Television star Shelly Horton has revealed how she nearly gave up her hard-fought career after falling into depression and starting to feel ill three years ago.
The bubbly media personality had to appear on set with a big smile and laugh with her colleagues, despite being overcome with a sense of utter despair.
The 48-year-old, who lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast, had never experienced mental health issues before and began to question her reality.
Television star Shelly Horton has revealed how she nearly gave up her hard-fought career after falling into depression and starting to feel ill three years ago
The star now knows she suffered from the symptoms of perimenopause, but had never heard of the term
She has teamed up with her best friend, Doctor Ginni Mansberg, to educate people about this topic and break the stigma
Until she discovered that her waves of sadness, hot flashes, and anxiety were all part of perimenopause.
“I had no idea what was going on. I hadn’t even heard the term perimenopause,” she told FEMAIL.
“One of the things that prompted me to seek help was the total lack of enjoyment I had around work,” she added.
Explaining her bulletproof work ethic has always been part of her identity and kept her head full.
“I run my own company, ShellShocked Media and I work at Channel Nine and both of these things make me incredibly happy,” she said.
“But with perimenopause, I had trouble getting out of bed. Depression was something I had never experienced before.’
“I drove to work pretending I was happy and pretending I was at the ball so no one would know how I really felt,” she said.
“Then I’d get in my car and cry all the way home. I would belittle myself by saying, ‘Well, that was a waste of time going in there. You sounded like an idiot, and you made a fool of yourself in front of the nation. You might as well quit before they fire you, you’re worthless.”
She’s not alone and has since found that one in ten women who go through perimenopause walk away from their careers.
‘I now know that one in three women suffers from anxiety and depression during perimenopause and menopause. It is actually the highest risk time in a woman’s life. Higher than teenage girls and higher than postpartum depression,” she said.
Shelly says it took six months of HRT and antidepressants before she finally felt like her bubbly self again
Why do you need a transition-friendly workplace?
The time has passed when topics like Peri and menopause in the workplace were considered taboo or secret women’s affairs. It’s time to face the facts and offer practical solutions:
Retain staff and reduce recruiting costs
Create a culture of inclusiveness, diversity and equality
To make it suitable for all genders
Reduce sick days
Remove shame and stigma
Reducing labor law problems
Source: don’t sweat it
During perimenopause — the few years before a woman’s periods stop for good — there are many hormonal changes that are responsible for the brutal symptoms.
The stigma attached to the transition phase makes matters worse.
Shelly has described peri-menopause as the mid-life glass ceiling that women have to go through to continue setting goals beyond their “childhood years.”
Shelly’s husband Darren Robinson convinced her to see a doctor and she was put on antidepressants and HRT medication.
“It took at least six months to ask for help, and then probably another three months to find meds that were right for me. All that time I cried almost every day, and anyone who knows me is not my natural state,” she said.
She teamed up with her best friend, Doctor Ginni Mansberg, 54, and ‘Don’t Sweat It’ was born
What are three major symptoms of perimenopause that can affect women in the workplace?
Shelly reveals three of the most hated symptoms of menopause and what workplaces can do to lessen the impact.
1 – Hot Flashes: Workplaces Can Provide Air Conditioning and Cooling Water
2 – Anxiety and Depression: Consider WFH Options and Know When to Get Medical Care
3 – Floods: That’s why it’s so important to have access to sanitary items at work
Source: Shelly Horton
“So I’m on meds now and feel like my bubbly self again. It’s not a straight road. I still have dips, but I’m really learning to be a lot nicer to myself.”
After negotiating the perimenopause minefield herself, Shelly realized she wanted to help other women do the same — and educate the wider community on how to make life easier for a woman going through the life change.
She worked with her best friend, Dr. Ginni Mansberg, 54, and ‘Don’t sweat’ was born.
Now the women run workshops for business leaders to help them help their workforce through perimenopause.
Their website also has heaps of free tips for breaking the stigma and explaining perimenopause in an easily digestible way.
‘I needed such a course. So I hope Don’t Sweat It will help workplaces and women around the world become more menopausal-friendly,” Shelly said.