Work Issues

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I'm having some issues at work, some (if not all) to do with this stupid peri menopause business. I'm not sure what to do about it.

Not being a naturally positive person, which in the past has caused major low mood crises, I have gradually built myself up and for the past several years I have been the happiest/well adjusted/positive in my life so far.

Now that this (peri) has reached its current pitch, I have lost my confidence (and it seems to get lower all the time), my mood is on the floor, I'm anxious much of the time, my energy levels have decreased such that I now spend my weekends and evenings resting/sleeping, I'm covered in aches and pains, my emotional resilience is almost zero meaning I cry at the smallest slight and I have almost nightly (quite dramatic) sweats which cause my sleep to be majorly disrupted. In the words of the Arctic Monkeys, things have all gone a bit Frank Spencer (frankly).

Work is really full on at the moment - the nature of what I do can be very fast paced. This of course means that those 'above' me are pressured and totally pre-occupied with getting the job done. My immediate line manager is particularly in the firing line and is someone who takes her work extremely seriously. I'm now having to do some of her job as well as mine, and it's proving to be a problem. 

She is short tempered and 'on my back' about how quickly I am working, and the implication is that I'm not as committed as I should be. I know I’m not working as I once did, that's indisputable. Prior to this, we have got on really well and worked together fairly and effectively. In fact, she is the latest manager I have had that I have had a good relationship with, in a long line of good work relationships. I recognise that I have been lucky in this respect. When I say this, I would also add that these have always been 'in-work', and not outside the workplace - I have boundaries that stop at the office door. I'm saying this so that people don't point out to me the potential pitfalls of making friends with your boss - the relationship is entirely appropriate. 

I'm now so depressed/anxious all the time – a combination of coping with my myriad symptoms and trying to do a good job and seemingly failing – that I am … Well, feeling extremely grim basically. I often cry as soon as I wake up, and am literally forcing myself to get out of bed, go to work and sound and act positive and ‘on board’ as I can. I then spend portions of the day trying not to cry. A huge regret is that I have been smoking again, having successfully given up nearly 10 years ago. I'm not asking for sympathy for this as it is completely my choice, but what I will say is that I just don't care enough to do anything else.

One of the problems is that I lost a job nearly 20 years ago as I was very seriously depressed, which caused me to make mistakes and take quite a lot of time off work (this was unavoidable as I couldn't get out of bed in the mornings, basically). This was probably the lowest time of my life.  I am now drawing unhelpful parallels with this, and am even more anxious as a result.

I know that I'm ‘essentially’ OK, i.e. that I'm not back where I was, but these hormonal symptoms almost exactly mimic it. (I know that I’m essentially OK, both on a gut level and also in the fact that I am sometimes able to draw on my philosophical skills to put things in perspective and thus feel better. I had become really good at this, to my great relief and pleasure).

I’m on a combination of high dose anti depressants (a ‘cocktail’ that I was put on after all other meds had failed to make an impact, which has served me very well), so a prescription for this kind of medication wouldn't be applicable. 

I have made it clear to my GP that I want to try HRT, and have cited my history of depression as an added incentive for this. She Is of the same mind. If it gives me back at least some energy, I will think it worthwhile.

In the meantime, I have to find some way of coping at work. Talking to them about it really isn't an option – at least not yet (and hopefully never). Does anyone have any advice, or recommend a book I can look at that would possibly help? Maybe some practical advice. I would also be interested to hear if anyone has a similar experience (not necessarily the depression, but the work problem). I’m already dreading work tomorrow, and am beginning to feel quite sick. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and sorry it's such a long ramble.

All good things,


PS I would also like to say that I still have ‘windows’ of being my old self - it's not unremitting, thank heavens … 

1 like, 12 replies

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Anna, sorry to hear you are going through it at the moment. I have a couple of thoughts.

    Don't dwell on things that may never happen. I have been unemployed, it is horrible, BUT that was then, this is now! I actually met my husband at the 'Job Club'. Useless for finding work, but it's where I met my OH!

    How old Is your boss? If she is a younger woman, you can smile to yourself and say, 'you've got all this to come lady'.cheesygrin


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  • Posted

    Hello Anna,

    I really feel for you. Your job seems very high pressured, and one that not many of us could cope with, even without the menopause symptoms and depression

    You mention that you don't want to talk to 'them' at work, but perhaps if you could speak with only your immediate boss about the physical symptoms, the interrupted sleep and the subsequent loss of energy, she would understand you cannot be expected to be at full strength? Or are you worried that she would think this a sign of weakness?

    Have you started HRT yet? I have heard that some ladies feel almost immediate relief of a lot of the symptoms and it may be that you will get back to your old self pretty soon and this worrying time will pass.

    On a practical level I find that exercise raises my mood considerably and carried out before work (in my case a cycle ride) helps me to cope with the day much better, especially when feeling tearful. I don't know how practical this would be for you and I certainly am not a saint and can't do it every day! but a brisk walk or an excercise DVD at home will get the endorphins going.

    You mention your philosophical skills and you do seem very aware of how you are at work. I think you should congratulate yourself that you have been and will always be doing a good job. To always have positive relationships with managers means you have certain person skills and it sounds to me you are an asset to the team you work with.

    I hope you find that HRT helps you. Just getting a good night's sleep without the night sweats should help you feel more able to face the day.

    Wishing you well tomorrow.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply - it really helped. 

      I'm reluctant to talk to anyone at work, mainly because I have learned that to share emotional stuff just makes me feel a lot worse. This doesn't mean that I don't share that kind of thing with anyone - I am very lucky that my family are extremely supportive, so I don't feel I'm on my own. However, bitter experience has shown me that talking to people at work - or even friends, sometimes - just adds to the burden. But that's a digression, sorry! She (my boss) knows about what's going on for me as I have talked to her about it plus I don't really want it to be an issue, though I accept that it may have to be. She actually bought me a box of chocolates a couple of weeks ago when I had to go for an internal examination at the doctors. It's all a little bit odd. What I think is probably happening is that she is very anxious and stressed at the huge amount of work that we are all faced with, and I’m not stressed (well not outwardly, and not about that), so it's a combination of annoyance (with me) that I am not fully signed up to what we are all working towards and plain old ‘redistribution’ of stress, i.e. her passing hers on to the nearest person which is me. 

      It's a situation that I hate, but had become fairly proficient at talking myself out of taking this kind of thing personally and becoming anxious about it. This took a great deal of work, but it's one thing I’m really proud of; for all my life - up until a few years ago, my whole day/week/month would be plagued by negative thoughts, mainly to do with what I might have done/said wrong to whoever had been a bit ‘off’ with me. I used to literally tie myself in emotional knots, it was unhelpful in the extreme and completely exhausting! I had conquered most of that nonsense and was feeling pretty pleased with myself as a result. But now this has started up it's all gone out of the window – my emotional resilience has evaporated and my self confidence has suffered a similar fate. It's really crap, basically …

      I have heard about exercise being good, I have really let that go and should probably resurrect. Mostly I have let this go because I have no energy, but also I have never been a fan of exercise and it's ‘any excuse’! You're right though, I should make myself go swimming. Yes. 

      I haven't gone on HRT yet – I’m waiting on the results of an ultrasound I had last week (I have been having very heavy periods and the GP wanted to get this checked out). It seems that I have a fibroid, which doesn't feel like much of an issue against the hideous symptoms I’m having. I have been wondering if they have been sending me for blood tests/ultrasounds to put extra hurdles in the way. But that's what a cynical person would think, and I’m not (!).

      I think I’ll just have to manage the situation by being vigilant - in all aspects of what happens at work – and be aware that I may have to adjust my approach depending on how things are (e.g. me getting to the point of not being able to face work, though I really hope it doesn’t come to that). 

      Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to reply – as I said, it really helped.

      All good things,


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    • Posted

      Hi Anna, thanks for your reply. I hope work treated you well yesterday. I really do feel for you. At the moment I am not in work but need a full time job fairly soon as I will be separating from my husband. The bike is going to be resurrected! It's very scary as I am not emotionally resilient at all at the moment and am extremely worried about going back to work. I won't have anyone to fall back on if things don't go well so I have to make it work. Just hope I get nice work colleagues - I think I could cope with the stress of a job as long as my work colleagues were decent. Often women are there own worst enemies at work. I never understand why women as a rule are not more gentle with each other in the workplace.

      I am glad you have supportive family around you. And you seem so perceptive regarding your boss and her motives and pressures. Like you are experiencing again, I can often see the reason behind someones behaviour but still can't 'let it go' and feel it personally. I am sure with time you will get your old self back where you can brush off other's bad behaviour. Here's hoping the HRT is prescibed soon (if you choose that option) and it kick's in quickly.

      Regarding cycnicism I must admit I felt the same the last time I was at the GPs. I was offered HRT straightaway, without asking for it or particularly wanting it, as my symptoms were mild and could have been related to something else. I was thinking that GPs are now being told to 'push' HRT and that was why it was offered so readily. I could be being very ungrateful though.

      All best wishes,


      I think you boss may be jealous as well as perhaps annoyed at your perceived lack of stress regarding the workload. Perhaps she is annoyed at herself and embarrassed that she is struggling to cope. Just a thought.  

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  • Posted

    Sorry about that, my screen froze (AGAIN) and I didn't want to lose everything AGAIN!

    What is your GP waiting for? Get back to him and get on HRT ASAP! It has made such a difference to my life. When you feel better physically, you will feel better emotionally!

    Years ago I had a woman boss. She was a bxxxh with me and any of the men in the dept. who could not be of use on her career ladder.

    Now I am my own boss. There is no one to blame but me.

    Be kind to yourself and remember - nil carborundum illegitimae


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  • Posted

    Sorry you are going through a hard time. Its hard to deal with menopause and everday stress. Try to stay positive. Talk to a councelor about how you feel. 

    Do some relaxation and meditate take breaks from work once in a while 

    Pray to God he always helps

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  • Posted

    Love Ya and DITTO cheesygrin

    such an intelligent person!!!

    Everything you say I completely understand, I am quite sure that what you do for a living is the same as me??

    anyway, hang in there, will get back to you as I'm currently recovering from my weekends work PHEW

    your great, and don't forget it hun


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  • Posted


    I work 14 hour days sometimes and take care of others 


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  • Posted

    Many young people today have not learned to respect others, myself I encounter this everyday at work. It makes life difficult and you have to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.

    It's hard enough having to deal with the menopause itself.................................

    Don't allow arrogant, self serving to bring you down, this thing will pass eventually, be strong and remember your better than they are.

    When I'm home I try to watch things that make me feel good inside, they vary, comedy (laughing is the best thing ever), small children are so innocent and amusing, I like making things and I love animals, pets are a great source of comfort.

    Good nite hun xxxx   

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  • Posted

    Hey I totally agree, never feel obliged to confide in work colleagues (in the current work environment> Most of them already know what is going on (people are not blind) and if they are not getting any flack (they will take a back seat and relax, IT'S NOT THEM IN THE FRAME, human nature)

    Don't be niaeve, if the issues have not been already dealt with why should you be the one to bring attention to them, doing so makes you seem (and I know this i not fair)

    You can be regarded as any or all of the following things

    1.  the rat (clat-tale)

    2.  trouble causer and complainer

    3.  too old and not part of the "team"

    4.  you need to find a new job because you don't fit in or are unhappy

    and many others

    this is my own experience

    grow a rhino hide and remember YOUR THE BEST!!!  wink


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