Q.I am a 46-year old female who has been having anxiety/panic attacks for 2 years now. I have had all of the medical check-ups, and there is nothing physically wrong with me. I am also seeing a psychiatrist who has put me on Prozac and I am also on Oestrogen, a very low dose.
Is it possible for the attacks to be hormone related? My attacks seem to be cyclical, but I cannot correlate them to my periods because I have had a hysterectomy. I wonder if I should be taking more oestrogen, I am on .5mg at this point. Also, how do I know if my Prozac should be increased-I am on .5mg of that also. This past week, I have had 2 panic attacks and many hot flashes. This affects my entire family-how goes Mom, so goes the family. This has also affected my intimacy with my husband. He has been very patient, but we need to get over this hurdle. Thanks for a great website-I have learned a lot in the last 2 hours!!!
A. Although we don't normally do this, I am going to relate my experience as it is similar to yours. I developed Panic Disorder as a result of a physical illness which ultimately led to me having a hysterectomy and surgically induced menopause.
I went onto hormone replacement therapy, but while it helped with the menopause, it did absolutely nothing for my panic attacks and anxiety. I have now spoken with thousands of women in similar situations and their experience is the same. Hormone therapy doesn't help to any great degree.
It can be cyclic, as many women do experience increased panic attacks & anxiety in the week before their period, and it does aggravate any PMS, but again the pill, etc. doesn't help. I saw a recent research article which said researchers were now beginning to investigate this, but they say any definitive answer is 10 years away.
We are not able to advise you in regards to your Prozac dose, but we can suggest you see an Anxiety Disorder Cognitive Behavioral therapist. CBT is the only therapy which has been demonstrated internationally to be the most effective therapy in the long-term for Panic Disorder. This is how I, and so many of our clients, have recovered and are medication free.
We do have a list of therapists worldwide. If you would like us to check our list, please advise us in which Country/State/City/Town you live in.