HALF of Women Suffer Mental Health Issues During Menopause

This week, Woman’s Hour with Jenni Murray and Jane Garvey are talking Menopause.  There’s a lot to digest but perhaps the most shocking is the statistic that says nearly half of women (48%) they studied experience some mental health issues during the Menopause.

50 percent of women suffer mental health issues during menopause25 percent of women want to stay at home according to the poll, with a further 23 percent reporting that symptoms and changes reduced their enjoyment of life.

Perhaps most telling was the result that over 70 percent said they didn’t have a strong understanding of the menopause. Even women who themselves are at an average menopausal age in this country (51 in case you wanted to know) didn’t have great awareness of what would happen to them, leading to discomfort, embarrassment, shame and worry about the future.

It feels almost like menstruation in the 50s and 60s – young women might know it was going to happen but there was a dearth of honest, open literature around it and too many embarrassed mothers not willing to share their own experiences.

When asked why she thought this was the case, Karen Dalziel, editor of Woman’s Hour, said:

“Our findings suggest that women don’t have enough information about the menopause,

“Whilst some of the physical symptoms are well known, we’ve discovered how the menopause is affecting women’s mental health.

“We also now know that women seem reluctant to talk about it – either with doctors or with their employers, and so could be missing out on sources of support.”

For us that is shocking.  It feels almost like menstruation in the 50s and 60s – young women might know it was going to happen but there was a dearth of honest, open literature around it and too many embarrassed mothers not willing to share their own experiences.

Sadly, only a third of women talk to their doctors and even less to their employers. That’s relevant because brain fog, hot flushes and feeling uncomfortable can really impact work.

With ageism in this country rife, and 50 still the ‘age of invisibility’ for women, in particular, that makes sense but would it not be better to support the 3.5 million working women over the age of 50 in the UK?

The survey, which ComRes conducted on behalf of the BBC, involved 1,009 women between the ages of 50 and 60.

It’s great that we’re starting to share these stories and we feel absolutely in agreement with the Woman’s Hour team – we need to be honest, supportive and create a ton of legislation to enable women to feel safe to share their struggles, both at work and in society.

Woman’s Hour is looking at the impact of menopause all week (Monday 15 – Friday 19 January at 10 am) with Jane Garvey and Jenni Murray on BBC Radio 4 and Paulette Edwards on BBC Radio Sheffield.

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