An old client contacted me the other day and rather sheepishly revealed she had started taking Anti-depressants after another morning of waking up at 5 am full of crippling anxiety.
Jenny is under a lot of pressure right now, juggling all the balls involved in growing her online business so she just felt like she wasn’t coping.
“What is wrong with me?” she asked
“I am applying all of the strategies you taught me that have made me feel so calm and confident these last 3 years and suddenly I am useless, I feel like such a failure Kim, help!”
What Jenny didn’t know is that anxiety is a symptom of menopause.
Early morning anxiety is common in the menopausal years, especially in women who have struggled with stress management in the past.
I coached Jenny to heal from burnout in her mid 40’s.
Here’s why it happens…
Estrogen regulates cortisol production, our stress hormone.
When estrogen levels go low, cortisol levels go high.
Our cortisol levels also rise naturally in the morning from about 5 am to wake the body up, meaning if your levels are already high due to low oestrogen you can get a double hit of cortisol leading to that early morning anxiety.
Your heart is racing, your body feels full of uncomfortable exhausting energy, you feel fatigued and overwhelmed.
Now your mind thinks, christ I feel anxious, something must be wrong.
Cue a barrage of negative thoughts.
Add in the fact that you are juggling modern-day life and you have a recipe for feeling like a failure and a shadow of your former self that leaves you second-guessing your own capabilities.
Whilst an Anti-depressant MAY take the edge off, (it didn’t really for Jenny) it really is only a sticking plaster.
Women being given Anti-depressants to cover up hormonal issues is nothing new to me, I have worked with women who have been on them for years often after going to the doctor struggling with PMT.
Getting an understanding, hormone and menopause informed GP is a lottery, which is why we need to take responsibility & do our own due diligence so we can be prepared and advocate for ourselves.
Symptoms, age and your cycle are now the most commonly used indicators of menopause as testing is unreliable due to daily fluctuations in estrogen.
Jenny is 51, the UK average age for menopause…that should be her GP’s first clue!
One of the best ways to check your symptoms is to use the Green Climacteric Scale, an internationally recognised symptom checker that you can use over a few weeks and show to your GP as a backup.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the one my clients use.
Kim is the High Flying Females Performance Coach with over 16 years of experience empowering leaders to optimise their mind, body & confidence so that they can level up and fly high in life and business without stress, self-doubt, low energy and anxiety holding them back.
Her Fly High Formula works on the Mind to reduce stress, promote calm and eliminate anxiety, Body to manage weight, improve sleep and optimise energy, Confidence to overcome imposter syndrome, perfection and comparison.
For more info on how to work with Kim click here