having psychosis at 38 and didn’t know why. Doctors have told me I was depressed or schizophrenic. They have given me every diagnosis possible. I have started taking progesterone again and take an antidepressant still. I have pcos and was wondering if this had any impact on psychosis?

Jul 30, 2018
Psychosis too
by: Anonymous

This page has helped to save me.

They have diagnosed me with major depression, which I might have, schizoid affective disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar. Every time I go into to the hospital, it is different, which leads me to believe they have no clue.

I figured out that I needed hormone help when I realized this all happened at 38, which no matter what they tell me, is not a late onset age for schizophrenia. I mean, hey it might be, but I would investigate hormones first. I got on progesterone and could exist with that plus an antidepressant for a year. I stopped that because of fears of the progesterone, which I shouldn't have because nothing bad was happening to me. Anyway, it has been a long, hard road of near suicide because of antipsychotic side effects. I am back on 200 mg of progesterone, which should probably be more, but I am waiting to see if the antidepressant fails. If it does, I am just going full force on this. My life simply has to be better.

I just want to say that I am glad I read this. My whole family thinks this idea is bs, but I had to work hard to raise my progesterone to a 3 on testing. I simply won't take that all of a sudden I am mentally ill at 38. I am now 46 and looking forward to this struggle ending. I am one month out of the hospital with just an antidepressant and 200 mg of progesterone. I take dim, omega 3 (vegetarian because fish oil made my hands peel), garlic, l-glutamine (from wray's suggestion), evening primrose, d3. In two days the DIM has helped my waistline considerably and the garlic (advice I got from another website) has helped the slight rosacea on my cheeks.

Again this page saved my life, as it is what I have held onto in the face of awful antipsychotics. Looking forward to a life without them.

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