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  • Writer's pictureAnna Filipski

The mental health impact of (peri)menopause


Woman in midlife sits on a bed

Peri-menopause can sneak up on you.


It seems like overnight, your vision is weaker, and now you have to wear glasses. Activities that you never thought twice about in the past cause all kinds of little aches and pains. Sometimes those aches and pains are more than little


What you used to anticipate and experience monthly for most of your life has become so different. If it’s still there, it’s unpredictable, and your hormones feel like they are all over the place. 


It feels so out of control.  

Sometimes you are so angry and irritable, and you really can’t figure out why. You find yourself tense for no reason, with anxiety out of the blue that you can’t seem to brush aside. If you’ve had anxiety or depression in the past, now it’s worse. Or you may be experiencing it for the first time. 


Then there are the changes in your actual body, you’re gaining weight and you can never find a comfortable body temperature-you’re either hot or cold- there is no in-between. And figuring out how to sleep has become impossible and there just doesn’t seem to be any way to fix it.


You’re feeling uncomfortable in your body and your mind is doing things as well. You are having memories come up from the past. Unexpectedly, things that you haven’t thought about from years ago are resurfacing. It’s like you are being tormented by both your body and your mind.


All of this causes you to turn inward and want to hide in a cave. You feel alone and isolated. Overwhelmed and lost.  How do I get back to myself?


Feeling Invisible


When you seek out help from a doctor for any and/or all of this, it feels like you are being ignored. You talk to your doctor and she says it’s that time of life and it is what it is. She doesn’t seem to notice that what you are experiencing is just not okay. Or she just flat-out doesn’t believe you. She either can’t or won’t help you.


This change also comes with differences in how you feel about yourself. It means that the rest of the world sees you as even less than it saw you before. You know the world thinks of a woman after this point in life as irrelevant. That the things you think and believe become even less important in its eyes.


But you’ve worked so hard to be relevant that you can’t let it all slip away. And you just aren’t sure how to keep a grip on it all when it feels like so much could be stripped from you. 


Emotional Support for (Peri)menopause and Midlife


As a therapist, I can’t help with the medical side of things. But I can help you to find a better place emotionally. Together we will explore your ideas of what it means to be a woman entering this time of life. 


We will unearth those beliefs from your unconscious. 


We’ll explore whether those ideas are really true of you and who you are. We’ll look at them really closely because you don’t have to be the person society says you should be.


This way you will know when those beliefs are the ones running the show. I can help you to find joy in the person you actually are instead of keeping yourself to what is expected of you. This period is a chance to truly discover yourself without society’s preconceived notions of what a woman should or shouldn’t be. It’s a chance to fully connect with your true self.


Throughout this process, I will be right there with you.  Helping you to figure out what part of you is the part that has bought into the roles and expectations that you are supposed to put on as a woman. And the parts of you who know what they want and need and aren't afraid to speak up.


If you haven’t dealt with everything that has happened to you in the past, this is the time when it is all going to come back up to haunt you. The difficult relationships that you’ve hung onto out of fear. The big and little traumas that have happened throughout your life. 


For some reason now is the time they all decide to come up again. I can help you to look at all of these parts of you so that you can give them what they need. Together we can help those wounded parts of you to heal so that you can have some peace moving forward.


This is also a time where we take stock of how things are going and try to make some changes. You might look at your work-life balance and decide that you need to do things a little bit differently, maybe you see that it’s not time to give everything up but time to hang on tighter to the things that give you joy.  And it might be time to let go of the things that don’t make you happy.


When you look at who you are today compared to 10 or 20 years ago you realize you don’t feel older, you are the same person you were then but wiser, more courageous, and more confident. Let’s help you fully step into that and learn to be the woman you are really meant to be.


Hope for Midlife


When you leave therapy with me. I want you to be able to live out loud the best parts of you. I want you to be able to look at yourself and say “Yes parts of my body are changing. But I’m not my mother at this age and I don’t have to be.” I want you to be able to use this time as a time to make your life what you want it to be.  And learn to step into that confident woman that we both know that you are.


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