The sitcom of menopause

It may not seem like the stuff of sitcoms when it’s happening to you, but my sister pointed out to me the other day that menopause was the theme of a recent CBS show called Mom – and it’s a great reminder that a solid sense of humor can be a terrific asset.

The show is built around the evolving relationships between a mom, her daughter and her mother – three generations of women and the changing nature of their interaction.  In a recent episode, the matriarch of the family started experiencing some textbook symptoms, and her daughter recognized what was at play while her mother went to sitcom-level extremes to deny what was happening.

My sister pointed it out to me, saying the episode has value “even if you don’t watch the show or know the characters”. In her words, “If we can’t laugh about it, we’ll just melt away in a pool of our night sweats.”

Truth is, trying to manage the mood swings, the sleeplessness, the realization of changing sexuality – all a natural part of the aging process – is challenging, maddening…and yes, if you allow it, funny.  When a woman is deep in the middle of trying to manage the symptoms and her reaction to them, the idea of laughing about it all may not be the most top-of-mind approach to consider.  But once things are put into perspective, maybe with the help of some hormone therapy, it does make sense to consider that a strong sense of humor may be at least as valuable as other medically based ways to help manage the process.  And that’s something I strongly recommend in conjunction with the most helpful of clinical approaches.

 

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Contributed by

James A. Simon

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