Struggling with Menopause
I knew there was something wrong. My sweet friend had been snapping at everyone for weeks, she was irritable and short-tempered. I went by her house to pick up something, and within minutes she was crying and she couldn’t tell me why.
As ugly as puberty was – zits, bloating and tampons – menopause was a whole new world of misery, and it affects everyone differently. Being a girl isn’t easy.
Mood swings, depression, sleeplessness, and crazy hormones are the common symptoms, which are not a lot of fun if you’re married to or friends with the person going through it. Even less if it’s you.
I remember laughing so hard at a 1980’s sitcom mom who was going through menopause. Her hot flashes were so bad that she walked into the kitchen and stuck her head into the freezer. Forty years later, that scene isn’t so funny, not when it’s you or your buddy.
I’ve seen menopausal friends go from laughing and joking in one moment to snarling and snapping in the next, then bawling when everyone stopped to stare at them. Not fun at parties, lunch dates or pretty much any other time.
So can friendships survive menopausal mood swings?
That depends on how much you value your friendship and if it has gotten abusive. If you think your bud is going through menopause or perimenopause (which can start years before), try talking to her about speaking to her doctor or gynecologist to get some help. This can be tricky and best not to do when she’s crying or yelling.
Exercise can improve mood swings, so try meeting her for a walk at the botanic garden or nature park instead of for coffee.
Don’t let anyone become abusive toward you. Set limits. If she continues to cross them, you will need to call her on it, distance yourself, or step away.
Menopause can last four to five years with symptoms decreasing over time.
My sweet friend knew she had a problem and she knew what it was. While her friends and family rallied around her and tried to be supportive, she was really unhappy.
She found a doctor that could help her get her hormones under control and within a couple of months she was back to being her wonderful self. Her family and friends are happier and she is so much happier.
If you find yourself struggling with menopause always reach out to your primary care doctor!
By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers
Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas
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