I am usually a little reluctant to bang on about topics that are outwith my expertise or to label issues in a simple one size fits all. However, catching up on various posts like this (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#symptoms) today left me musing on two things; the importance of feeling heard and addressing the basics when you feel a bit adrift.
It isn’t universal, of course, but many of the women I coach and know over 40 talk about struggling with anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and a kind of brain fog that leaves them feeling overwhelmed. Many turn quickly to the conclusion that they are failing in some way and just need to do more or better. Some reach a point of feeling so overwhelmed that they go to see their GP – assuming they can get an appointment – but end up feeling unheard or labelled as needing anti-depressants or to up their daily steps or take a holiday. None of these are terrible in themselves….but what if the underlying cause was actually a simple issue of hormones? How would you know? And what difference might it make to how you felt about yourself or solutions to improve your wellbeing if you did know?
As a person who has experienced PTSD, I learned to have a lot more respect for the role that hormones and biochemistry play in our lives. How easy it can be to see it as a failing of character as opposed to a function of biology and neurochemistry. How unhelpful it can be if others – or even you – gaslight yourself by denying the signals of your own experience. Perhaps we all need a reminder to start with the basics first………what if it isn’t about Perfection but Progesterone?