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anxiety and menopause

I am in my mid 30's but have been perimenapausal for over 1 year.  During this year, I have suffered from severe anxiety every month for 14 days prior to my period every month.  My body tenses up and I feel restless and unable to focus.  I have also developed clautrophobia and fear of being trapped in traffic or other closed in spaces.  I also have depression some months and that may also get severe.  I sought help, but in the process I also admitted to daily mariuanna use for 10+ years, that I see getting worse as my emotional issues grow.  I wanted to learn how to cope with the anxiety and depression, which I know is related to my menstral cycle, but all the therapist appears interested in is the marijuanna addiction.  I know smoking pot also causes anxiety and depression, but that is not what is suddenly causing my to be unable to function.  I want to quit pot as well, but if I try when I am this emotionally unstable I know it won't work.  Are there any coping stategies that can help me get rid of the physical anxiety symptome (besides quitting pot!)
3 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
It is a medical fact that many women report their first episode of anxiety/ panic around the perimenopausal phase of their life. Your hormones are going into a state of flux and depending on how severe your symptoms are, this is the time to discuss HRT with your OB/GYN. This is a very personal decision between you and your doctor and much has to do with your present health. For more information, check out the forum on menopause.
It's good that you took it upon yourself to seek therapy, and it's also very good that you were honest about the pot smoking, because if you're going to hide things from your therapist, you're wasting your time and theirs.
I personally don't know of any therapist worth their salt who will condone the use of drugs, illegal ones that is, so you shouldn't be so surprised that that is the main focus of their assessment. I don't think anyone is going to prescribe any sort of anti-anxiety or antidepressant for you knowing that you are a 10+ year drug abuser, which is how they will see it. So I think that leaves you with two options. Get off the pot, stay in therapy and work with a doctor to get you on the proper meds for the anxiety or keep firing up the bong and deal with everything as best you can. Sounds harsh, even to me, but in my humble opinion, I see those as your only two choices. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there ARE therapists and doctors out there who will overlook the pot smoking..............
Since you believe you can't quit the pot right now, the only "coping" strategies I can suggest would be perhaps some yoga and meditation, some kind of physical exercise that gets you outside in the fresh air, relaxation tapes which will teach you proper breathing techniques.............
Perhaps there are others on this forum who have more experience with your particular quest than I do and can offer you more or better options.
I do wish you good luck.
242912 tn?1402547092
Hello!  I am so sorry you're feeling so awful and I know you don't want to hear anything about quitting weed, but let me just tell you that I quit smoking pot last July and my anxiety is 100% better.  I would just like to encourage you to think about it, okay?   I have a feeling your therapist is focusing on this issue because it contributes to anxiety and depression so much.   But like all of us who smoke, you will quit when you're ready and that's cool : )

In the meantime, Greenlydia has given you some good suggestions.

Hang in there and take care......

242912 tn?1402547092
Hey again.  I just reread your post and even though you feel emotionally unstable right now, but what if you tried to quit the weed and the results were GOOD!  Wouldn't that be a lovely surprise?  I am not making light of this as I smoked pot a lot longer than 10yrs and know how difficult it is to give up.  

Good luck : )
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370181 tn?1428180348
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