MENOPAUSE

Fact: Menopause can exacerbate the traits of Autism and/or ADHD

Women are constantly reminded of the top signs around the menopause - hot flushes, sweating profusely, and feeling extremely tired and moody as a result. Yet, there needs to be increased understanding to support women going through the menopause - either naturally (periods stopping) or early due to surgery (e.g. hysterectomy). 

The menopause journey generally starts for women with the perimenopause. This is when your body might be reducing the amount of blood, and may well be irregular. For those who have experienced painful periods in their teenage years, it is not uncommon to experience this again. The perimenopause is completed once the menstrual cycle has not happened for 12 months.

The menopause means that there is a decrease in hormonal activity of Oestrogen signaling the end of their ability to reproduce.  There is extreme tiredness with women noticably referring to hot flushes and mood dipping. Women struggle to sleep because of the hot flushes, making them more tired and irritable though the day. However, there are other things that affect women going through the perimenopause and menopause, that is far less talked about.

Women may start to have incontinence, especially when they cough or laugh. They may suffer with frequent urine infections that then cause stress about the need to visit the loo more frequently. Their sex drive may slowly diminish or rapidly diminish, especially if they feel dry, itchy or have painful sex. All of this can make them feel less appealing as a woman, and a sexual partner. 

However, the biggest contributor is the enormous weight gain for many women. Many women who have remained a steady weight and size complain of mounting weight and several dress sizes. This alone contributes to feeling low and miserable as it does not appear to matter how much you watch what you eat, or how much you exercise, the body continues to inflate.

Poor sleep, feeling irritable and moody, putting on excessive weight, loss of sex drive can make women feel they have no control over their bodies. A lot of these symptoms can exacerbate and cause further complaints around nausea, headaches and feeling foggy in their thinking. Lots of diets and assertions to exercise more make women feel they are the problem, when many of these women know how hard they have tried and failed to battle with singled out issues, but collectively is known as the menopause.

Some women are fortunate in having a GP who understands and can support with offering good sound advice either by resorting to prescribed medication of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but nobody appears to consider there needs to be several  prongs to how best support a body that is naturally declining. There does not appear to be one universal free resource available to all women to teach them how they might be able to prepare their menopausal journey to avert such huge increase of weight, improved sleep, and help with the 'lower region' activity (e.g. incontinence, vaginal dryness, sex). 

When people do not talk about the menopause, women individually can feel very isolated, ashamed and/or frightened not knowing or understanding what is happening to their body and mind. Worse, some women have not been aware that they are Autistic and/or have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and may have considerably difficulty in supporting themselves with the menopause journey. 

Since The M Word (Emotional Problem Solving) cic opened its doors in 2020, women have come to access the therapeutic support. We not only support Autistic women, we support all women who wish to understand how best to help their mental health whilst going through their menopausal journey. 

Lavinia's background

Since The M Word (Emotional Problem Solving) cic opened its doors in 2020, women have come to access the therapeutic support. We not only support Autistic women, we support all women who wish to understand how best to help their mental health whilst going through their menopausal journey. 

What is Our approach?

Lavinia’s model of care Emotional Problem Solving is a unique approach consisting of a combination of talking therapy embracing Social Role Valorisation (SRV), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Counselling.

SRV looks at the individual, their environment and the impacts on them both positively and negatively, and challenges negative perceptions and fixed beliefs. CBT challenges our negative thoughts and feelings, IPT explores our relationships and their impact, and Counselling teaches us to listen to ourselves.

Emotional Problem Solving consists of an initial assessment (1.5hrs) followed by further sessions (1hr +) through a choice of packages depending on your needs.

Your Clinical Nurse Therapist is only a phone call away if you need support through the therapy. Telephone, videolink, text, or email support continues to be offered throughout the therapy.

Lavinia has always asserted that “Mental Health affects everybody, not just anybody!” from the moment we are conceived to the moment we die. It is important to know ourselves really well to enable us to recognise the triggers that impact on our mental health, as well as our physical health, but also the right coping mechanisms that empower us, build our confidence and resilience.

 

What are the benefits?

  • Empowering the client to regain control of their life without the use of medication (e.g., anti-depressants/anxiolytics) or negative coping mechanisms (e.g. alcohol/drugs/sex/self-harm).
  • Building a reliable relationship, maintain clients’ confidentiality
  • Creating a safe space, remaining  non-judgemental
  • Upholding an open and honest connection

These are the key attributes to our success! We value each and every client as a unique individual. We treat each client as a VIP, as this starts the process of their recovery.

By being non-judgemental, maintaining confidentiality and discretion, we allow the client to relax immediately and not fear the stigma of mental health. The client is encouraged to talk freely and at length about their emotional problems.

Our clients often say they have been ‘given a licence’ to think about themselves. Many have commented on the comfort of the confidential and non-judgemental approach.

What is the role of Emotional Problem Solving Nurse Consultant?

  • Helping Clients to identify problematic issues
  • Help recognise the triggers that attacks their self-esteem
  • Teach new positive coping mechanisms for life
  • Provide a variety of support - telephone/text/email

hesitating is a temporary plaster, there is still time to make the first positive step!

 

We not only support Autistic women, we support all women who wish to understand how best to help their mental health whilst going through their menopausal journey. 

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