171 - Finding hope with hormones after 20 years of struggling with my mental health

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Manage episode 342358187 series 3275618
By Dr Louise Newson. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Content warning: This episode contains discussion of suicide

Vanessa had always suffered with PMS and struggled with her mood and emotions after the birth of each of her children. After her fourth child was born, Vanessa’s mental health took a severe turn and she became suicidal. When her husband intervened and insisted she received specialist care, a psychiatrist realised how unwell Vanessa was and this was the beginning of an eighteen year journey of taking medication and receiving mental health support, including spells of inpatient care. It was all Vanessa could do to wake up every day and look after her children. Vanessa had wondered whether her mood was linked to her hormones as she would have 2 good weeks in every month before two bad weeks would inevitably creep in. In more recent years, friends persuaded her to see a menopause specialist and begin topping up her declining hormones and, as Vanessa explains, this has been lifechanging.

Vanessa’s advice:

  1. You may not be well enough to go and ask for help yourself, allow family and friends to support you with this.
  2. Don’t always accept everything you’re told by healthcare professionals, challenge thoughts and negative attitudes towards mental health and the link with hormones.
  3. We develop lots of coping strategies to mask how we are really feeling. Don’t carry on hiding how you really are, speak to someone.

Help is available if you are struggling. Please contact the Samaritans by phone on 116 123, download the Samaritans Self-Help app or email jo@samaritans.org

180 episodes