NURSE Shiona Johnston has self-published a book about menopause that features interviews with local women to raise awareness of the often ignored experiences of everyday people going through the change.

Her book, Midlife, Menopause and Me was published on Friday, September 4 and is ideally timed for World Menopause Day today (Sunday, October 18).

The 56-year-old was inspired to write the book to encourage more women to seek support and to open up discussion about it.

She wants relatives and friends of women going through the change to understand what is going on and how they can help.

Shiona is a menopause nurse and midlife coach at Dumfries House Health and Wellbeing Centre. She has lived in Auchinleck all her life.

Cumnock Chronicle:

At work she comes across women who are going through the menopause all the time, but she says there are many who seek no help at all and try to brush it under the carpet.

She said: “When I first started out it wasn’t talked about much and now there’s a little bit more awareness, with lots of celebrities speaking out about it etc. It’s still not talked about enough though.

“The more we can talk about it, particularly for men, about what their partners are going through, the better.

“It’s important for woman to know they don’t need to

suffer, there’s medication available and also advice on how they can live their lives to manage.

“Women are quite bad at looking out for themselves at that age. They’re looking after grandchildren, parents or trying to further their career and I think that women put up with quite a lot.”

The book is structured in three parts, the first ‘Midlife’ looks at the societal and cultural expectations of women at that age, the second, ‘Menopause’ explores the effects of the change, and the third section, ‘Me’ talks about the emotional and psychological impact of the menopause.

The 12 interviewees are all woman from the Auchinleck area, but have been anonymised for the book.

Shiona said: “It’s a book about women for women. Some of the feedback I’ve been getting from readers is that they can see themselves in the book, and that it’s so nice to hear normal people telling their stories.”

The book costs £12.99 and can purchased from Amazon, Waterstones and from Shiona directly by emailing her at