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Mental Health, Mood Swings & Depression

smiling happy woman with trees in the background

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 figure of 61 percent and it’s probably a safe bet Australasia is in a similar camp.

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.

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.

And 71 percent of women don’t notice the signs creeping up on them!

7 Wellness Pillars of Menopause

Is This You Too?

For many of us the low mood and anxiety are devastating. Crying all the time, not wanting to go anywhere and not eating aren’t uncommon. Science shows these types of symptoms are felt by many women from perimenopause through to post-menopause.

The research also reported that a quarter of women experienced extreme fatigue, while nearly a third said their mood was affected, triggering tears and sudden emotional outbursts. If you can relate you might take comfort in knowing you’re not alone.

Another 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?

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!). This sets off the hormone cortisol which is one reason for a thickening waistline and why overly-hardcore exercise that stresses the body isn’t recommended.

It’s a complicated cascade but when you discover it, it starts to make more sense.

So, here’s a gift for you.

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

  1. Cut right back on alcohol. Alcohol is a well-known depressant and becoming more sensitive to it is quite common for women going through peri/menopause.
  2. 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!
  3. 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. There are lots of people who have found daily meditation has changed their lives. The app Headspace is a great tool.
  4. Eat well. Include lots of green leafy vegetables, oily fish and unprocessed foods. Cut out sugar and caffeine. This can make a huge difference. Huge. It’s not heresy or hype, it’s fact.

Take heart with the knowledge that there are simple helping tools out there. We’re also here should you want to talk to people who understand.

We invite you to join the 40+club, which is our private Facebook support group. Click here to join.

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

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This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.


Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.