Some heartfelt thoughts on menopause

Along with the many physical symptoms of menopause, most women also experience worry, anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, mood swings, insomnia, memory issues, cravings and depression.

Dr. Shelley Crombach — 

There are many different psychological symptoms related to menopause. It is important for women to recognize them and remain educated about how we can improve our mental health during this time. Menopause often is viewed as a negative or “disease-like” process, rather than the natural life progression that it is. By staying informed about the emotional aspects of menopause, women will be equipped to endure and manage symptoms, and live a more functional, fulfilling life.

Along with the many physical symptoms of menopause, most women also experience worry, anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, mood swings, insomnia, memory issues, cravings and depression. Many of these psychological symptoms can be eliminated or decreased by restoring emotional wellness.

Adrenal function is a vital factor during menopause. Women often experience adrenal fatigue, which makes them ill-equipped to cope with the everyday stresses of life. The symptoms women experience during menopause are the body’s way of telling them to pay closer attention to their health.

Two key hormones made by the adrenal glands are cortisol and DHEA. Maintaining a balance between these hormones helps ensure the proper health and function of the body. Cortisol helps regulate mood and emotional stability and improves resistance to emotional trauma. DHEA helps improve energy, vitality, sleep and mental clarity. When an imbalance between cortisol and DHEA occurs, emotional and physical symptoms of menopausal changes can prevail.

Women can improve their adrenal function through the influence of positive thoughts. Recent studies have shown that by thinking with your heart, you can actually increase the amount of DHEA the body produces. This is a very powerful way to improve both physical and mental health. Heart-focused exercises can help counter the emotional effects of stress. Heart-centered techniques allow the patients to focus on only themselves.

The first step is to examine your emotional state and write down what is bothering you. Then focus on your heart by placing your hands over it, shifting to happy thoughts, people you love, past events that made you feel good or a place you would like to be. Then move your attention to thoughts of beloved people, pets or God, and feel the unconditional love.

This technique can help a woman pull herself out of a negative emotional state. With a positive mental outlook, our adrenals can function optimally and help keep our hormones in balance. In turn, the body is able to deal with both the emotional and physical symptoms associated with menopause.

It is unbelievable how much power the mind has over the body. Women do not have to fall victim to the symptoms that accompany this natural life process, and we do not have to surrender to exogenous forms of hormones. Those should be used as a last resort. Before making that choice, we must realize that we have the power and ability to heal ourselves.

We must also take society to this next step of healing by teaching the true power the mind has over both the undesirable and desirable processes in life. A large portion of the emotional instability in pre-menopausal and menopausal women is related to the feeling of defeat.

Menopause is viewed by the majority of people as a difficult life process. Many women relate to to family members or friends who found it a challenging time and continue to focus on the negative energy, rather than fostering a positive mental attitude. Lots of women become resigned to the fact that they are aging, and they view menopause as a definitive sign that everything is downhill from there.

We have the power to age with vitality. As women, we need to tap into the personal and emotional aspects of self-care so that we can diminish the unnecessary, self-inflicted, proverbial “roller-coaster ride.” We must reach out to the younger generation of women, teaching them to love and respect their bodies, thereby fostering healthy mental attitudes from an early age. We can provide a healthcare atmosphere whereby women can learn to accept menopausal life changes with a positive outlook.


Dr. Shelley Crombach is a chiropractic physician and a graduate of New York Chiropractic College.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 1, February/March 2008.

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