Breaking silence: We need to talk about menopause

We need to talk about perimenopause and menopause because too many myths about them still exist.


Not only do they affect the female body, but they can also have a detrimental impact on mental health. It is not a coincidence that the age range between 45 to 54 has the highest rate of suicide among women. With information, knowledge and support, these suicides can be avoided.

Facts and figures

The fact is that all women and people who were assigned female at birth will go through the menopause at one point in their life. The average age for menopause is 51, with perimenopause symptoms can be expected to start several years earlier. Around 12.5% of people have early menopause and are under 45. 3.5% have Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) which means they can be perimenopausal in their teens, twenties and thirties. So if someone tells you that you are too young, they can be wrong.

The psychological impact

For me as a therapist, it is essential to be aware that a client’s emotional distress could be a symptom of perimenopause. Common emotional symptoms include mood swings, low self-esteem, loss of sense of self, reduced interest in socialising, concentration issues, depression, increased anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Challenging societal norms

In a world obsessed with youth and beauty, the natural process of ageing comes with its own set of challenges. Getting old is often associated with loss of attractiveness, fertility and purpose. Societal norms affect how women perceive themselves.

The root of this problem lies in the way our society values, sees and treats girls and women. From a young age, regardless of gender, we are bombarded with unrealistic standards of beauty and perfection. It is difficult to develop self-worth and a healthy relationship with the body while peer pressure, societal and cultural norms, objectification, sexism, lack of representation, misogyny and ageism are so prevalent.

Support through counselling

Counselling can play a crucial role in your journey towards self-acceptance and empowerment. Facilitated by the safe environment of the therapy relationship, clients can explore their experiences and emotions without fear of judgment. You can confront internalised beliefs and societal expectations that contribute to feelings of inadequacy and shame. In counselling you can find your voice, explore coping strategies, develop resilience and assertiveness.

Other support for perimenopause symptoms

Exercise, healthy food and cutting out cigarettes and alcohol can all support you. HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) is not for everybody, but it might help you. I know that it does support me. The benefits of HRT outweigh the risks. Knowledge about menopause and having support is empowering. I, therefore, recommend checking out the balance app.

Breaking the silence surrounding menopause and mental health challenges societal norms and promotes individual well-being for people at any age. I am aware that society will not change overnight. It requires patience, courage, self-reflection, and hope. What we can do immediately is to ease and treat physical and emotional symptoms, for example with HRT, joining support groups and therapy.

We rarely get the message that we are good enough. That we are worth it just being ourselves. By asking for help, looking for support and educating ourselves we grow. Finding your voice through talking and developing self-esteem and confidence in counselling, can be empowering. By embracing self-compassion and self-acceptance, we can work towards a more inclusive and compassionate society for people of all ages and backgrounds, starting with ourselves.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW1W & W5
Written by Hanna Bohrisch, Counsellor for Women in SW1, online, for Walk & Talk in W5
London SW1W & W5

I am a person-centred counsellor in London and offer walk and talk, online and in-person therapy. I am creating a safe space for your voice to be heard and facilitate your growth through a genuine connection.

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