Menopause, moods, and medicine.

For some women, menopause is similar to puberty when it comes to emotions. Why is this? Low mood and surges of anger are simply part of changing hormone levels.

Confusion or frustration about what you are going through are not unusual in puberty or perimenopause.

Photo by Craig Adderley

The journey to menopause is different for everyone, and a good doctor is essential. Blood tests and smear tests are just two of the many reasons that every woman needs a doctor that she is happy with.

You deserve someone who can empathise with your mental health struggles as well as any physical issues that may be part of your journey to menopause. Some medical interventions helmillions of women during the transition, as do certain types of yoga, good nutrition, and other holistic approaches. There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer.

Ireland still has a reside of shame, ignorance, and taboo around all things female. I explored these themes through my art for 5 years (read more here).

2021 brought a shift: conversations about menopause were aired on radio, and there was some writing about it in the press.

Photo by ATC

We need more education. I am in perimenopause, and in 2021 I joined a small group of yoga teachers to complete training in an internationally-accredited ‘Yoga for the stages of menopause‘ course. Wow, did it open my eyes!

I learned how to better support myself and my clients, and for 2022 I look forward to sharing more with everyone.

The Irish habit of saying ‘just get on with it’ is not rooted in compassion. Yes, of course we all get on with it, but people who say ‘don’t complain‘ are deluded.

Complaining, sharing, and discussion is necessary before change can occur. Health issues are very real, very grounded, and for some women, very challenging. I have no time for fake, fluffy positivity or spiritual bypassing: scientific data (thank you sociologists) tells that perimenopause and menopause have been largely ignored, and that women’s health has not priority. Far from it, in fact.

In Ireland there are many good changes yet to come, even though it is extremely slow. It is a long road, and we are all part of the changes. In the meantime we need to be more gentle with ourselves and talk about menopause. Remember that if you have struggles, you are not alone.

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