By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: November 14, 2023
“People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Dear Red Hot Mamas,
Sometimes it takes tough times to strengthen the personality. Menopause can certainly bring us down some rocky paths challenging even the strongest individuals. Our personal lives are filled with difficult obstacles that seem to amplify as we grow older.
During menopause, you may find yourself pondering questions which you have never thought about before. You may have conjured up some positive ideas that contribute to the quality of your life but can’t quite figure the details out. On the contrary, sometimes it is hard to find any “positives” in your life. You may feel your mind may be stressed and by the physical and emotional changes your body is going through. The good news is that feeling confused during the different transitions of menopause (perimenopause and beyond) is normal.
The emotional issues and challenges encountered during menopause can play a large role in our mental status. For some women, the loss of fertility can have emotional consequences. But for other women, the prospect of no longer worrying about unplanned pregnancy seems to make them happier.
There are also other life events that women commonly experience during midlife that can cause emotional stress. These include: entry, re-entry or exit from the workforce; change in job; the caring for family members (older or younger); empty nest or return to the nest; becoming a grandparent; loss of a loved one through death, divorce or other circumstances; changes in appearance and even concerns about illness and mortality. Any of these events can be challenging and affect women whether they are in menopause or not.
Straightening out the commotions with your emotions…
Where do you turn when the stress is too much? Who do you talk to? Who is your support group?
We all need a little help from our friends. And, for many people, restitution is found in friends. These are individuals who know us best and who we trust most. We are not afraid to talk to them because they are sensitive and empathetic. Their opinions matter. They care – that’s why we love them.
A good friend is always an asset when you are confused and need advice. The option of talking to friends is worthwhile but has its limitations. Sometimes we need more than agreement, we may need someone to challenge and inspire us to a greater reality.
Psychotherapy is a common treatment for a number of mental health challenges, but it can also help with day-to-day challenges and concerns. Therapy can be one-on-one, in a group setting, or done as a family, or even online therapy.
Psychotherapy is provided by a number of different mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, marriage and family counselors and psychiatric nurses.
Finding the right therapist can be crucial to your decision on whether therapy is the best option for you and your needs. It can take some time, but it will be worth it. A good therapist can help you develop skills and confidence to deal with mental health matters for the rest of your life — so finding someone who’s right for you is worth the effort.
Here are a few online resources to help you find the right therapist. They include trained and accredited professionals who can help you.
- American Psychiatric Association’s Find a Psychiatrist tool
- American Psychological Association’s Find a Psychologist tool
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helplines and Support Tools
In closing, it is quite normal to notice mood shifts during perimenopause and menopause. If emotional issues bother you during these years, visit your medical professional. As mentioned, life events may trigger mental or emotional issues but there’s also many physical conditions, not just menopause, that can lead to mental and emotional problems. So, don’t hesitate, see a healthcare professional to ensure you get the proper treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
Good Health to You All,