Menopause & Alcohol

At the Sanctuary we keep many stats referencing our clients. Interestingly or alarmingly, the average age is 47.5 years. The majority of these women are either peri menopausal or are in the midst of this chapter.

All tell me that to cope their drinking has ramped up. There has been a lot of publicity on the subject of menopause recently, women being told that they should fight tooth and nail to get the right medication, and lobbying going to make leave from work obligatory for women who suffer so much.

I have not read or seen discussion or articles on the effects of alcohol in quantity during this change in women’s lives. But there is a huge impact our evidence proves this. Once drinking has stopped, so too do the unmanageable symptoms in general, as do the bouts of depression and anxiety.

There is so much judgement still of women of a ‘certain age’, responsible, possibly mothers using wine to block out many dark times in their lives, which is undoubtedly why all the publicity about this never touches on this correlation. I am the very last person to lay blame, know only too well what a grip this can have of us, but seriously how many times do we have to sweep the consequences of misuse under the carpet with so many serious health conditions before we can start to be completely honest and not stigmatised?

Any kind of prescriptive medication is almost  useless when you are self-medicating often lying to our GPs about intake of alcohol, and the upshot is usually a road to more and more pills and potions often recommended. Zillions of Google searches to find out what has worked for others whilst sipping or glugging on another white wine.

We all listen and praise the celebrities that have come out of the wine cellar and yet in 2023, 10 years since I wrote the bestselling Sober Revolution, my clients are still  very much a prisoner to it, feeling and rightly because of hypocrisy and bigotry they will potentially lose everything. Just saying no has never worked for this legal drug which is everywhere.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.