Menopause - let's talk about it

Did you know that there are 13 million women in the UK who are currently going through the menopause? With many women who are all struggling with:

  • Brain fog

  • Depression

  • Not sleeping

  • Night sweats

  • Embarrassment

  • Tearful

  • Stressed and anxious

  • Hot flushes

  • Panic attacks

  • Weight gain

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • And sadly, suicidal thoughts

That’s a lot of us women who are asking ourselves “why don’t I feel like ‘me’ anymore”? The menopause has, at times in the past, been referred to as “the change” and it is a change – and a big one.

So, what is the menopause? Well, women who reach their mid forties (and in some cases earlier) their periods become irregular and eventually stop. This may also be accompanied with hot flushes and mood swings. This is often referred to as Perimenopausal. This happens when we experience a drop in levels of hormones oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone (yes its not just men who have testosterone, we do too!). When we experience a drop in these hormones it creates fluctuation that causes an imbalance which can lead to menopausal symptoms.

This can leave us feeling really unsettled and not at all like ourselves. Some women experience such extreme swings of emotions and feelings that it leaves them emotionally and physically exhausted, confused, tearful and not knowing how they can get themselves back to themselves again.

Often health professionals misdiagnose the menopause and treat women for depression and offer antidepressants rather than HRT (hormone replacement therapy). There have been lots of negative press about HRT but it is worth a conversation with your GP to talk through what course of treatment (if any) is right for you.

Counselling can provide you a safe space to be clear and honest and lift any stigma that you may have towards the menopause. We don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed of what’s happening to us. Knowledge is power and I would recommend reading up on all that is menopause related! A really good read is Dr Louise Newson’s book Menopause, published by Haynes and available through Amazon. Dr Louise is GP and menopause specialist.

In short, you aren’t alone, you can get through this, we can manage all of these feelings and emotions. Don’t suffer in silence.