Ladies, are you between the ages of 35 and 65? If so, you need to be aware of a pervading syndrome among women in this age bracket and older. Some of the more frequent risk factors include juggling the responsibilities of working, going to school and/or being a parent; helping your parents, in-laws or family elders with their healthcare needs or perhaps you’re working in “helping” professions such as healthcare, teaching, social work or customer service. If you are experiencing one or more of these risk factors, you may be in jeopardy of developing what we call “CDS” – Caregiver Distraction Syndrome – and we have some thoughts we’d like to share on that.
Western culture has afforded women a distinctive opportunity to go out in the world and create a professional life for themselves. Many of us manage that professional life in addition to our inherited responsibilities of care-giving. In order for us to do both (and much more), we’ve had to make choices in our personal level of self-care. We suggest Western medicine has made it possible for us to abdicate many of our personal feminine responsibilities. Irregular menses and dysmenorea are often managed by hormone supplementation and our babies are thrust into this life by C-section and inducement of labor. Even the transformational experience of menopause is something for which many women seek medical intervention because we are not taught the significance of this time nor were we provided with tools to manage this new way of living.
Whether through hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings or loss of bone density, the true inner authority of every woman will begin to make itself heard during the peri-menopausal phases. Symptoms are often perceived as attacks from the arch enemy of AGING and women go immediately into defensive posture. As with menstruation and having babies, many women place the responsibility of dealing with menopause symptoms on their doctor’s shoulders. We believe that effective management consists of learning how to read the symptoms which we suggest are coded messages from a long lost friend, one who is aware of our real needs and desires but due to our chronic CDS, can’t be heard over the clamor of daily life. Because of the subjective nature of these messages, we are the only ones who can truly decipher the code.
Changing our perspective about the menopause process can change our perceptions of the symptoms. Learning to de-code the messages can, like a treasure hunt, reward us with surprises and gifts. There are many ways to help de-code the messages and the first is to begin to pay attention and listen.
We believe that consciously moving through all these experiences will bring us to a place in which we will be able to foster a more conscious and empowered community around us. Taking and sharing responsibility for our health and well-being starts with paying attention to Self.
Suzanne McMurray and Eve Sicuella will inform and empower women and men who may have challenging perimenpausal phase into menopause. Bring your friends, neighbors and enjoy this free community wellness education program. Transformational Menopause will take place October 17th at 5:30 in the Little Theatre.