Many women experience anxiety and low mood for the first time when they are perimenopausal, when hormone levels begin to fluctuate- in some women quite wildly, is this you? It can be confusing because you may not realise they are why it’s happening.,. When I worked in the Corporate world I knew women who felt their only option was to give up their careers prematurely, refuse a promotion or, in one case request a demotion, because they found the symptoms interfering so much with their work. This is tragic, both for the individual but also for companies who are losing mature, experienced, valuable members of staff.
If you are in the age range when you may be starting your menopause and you’ve noticed that you’re getting anxious, experiencing low mood, dithering over decisions, notice yourself being more forgetful, your sleep is interrupted or you are noticing other changes then your first port of call is your GP. The diagnosis is made on symptoms as blood tests are not a good indicator – your hormones levels are fluctuating so much. You may be offered HRT which many women find a huge help. Don’t be frightened by the scare stories, do your own research. For most women HRT is perfectly safe. But it’s a personal decision and you may not want to take HRT and feel you want to manage your symptoms in other ways or you may feel you need a little extra support as well as the hormone replacement.
There are many practical things you can do such as adjusting your diet, especially if you are worried about changes to your body shape or weight gain. We often forget how nutrition affects our mood and mental health, so small changes here can make a big difference. Taking a little more exercise, especially something you enjoy. So now may be the time to take up Salsa or Kettle Bells or other things you’ve thought of doing. Enlisting the support of family and friends is invaluable if you can, so that they understand what you’re going through. But many women are too embarrassed to admit they’re menopausal. There seems to be some kind of shame around admitting it in today’s society. I don’t know if this is because we are so youth orientated that for you to admit to being menopausal admits to getting older and that can be a big thing to adjust to. Or maybe because you’re just not used to talking about your body and health. And I get that. For many people it’s just too personal.
Maybe you find the psychological symptoms most worrying. You can manage the hot flushes, if you even get them as not everybody does. But the fuzziness, the mood swings, the tearfulness, anxiety, worries about changes in body shape and other symptoms can be really distressing. If you find talking about the menopause difficult you may feel like you are the only one suffering. It can be a confusing and lonely time. It comes at a time when there are likely to be other, major changes in your life, such as children leaving home, parents getting older, more senior roles and therefore more responsibility, perhaps changes in your relationships. If this is you and you would like help with controlling the emotional side then get in touch and we can discuss how I may help you manage the huge mental upheaval that is the menopause for many women, helping you overcome anxiety and become stronger and more resilient.
Give me a call now and stop suffering alone.