When Deepti started going through menopause, everything changed.
“I was a very good sleeper before menopause. Fifteen minutes after my head hit the pillow, I was asleep, and I slept for seven to eight hours without waking. After menopause started, the average was three to four hours,” she said. She also experienced anxiety and hair loss. Deepti tried herbals, home remedies, acupuncture, meditation and different mattresses. Nothing worked. She also found it hard to absorb new information and noticed the communication skills essential to her job as a realtor had started to slip. “There is more fear when you’re self-employed because there’s just you and your cognitive ability. My 50s were the hardest years of my life,” said Deepti. She felt helpless and afraid.
Deepti’s family doctor told her menopause hormone therapy (MHT) was too risky and instead prescribed a low-dose antidepressant. That made her feel lethargic and even worse cognitively. While she liked her physician, she switched to another doctor and was prescribed MHT. “The relief was immediate,” Deepti said. “I felt my mood lift, clouds clear and I was back to my old assertive self,” she said.
Deepti would like to see menopause discussed more openly in the workplace, as is happening around mental health. She would also like to see brochures on menopause treatment options in every doctor’s office so women won’t have to fight as hard as she did to get the right information and treatment.
As a self-employed real estate agent, Deepti had only herself to rely on for her financial wellbeing. “Women need to be on their game and continue to work in their 50s and beyond. We should not have to fight for this with our health care system.”