Employers being impacted as menopause is often misdiagnosed as depression
Employers are being impacted by a common misdiagnosis of psychological menopause symptoms, experts have said.
Bosses at digital health app Peppy are warning employers that the condition is often misdiagnosed as depression – which can lead to absence and resignation – other mental health issues or even dementia.
Menopausal staff can suffer memory loss, low self-esteem, disturbed sleep, poor concentration and feelings of dread, anxiety and rage.
And these psychological symptoms are often not properly recognised and wrongly treated with anti-depressants or sleeping tablets.
Kathy Abernethy, Director of Menopause Services, Peppy said: “Menopausal symptoms can have an unexpected impact on the mind and mood of employees and so it’s vitally important that employers understand the physical and psychological effects as they can be unsettling and have just as much impact on work, relationships and daily life as the better-known physical symptoms.
“With it becoming increasingly difficult to get a GP appointment, employers have a great opportunity to step in and support their menopausal staff so that they can receive timely and specialist support from practitioners who are experts in the field and have a greater depth of knowledge about both the physical and psychological aspects of menopause.
“Not only will this directly improve the quality of life for their staff but there will be a great deal less disruption for the employer too.
“There is nothing to lose and everything to be gained from having a workforce better educated about menopause including both the psychological impact of the conditions and the potential for misdiagnosis.”
Peppy believes many employers have taken strides in recognising the physical manifestations of menopause – such as hot flushes – but the psychological impacts are still under-recognised.
Bosses said mismanagement of these symptoms can mean normal workplace tasks and activities such as writing a report, attending a meeting, or giving a presentation can feel uncharacteristically overwhelming.
Peppy hopes to improving awareness of the psychological symptoms of menopause amongst HR departments and line managers as well as encourage better understanding amongst all staff so symptoms can be more easily recognised.
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