Penny Lancaster went to see a GP to help with the menopause
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Loose Women launched their menopause manifesto on Monday as panellists Ruth Langsford, Jane Moore, Judi Love and Penny Lancaster spoke candidly about their own experiences with symptoms and concerns they had about the future. Speaking about her menopause journey, Penny explained Rod was initially alarmed at her symptoms before she opened up to him.
Penny began: “When I joined Loose Women, I’d sit back and listen to you more mature ladies at the time thinking, ‘Really, is it that bad?’ And never quite understanding it.
“[But now I’ve caught up with you] I think that’s half the problem.
“It’s not until it hits you literally from every angle that you think, ‘This is what you’re all talking about.’
She continued: “Because we’re so good at hiding and putting a mask on and a band-aid on the problems, just getting on with life, making sure everyone else is okay – the house is running, the kids are off to school and the husbands – all these different roles that we play and working in between and we forget about ourselves.”
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Penny admitted her experience with menopause had left her struggling with anxiety.
“My anxiety has gone through the roof. Where I’ve always been very patient, I feel like I’m losing grip,” she confessed.
“When I spoke to my GP, the first thing they said is, ‘Well, let’s put you on an antidepressant.’
“And I was like, ‘I need something to balance and take the edge off the upset, frustration and anger.’
“It did help a bit, but it was another band-aid and wasn’t addressing the real problem.”
Penny explained she’s been able to access specialised help and praised her supportive husband.
“Fortunately through Loose Women, I got advice to see a specialist and over the last six weeks, I’ve been on the treatment, I’ve come off the anti-depressants and I’m feeling a balance,” she noted.
“I’ve stopped the hot sweats, I’m still suffering from anxiety… I’m getting there.
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“Being able to talk to my husband is an absolute number one priority.”
“He saw me turning into a different woman. ‘Why are you behaving like that?’ Why are you arguing about something you would normally just brush off?’ Penny explained.
“I’d get upset and he’d say, ‘What’s the matter?’ It’s good to talk and get them to understand.”
Meanwhile, the Loose Women panellist admitted she found herself in situations where she was overcome with emotion.
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She said: “I went to the doctors for a mammogram check-up, which was all good.”
“I spoke to an incredible doctor – I had a few tears with her, trying to explain what I’ve been going through in the last few months and she said, ‘You’ve got to get to the point where you say to yourself, ‘I see you.’”
Breaking down in tears, she said: “You feel guilty for being upset.
“You go for a coffee with a friend and they say, ‘How are you?’ And then you burst into tears and you don’t know why you’re crying.”
Loose Women airs on weekdays on ITV at 12.30pm.
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