What is menopause?
The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer naturally fertile. This change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones can happen over a period of months or years and can trigger a number of different symptoms with varying levels of severity. Typically, the menopause occurs between the ages of 45 to 55, sometimes earlier, and during the period leading up to it (perimenopause) many women experience symptoms that can have an impact on mental health.
Signs of menopause/perimenopause
Some of the symptoms include:
- Extreme tiredness/feeling fatigued
- Low mood, anxiety or mood swings
- Sleep disturbances
- Problems with memory/concentration (‘brain fog’)
- Physical symptoms including hot flushes, changes to periods, and pains and aches in joints and muscles
There is also research to suggest that hormonal changes can trigger or aggravate other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
How we can support your employee
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective psychotherapies for feelings of anxiety and helps to find ways of reacting differently to negative thoughts and feelings. It can also help:
- Develop strategies for managing emotional reactions that can affect the severity of physical symptoms like hot flushes
- Learn relaxation techniques to help with sleep and mood swings
- Identify other factors, such as finances, family and career, that might be adding to stress, and develop methods of coping and problem-solving.