Thursday, 18 Aug 2022

Widower says wife’s suicide could’ve been avoided if he’d known more about menopause

Rod Stewart says Penny's menopause was a 'fragile situation'

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David Salmon’s wife Linda tragically took her own life at just 56 years old during the first national lockdown in April 2020. She had been suffering from anxiety, which Salmon later realised was most likely a symptom of her menopause. Since the event, the bereaved husband has been campaigning to get more men to understand the menopause.

Mr Salmon had no idea that menopause could cause anxiety and suicidal thoughts until after the tragedy when he watched a feature on BBC Look North which includd information about the condition.

He said: “I really thought the menopause was all about hot flushes. I didn’t know anything about the invisible symptoms, particularly those associated with mental health.

“We’d spoken to the doctor and she was eventually diagnosed with anxiety, but they made no mention of the menopause or why this might have come about.

“If we had properly understood what was going on and the symptoms Linda was experiencing, we’d have been able to get her the help she needed and she might still be here with us today.”

Although she was convinced it was Covid rather than anxiety, she still followed the doctor’s recommended advice with David’s help.

The pair went on walks together, Linda turned off the news and did more exercise but just three days later she took her own life while David was out visiting his mother.

Today David offers sobering advice to men based on his experience.

He said: “Stop ignoring it.

“Men and women do need to talk… My wife was well read, she knew all about the menopause.

“Her favourite words were, well read about it. Well, I’m not a big reader but I wish now I had read about it. She might have been here today if I had.

“I’d say to men, you know your partner best. You’re the best one, never mind your doctor.

“What I couldn’t understand with my wife is that we’ve walked miles… we never ever touched on menopause, we talked about everything under the sun except from the menopause.”

Mr Salmon is working with GenM who have encouraged 42 national brands including Boots and Next to raise awareness about the menopause.

GenM recently released a report showing that 51 percent of women, let alone men, can only name three of the 48 symptoms of menopause.

Moreover, three quarters of people believe menopause is a social taboo that is not discussed openly.

Some of the symptoms of menopause include short term memory issues, nail changes, moods swings and loss of concentration.

The other symptoms can be found on the campaign group’s symptoms page.

If you’re having suicidal thoughts, it’s important to tell someone.

These free helplines are there to help when you’re feeling down or desperate.

Unless it says otherwise, they’re open 24 hours a day, every day. You can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 and [email protected]

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