Menopause chat day 2.
Today’s common symptom associated with the menopause is poor mental health. Let me stress this is COMMON. It just isn’t talked about. If you are suffering then you are pretty much NORMAL. Not weak, weird, useless, going mad, mental or any other harsh label you might be inclined to give yourself.
When I say poor mental health it actually covers several different aspects but they all seem to feed into one another so I’m lumping them together. You are having a pretty standard, run of the mill, menopause experience if you are noticing any of the following:
* Anxiety – many women who have never been worriers or anxious types find that they are far more anxious than they used to be. It can be anxiety about small or big things.
* Feeling flat – somehow the joy of life is lost. You are still doing the same things you used to do but everything feels a bit flat, a bit colourless and your zest for life has done a runner.
* Irritation / Anger / Mood Swings / Irrational Outbursts – you’re just irritated by everyone but particularly close family members. Your kids, your partner, your parents etc.
* Generally emotional … anyone else found they cried during the new Paddington film??! LOL.
In turn, all of the above, together with yesterday’s symptom of brain fog, can develop into feelings of isolation or loneliness and / or depression.
Our hormones have a lot to answer for. Now any, or all, of these can happen just because of the hormones going bonkers. On top of that we have other menopausal symptoms that I’ll cover on other days (insomnia, crazy periods, sweats, joint pain, etc etc) which can add to the above feelings also.
And just for the icing on the cake let’s add in some classic life stage events that may also be going on when a woman is in her 40s and 50s. You may be caring for ageing parents or have recently suffered bereavements. You may have pre-teens or teenagers with all the challenges they bring. You may be facing up to an empty nest. You may have divorced / separated and be coping as a single parent or adjusting to being single. You may have never met the right partner and wish that weren’t the case. You may have wanted children but it didn’t work out. You may be facing redundancy or in financial difficulties. And so the list can go on. Just a range of possibilities that your average mid-life woman might be dealing with.
This is a LOT to deal with. My plea would be that you don’t suffer in silence. Talk to friends – the more we talk about menopause the more we can help one another. You don’t have to put on your party face and pretend everything is ok. When we are open with one another we help one another. If you are really struggling then go and see your GP and get some help.
And there is plenty of practical stuff you can do to. Mental health can be hugely improved by exercise, doing things you love, meditation, yoga, spending time with people who care about you, eating well etc. I’ll cover those in more detail on other days. Please like / share – you don’t know who might be struggling and needs to know that they’re not going mad. Sue X