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: :   Survival Tips Finding a Support Group Emotional Support Is Key

Emotional Support Is Key

HFN 022 SupportGroup 1 19589723Going through menopause can be difficult enough, but when hot flashes are part of the mix, your daily life takes on even more challenges. Your body changes during menopause, and you might be experiencing uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing and even painful symptoms. It's possible your mood swings are even causing your personal relationships to suffer.

Menopause can be a scary time, which is why it's necessary to enlist the help of others. Whether it's the support of your immediate family, a church group, or a hospital-based support group, securing the emotional support of the people around you is vital as you pass through this transitional life stage.

Immediate Family
We see members of our immediate family every day, and it is very important to gain the understanding—and patience—of these people while you're in menopause.
Although it may be difficult for men and younger women to fully appreciate your symptoms, it's vital that they understand you are experiencing a hardship in your life.

The issue of mood swings, for example, affects the whole family. First it was your teen going through his or her own hormonal storm, but now it's Mom! Whether you mean to or not, menopause can cause you to become agitated with your family and lash out at them, or be reduced to tears at something that seems inconsequential from the outside looking in. If your family has no understanding of menopause and the symptoms that accompany it, how can they make special consideration for you when you're having a tough time with it? Take time to educate your family about menopause and hot flashes and how you're affected emotionally and physically.

A talk with your kids obviously needs to be age-appropriate, and even gender appropriate, since having a discussion with a son will probably be quite a different talk than one with your daughter. Talking with your spouse is totally different again. If you're gaining weight and have a body-image problem, these should be part of your discussion. If intercourse is becoming painful, this is not something to keep to yourself. Explore options with your doctor, and talk about them with your spouse, too.

Support Groups
Try as they might, your immediate family may not be able to provide the emotional support you need. This is why support groups are important. It can be therapeutic to share stories with women who are experiencing the same troubles that you are. Women in these groups can often tell you about certain natural remedies and over-the-counter drugs that have and haven't worked for them. There truly is a wealth of knowledge to be gained in support groups. Check with your local church, hospital, or community center to see if there are any menopause support groups in your area. If you prefer to visit support groups from the comfort of your own home, a simple internet search will reveal an abundance of online menopause support groups.

As effective as menopause support groups can be, they are no replacement for a doctor when it comes to serious medical issues. While a woman in a support group can tell you about her positive experience with hormone replacement therapy, she cannot accurately decide if it is the right thing for you. Before taking any type of medical action, it is important to remember to keep your doctor in the loop. ♀

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