Got ‘tude?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2010 in emotions | 0 comments

[Used with permission. Thanks to and their seriously fine guitar picks! Rock n Roll!]

Your ‘tude may be affecting how you experience menopause as well as how frequently those flashes occur. What’s more, your environment may also play a role.

In a detailed review of 13 studies examining women’s attitudes before and during menopause, researchers discovered a few choice tidbits:

  • Ya gotta live it to understand it. Apparently, younger women who are premenopausal have more negative attitudes towards menopause than women who are menopausal. In fact, data show that one’s mood state prior to starting menopause may actually affect one’s menopausal atttitudes and experiences.
  • I’ve got all my sisters (and teachers) with me. Research shows that education and social support contribute greatly to having positive attitudes and experiences during the transition.
  • Which came first? The chicken or the egg? Depression  is apparently associated with having more negative attitudes about menopause although researchers haven’t quite figured out the causality, i.e. depression before symptoms or symptoms before depression. Regardless, it might bet helpful to tackle those blues and try to chase them away.
  • It takes a village. The reviewed studies included women from North America, Europe, Asia and the middle east. They showed that cultural attitudes can significantly impact attitudes towards menopause. One of the most discouraging (and telling) findings was that the medicalization of menopause affected Caucasian women in particular, leading to a tendency towards negative attitudes. Say no more!

Overall, the key take-away point is that negative social attitudes + individual negative attitudes = worsening symptoms and poorer experiences.  I believe that we can change this equation for the positive by supporting one another, working on changing our beliefs about menopause and what it is (and isn’t), taking steps to boost mood, whether they be exercise, herbs, antidepressants, or mind-body practices, and by unifying to stop the medicalization of menopause.

What do you say? You in? Got ‘tude?

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