DOES THIS SOUND VAGUELY FAMILIAR? …“Crippling anxiety, sleep issues, panic attacks, lack of energy, weight gain, intense sweating, no sex drive, dry hair and brittle nails.” – Just a few of the 219 comments expressed by women from around the globe in response to a 2011 blog I wrote titled, “Menopause and Anxiety” for HealthyWomen.org. It turns out anxiety is not the only thing about menopause plaguing the 6,000 U.S. women who reach menopause each day. “I’M NOT BOTHERED BY MENOPAUSE” …Says hardly anyone. THE STORY I’ve been blogging since 2009 (that’s a long time, in blogging years).
Going through menopause means a lot of things to a lot of women. While many parts of the “transition” are individual (for instance, my sister suffered nary a hot flash while I was continually bathed in sweat), one universal truth is this: our bodies change. Yes, unfair, especially when you consider that’s just one set of problems added to the long list of other changes, like sleep disturbances, anxiety, night sweats, too many things to do and too little time to do them all in. But as someone probably told you long ago, life is unfair. A cliché, perhaps, but a truism just the same. Overheard
Why do some women going through menopause feel like they're out of control, irritable, short- fused and just plain crazy? And why do others pass through seamlessly with nary a hot flash or mood swing? Back in 2005, when blogging was still fairly new, I created the blog, Midlife Matters. As a health writer, I was excited about sharing accurate and timely health information in an intimate setting which fostered a dialog with other like-minded midlife women, something that’s not possible via standard print magazines and websites. To date, my most popular post was about Menopause and Anxiety
Note: I'm bringing you this post from my other blog, MidlifeMatters, which runs on healthywomen.org. It first hit the website in 2011, and attracted lots of eyeballs and comments. And a lot of women were relieved and comforted, feeling like "it" was not all in their head. (Midlife Dictionary: It (used to represent a vague sense of unease, only understood by women of a certain age, about to be understood by those same women, or in the immediate context, is capable of producing feelings similar to becoming completely and utterly undone): It is bothering me today, and threatens to unhinge me and everyone
Now that the heat of the summer is engulfing many parts of the country, it's not as easy to find immediate relief from those hormonal waves of sweat. And hot weather is a big hot flash trigger. I see it every time I am with a friend who is in the midst of menopause. I easily recognize that dazed and dreaded look that precedes the hot flash; I watch sympathetically as the droplets of sweat start to form on her upper lip; I offer a cold glass of water or even a handful of ice cubes when she starts to squirm uncomfortably or look like she might just pass out. I feel so utterly helpless,