Today, I had a chat to our Registrars about Menopause and the significant psychosocial problems that it can create. One can view menopause as a normal process and the physiological changes can create significant “adjustment issues” with depressed or anxious mood. So how can we help these patients manage menopause better and readjust besides medications, although medications like HRT can be very helpful for many.
When people go through some sort of a loss or negative changes including the loss of good health, they may fluctuate through the following stages.
2. Stress with fight/flight/freeze responses
3. Intellectual acceptance
4. Emotional acceptance
5. Adaptation or post traumatic/stress growth.
The hardest step is probably the shift from fight/flight/freeze to intellectual and emotional acceptance. That’s the “pivot” point to move towards adaptation and post traumatic/stress growth.
If we can acknowledge these patient’s struggles, and help them shift through these stages towards acceptance and moving forward with readjustment to the new biopsychosocial changes, then HRT may be less required perhaps. Having said that, some patients will still require HRT to assist during this very difficult period.