Health Library

Categories > Menopause > Understanding menopause

Adjusting to menopause

From the moment Vivian experienced her first hot flash, she felt old. Menopause signaled the end of life as she knew it. She no longer felt useful or productive. Of course, that attitude made it difficult for her to cope with even minor upsets.

What she failed to realize is that menopause is a normal part of aging, a natural transition—not a disease. Like other transitions, it brings challenges and offers opportunities.

All too often, however, crankiness, irritability, anxiety, fatigue and depression are blamed on “the change.” Surely, hormonal shifts play a role in our emotional and mental well-being. But frequently overlooked is the fact that menopause often coincides with stressful events—the chronic illness of a parent, the departure of grown children from the home, a relocation, a job change or divorce—that can affect emotions.

While menopause is an obvious time to ponder the aging process, it’s also the first page of an exciting new chapter. Adopting a welcoming attitude toward menopause can help women ease through crises and enjoy life well into old age.