Many women find that menopause and mental health challenges impact every facet of their emotional and intellectual lives. As they work through this change, cultural pressures can make it difficult to share their experiences. This can lead to isolation and further difficulties. To fight this isolation, women need to be able to open up about their menopausal challenges.
The Top Reasons Women Should Talk More About How Menopause Affects Their Mental Health
“Menopause and mental health challenges can start to feed off of each other. By reaching out to a supportive and understanding community, you’ll know that you’re not alone.”
Menopausal change can make it difficult to:
- sleep well,
- maintain a positive attitude,
- remember things, and
- remain calm under stress.
For many women, brain chemistry changes can leave them wondering if they’re suffering from a serious condition such as Alzheimer’s or clinical depression. Menopause and mental health challenges can start to feed off of each other. By reaching out to a supportive and understanding community, you’ll know that you’re not alone. You can also share suggestions for ways to combat and cope with the emotional and intellectual challenges of menopausal changes.
As with many challenges in life, focus becomes your fertilizer. If you’re worried about a health issue, all of your attention will go to that one item rather than the good health habits you have.
While breaking this focus on the negative can be done with a habitual practice of centering or even meditation, many women experience such severe menopausal symptoms that they develop full-blown menopausal anxiety. Physical manifestations include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and dizziness.
How to Reach Out To Fellow Menopausal Women?
Maintaining good communication with friends of all ages and in all stages of life is critical as you age out of your child-bearing years. In fact, you may gain a more positive view of menopausal changes when you connect with friends on the other side of the process.
To talk with other women currently going through the process, consider looking for menopausal support groups on Facebook or subscribing to our newsletter wherein you’ll get regular updates about all topics related to menopause. Other social media options include Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, wherein you can connect and talk to your fellow menopausal women.
“When seeking out other menopausal women, you can also consider signing up for exercise classes or other self-care activities.”
For some women, the end of menses is a time of mourning. If they were never able to conceive a child or simply fear the aging process, menopausal changes are a reminder of the grief of infertility. Women who have put a great deal of value on their looks may feel themselves slipping down the hierarchy built around physical attractiveness.
When seeking out other menopausal women, you can also consider signing up for exercise classes or other self-care activities. You may notice that you gain weight around your waist more easily than before or start to suffer from sore muscles more often than before. The hormonal changes you’re undergoing will impact your muscular strength and flexibility. Building up your body during this time and improving on, or starting, your fitness routine is critical to feel and function your best as you age.
When to See Your Psychiatrist?
Stress and menopause symptoms can lead to a dangerous state of agitation, frustration and lack of focus. If your regular methods of self-care, such as exercise, eating right and meditation or escaping your daily routine aren’t providing you with some relief, it’s time to talk to someone.
“when undergoing the phases of menopause symptoms, it’s critically important that you are patient with yourself.”
While menopausal change is not generally thought to be a cause of depression, you may need pharmaceutical support to help you through the menopausal process. Depending on your personal and family history, HRT can help but it’s not safe for all women to undertake.
Western culture is not kind to older people, particularly to older women. There is still too much of the world that believes a woman’s greatest value and contribution lies in motherhood, and once you age out of that part of your life, there are sections of society that view you as a person of lower worthiness. If you are part of a culture that buys into this belief, you may have to put your foot down with yourself and others to celebrate the contributions you’re still going to make.
Finally, when undergoing the phases of menopause symptoms, it’s critically important that you are patient with yourself. You may find that you’re more tired than you were previously, or that mornings are tougher than they were before, because menopausal changes can impact your sleep quality.
Just as puberty was a challenging time of growth and expansion, menopausal change can be as well. If you’re tired of the mess and pain of your monthly cycle, know that once you get through this, you’re done! For those who had to put a great deal of focus on contraception, you’re off the hook. Aging doesn’t have to be a time of mourning; in fact, this could free you from a great deal of societal pressure to look or act a certain way.
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