Penny Lancaster says menopause sent her anxiety ‘through the roof’

·3 min read

Penny Lancaster has said her anxiety has “gone through the roof” since going through menopause.

The Loose Women star, who is married to singer Sir Rod Stewart, said her husband saw her “turning into a different woman” and she was not prepared for the fact it would make her feel like she is “losing grip”.

Discussing her experiences on the ITV show, the model, 50, said: “When I joined Loose Women, I’d sit back and listen to you more mature ladies at the time – but now I’ve caught up with you – thinking, ‘Really, is it that bad?’ And never quite understanding it.

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Penny Lancaster with husband Sir Rod Stewart (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“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 added: “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 OK – 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.

“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.”’

“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.”

She continued: “My anxiety has gone through the roof. Where I’ve always been very patient, I feel like I’m losing grip.

“When I spoke to my GP, the first thing they said is, ‘Well, let’s put you on an anti-depressant.’

“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.

“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.

“I’ve stopped the hot sweats, I’m still suffering from anxiety… I’m getting there. 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?’

“I’d get upset and he’d say, ‘What’s the matter?’ It’s good to talk and get them to understand.”

Loose Women has launched a campaign to address how menopause is treated in the UK, which includes asking for mandatory menopause training for GPs, education in schools and the abolition of prescription charges for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause.

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