Founder of Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor has always been refreshingly open when she shares her life experiences with younger women, and we have so much to thank her for!
As she turns sixty this week, she covers the latest edition of Genevieve Magazine, and again she shares with the world her strugggles with something many women battle with but are afraid to talk about – Depression.
Read excerpts from Genevieve Magazine below
On what triggered the depression
Insomnia and menopause triggered the depression. This is something women don’t talk about but the reality now is that people go into menopause as early as 37. I went into menopause on the other side of 50 but the depression came later. It wasn’t diagnosed in time. I was simply told I was under severe pressure and was advised to close down or take two years off. I lost a lot of weight and people thought it was intentional. Thisday Glitterati wrote that I was anorexic.
After two years of going back and forth on the root cause, one day I asked my doctor if it was menopause related. He was surprised I was 50 and he admitted that it was likely to be menopause. I suffered depression for years until I made the decision to get out of it. In the morning, I didn’t want the blinds open. I did not socialise for two years and the depression took its toll on my skin as well as my emotions.
I would be having a conversation and randomly burst into tears. People were insensitive and made comments about me losing weight because I wanted to stay young but it was all based on ignorance. I am sharing this because we hide what could be helpful to others.
I had to deal with mood swings…one minute I was laughing, the next, I was moody. It was bizzare that I became afraid to socialise…my socialisation skills were hindered. I tried to avoid celebrity events so the cameras won’t catch me. I stopped looking in the mirror because I didn’t like what I saw. Really weird.
On her doctors not detecting early that it was depression
Not for a while. I think it finally dawned on my doctor when he asked me to describe exactly how I felt. I said I felt sad! Funny thing is he couldn’t understand why a woman who had it all could be depressed. “Is it your husband,” he asked. “No, I said.” “Do you have money issues?” he asked again. “No,” I responded and added, “all of us will be depressed if it was about money.” “Are your children not doing well in school,” he probed further. Once again, I said, “they are doing very well.” “Is it your magazine,” he asked helplessly. “No,” I said, “but it’s a lot of work but not enough reason for a melt down,” I assured him.
“Could it have anything to do with menopause and the fact that I suffer chronic insomnia?” I volunteered. “How old are you again?” he asked. I pointed at my age which was boldly written on my case file and then he went…. “Oh, its depression triggered off by insomnia and menopause. You’re losing weight because of the lack of sleep and loss of appetite.”
Read the full interview and how she overcame depression in the new edition of Genevieve Magazine