A guide to the changes at midlife and menopause for women and their partners
By Dr Mandy Deeks PhD Psychologist
There are significant stages that a woman passes through in her life and menopause is a time when, by its very definition, the biological and reproductive function of a woman comes to an end. This ending brings with it consequences, in the context of a dynamic life journey, which can be either welcomed on the one hand or on the other, experienced with negative feelings. An acknowledgement and scrutiny of the complexity of the aspects of the menopause is welcomed as is consideration about how to understand and negotiate this journey with some success. This applies both physically and emotionally.
Dr Deeks is a psychologist with experience in working with women. In her book about menopause she presents the diverse and complex circumstances attached to this phase in a woman's life journey, both as an appropriate developmental stage and when it occurs as an early menopause. Her book is directed to both women and their partners, as she acknowledges that menopause is a shared experience for those with partners.
Her straight forward explanations of hormone function and their role in the emotional and physical changes accompanying the menopause would be a helpful guide for any person. Of particular interest is the review of the hormone-related emotional outcomes and the current thoughts about hormone replacement.
Menopause, at whichever time it arrives, can emotionally tip a woman in an unexpected direction so that issues with relationships and moods (for instance) provide challenges in one's life. Dr Deeks sensitively and thoughtfully outlines (and sometimes guides us practically) in an easy to follow step by step manner using psychological principles, on how to think about the difficult feelings so that a reaction will not be destructive. At the end of every chapter she reflects on and integrates the information as well as providing references for follow up. A worthy addition would have been a section on young women who develop menopause as a consequence of surgery or chemotherapy.
This comprehensive book provides information on menopause as well as helpful psychological guidelines for the emotional sequelae. Dr Deeks, who has brought to her work her extensive clinical experience listening to and helping women who struggle with the emotional aspects of menopause, offers the reader a thorough and satisfying insight. It is of relevance to women, their partners and health professionals and is a timely addition to the menopause literature.
Monash Medical Centre
Life Begins at Menopause? A guide to the changes at midlife and menopause for women and their partners
Published by Dr Mandy Deeks - Distributed by Brumby Books (brumbybooks.com.au)
Available at all good book stores and the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health
Content Updated 7 October, 2008