Menopausal symptoms are often depicted as suffering from ‘hot flushes’, ‘night sweats’, ‘mood swings’, ‘sleep issues’, but what about the psychological side of hitting the Menopause? Psychotherapy & Counselling for the Menopause helps you to cope with the body’s emotional responses and adjustments at this most important and potentially life-changing time of life.
The Menopause, and Perimenopause, is a time of transition, a time of change that we have no choice over. The biological body clock is in control.
For some it is a time of relief a feeling of freedom, the end of periods, PMS and worrying about birth control
For others it is a time of turmoil, “What am I loosing, Who will I be, What is my purpose now?”
Psychotherapeutic Counselling for the Menopause: Riding the rollercoaster
Some have likened the journey from middle adulthood through the Perimenopause and the Menopause to Post Menopause as something akin to a rollercoaster of physical and emotional ups and downs. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, for some, the journey is a rollercoaster and for others more of a gentle ride on the giant teacups.
For those who have struggled with the menopause the psychological journey has been the hardest. Many women say the emotional turmoil is what they find the most challenging.
What emotional issues does the menopause cause?
- Depression and mood swings and feeling guilty about it
- Lower sex drive and a desire to be left alone
- General feeling of irritability and feeling irrational about being annoyed at nothing
- Lower than normal motivation or energy to get on with things
- Gnawing feelings of anxiety and panic
- A general mental lethargy and feeling of fatigue with life
- General difficulty in focusing and concentrating on things
- The constant questions of ‘what is life all about, what is the point of me, now?’
Quite apart from feeling unhappy about these changes in yourself, you can see how they are affecting your intimate, family, social and work relationships.
What’s worse is that you know it must be pretty unpleasant living with ‘you’ when you are feeling and reacting the way you are.
Counselling for the Menopause & Perimenopause: A time of reflection
When searching for ‘help with the menopause’ many websites focus on the ‘physical’ or ‘biological’ symptoms of the menopause, offering good advice on coping with ‘hot flushes’, ‘night sweats’, ‘mood swings’, however, very few offer emotional support where you can discuss what ‘hitting the menopause’ means for you emotionally.
Many women feel that they are at a crossroads, a feeling that they are going through a transition, no wonder the menopause is often referred to as ‘the change of life’.
Therapy for emotions around the menopause: Talking about your feelings
Talking with a therapist about the menopause and how it is impacting your life can help you to reflect on why certain emotions have arisen why the menopause may be triggering something deeper, that you have not reflected on in the past or perhaps that you have been able to push aside and ignore.
The menopause can cause emotions to surface around relationships and long forgotten trauma. Now can be a good time to address what you are feeling and perhaps been suppressed in the past.
Counselling for the Menopause: Embracing change and new possibilities
Although in biological terms the menopause signals the end of a woman’s fertile years, and so has often been seen as an ‘ending’ of something. It could be argued that the menopause signals the ‘beginning’ of a new era, a freedom from menstruation and periods, PMS, birth control and the worry about the ‘biological fertility clock’.
The menopause signals the end of a women’s childbearing age but it doesn’t signal the end of:
- Being a mother, caring, nurturing and guiding
- Sex and sexual enjoyment
- Romance and exploring new relationships
- Having a fulfilling and purposeful existence
- Being a valuable member of society
Talking with a psychotherapist about how you feel about this time can give you the space and opportunity to consider new possibilities, writing a new chapter.
Psychotherapy & Counselling for coping with emotions around Menopause
Choosing the right therapist to work with is a really important part of the process, so take your time and explore the different styles of therapy for coping with your menopause and make contact with a few therapists to talk with them about the process and how they can help you.
Remember that good therapy is a collaborative process so it is really important that you ‘click’ with your therapist, don’t be afraid to accept that the first person you talk to may not be right for you, take your time and gather your thoughts so that you find the right therapist to help you with your depression.
Some helpful information and advice on coping with the menopause
Dr Louise Newson offers great advice on everything ‘menopause’: My Menopause Doctor
© Brian Cotsen