Many women refer to menopause as, “Going through the big change.” That is one stereotype to menopause that really could be considered a myth, and not very productive.
Menopause is only one change that comes in a woman’s life. It is not the most paramount. With all the daily stress that a woman goes through, menopause is only a small change that comes with growing older.
Because the effects of menopause are so great, the emotional imbalance, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, fatigue, hot flashes, night sweats, and the like, it should be viewed as a small change with a loud voice.
Life should be viewed as ever changing with gradual changes. We all go through transitions. We change homes, locations, careers all the time, but since there really no physiological changes going on, we view them as little, but menopause as a huge, catastrophic disaster.
To look at overcoming the stereotypes of menopause, we must remember that we begin to age the moment we are born. Menopause should be viewed as a time of self discovery, just as it is when a baby takes its first steps, speaks its first word, loses its first tooth. It is just another milestone that the body goes through.
Most of the stereotypes of menopause is culturally based, and really has no barring on our individual experiences.
In other countries, where age is respected and honored, women going through menopause find that the only thing they have to deal with are the symptoms. They don’t find themselves feeling un-sexy, or undesirable. It has also been reported that in these countries where women are noted for their age, and wisdom, the symptoms of menopause are decreasing lower than women who live in America.
Asian, African, and Arabic women going through menopause don’t suffer as many of the symptoms as do western women. They seem to welcome the end of fertility and child-bearing years and, as a result, their attitudes really seem to help them go through the symptoms of menopause, and they report that their symptoms are not as bad.
Because we live in a system where menopause is viewed as something bad, that negative thought takes root in the minds of western women, exacerbating the effects and symptoms of menopause. It is also noted that women who view menopause in a positive light, rather than negative, it gives them less of a chance to become confused as to what is happening to their bodies. As a result, less symptoms, and less discomfort from those symptoms.
Western women need to be of the mind set that overcoming the stereotypes of menopause doesn’t make them any less beautiful than they were when they were fertile, and of child-bearing years. Positive reinforcement from family members and other women experiencing the same effects is the key.
It is of the best interest of a woman going through the effects of menopause to join a woman’s group so that they can discuss what is happening to them and find remedies that other women are using to overcome the symptoms of menopause.
Speaking with a physician can also be helpful since he or she sees menopausal patients regularly and can help alleviate the stereotypes that come with aging.
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