Managing Menopause & Your Mental Health
In this podcast (episode #427) and blog, I talk to Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz about menopause, women’s mental health, why aging is a blessing, her new book Menopause Bootcamp, and so much more!
In her work, Dr. Suzanne goes beyond conventional medical treatment to look at the different stages of a woman’s life holistically. She calls menopause the “puberty of midlife” — it is a normal bodily function, not a curse or disease, as it is often portrayed in our society.
As Dr. Suzanne notes in her amazing book Menopause Bootcamp, “our society is so obsessed with youth - more specifically “looking” younger - that we forget the value of growing confidently into the “wise woman” phase of our lives. We need to de-stigmatize the aging process and enter what can be the greatest phase of our lives FEARLESSLY! The best way to do this is to continue empowering ourselves with knowledge, practice self-care, and remain in community with those we choose to be our support system.”
But what is menopause exactly? It is defined as 12 months without a period in women over the age of 45 that occurs for no other medical reason. It occurs as our ovarian hormone production (primarily estrogen and progesterone) diminishes. But these hormones don’t just affect your period—they impact your brain and body, which is why many women experience different mental and physical health symptoms such as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, brain fog and mood swings.
This time period is a massive shift and change, and can be very confusing, especially for our identity and what it means to be a woman. But the great news is that it is manageable! If we understand what to expect and know what works for us, as women we can thrive during this period in our lives. We can do this by:
- Say how you feel out loud. We need to de-stigmatize talking about menopause and the changes that occur in our bodies. This is not something we need to be ashamed of or hide away. Yes, changes do occur, and these can be hard. It is okay to talk about what is going on and normalize what is happening in our bodies. This will help create communities where women can feel safe sharing what they are going through.
- Gain knowledge. Are proactive! Learn as much as you can about menopause before you start to experience it: the different stages, the terms used, the options for treatment to help you feel better, and so on. Adopt an attitude of curiosity instead of fear. And remember, there is no one way to manage menopausal symptoms, and you will need to find out what works for you with the help of a medical professional. Dr. Suzanne has an excellent list of questions for you to ask a doctor or professional in her book Menopause Bootcamp.
- Find out what is joyful for you. Treat this time as a journey to rediscover yourself and what brings you joy. What are your priorities and how do you want to live your life going forward?
For more on menopause, listen to my podcast with Dr. Suzanne (episode #425), and check out her work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts. These episodes will include more targeted, step-by-step guides for specific mental health issues AND some fun, more personal podcasts about topics like my favorite skincare products and favorite books, as well as live Q&As, fan polls and requests, and exclusive digital downloads!
This podcast is sponsored by:
Levels. The Levels Membership provides access to continuous glucose monitoring, at-home blood testing, and expert coaching to help members improve their health and metabolic fitness. In addition to making it easy to get a CGM through their website, they provide an app that interprets your data for you, scores your meal and lifestyle choices, and allows you to run experiments across different inputs like diet, exercise, and recovery techniques. Every day I am learning more about my body and my health with Levels! If you want to better understand how food affects your mental and physical health and try a continuous glucose monitor yourself, check out Levels here!
3:45 Dr. Suzanne’s work
6:30 De-pathologizing menopause
10:20 Menopause can be a time of joy & growth!
14:15 What menopause is
21:00, 41:05 Different ways to manage menopause
36:10 The importance of being proactive & gaining knowledge
45:00 How our mind can affect our hormones
51:30 The importance of choosing curiosity instead of fear
Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact email@example.com.
This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.