Not all my blogs respond to menopause media articles - However this one, for all the wrong reasons caught my eye. Sadly, I am not surprised by this article, however, it really worries me to read it. Maybe all the reasons this lady committed suicide were not solely at the door of menopause, but the fact it is dismissed as a factor is both sad and terrifying.
The report warned that mental health services are not taking the full effects of the menopause into account when assessing women and are not looking at its potential impact on more severe mental health symptoms.
The significance of the report's warning about the impact of menopause on women's mental health is very clear. Menopause is a significant transition in a woman's life, and its effects on the body and mind can be overwhelming. Mental health services need to acknowledge the potential impact of menopause on women's mental health and consider it when assessing patients. It is essential to recognise that menopause can cause severe mental health symptoms that may require specialised treatment. It may require a greater depth of understanding and knowledge to see signs of a potentially suicidal woman experiencing peri menopause and menopausal symptoms, as these are all too often diagnosed and treated as depression.
During menopause, the body experiences a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone, which are the primary female sex hormones. These hormonal changes can contribute to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, including low mood or depression.
In addition to estrogen and progesterone, other hormones that may play a role in menopausal mood changes include testosterone, thyroid hormones, and cortisol. Testosterone levels can also decline during menopause, which may affect mood, energy levels, and libido. Thyroid hormone imbalances can lead to fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress, can also affect mood when levels are chronically elevated or depleted.
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report further warned that too many people are taking their own lives while being deemed as at ‘low’ or ‘moderate’ risk of suicide. How is a woman can feel so very lost? Well, it’s a medical and physiological reason. When you are feeling so low, and are experiencing almost uncontrollable emotions - this is a tough time to ‘reach out’ ‘be seen’ or ‘be heard’. Confidence is maybe at its lowest ebb, getting up and dressed on some days feels like an achievement in itself. Even women that have always been very strong, sassy and sure, can experience crippling anxiety, overwhelming sadness and even shyness, and certainly less desire to go out, or even do normal daily tasks.
If you yourself are reading this because you affiliate, ‘get it’ or even have some vague crossover…please understand this- however on the floor you feel? There is a way, out, up and over it. Have that difficult conversation, speak out & say what you are thinking and feeling. If those closest to you have noticed you being different, they will be so glad you are raising the subject and will definitely want to help you.
You may not feel it, but I promise you - you are NOT on your own.
Be kind to yourself today.
Because you deserve that at the very least.
Angeline Davies is a qualified Health Coach Specialising in Perimenopause and Menopause.
Accredited By The PCI Royal College of General Practitioners.