Mental Health, Mood Swings & Depression

Did you know that thousands of women suffer from mental health issues during the meno years?

The percentages are high, well over the 50 percent mark for things like anxiety and depression. The Daily Mail recently reported a percentage of 61 percent (that’s for the UK but you can pretty much put Australasia in a similar camp).

That 61 percent figure is scary isn’t it? I should add in here that menopause-related anxiety and depression are often misdiagnosed as clinical cases when actually it’s your hormones doing an unhappy dance. It’s important to be very aware of this because it can impact your health insurance.

In the same piece, The Daily Mail found 87 percent of women would rather treat the signs of their midlife hormonal changes naturally. That’s where we come in!😀 We’re all about treating meno (perimenopausal/menopausal) signs naturally. This might be through our best selling, all-natural products or through wholesome nutrition, mindfulness and knowledge.

menopause-related anxiety and depression are often misdiagnosed as clinical cases when actually it’s your hormones doing an unhappy dance Click To Tweet

34 Signs of Menopause

There are 34 acknowledged signs of menopause from the well-known hot flushes, to things like aching joints, sleeplessness, incontinence, itchiness and dry vagina. These things can be very debilitating. Most of us know what it’s like to go without sleep (hideous!) and the aching joints can stop our usual activities.

Another statistic I discovered is that 71 percent of women don’t notice the signs creeping up on them. (I don’t know where that was from so can’t attribute it to anyone in particular.)

Is This You Too?

I think, for me – and for many of us – the low mood and anxiety are devastating. I was crying all the time, not wanting to go anywhere and not eating. Since I’ve been researching this I know I’m not alone, there are loads of women experiencing this right now. Science shows this is quite common during the meno years – from perimenopause through to post-menopause.

That’s why I felt it’s important to share this information with you – so if you relate you know you’re not alone. The research also reported that a quarter of women experienced extreme fatigue, while nearly a third – a third! – said their mood was affected, triggering tears and sudden emotional outbursts.

Finally, a third of the women who took part in the survey felt embarrassed by these things and their confidence had eroded. I can put my hand up there too. Can you?

As an FYI the statistics reported in the Daily Mail were from a survey conducted by Healthscan, a vitamin company in the UK.

Why We Experience Mood Swings et al.

One of the key factors of peri and post-menopause is the lessening of the hormone estrogen in our bodies. In the lead-up to, and during menopause, estrogen can go up and down a bit like a whirlygig.

When you consider that estrogen is just as active in the brain as it is in our ovaries and that it often works in tandem with our serotonin (the happy hormone), then you start getting a picture of why we get mood swings right?

And then there’s progesterone which is kind of like our natural ‘chill pill’. Our levels of progesterone plummet during midlife, which is why we can get irritable and turn into ‘she-devils’.

Also, we tend to get more stressed during the meno years (come back progesterone!), which sets off the hormone cortisol which is one reason for a thickening waistline and why we don’t recommend hardcore exercise that over-stresses the body.

It’s a pretty complicated cascade but when you discover it, it all starts to make a lot more sense don’t you think?

So, here’s a gift for you.

4 tried and tested ways to deal with mental health issues naturally:

  • Cut right back on alcohol. I’ve always been a bit of a wino but have become extremely (even more!) sensitive to it during the meno years. Not great, as alcohol is a well-known depressant and becoming more sensitive to it is quite common for Meno-She’s.
  • Exercise. The great mood enhancer. It’s pretty common knowledge that exercise can increase endorphins. The thing is not to over-tax your body and put it into stress mode. Walking is great. Swim, dance, play tennis – enjoy!
  • Meditation & Mindfulness. This can be difficult for a lot of women especially over-thinkers, but there are a host of studies out there proving meditation and/or mindfulness is great at this time of life (well, it’s always great but an absolutely wonderful tool for midlife ladies). I know people who say daily meditation has changed their lives. The app Headspace is a great tool.
  • Eat well. Include lots of green leafy vegetables, oily fish and unprocessed foods. Cut out sugar and caffeine. I can’t tell you the difference this can make. It’s not just heresy or hype, it’s fact.

So, there you have it. There are helpers out there and we’re here should you want to talk to people who know how it rolls.

I invite you to join the 40+club too. We’re a Facebook group that’s small but growing. The aim of it is to be a support group, we just need a few more people to get the conversation flowing. Click here to join. 😀

Keep well ladies, we’re always here for you. 

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