A recent survey in England on menopausal women and found that twenty percent felt lonely, forty percent felt their symptoms were not important enough to bother their GP, and thirty percent believe there is not much their GP, or anyone else can do to help anyway. Nearly all of the women said they felt unsupported.
Not exactly an uplifting read. Menopause is a tricky since many of the symptoms are not very tangible: unstable emotions, confusion and forgetfulness. Loved ones often don’t how to be supportive, tactful and comforting with these types of symptoms, so women just don’t talk about them, ergo they feel alone. Throw in the other side effects such as hot flashes, night sweats and irritability and you can start to really understand and empathize.
Dr Curry, Menopause expert and author of Menopause Matters magazine says painful intercourse is a very common side effect which many women don’t like to discuss. She is keen to point out that these symptoms are hugely under reported, which is sad as the symptoms for this are very easily treatable.
Even if you don’t like talking about your symptoms, plenty of other people do! The internet is full of women’s groups discussing menopause, especially the dreaded hot flashes. Simply typing ‘menopause’ into facebook gives a list of great support groups with literally thousands of women all over the world discussing their symptoms, remedies, personal experiences with families and often their frustrations with health care professionals and employers.
Many women find this type of a support network a huge comfort when dealing with their own hot flashes and menopause symptoms, and because you’re not ‘friends’ with this group it’s easier to discuss problems as it removes the personal element.
Some of the best groups we found were ‘Red Hot Mamas’ an Education and Support Program, ‘Menopause Madness’ a fun loving group, with lots of banter and humor, and ‘Menopause Sucks’ – this page advertises itself as a place to go to when you feel grumpy and want a good old moan.
Most of these groups are often quite fun and light hearted, so might help you to avoid the doom and gloom results from the aforementioned survey. If you are feeling lonely and unsupported this is just one tool you may find useful.