How to Take the Fear out of Menopause
01 Oct 2014

How to Take the Fear out of Menopause

This work I do gives me a bird’s eye view of the spectrum of experiences women go through as they move through menopause. Some journey into this strange land and come out the other side completely unscathed. But then there are the women who watch in horror as their perfectly orchestrated lives unravel into puddles of anger, tears and rage.

When women begin menopause the terrain can be rough and unknown. I recently posted a question in several menopause support Facebook groups suggesting that our mothers should have a second “talk” with us to give us the lay of the land.

Aside from the fact that many mothers (my own included) never had the first “talk”, most of the ladies who commented said they had no idea what was coming!

This craziness of perimenopause is a result of massive hormonal swings. Breasts and uteruses become war zones of fibroid lumps, pain and tenderness. And then comes bloating, crying and weight gain. The fog rolls in.

Our nights become black holes of anxiety, panic, and palpitations.

Fear and shame creep in.

We ashamed of the loss of control. We’re ashamed of our changing bodies. We fear the treatments available for those changes in our bodies. We fear what others will think of us. We fear becoming a “woman of a certain age.” We fear that we will never feel like ourselves again.

We’ve put men on the moon and I can have a conversation with just about anyone anywhere in the world right on the 15″ screen that sits in front of me right now. Even so, discussion of menopause is still in the shadows. This makes no sense. I see 15 commercials for erectile dysfunction and Low “T” in a sporting event, but there ain’t nothing for us gals. Except incontinence pads.

Women over 40 constitute over 62 percent of the U.S. population. And most of us are doing just fine, thank you. We are not moody, irrational, weak and invisible. It’s time to bring menopause out of the shadows and shine a big old bright light on it. Doing so takes the power out of fear and shame! So how about it ladies? Are you ready to crack open the conversation?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Dr. Anna Garrett

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