Is it still 'The Great Taboo'?

Claire Vane
October 18, 2023

Since I first wrote about the menopause in 2018 and awareness of menopause as a challenge with many tentacles, there has been a huge leap forward in raising awareness, but did you even know that there is a World Menopause Day every year on the 18th of October? The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available.

Did you also know that there is a Menopause Society? Last time I wrote about the menopause I called it 'The Great Taboo'. Although we have made many steps forward, there are countless individuals who are very uncomfortable discussing their own particular difficulties and others who, by virtue of their gender, face the fallout indirectly and still feel it's a very uncomfortable topic. There is more work to be done.

With the aftermath of COVID and the economic challenges we are facing, stress levels are running very high both inside and outside the workplace. We know that the symptoms of the menopause are often exacerbated by challenging thoughts and difficult times, and it is therefore likely that the symptoms being experienced directly and indirectly from the menopause are going to be more significant in terms of difficulty, such as the ones we currently face.

We are seeing huge challenges with regard to mental health, and we must not forget that there are not simply physical symptoms by way of fallout from the menopause but also dreadful brain fog, depression, mood swings and cognitive impairment. It is still the case that many women say to us that they think they have dementia, whereas the menopause does eventually come to an end and with it the return to normal cognitive ability. Most people facing difficult fallout simply need a little reassurance and some time to make them feel normal.

I was helping a friend who was giving a talk on the menopause this coming week prepare for the presentation and discovered that there are even yoga teachers who specialise in yoga for the menopause.

In these days of diversity, equity, equality and inclusion, there is a counterintuitive thought that we should not be singling out any group but, if a change is required then you have to start that change by singling out a particular group. Indeed, half of our populations will experience the symptoms of the menopause and those women who do not are few and far between. If you would like to discuss actions to take in the workplace to help individuals through periods of mental and physical stress that challenge them, then please do get in touch.

Fun fact: Although the source of our hormones is primarily our reproductive system, nonetheless it’s important for those of us who are always trying to fight the weight battle to remember that being too thin is bad, as fat cells provide us with precious hormones to keep us young… I suppose the great Greek maxim applies: "Nothing in excess"...

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