Menopause and its Psychological Impact
07 Sep 2015
Menopause is an inevitable phase that every woman experiences through her mid life (begins usually at around an average age of 51yrs). As she ages, she anticipates that soon her menstrual cycle would be called off by her biological clock. Unaware about what the experience would be like for her, the more she thinks about menopause, the more tense she becomes about this forthcoming phase of her life.
I still remember my mother’s experience related to menopause as she crossed her 39th year. She had an abrupt onset of menopause. Her symptoms could begin anytime during night or day. She would wake up at odd hours of night, complained that she couldn’t sleep any more. The more sleep deprived she was, the more tired she felt during waking hours. Whether it be day or night, she would find herself drenched in sweat, experienced sudden flashes of warmth surrounding her whole body followed by flashes of cold. Her heart raced, felt tense, sad, felt like crying without any reason, expressed anger and irritability at minor things. Further, she developed stomach related problems and started gaining weight around her waist. This continued for every single day for almost nine long years.
Now, I can understand how helpless and uncontrolled she might have been in the hands of her own symptoms. Neither she nor anyone in the family could understand what she was going through. In addition to these symptoms, a woman who is undergoing menopause may also experience symptoms related to vaginal dryness, or itching/pain with sexual intercourse, decreased in sex drive, urinary tract infections, skin problems like acne or wrinkles, osteoporosis, heart disease, joint or muscle aches and pains. It is also true that many women may not experience any of these symptoms while some may experience few or many symptoms with its changing degree from mild to severe.
Menopause is confirmed when a woman does not get her periods for about a year that is 12 months. Average age of menopause is 50-51years. It is a state when her ovaries have stopped to function naturally and biologically. This means that they do not release eggs as well they do not produce hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones have a huge impact on woman’s biological and psychological wellbeing. If her menopause strikes before age 40 years, then it is called early menopause. It can be due to medical or surgical conditions like removal of ovaries/uterus or chemotherapy radiation or can happen on its own (i.e. genetics, chromosomal defects, or autoimmune diseases). Menopause consists of two phases. Peri menopause is the phase where the woman experience some of the symptoms of menopause followed by actual menopause to post menopause phase (phase after menopause). In pre menopause phase, with additional menopause symptoms a woman may experience irregular periods and after her menstrual cycle has completely stopped, she may continue to experience other menopause symptoms in the post menopause phase.
Some useful tips that will help you cope with symptoms related to menopause
ü Bringing changes in life style-develop healthy eating and sleeping habits, avoid excessive intake of caffeine, smoking, or alcohol
ü Learn stress management techniques as stress can aggravate menopausal symptoms
ü Learn relaxation exercises that provide a feeling calmness and relaxation in the mind and body
ü Provide mental and emotional support to woman undergoing menopause
ü Accepting and acknowledging the menopausal symptoms as the natural and biological phenomenon that occur in every woman’s life
At ePsyClinic, We can help you fight and overcome menopause related psychological distress through a structured approach
ePsyClinic is Asia's largest Online Emotional, Psychological and Pregnancy wellness Clinic, Here you can consult, discuss and manage your wellness completely online from the comfort of your own home/office anywhere anytime 24*7
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