Meg Mathews:’Menopause made me anxious and crippled

Megma Shoes-Devi Clark

Megma Shoes-Devi Clark

Since 2018, Megma Shoes has been one of the UK’s most important menopausal activists and is determined to use her profile to end the stigma surrounding it. In her Stella column, she reveals what she has learned. This week: How to tackle bad mood.

When I started menopause at the age of 48, I experienced many emotions that were difficult to explain. I went into a doctor’s surgery and suddenly shed tears. I didn’t know I was experiencing menopausal symptoms, I didn’t know what was happening to me. After 10 minutes on the GP, and after revealing that I was feeling terrible but not suicide, he prescribed antidepressants. There was no mention of menopause.

It’s still hard to explain how I felt – though some of you may have experienced this darkness. Imagine being overwhelmed by the constant fatigue that persists when you rest, with little or no self-esteem. The people you know and love begin to lose shape. They look like two-dimensional sketches that can no longer be associated. I don’t feel anything real. You’re not alive, you’re just being there from one day to the next, and you’re walking around wondering if this will end forever. I couldn’t leave home for three months and wasn’t interested in anything. I now know that I am anxious and crippled.

Estrogen stimulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter that enhances happiness and the mood that causes happiness. Estrogen depletion is directly associated with serotonin depletion. This can lead to depression, feelings of anger and anger, and all the common symptoms of the perimenopausal period.

I’ve been depressed for years, but I’m not saying I’m suffering from depression. I have a friend who is suffering from depression and it is debilitating. When my hormones were out of balance, my anxiety went through the roof. Antidepressants helped me manage these emotions, but I don’t say they “cured” me. Taking them with HRT helped as HRT put my hormones back on track and antidepressants leveled my anxiety.

Because I was a public figure menopause And it was very overwhelming to always have to be in top form. When I was asked to go to a TV show or talk at an event in front of hundreds of people, I felt that antidepressants managed my anxiety and took me to a comfortable place. , It took months of trial and error with various medicines to get there.

It is important to find a treatment that suits you. Many GPs prescribe antidepressants immediately, but if depression or overwhelming cause is menopause, treatment should target menopause rather than depression.

NICE guidelines state that HRT should be considered to alleviate the depression that results from menopause, and there is evidence that estradiol can improve mood.

Treatment is also encouraged as a safe and effective way to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. For menopause, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) It is often recommended because it focuses on acute depression, which often occurs with menopause (as opposed to long-term depression).

Suicide rates are high in women aged 45-55 years and are associated with menopause in some studies. Experts emphasize that perimenopausal depression is not well recognized.

Arm yourself with a list when you go to your GP. Make a note of when they happen to you and all your symptoms. Keeping a list was really helpful as I tend to forget one or two of the symptoms when I’m finally aware that I’m experiencing menopause and when you’re with your doctor. Remember that there are 34 Menopausal symptoms And we all experience menopause differently. You want the perfect solution for you, and it could be HRT, antidepressants, or just some time to yourself to read a book away from the world.

In addition to medical interventions, it is worth considering lifestyle factors and some simple ways to help relieve depression. Blood sugar imbalances (caused by skipping meals, drinking too much caffeine, and eating too much refined sugar and white carbs) can exacerbate depression and depressive symptoms. As a result, you can manage your mood by maintaining a healthy, consistent and balanced diet. Focus on a protein-rich diet with plenty of vegetables and whole grains.

Magnesium is a nutrient that helps raise serotonin levels, so an Epsom salt bath can help. Yes, leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts contain magnesium, but warm Epsom salt baths are not only more fun, they also help relieve stress. actually, 2018 survey It turns out that taking a warm afternoon bath at least twice a week seems to be a “quick way to improve depressive symptoms.”

My advice is to seek help as soon as possible. I want more people to talk openly about this so that women don’t feel so lonely. Talk to your friends and loved ones about how you feel. When I opened the door to my daughter, I felt that the weight of the world had risen from my shoulders. Also, don’t forget to take the time. Your menopausal journey is exactly that – a journey – and it’s different for everyone. Depression, anxiety and anger cannot be stopped overnight.

read more: “Menopause killed my sex life. This is how I got it back.”

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