Can the menopause change your personality? Yes, it blummin’ well can!
Let’s see now. Before it, I was confident, outgoing, sharp, quick-witted (!), fun-loving and, well, generally floated through life. I got to my mid-40s and it all changed up until I was in my early 50s, and I’d completely changed as a person!
Now this doesn’t happen to all women, but it happens to a lot, just as a lot experience nothing at all.
Confidence and outgoing-ness – I could walk into any room, strike up a conversation about anything that popped into my head and I wasn’t really bothered if I ‘impressed’ anyone or not, I was just having a good time! I pretty much thought that if they weren’t interested, I could speak to someone else. I was organised at work, nothing phased me there or at home. All I cared about was having fun and about nothing bothering my very smooth life.
I suppose it was selfish in a way, but you know what they say, “If you’re fun to be around, people want to be around you.” And I really did consider myself fairly decent company, whether it was at a party, visiting a relative, or business networking. And often I couldn’t understand what made people such miserable sods. I had loads of energy and never got moody.
Lordy, I was naive! Well, my personality hugely changed, like I said, mid-40s to early-50s and went from bad to worse, as far as I was concerned. I discovered a number of new emotions, one being a very bad temper. I became impatient, easily frustrated, didn’t want to go out, didn’t want to speak to too many people, became less conscientious, generally cared less about my own well-being, got that ‘can’t-be-arsed’ attitude.
Apart from the obvious falling oestrogen, and along with it, falling serotonin (the feel-good hormone), my life had changed. I’d had an extremely acrimonious split from my long-term partner, my mother with onset dementia was becoming more dependent upon me and it unsettled me perpetually, I was unhappy at work, my menopause experience generally was horrendous, and didn’t know where to turn for advice or even if any existed. I began to doubt everything in my life that I’d never had to give thought to before.
Nevertheless, I worked through all the changes and found balance again in my late-50s. By then, I’d done a lot of personal development work, talked to anyone who I could find who knew more than me about what I was experiencing, which was dozens (funny how they appear when you need them) and managed to accept that I was a very different woman.
In many ways, I’m stronger, mostly because I’ve come to accept who I’ve become, I learned to share how I felt instead of denying or ignoring what was really happening, and I now appreciate every day that I’m blessed to wake up to. There were some very dark days all those years ago. In every challenge, there’s a gift. My challenges pale into insignificance compared to others, but they were my challenges and I’m grateful for the journey.
Please don’t stay silent, whatever you think may be happening. If you feel different, speak to someone. I’m here to guide you if you need some guidance. A helping hand can be all you may need.
I’m not a qualified clinician, dietician, or psychologist. I write based only on my own experiences and research into menopause. J Wood