“In psychological terms, everything became more difficult for me. What I used to do “one left”, suddenly turned out to be unaffordable – says Katie (46 years). — Now I think that this is a good protective mechanism, which actually should say thank you. But at first, when I suddenly found that I could no longer persuade myself or force or spur — I experienced it very hard. As betrayal.” Ashley (53 years old) recalls that at the beginning of the menopause “capricious, sharply became whiny and resentful,” and compares the beginning of the menopause with prolonged PMS.
Psychological symptoms of menopause at different times included a tendency to depressive States, anxiety, irritability, apathy, outbursts of anger. Despite the fact that hormones can affect the emotional state, now scientists tend to look more broadly at the causes of psychological changes in women of menopausal age. In the period of menopause, a woman can really experience stress, but it is not always the result of hormonal fluctuations. Often for women, the age of menopause coincides with the separation of grown children, career completion, divorce or the beginning of a new relationship, the need to care for elderly parents. Also, a woman’s self-perception depends on how menopause is treated in her culture. In a society that views menopause as a “disease”, women perceive it more negatively than where menopause is seen as a natural process inherent in age.
“This terrible climax»
In our culture, a woman in menopause is often presented as irritable, nervous, ill, emphatically unattractive and “unsatisfied”. It is not surprising that women living in the environment of such stereotypes can be afraid of “aging” — especially since society constantly requires them to meet certain standards of beauty, to be cheerful and happy. The addition of age is presented as a problem that makes a woman “not in accordance with social norms”.
Unfortunately, women do not always receive enough attention in medical offices. Feminist researchers note that in current medical practice, women’s complaints about physical and psychological health during menopause are often attributed to “hormonal fluctuations”, ignoring external causes. This approach supports the stigmatization of menopause and the “habit” of problematizing women’s age.
Modern scientists are increasingly talking about the need for more careful and attentive attitude to menopause and urge not to write off all the “female hormonal features.” For example, menopause is no longer considered the cause of cardiovascular disease, as it was before. Yes, many women have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease after menopause — but the reason is more likely to age, as in men. Also not found sufficient evidence of a link between menopause and memory problems. At the same time, social stigma and stereotypes about women in menopause often press so much that women prefer to hide the psychological and emotional aspects of menopause as “shameful”, fearing condemnation and ridicule. In addition, the “cult of motherhood” can affect so much that even those who no longer planned to have children, can still worry about the loss of fertility.
Climax as liberation
A study conducted with 304 women showed that 42.2 % of participants felt relief with the onset of menopause. Only 2.7 % reported feeling sorry, and 19.6 % said they had mixed feelings. In another study, which involved 505 women aged 35 to 55, 74.9 % of respondents said they could not wait for the period to stop, 12 % were looking forward to the end of PMS, 11.1 % wanted to no longer depend on contraception, and 3.5 % of women expect to “become wiser”with the onset of menopause.
Researcher Nazli Fenercioglu also notes that most of the women she interviewed do not consider their experience in menopause similar to the image that is broadcast in the media. Interestingly, while in Western culture menopause is often portrayed as a disadvantage and a deterioration in the status of women, for Asian women climax often means liberation and the acquisition of a new status and respect. For example, women of Japanese origin rarely experience tides during menopause, and scientists believe that this may be not only biological but also cultural reasons. According to them, Japanese women are less stressed during menopause, because the attitude to menopause in Japanese culture has traditionally been positive.