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Exclusive: Julie Graham reveals her menopause battle – 'It doesn't just affect the women going through it'

The Benidorm star opened up as part of HELLO!'s exclusive menopause shoot

julie graham
Bridie Wilkins
Senior Health & Fitness Writer
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Julie Graham, actress and star of Benidorm, Shetland and The Bletchley Circle has candidly shared her menopause experience with HELLO!, as part of our Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign with Wellbeing of Women.

READ: Exclusive: Penny Lancaster shares her personal menopause experience - 'Rod was worried for me'

"Writers don’t create parts for menopausal women," Julie begins. "They think: “They’re not very interesting when they get over the age of 50.” That’s one of the reasons I wrote Dun Breedin’ – to create good parts for older women and open the debate about the menopause.

WATCH: Penny Lancaster breaks down in tears as she details menopause experience

"We had the backdrop of comedy, which is a great way of putting something under the spotlight without sounding preachy. You can highlight the good things as well – it’s not all doom and gloom. After all, you have all these adjectives for older men – “wise”, “weathered”, “experienced” – but older women are talked about in the exact opposite way.

"Menopause should be an empowering time if women are getting the proper attention and treatment. If you have children, they’re older so you have more time on your hands. There’s also a theory that if you have less oestrogen, the “nurturing” hormone, you end up not giving a s*** as much as you used to!

SEE: A guide to menopause employment law: menopause leave, existing menopause workplace policies and more

SEE: 36 symptoms of menopause and how to treat them – expert advice

menopause shoot z© Photo: HELLO!

Julie Graham has joined HELLO!'s Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign

"I started having symptoms when I was 48, after a couple of really bad years. My best friend had died suddenly, my ex-husband died, I’d moved house, my cousin died and my camper van set on fire. I was anxious, angry, I’d lost confidence and I couldn’t sleep. I was also in Benidorm at the time, always in a bloody swimsuit, and was piling on weight for no reason. I thought it was grieving, but I was going through the perimenopause.

"The menopause doesn’t just affect the women going through it – it also affects husbands, wives, children – the whole family unit. When I was going through it, the only person I didn’t want to kill was the dog!"

HELLO! has proudly teamed up with Wellbeing of Women to launch our Menopause Workplace Pledge campaign to highlight the impact that the menopause can have on employees and to encourage employers to better support their staff.

To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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