Is a Self Managed Super Fund Right For You?

By Petrina Frost

There has been a lot of hype in the media recently about self managed super funds (SMSFs) being the big new thing in retirement savings. Lots of financial advisors have latched onto SMSFs as their own personal get rich quick scheme, trapping many people into setting up an SMSF when it’s not really the best strategy for them at the time.

So how do you tell if an SMSF is the right strategy for you? I set up my own super fund with my husband in 2012, hoping to see better returns on my nest egg while cashing out of the increasingly volatile and morally corrupt global shares market. I lost $46,000 from my superannuation fund in the global finance crisis of 2008, and I was furious at the lack of responsibility brokers in foreign investment banks exercised over my hard earned money.

Self managed super funds typically focus on the property market as the key component of a personalised investment strategy – not shares. When a financial advisor showed me how I could quintuple the value of my super by buying one property, I leapt at the chance to escape my under-performing retail super fund, and dragged my husband along with me.

The problem with this was that I had four times as much money in super savings at the time than he did. And I was contributing regularly at the same rate, out stripping him annually by 75 per cent. When our SMSF was set up, all that was evened out, and suddenly his balance was fifty/fifty with mine.

It cost a lot of money to set the SMSF up initially. We were assured this initial outlay was recoverable, when really we were taking money from one hand and putting it in the other. The administrative governance of an SMSF is quite complicated, and it’s easy for some of these fly-by-night financial advisors to convince you they know what they are doing. But if they don’t the ATO can force you to unwind your SMSF and start all over again, which means you could lose thousands of dollars of your precious retirement savings in the process.

Then there are the ongoing fees and taxes that come out of your fund on a regular basis. Because you’re actually writing the cheques yourself, suddenly you realize it costs a lot to run a super fund and you really DO have to pay the TO 15 per cent of everything you deposit. And without thousands of other members to share the costs with you, the fees can hit you where it really hurts.

The big banks backing SMSFs are telling people they need a super balance of at least $200K to get started. Many financial advisors will tell you this isn’t true – don’t listen to them! You absolutely need at least $200K to secure your first investment property and move on to acquiring your second one. Without it, you could be looking at a stagnant super fund balance for the rest of your working life. And worse – when you actually to retire, you may not have enough money to maintain your current lifestyle.

Finally, the big challenge around SMSFs, which every women should be concerned with, is partnering with their husband, spouse or significant other to set up the fund. Because, as we know, the divorce rate isn’t shrinking. While you might think you are going to retire with your beloved, many women are reaching their 50th birthday and finding the person they picked as their life partner just isn’t going to go the distance. In the event of divorce the SMSF has to be closed. Any investments you made – property, art, wine, managed funds or otherwise, may not have matured, and you could stand to lose thousands, again, leaving you with a smaller nest egg that you expected. It’s a harsh reality, but true love does fade – as nearly 50,000 Australians can attest every year.

If I had my time over again, I don’t think I would have moved my super into an SMSF. Now that I’m the trustee of one, I’m determined to give it a red hot go. I continue to crow every time I see a report in the news about the most recent $30 billion being wiped off the shares market because I know my money didn’t just go down the gurgler. But my advice to those who would follow in my footsteps is to do your research, check your facts, and double check the references for any administrator you’d like to hire. It could be the difference between living in a caravan or holidaying in one when you retire.

 

Petrina FrostPetrina Frost is a Business Transformation Leader who has worked for some of Australia’s biggest businesses, including the banking and finance sector. This story does not constitute financial advice – the writer suggests anyone seeking to set up a self managed super should do so with the advice of a registered financial adviser.

How to make connections

women-entrepreneurs-talking

By Azra Alagic

I’m celebrating my business’s first anniversary (www.talkcommunications.com.au) and in doing that I thought I’d look back at exactly what has made it as successful as it has been to ensure I continue with the same approach and improve on it. I’ve realised one of the contributing factors were my connections.

In the past I hadn’t put much thought into it, making connections just seemed to come naturally, but once I stepped into my own business I initially had to think, right how do I get business in? How do I get leads?

I discovered that, whilst working for others, I’d managed to meet a lot of interesting, smart and generous people who were more than willing to work with me again through my own business, based on their previous experiences with me.

They in turn connected me with their business network. I found that once I was able to meet a potential client I was able to convert that connection into business. Growth was achieved effectively through a self-sustaining model – sale = investment.

As a stakeholder engagement specialist the skills that I used through my work transitioned easily into ensuring my business was successful. The foundation for making good connections was establishing strong, sustainable relationships.

But what happens if those connections dry up or you don’t have any? I was never one for cold calls; they make me feel like a greasy sales chick. Not a good look for a blonde in heels.

A friend, who is also my hairdresser (http://www.boucheboutique.com.au/Home.htm) suggested that I try joining some networking groups. If you can’t take advice from your hairdresser then whom can you get advice from? She invited me to attend a Business Chicks breakfast where the guest speaker was the indomitable Michelle Bridges.

There were hundreds of women at the Brisbane function. Women from all types of businesses and backgrounds. Women who want to help and support other women. It was an amazing environment and gave me hope that instead of trying to take you down, as let’s face it some women can, these women were all about helping each other.

CEO and Founder of Business Chicks (www.businesschicks.com.au) Emma Isaacs concurred with my thoughts about how to make connections.

“If you think about the roles you’ve been successful for, or the opportunities that have been put in front of you, you’d probably find that most of them came about through the people you know. And this pattern is going to continue for the rest of your life. The greater your network, the greater the opportunities that will be available to you. It’s absolutely essential that people invest time in developing their connections.”

Emma says Business Chicks is the success it is today because of the effort she put into creating a broad support network around her from a young age.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join a friend in a new business at the age of 18 – so my social connections absolutely played a role in that. It was a recruitment company and though a series of circumstances I soon found myself in a position as the sole Director and equal shareholder in the company.

“Then I did what came naturally to me – asked millions of questions, met with every person who was willing, found mentors, networked, joined industry committees, was kind to people, was humble, and ultimately, I just worked very hard.”

Charmian Campbell from The Driven Business Edge (www.thedrivenbusinessedge.com) was recently crowned one of the world’s top ten female business coaches. She attributes this to being authentic with the people she connects with.

‘It’s about connecting with people that resonate with you; you’ve got to be able to authentically communicate with them. I think that’s the most important thing. It has to be about relationships, it has to go past the first point of contact. It’s got to be long term.

“You have to look at it from how can I develop a relationship with this person where we both win. We both feel like we’re valued, we both feel like we can help each other, and we both feel like there’s a genuine trust and a genuine like for each other.”

So I guess making good business connections is kind of like making good friends, you need to make sure you’re real, you need to be there for them when they need you and you need to remember to proactively maintain the relationship.

For more great tips on making business connections check out Emma and Charmian’s top tips below.

Isaacs_E13-454CEO Business Chicks Emma Isaacs – top three tips

Watch the quality of the questions you ask

When you meet someone for the first time, try asking, “Why do you do what you do?” instead of “What do you do?” The answers will surprise you and you’ll get to a deeper level of understanding more quickly. You’ll also get a lot of puzzled looks from people who have never actually considered why they’re doing the job or business they’re doing. This means you’ve given them a gift – to be able to self explore is a powerful thing and you just ignited that in them.

Remember the detail

If you’re keen to stand out and create stories that others will tell for you, then make yourself memorable and pay attention to detail. If someone mentions their ‘likes’ (say chocolate, a book or film) then lock it in the back of your mind to use later. Recently a Business Chicks member was talking with one of my staff about our event with Arianna Huffington. The member revealed she still hadn’t read Arianna’s book, so my team arranged for it to be sent to her. Is she just a member now? Nope, she’s an evangelist and friend for life.

Do everything you say you’re going to do.

If you offer to make a connection for someone, do them a particular favour, or send something to them, then do it. There are precious few people left in the world whose word you can count on. So make sure your word is the one that means something.

 

Charmian Campell19726 V2Director The Driven Business Edge – Charmian Campbell – top three tips

  1. Think about how can I put someone else first before me? Ask how you can help others first before you ask anything for yourself.
  1. Understand your personality profile and how people perceive you then it makes it so much easier to connect with people if you know what someone’s profile might be and how they receive communication.
  1. Be yourself. Whether through social media or through meeting people, don’t model yourself on someone else’s success, you’ve got to be your own success. And that comes through how you speak in your words, through your image and through your branding.

The C Word

cheatingHave you ever been cheated on? Sprung your partner with another person? Found evidence of an infidelity? How did it make you feel? Gutted? Sick? Shocked? Angry? Sad? Maybe all of the above?

It’s happened to me three times so far. Yes…I know.

A friend of mine put it to me the other day that the men in my life had cheated on me because I was ‘attracting what I know’. She was alluding to the fact that my father had cheated on my mother for many years and he was my male role model. I get what she is saying, and there is a level of accountability to the self. But where is the cheater’s accountability?

I put it to her that I did not enter my relationships expecting my partner to cheat on me. Quite the opposite. Given what I’d seen my mother go through I had always been very clear with my partners that infidelity was a ‘deal breaker’ for me. I know people fall in and out of love all the time. You may be in a relationship, meet someone and form a strong connection, but the critical question is what do you do at that point? How do you proceed? I had always said to my partners that if they felt feelings for someone else then have the respect to be honest and tell me, but never go behind my back.

I’m a firm believer that the truth will always surface. With my last relationship, I had a gut feeling for months. I even asked him to his face if he was seeing someone else. He said, ‘no, of course not’. The next day I found out he was lying. It was the second time he’d cheated.

That first time, I forgave him after a one year break. He had told me he had changed. Sorted his baggage out and was ready to commit to me (another C word worthy of a whole separate blog to come!). Plus I loved him – very much. We had a strong connection physically and intellectually. Maybe I was too soft, too compromising but I always believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt and to forgive. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken him back; it would have saved ne a whole lot of tears and pain. But I guess if I hadn’t tried again I would have always questioned myself ‘what if?’. He is a great man in so many ways…except for the most important way.

I had doubted my gut feeling for months. Questioned myself and my ‘trust issues’ because he had done it before. Despite my gut feeling, I needed the evidence. My former journalism skills came in handy and that evidence was found.

The man in question was ceremoniously booted out of the house that afternoon.

But what remains? A broken person who has had their heart torn apart, their dignity humiliated, and pain and emptiness? The battle to heal and create a new life can be tough. The lessons from my personal experience are these:

  • never, ever, doubt your gut instinct
  • never compromise who you are to please or accommodate another
  • you can never change others only yourself
  • once a cheater always a cheater.

My ex has many deep-seeded issues that he needs to resolve. Such little self worth that he has affairs to make himself feel better. Those are his issues. His to fix. I will always love him because I have grown so much from my experiences with him.

But what causes someone to cheat? My former partner said he could not figure out why he did it, only that it was to do with his own self worth and that it was like an addiction.

We have AA for alcoholics, rehab centres for drug and alcohol addiction, safe centres for victims of abuse. But what is in place to helps cheaters and their loved ones? Families and relationships get broken and can have long terms impacts on those left behind all because of the excitement of a ‘fling’. Is it worth it? Is it worth losing your family over? Is it worth losing your loved one over?

There are a number of studies that claim humans are not meant to be monogamous. That in this modern day age it is an unrealistic expectation. According to Living Science only 3 to 5 per cent of approximately 5,000 species form lifelong monogamous relationships.

Studies on infidelity are scant with the Australian Institute of Family Studies last conducting one on divorce related issues in 1999[1].

So is expecting your partner to be monogamous an unrealistic expectation?

If the membership of the dating site for married people, Ashley Maddison, is anything to go by then I am standing alone on an island of monogamy. The site had over 29, 845, 000 anonymous members when this blog was written. Their tagline reads ‘Life is short. Have an affair.’

The founder of Ashley Maddison has been quoted as saying that many of the site’s members indulge in infidelity to save their marriages.

Sex, love and intimacy consultant, Isiah McKimmie, says the causes of infidelity vary.

“The most common causes are not feeling close to your partner emotionally or sexually or feeling in some way dissatisfied with the relationship. I also think that some people struggle with real and lasting intimacy and affairs are a way to keep their lives exciting and avoid real intimacy.”

Some argue that infidelity is a tool for saving their relationship. We’ve all heard the excuse, ‘it’s just sex but I love my partner’.

Isiah says using infidelity as a tool is complex.

“When we use the word ‘infidelity’ it tends to refer to a non-consensual, dishonest relationship outside the primary relationship. Certainly, I know that for some people it is how they are able to stay happily in their marriage.

“I however, want honesty in a relationship and believe this creates deeper intimacy over the long term if we can talk with care and understanding.

“There are many couples for whom involving extra parties in their relationships is a way of keeping their relationship passionate and alive. These couples often describe themselves as ‘swingers’ or ‘in an open relationship’. For me, these kinds of contracted affairs are different to ‘infidelity’, which is dishonest and not agreed on prior to the event,” Isiah says.

For me it comes down to honesty. If you don’t want to be in a monogamous relationship that’s okay. It’s your right and your choice. But don’t lie about your position. Be honest with potential partners so that they too can make a choice as to whether they want to be with someone who chooses not to be monogamous.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe I’m unrealistic. All I know is that I am all for monogamous relationships. The romantic in me wants that long-lasting love and soul bond. A relationship that is founded on respect, trust and love. I don’t want to ‘own’ my partner. I just want to share my life with a partner who has the same morals and ethics as I do.

What are your thoughts? Is monogamy unrealistic?

Isiah’s top tips for helping to prevent infidelity.

  • Talk about problems and talk through them as they arise.
  • If you suspect something isn’t working or ‘quite right’ discuss it with your partner openly (but without blame or anger).
  • If you’re not getting what you need out of the relationship let your partner know.
  • If one of you is feeling the desire to go outside the relationship talk about it together and explore what that really means for you and the relationship – some people find that being able to talk about it openly diminishes the desire.

 http://isiah-mckimmie.com/

[1] I.Wolcott & J. Hughes, Towards understanding the reasons for divorce, Working Paper No. 20, June 1999

Relationships after 50

two-hearts1

By Caroline Darmanin

Having just reached the ripe old age of fifty; life takes on a different perspective when it comes to relationships.

After experiencing the ups and downs of a 23-year-committed relationship, the perils of sharing half of my life with someone have brought an inherent wisdom.  I do not believe my devotion and loyalty to one man was in vain.  I have grown within myself. Been pushed to depths I never imagined. Struggled and persevered through situations I never thought possible…my prize at the outcome – an inner wisdom that cannot be achieved through a book, through a teaching, or through a shared thought of another.

The wisdom is a learning to me and all of the sides of myself.  My wealth is not one of what I have achieved materially, even if I enjoyed a seemingly monied lifestyle.  My wealth is the depths I dared to push myself to journey with another soul, to share sides of human emotions beyond normal boundaries, where fear, sadness, heightened joy and love seemed to roll into my existence with no warning of when one emotion would be more prolific, whether they be up or down. I have an awareness to others’ emotions and feelings due to my own experience.

Now I seek a partnership to share the future with.  Not as a co- dependent or as a “wife”, but as an equal partner.  Someone who sees the world through the same eyes as myself, with the same values of loyalty, trust and honour.  Where both people can flow and be fluid in this unpredictable world, be free to express and be themselves but return to each other at any given moment to be loved, cherished and respected.  To be heard, to express, and be purely vulnerable in an intimate bond of unconditional love.

I want for very little and as I travel further into myself the journey is to authenticity a revealing of myself to another where a sacred union of love can flourish…the ultimate quest to self.

 

I’m a Botox Virgin

Cartoon-botox-or-fillersI was having dinner with a couple of girlfriends the other night when one leaned over the table toward me, looking at me in concentration, and announced, ‘You need to get Botox so that you don’t look like you’re frowning all the time’.

I looked at her in shock, momentarily stunned into silence before I burst out laughing.

‘Don’t hold back!’ I said. ‘So far, you’ve told me I should cut my hair shorter, change the colour and now get Botox? Am I looking that bad?’

‘No, but just a little Botox on your forehead to stop you looking angry all the time.’

I must admit, while I am a Botox Virgin, I’m no stranger to cosmetic surgery having had a breast augmentation after I had my last child some 18 years ago. Breast feeding three children left my boobs looking like deflated balloons and I was damned if I was going to live the rest of my life looking like a walking surfboard.

For me, it’s one of the best decisions I have made. I love my boobs. They make me feel feminine. I made the decision to get them done without any pressure from my husband at the time, girlfriends or popular culture. I conducted a great deal of research to ensure I knew what I was doing to my body and to identify the best doctor with a solid and proven reputation.

I have no regrets, despite being judged by my journo colleagues at the time who to this day, if I bump into them, still unwaveringly stare straight at my rack with disdain and disapproval. For some reason my boob job offended their feminist, intellectual sensitivities. In particular, one popular talk back host. This particular person seemed to think that she was now ‘better than me’ because I had belittled myself by ‘indulging’ in cosmetic surgery and by default had now joined the clique of dumb, bottle blondes with big boobs. Somehow, my three university degrees, successful career and book that I had written didn’t temper this view.

I’m all about equality and empowering women, but you know what? Women can be cruel. In particular to each other. You know what I’m talking about. Come on fess up. Have you never been at an event and whispered to your friend or partner, ‘Lord, what on earth was she thinking when she put that dress on?’ or ‘Damn, she looks like she is going to explode out of those jeans’.

Popular culture has demonstrated the influence we have on each other when it comes to the way we dress, how much weight we carry, our hairstyles, how we age and even what we think.

Women drive popular culture. We buy the magazines that depict ectomorphic girls parading as ‘women’. We influence each other purely through the conversations we have when we get together. Look at my example; I’m now contemplating getting Botox!

Publishing Australia says Australia has one of the highest consumption levels of magazines per capita in the world. 175 million magazines are sold each year and are read by over 96% of all Australian women aged 14 plus[1].

So exactly how popular are non-surgical cosmetic procedures and am I the only Botox Virgin left in Australia?

According to the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia 82% of Australians that they surveyed[2] find it acceptable to have non-surgical cosmetic procedures to address premature ageing, an increase of more than 7% from 2013. Even men are becoming more conscious of the way they look with 77% finding it acceptable to undergo non-surgical procedures.

Those statistics surprise me. We really are obsessed with how we look. I guess most of us, at some point, have sought to improve how we look, whether it’s through buying an anti-wrinkle cream, having microdermabrasion done, or something more invasive. We try to nudge that age dial back even if it’s just by a few years. And that’s okay. I believe we should do whatever it takes to make us feel better. But we should also realise that we need to love who we are and that can only come from within. Maybe our obsession with how we look is a result of popular culture; maybe it’s due to the technological advances in cosmetic enhancements giving us more options. We don’t have to age…if we don’t want to. Either way it’s up to the individual and no one should be judged for their choice.

 

[1] Future of Magazine Brands, Publishers Australia

[2] 4in 5 Aussies say it’s okay to laser, micro, peel & inject to beat the signs of ageing, Society of Cosmetic Physicians Australasia, 28 April 2014.

How one person can create change

malala--Yousafzai_2499820b

Photo courtesy of The Telegraph

This week a young woman who had the courage to roar became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. You may remember that 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai is the courageous girl who called for equal education for girls in Pakistan. What’s makes her stance all the more inspiring is that she continued to fight for these rights even after the Taliban shot her in the head for speaking out.

Two books and a Nobel Peace Prize later, some are questioning her ability to create real change for Pakistani girls given she is unable to return to Pakistan following further death threats. In a New York Times article[1], Professor of International Relations at Columbia, Vishakha Desai cast doubt over Malala’s level of influence to create systematic change.

I find this an extraordinary statement to make. Until Malala became the voice for Pakistani girls it was relatively unknown that only 29 per cent of girls enrol in secondary school in Pakistan compared to 40 per cent of boys[2].

Malala continues to campaign from her new home in England for the rights of Pakistani girls. Her efforts have made this campaign not just a Pakistani one but a global one, as Governments, aid organisations and the global community continue to place pressure on the Pakistani government to provide more equal education.

Learning about the inequalities that Pakistani girls are subjected to made me curious of the conditions of other children across the world, particularly given child slavery and child sex slavery is still in existence in modern history. I wanted to know whether the voices that were defending the rights of children were making a difference.

Thirty years ago UNICEF’s The State of World’s Children started national and global statistics on the living circumstances of the world’s 2.2 billion children.

Their 2014 report[3] reveals that significant change has been made since the rights of children began to be protected. Here are some examples:

  • Deaths from measles among children under 5 years of age fell from 482,000 in 2000 to 86,000 in 2012 largely due to improved immunisation coverage.
  • About 90 million children have lived past the age of 5 when under 1990 mortality rates they would have been dead.
  • In the least developed countries primary school enrolment has increased from 53 per cent in 1990 to 81 per cent in 2011.

Unfortunately, there is still more to be done:

  • 15 per cent of the world’s children engage in child labour that compromises their right to protection from economic exploitation and infringes on their right to learn and play.
  • 11 per cent of girls are married before they turn 15.
  • 6 million children under 5 years of age died in 2012 mostly from preventable causes.

It’s statistics such as these that garners the support of the international community to create change. It takes one person to roar and pretty soon others will join. Never underestimate the will of a woman intent on making a difference. Congratulations Malala.

Know someone who is helping to create change? Let me know, I’d love to hear your stories.

If you’d like to help make a difference, check out some of these sites:

http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/sponsor-a-child/asia/pakistan?gclid=CMOmsuiopMECFdd5vQodR5cAdQ

http://www.unicef.org.au/Donate/Monthly-donation.aspx?gclid=CMK1yN-npMECFQF8vQodlBEAiw

http://www.worldvision.com.au/Home.aspx

http://www.unrefugees.org.au/?WT.mc_id=AW0013&gclid=CK2Qo4aopMECFdcRvQod7qUAxw

 

[1] J. Cantor (2014). Malala Yousafzai, Youngest Nobel Peace Prizere Winner, Adds to Her Achievements and Expectations, The New York Times.

[2] UNICEF Global Databases, Secondary Net Enrolment Rate, September 2013.

[3] Every Child Counts, Revealing disparities, advancing children’s rights, The State of The World’s Children 2014 In Numbers, UNICEF.

The Black Wig – why women in their forties are suffering depression

dogwigSome months ago, I had a week where I was depressed. Not for an hour, or a day but a whole week. I’ve never experienced this before and to be honest it kind of freaked me out. I reasoned with myself that it was because I was experiencing a slow period at work or that as I had been working from home lately it was because I wasn’t interacting with people as often.

Regardless of the reason, I began to wonder why I was feeling depressed for an extended period of time when I had never really suffered from depression.

Here were my symptoms:

  • feeling low
  • prone to bouts of tears
  • poor motivation
  • fear that I would become suicidal
  • questioning my place in the world and whether I had any further value to add.

And it wasn’t just me. A close friend of mine was also suffering from depression. She’s slightly older than I am (I’m 45), but as she described, it “felt as if she had no purpose in life”. She is single after a particularly nasty divorce, her two children have grown up and she doesn’t have any real career focus or ambition.

“What am I here for?” She kept asking me, followed closely with the alarming comment, “If I haven’t found out what my purpose is in life in the next six months, then I’m going to end it”.

End it? Did she really mean what I thought she meant?

Who are you kidding? I chided myself. You were worrying that you’d start having suicidal thoughts too. For some reason, I kept this bit of information from her. At the time I reasoned with myself that our conversation was focused on her, not me, but now I realise that it was because I was embarrassed. This is concerning, because if I can’t talk to my closest friend about what I’m going through, then how many more women out there do the same thing? How many women take their lives because they feel they can’t talk to someone about what they are going through?

So I’m outing myself. I had the Black Wig – as I like to call it.

Another friend confided in me one day at a girls’ lunch that she had been having a bad couple of weeks.

“I’ve never felt this way, honey. I was crying all the time. Wandering around the house in the middle of the night, staring off into space. It’s scaring me.”

Interestingly, she is younger than I at 40. My natural curiosity prompted me to do a little research. It was during this research that I came across a little thing called Menopausal Depression.

I’d never heard of it before. Sure we’re all aware of depression but menopausal depression?

According to the Mayo Clinic about 1 in 5 women will suffer from depression at some time in their lives. While depression can occur at any age it is most common in women between the ages of 40 and 59. That places me, and the women around me, right in the ballpark. I had started suffering from peri-menopausal symptoms (hot flushes, night sweat etc.) months ago. It all started to add up.

Another U.S study[1] conducted on women in menopause found that women are two to four times more likely to experience depression when peri-menopausal or early post-menopausal.

There are contradictory results from the studies done to date but there seems to be a consensus that the menopause transition is when women are most vulnerable of suffering depression. However, there is hope, menopausal depression decreases with age[2].

To combat The Black Wig I focus on plenty of exercise, keeping mentally busy and taking natural supplements that have helped stop the peri-menopausal symptoms and my depression.

Other options include Hormone Replacement Therapy (HMT) or counselling may help with depression.

All I know is that the knowledge of the existence of menopausal depression really helped to put things into perspective for me. My body was going through a major change. When I found out I was peri-menopausal I went through a grieving process. The choice to have children, or not, was being taken away from me. And while I’m not planning on having any more children, for some weird reason having the choice taken away from me upset me immensely.

Or maybe that was just the depression. Either way. It’s life. Now that I know what I’m dealing with I can get through it. I hope this blog helps you too. Remember, check in on each other and make sure U R OK. If you need to talk to someone, I’ve provided some links below and further references to sites on menopause. I look forward to hearing your roars.

Links

 http://www.menopause.org.au/

http://www.menopausecentre.com.au/

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression

https://www.lifeline.org.au/

 

[1] J. T. Bromberger, H. M. Kravitz, Y.-F. Chang, J. M. Cyranowski, C. Brown and K. A. Matthews (2011). Major depression during and after the menopausal transition: Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). Psychological Medicine, 41, pp 1879-1888. doi:10.1017/S003329171100016X.

[2] L. Dennerstein, C.N. Soares (2008). The unique challenges of managing depression in mid-life women. World Psychiatry 7(3): 137-142.