Tomorrow is Time to Talk Day, an initiative organised by Time to Change, a social movement who aims to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Some of you may have seen a few of my recent social media posts and blogs where I have mentioned that I have been having a very low period of depression and anxiety. I also explained in my new year blog post that I wanted to be more open and honest on my blog so Time to Talk Day seemed like the most appropriate time to share and talk and may be help someone else.
I have never gone public with this. In fact I didn't even really know it had a name until I was nearly 30. But I suffered most of my childhood, through my teens and well into adulthood, well until quite recently really. I have emetophobia which is the fear of vomiting - it can include a fear of vomiting oneself in private or public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching or hearing the action of vomiting and a fear of feeling nauseous.
In addition I do have episodes of anxiety, mild depression and insomnia. I also had post-natal depression and I have had anxiety and low mood associated with hormone imbalances during peri-menopause. The phobia is less of an issue in my day to day life now but depression and insomnia continue to plague me from time to time and I am still working on the best ways to deal with it when it does reappear.
But this is me, this is the bit that no one apart from my closest family and friends see, this is the me I usually keep private and if I do tell someone, I am usually met with surprised 'but you seem so confident!' I have also accepted that I am an introvert, that I don't enjoy big events and I don't enjoy too much social media visibility - like changing room selfies!
I am currently in the midst of a particularly bad episode of low mood / depression and so opening up about my struggles helps me cope a bit more and find some perspective. Last year was full on for me with, among other challenges, waving my daughter off to university then the long Christmas and New Year period with two bereavements and an even longer grey January. Thank goodness that is over. On my walks this week I have seen signs of spring.
There are so many options now to help us look younger, feel younger and give us a confidence boost - and it isn't just about vanity, sometimes the anti-ageing procedures available whilst not considered essential maybe, can make a huge difference to our quality of life.
Anti-ageing options available to us include - creams and serums, advanced facials and treatments, supplements (tablets and drinks), exercise (face and body) and medical aesthetic procedures. As a blogger in the 50+ niche I have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to try out a few of these and report back on my blog. But so far I have not considered any 'botox' type procedure, which to me represents 'medical aesthetics' and is about the extent of my knowledge!
So when I was invited to visit Bodyvie in Richmond - an advanced medical aesthetic clinic and a leader in its field - I saw it as an opportunity to find out more - what exactly is it all about and should I not rule it out?
The Bodyvie clinic was easy to find and is a large, bright and welcoming space. I was greeted by the receptionist and introduced to Dr Andrew Weber. We had a really interesting chat and I was keen to find out about the clinic's 'holistic' approach to ageing and menopause and the range of options they offer.
There are at least 34 symptoms of the menopause - and whilst we openly discuss and even laugh about hot flushes - there are still many taboos around discussing a lot of the issues we women face. There's the chin hairs, sudden brain fog and not remembering someone's name, painful sex or loss of libido and urinary incontinence for starters.
With November being Bladder Health Month I was asked if I would be willing to share some information about urinary incontinence on my blog. In the UK around 7 million women have some degree of incontinence and find it embarrassing and hard to talk about. It is a condition that can leave them feeling debilitated, embarrassed and unable to engage in day to day activities. For these millions of women the physical and psychological impact upon their lives can be huge.
So what can we do about it, what help is available?
The theme of this years World Menopause Day is Testosterone for Women in Midlife and it really caught my eye immediately because testosterone is not licensed for women to use in the UK - and yet it can be a life-changing element of HRT and treating the debilitating menopause symptoms. It is possible to take testosterone in the UK, you just need to know how to get it. My research for my own hormone health eventually led me to taking testosterone (as well as oestrogen) and I have talked about my journey a lot on my blog (see below for all the links to other menopause discussions).
I started off a bit anti-HRT, I thought I'd be able to manage without it and I thought it wouldn't happen to me. But it did - and I so wish I hadn't delayed making the decision. finally accepting I needed it was the best thing I ever did!
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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