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Women Deserve to be Heard at the Menopause

Feb 15, 2019

A huge number of women have come to me over the years, saying that they feel their GP doesn’t take them seriously when they ask for help with their hormonal or menopause symptoms.

They feel like their GP just doesn’t have any answers beyond dosing them up with HRT or antidepressants and sending them on their way. Worst of all, they just aren’t being taken seriously.

Their debilitating and altogether horrible symptoms get dismissed as being ‘just part of getting older…’, and they’re often told that they just need to get a hobby, or worse still ‘get a grip and accept that you won’t be young forever’.

Understandably, these ladies feel completely let down by the medical profession, hopeless, alone and depressed.

When it comes to family and friends, it’s often not much better. They often stop listening too because they just don’t understand what you’re going through and don’t know how to help.

I think it’s awful.

I’ve been there myself when I was very unwell with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and I know how isolating this can feel. I felt rejected, misunderstood and totally alone.

Burying your feelings never works

The problem is, when you’re faced with a lack of support and understanding, you stop trying to find solutions. You don’t want to bother anyone and come across like a hypochondriac complainer.

>So you stop talking about how you’re feeling. You internalise it all. You just try to put up with it and hope it goes away by itself. You don’t face your struggles and instead try to bury it inside.

Whilst this feels like a very sensible coping strategy at the time, it’s actually a very bad idea and can harm your self-esteem, emotional wellness and even your mood.

As women, we need to be heard.

We all have a story and we need to feel able to share it and to be listened to. We need to be heard. We need the support of people who care about us so we can fulfil our true potential and be happy humans.

Social support has such a profound effect on our physical and mental health that we simply can’t continue to swallow our emotions, struggle through the menopausal years alone and let our GPs brush us off like this.

It’s time that we stand up for ourselves and our mental health.

It’s time we build those bonds with other like-minded women who understand what we are experiencing.

It’s time to build social support networks that help us feel heard.

And it’s also time to stand up and fight for the sake of our health at all ages; from puberty to childbirth, the perimenopause, the menopause and beyond.

How to get better social support and find answers

There are several ways in which you can reach out and get the support and understanding you need to transition through the menopausal years with greater ease.

  1. Find a supportive community

There are quite literally millions of women out there who understand exactly what you’re experiencing right now (according to this study, the current figure stands at around 25 million globally) so there’s absolutely no need to suffer in silence.

Ask at your doctor’s surgery if there are any support groups for menopausal women, head over to Facebook and join one of the many friendly and supportive Facebook groups that are out there, or search for forums online for something local.

Another great way to find a circle of supportive friends is to come along to one of our retreats or menopause workshops and get involved. Click here to find out what’s coming up in the near future.

>Someone holding space for you and listening without judgement or trying to find a solution is so precious. That’s why we include regular listening circles at our retreats and will be doing it again this year at both our June and September retreats.

 

  1. Get a second opinion

If you’re not getting the help and support you need from your usual GP, don’t be scared to go ahead and ask to see another GP.

Perhaps choose to see a female doctor if you can as they tend to be more informed and sympathetic. Otherwise, you could ask the receptionist at your surgery which doctor would be the best option for you. They usually know each of the doctors well. You could even consider changing doctors if you still aren’t having much luck.

  1. Ask for help from the right people

There are many experienced and knowledgable professionals (like me!)who can offer you the support, advice and guidance you need at a time like this, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Whether you need a listening ear, a bespoke healing programme, women’s health coaching or guidance to help you move through the more difficult times, we can be there to help.

  1. Become your own health advocate

You absolutely can take control of your health and start to feel better, without setting foot in your doctor’s surgery. Be confident, stand up for your rights and vow to take care of your body and mind in exactly the way you deserve.

Small lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, eating a nutrient-dense diet, getting the right amount of exercise and reducing stress will all make a massive difference to how you feel. Have a look at the blog to discover some more wonderful menopause-busting tips. :)

  1. Start journaling

Pick up a pen and a piece of paper and start writing your thoughts and emotions. You’ll help get your fears, worries, frustrations and sadness off your chest in a safe and non-judgmental way, you’ll start understanding yourself much better and you’ll learn how to love and care for yourself much better.

It’s also a great opportunity to nourish your mind with positive and inspiring words that will help you feel better even when times get tough.

That’s how I got better. I followed my intuition, I explored my thoughts and emotions in my journaling practice, and here I am today feeling radiant.

 

Don’t allow yourself to feel alone and isolated any longer.

Reach out and find a supportive community, keep looking for answers and become your greatest health advocate. I promise you’ll soon feel stronger, healthier and much happier too. It worked for me and it will work for you too.

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