Read the full video transcript below
Hello, and welcome to my weekly video blog. And today on A.Vogel Talks Menopause, I'm going to be discussing why we can end up feeling so needy in the menopause.
So neediness is another one of these horrible emotional states that we can find ourselves in during the menopause and often, this is one that creeps upon us that we're not really aware of until other people start to comment on how we're feeling and how we're behaving.
What causes women to become needier during menopause?
Now, neediness can happen for a whole number of reasons in the menopause. It can certainly be the hormonal changes. As your oestrogen falls, that can have quite a profound effect on your general emotional state. We're always in a bigger state of anxiety going through the menopause.
If you add poor sleep in, if you add the fact that our bodies are changing, we're looking in the mirror and sometimes seeing a stranger, we don't like what we see, and that can affect our confidence as well. So all of these symptoms together can make us feel much more vulnerable and much more in need of confirmation about ourselves from other people.
What does it mean to be a needy person?
Now, neediness is defined as depending on others for their comments, also depending on others almost for your state of being. You have to be noticed in order to think that you exist, sometimes going through the menopause. It can be feelings of helplessness.
It can be the need for reassurance. You're needing people to comment and make you feel better the whole time. It can also be fears of desertion and abandonment, and this is a horrible one because this can definitely affect relationships as well. Other feelings can get mixed in with this state, too, so very often, you can get anger, you can get mood swings, you definitely get the low self-esteem.
You get feelings of distrust, especially distrusting other people, and you can also feel really unhappy and almost hopeless. So it's a very sort of dark feeling, sometimes almost.
How neediness can impact your life
The way that this can impact on your life, obviously, your relationships. We get women who tell me that they're starting to distrust their partner. They think their partner's misbehaving behind their backs, or doing other things, or betraying them in some way. There can be feelings of almost paranoia coming in as well, believing that everyone else is talking about you and running you down and making you feel very, very bad.
It can also be in work, and this can be a big factor in how you can cope with your working life, as well as all the other menopause symptoms that can come in, too.
You might have had the job for a long time, but suddenly, you need confirmation that you're doing it well. You're needing an extra pat on the back from the bosses or a little email to say, "Well done."
It can also be that you start to lose your confidence in the workplace, so things that you have been able to do, maybe without batting an eyelid, suddenly now, you're waking up in the middle of the night and you're in a state of panic because you don't even know that you can cope.
How do I overcome being needy?
So how can you sort this one out? It is a difficult one as I mentioned before. Sometimes, we're not aware that we're in this state until maybe other people are saying that you're behaving quite differently than what you used to.
Support your nervous system
So you need to look at supporting your nervous system. This is a really important one, not just for this particular symptom, but the stronger, more stable you can get your nervous system in the menopause can be a big help for all sorts of different symptoms.
So you're looking at sorting your sleep out if you're having problems sleeping. Remember the magnesium, really important and vitamin B complex. These are going to stabilise and strengthen your nerves. Look at time-out. Have that me-time. I honestly can't tell you how important me-time every day is for absolutely everything in the menopause, and especially if your nerves are starting to feel a little bit frayed here.
Remember the water. Honestly, the number of people who come back and say their symptoms have improved really quickly just because they're drinking water. If you're dehydrated, that will affect your nervous system and that will contribute to all of these particular feelings as well. Look at your diet.
Just make sure that you're eating little and often, and that you're keeping your blood sugar stable. If your blood sugars are going up and down like a yo-yo, that will very, very quickly affect your mood.
Balance your hormones
Balance the hormones if you feel that your hormonal balance is all over the place. Maybe if you're having a really good day and then you're having the dips, that can be an indication that your oestrogen is fluctuating a lot.
So you can have things like your fermented soya that we have in our Menopause Support or herbs such as Black Cohosh can often be quite helpful, too.
Push yourself to exercise regularly & try a new activity or hobby
Take up some challenges. Little things that boost your self-confidence can make a huge difference as you go out into your daily life, so make sure you get good exercise, that's great for those feel-good endorphins that can hit you and make you feel so much better.
But maybe take up some kind of challenge that maybe seem a little bit difficult and then once you've done it, you're going to feel so much better. And things like this can very slowly build your self-esteem back up again.
Write down your thoughts and feelings
Write down how you feel. This is a great one and I'm very much in favour. Sometimes, when we're going through the menopause, it's very difficult for us to voice how we feel and also to find someone who's going to be willing to listen to us for maybe half an hour or so.
So writing things down, have a little menopause diary and maybe, just even for half an hour every day or just before you go to bed, write down how you've been feeling during the day. And sometimes, that gets things off your chest.
Talk about it
You can also look at talking therapies such as CBT, again, with a good qualified practitioner. Sometimes, that can help to sort all your thoughts out that can get very jumbled as you go through the menopause. The one thing here though that's really important if you feel that this is taking over your life, if you're getting very depressed, if you're feeling that everything is hopeless, then this is the point when you go and see your doctor.
For some women, the hormonal changes can be really over-whelming, and this isn't something that you should just suffer with. There are things that you can help, so please don't delay in getting the right sort of treatment for this.
So, hopefully, this has given you a little bit of a thought of one of the maybe less well-known symptoms of the menopause.
For those of you out there who've felt like this and who've conquered it, please let us know with your tips. What did you do to help yourself? How did other people help you as well? So we'd all love to hear your stories. And I will look forward to seeing you next week for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.