Journalist and author Sam Baker noticed an escalation in her anxiety, crashes in self-confidence, and depression in her 40s. “I felt like I had lost sight of myself.” When she was researching her book, The Shift, she realised those feelings weren’t uncommon in women – and they weren’t being discussed.

Midway through HRT, she was feeling “very bleak” and started seeing a therapist, who helped her explore the PTSD she had suffered for 30 years. “If you think your therapist isn’t a good fit, give it a couple of goes. If I had given up after the first time, I wouldn’t be better. I asked myself ‘what am I doing this for?’ but with the benefit of hindsight, it was the best thing I ever did.”

In this interview, Sam talks about EMDR therapy, panic attacks, coming through the menopause and feeling terrific, and a seminal scene in Fleabag. ‘The menopause is horrendous. And then it’s magnificent. How different would my life from 46 to 53 would have been if I’d known that?”

  • Sam’s book, The Shift, is available from all good booksellers, and you can listen to the companion podcast series here

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