The list of symptoms of the menopause range from dry skin to hot flushes, but a lesser known side effect is anxiety. The levels of anxiety reported by women in perimenopause and menopause, are seen to be on the rise and often come at what can be a very challenging time in our lives.
Known as the “sandwich generation”; women in their 40’s or 50’s are often juggling caring for children and elderly parents. Add menopause and anxiety to this mix and its unsurprising so many of these women are seeking counselling for the first time in their lives.
It is thought that the decrease in hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen can have real effects on our mood and ability to cope with stress. As the menopause approaches we often develop sleep issues and a general feeling of being physically exhausted and unwell.
All of this can have a real impact on our relationships and ability to enjoy life.
Talking in therapy, support from your GP and replacing hormones if wanted, all help in this transitional time.
A previous client Jenny was finding it difficult as her children left for university, she was also dealing with menopausal anxiety and sore joints, which stopped her running and gardening. “Things that previously had never bothered me like driving on the motorway or dealing with my elderly parents in law, just made me anxious and really upset”, she explained in her first session. “My sadness and loss at my children leaving home, also felt overwhelming”.
Jenny had a full health check with her GP and after a few months of therapy and HRT, she felt more balanced and ready for a new phase in her life. “I realised I just needed some support to get through this time, I am so glad I asked for help.”
I have had many women come in to therapy with me to discuss how they are coping, to have a sympathetic ear when things are so tough can bring great relief. If you want to see if therapy might work for you if menopause is proving a challenge, then please do get in touch and we can talk about what might help you.