Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s aging process. And all women would agree that this season of transition is accompanied by a bunch of symptoms that are hard to deal with. But fret not, there is a way to smoothen the journey.
Hot flashes, poor sleep, mood swings and depression are what every women in this period of middle-age transition goes through. Some researchers think that fluctuating hormones are to be blamed for this. Although hormone replacement therapy and antidepressant drugs can lessen these symptoms, given the risk and side effects of these remedies we may find ourselves stuck between the devil and the deep sea—with troublesome menopausal conditions on one side and lack of alternative, non-pharmacological, non-hormonal treatments on the other.
But Not Anymore!
Why not turn to cognitive therapies to help go through this phase? Cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients lead more productive lives, can also help in menopausal symptoms, especially in lifting depression. Similarly, if you’re suffering from major depression during your menopause, mindfulness meditation can help you deal with it.
Several researchers consider sessions of individual therapy to be highly beneficial in boosting the mood. Therapies involving education, coping skills and muscle relaxation for menopausal symptoms have shown great results. Also, according to studies, mindfulness-based stress reduction and relaxation techniques have proved helpful with hot flashes.
Considering its low-risk nature, these therapies are widely (and successfully) used for menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take medication.
Moreover, researchers believe that programs geared towards women-specific physical issues such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness, and feelings about going through the change can further improve the ailment.
However, when we talk about ways to treat depression during the peri- and post-menopausal periods, it’s important to understand that our behavior is not another sign of aging, but an indication that our body is changing and it needs special attention. We may also not realize how often the mood disorder hits other women during the transition; something we can surely beat with education.
The more we discuss it in public, the fewer stigmas there will be and the more women will seek help.
Content modified from the post by Janice Neumann on Reuters