Peppy believes menopause misdiagnoses often result in wrongly prescribed anti-depressants

Peppy has warned employers that if the psychological symptoms of menopause are not properly recognised and treated, they could see a rise in absence and resignation of menopausal employees.

Related topics:  Peppy,  Menopause
Tabitha Lambie | Editorial assistant, Protection Reporter
4th April 2023
"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."
- Kathy Abernethy, Peppy director of menopause services

The digital health app claims that while many employers have made progress in recognising the physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, the psychological impacts, such as memory loss, low self-esteem, disturbed sleep, and poor concentration, remain under-recognised and misdiagnosed.

Peppy believes the most common misdiagnosis of these symptoms is depression, which has resulted in employers being wrongfully prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. “When an individual’s menopause symptoms are misunderstood or mismanaged, it means that normal workplace tasks and activities such as writing a report, attending a meeting, or giving a presentation can feel uncharacteristically overwhelming,” Peppy explained.

Considering the unexpected psychological impact of the menopause on both the mind and mood, Kathy Abernethy, Peppy director of menopause services claims that “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.”

Although it’s important to improve awareness of these psychological symptoms of menopause across an organisation, Peppy believes that it’s equally important to encourage better understanding amongst all staff since employees may not always recognise the symptoms themselves. According to Peppy, employees who are going through the menopause can often associated symptoms with mental health issues or even worry about degenerative conditions such as dementia.

Kathy Abernethy concluded:

“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.”

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