Judith Cook and her book.jpgA volunteer from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust who battled with anxiety and her mental health during the menopause has written a book about her experiences.

Singer and entertainer Judith Cook, 58, wrote the book about her life during lockdown.

Judith, a former Blue Coat, received help from the Trust’s Familiar Faces psychologists,

Her book - My Doors of Destiny - will be officially released on October 1 with a launch at Gateway 4 Women in Denton Holme, Carlisle.

Judith, who now works as a Meet and Greet volunteer at the Cumberland Infirmary, first encountered problems with anxiety when she was diagnosed with a rapid heartbeat.

She said: “I would get palpitations. The doctor said I was pre-menopausal and it was nothing to worry about. I had a heart murmur as a child and they discovered I had been born with an extra piece of wiring in my heart.

“Something needed to be done. I would be driving or socialising and I would get the palpitations and I felt horrendous. I passed out one night when I was performing in a Carlisle hotel.”

Judith was on medication to try and help with the rapid heartbeat and anxiety issues she was experiencing, but she says the whole experience nearly destroyed her life and her marriage.

She spent 10 years going through the menopause.

She said: “I just felt I had to write down all my experiences. My story needed to be told. I hope it will help others in a similar situation.”

Dr Louise Harrold, Senior Clinical Psychologist at NCIC, helped Judith.

Judith said: “Louise was my saviour. She was a life saver and got me back on track.

“I feel better now but I want other people to know that there is help out there but you really have to look for it and be persistent.

Dr Harrold said: “I first met Judith in September 2018 and she was discharged in July 2019, as she was doing really well in our service for 10 months. 

“We were honoured to be a part of her journey, to see how far she had come after a such a difficult time with her health.  We are privileged that she wanted to share her story in her book, about her experience in our service, but mostly over the moon to see how well she is doing.”

Judith’s book is on sale at Bookends in Carlisle. For more information visit www.mydoorsofdestiny.com