Does menopause change your personality?


Eileen Durward
@EileenDurward


25 November 2019

Today's topic

Today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be talking about the question, "Does the menopause change your personality?".

For example, do you think that you are a confident person? Or did you used to think that you were capable of doing everything, and now you find that, going through the menopause, you just want to shut yourself away? Or, maybe you were always super organised, and you could take care of everybody but, now, you find that you're panicked at the slightest little things.

In the menopause, so many things change. Certainly, our physical appearance and our emotions, but what we're learning as well is that our personality can change, too, with all the hormonal changes that are going on.

Types of personality & possible changes during menopause

Now, in contemporary psychology, there are five main personality traits. And these are the ones that I'm going to look at today: which one you might be and what may happen when you start to go through the menopause.

1. Extroversion

So being extroverted, you're very sociable, you're very talkative, you're very assertive, and you get on well in social surroundings.

Maybe you're one of these women who love going to parties and meetings, and you're always out with your friends.

So, what can change during menopause?

What can happen here in the menopause is that you might find that you start to take a step back. You might find you're not comfortable being the centre of attention. You might find that you prefer solitude, that you're less sociable, or that you don't want to go out anymore.

2. Agreeableness

This personality trait means you're very caring, you're very trusting, and you're very empowering.

So, what can change during menopause?

What can happen in this situation is that you can start to become much more selfish. You maybe get fed up with caring and looking after everybody else.

When you're basically left to your own devices, you might find that you're more adventurous, that instead of caring for everybody else, you want to get out into the world, and you want to start experiencing things for yourself.

But there can also be a stage here when you can become less caring. You might also start to distrust people a little bit more rather than taking everything at face value.

3. Openness

Now, openness... This one is for people who are very creative, who are adventurous. You are maybe very good artistically, or good at singing, or sewing. You're very much into the arts.

So, what can change during menopause?

You might find here that, instead of being adventurous, you start to get fearful. One of the things that I notice happens a lot is that women start to be afraid when they're driving. They might not like driving on busy roads or motorways. This is a very simple one, but it just shows you what can happen when you go from being confident and open, to start fearing everyday things.

You might find that you take fewer risks, that you start to plan things. You work things out in your head rather than just jumping in and, you know, having a lot of fun. You might find that you want to start thinking about things before you act.

You might find as well that you start to feel uninspired. You just can't get your juices going, or you might find that your motivation completely disappears.

4. Conscientiousness

Again, this is someone who's very organised. They're very thoughtful and they think about things very, very deeply. They tend to be goal-orientated.

So, this would be the type of person who works everything out beforehand, and would look at the finished situation as well before you even start your task.

So, what can change during menopause?

What might happen here is you might find that you start putting things off, that you don't even want to start planning something because it seems so much of an ordeal and it seems too complicated.

You might find you get more anxious about everything – even the simple, day-to-day tasks suddenly seem insurmountable. You might find, too, that you fear deadlines, that you just can't get yourself together or focused enough to get towards that endpoint whereas, before, you didn't even have to think about it.

5. Neuroticism

This is for those who tend to be sad, maybe moody. You might find that there's some sort of emotional instability. You tend to jump from one emotion to the other. In this situation in the menopause, these moods tend to be more exaggerated.

So, what can change during menopause?

So, if you're already suffering from low mood and anxiety, or depression, then once you start going into the menopause, these conditions can start to get worse, or they can start to multiply.

Why does menopause impact your personality?

Now, there's been very few studies done on this. But I find it fascinating purely because, for so many women, they can't understand why they see life differently.

A lot of it is to do with falling oestrogen affecting the emotional side of us, and that can then appear through our personality traits, which can start to change.

For some women, they don't realise that they've changed. And it's only until someone actually points it out to them that they might suddenly think, "Yes, you know, I'm a lot more fearful" or "I'm just not so enthusiastic these days".

For other women, they're very much aware that they don't have the same oomph or drive that they used to have. In this situation, there isn't really any pill that you can take that's going to make this better. It's about being self-aware. It's about realising that these things are going to happen and that, if you realise changes are going on, you can learn to talk about it. This can help you understand what's happening, and that can help you cope with the emotional changes.

Will my personality go back to what it was after menopause?

A lot of women will ask, "Will my personality go back to what it was before the menopause?" The menopause changes us, you know, physically, and emotionally, and mentally, and I don't think we ever go back to what we were. But the great thing is we can become someone else. We can become a new person.

How my personality changed after menopause

What I find, especially through my own personal experience, is that I have completely changed. You know, if you had said to me before the menopause that I would be doing filming like this, that I would be going out and jumping off mountains, and exploring the world, and doing live YouTube, I would have panicked uncontrollably at any of these situations.

Whereas, now, because I'm through the menopause, I find that my drive has increased, my energy has increased, and my physical fitness has increased.

So, for me, everything is so much better and I have excitement about the future, whereas, before the menopause, I was a little bit of a wallflower. I was very quiet, which you probably wouldn't believe. But I know, for me, there has been a complete change, and I think probably for the better.

So, hopefully, this has been of help for you. We would love comments if any of you feel that you have changed. Do you feel better during the menopause? Do you have more focus? What has improved for you? Or, if you feel that you're struggling that little bit, then please let us know, and we can try and give you some tips and suggestions to help you through this particular phase.

Also, if, like me, you are interested in personality traits and want to find out more about each of the ones I mentioned above, then I recommend that you read this article 'The Big Give Personality Traits'.

I look forward to seeing you next week on another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.

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