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Dott.ssa Emanuela Bisogni
Dott.ssa Emanuela Bisogni

Doctor, I am really in difficulty.... I feel sad, tired... I can't remember things like before, what's wrong with me? Do I have a disease? Am I depressed? Will I get panic attacks? .... and then, I don't like myself anymore! Nothing fits me anymore!

Well... This is often the starting point... Giving awareness, psycho-education. Many times it happens to me that female patients   ranging   40 to 50 years of age ask me these things. And they get scared, they think they have some disease. Actually, they don't. They are simply pre-menopausal even if they have their period, or menopausal. I am not a gynaecologist, but certainly the hormone drop   affects their mood,   psyche,   thoughts and emotions.

Sex hormones affect a woman's emotional, cognitive and neurovegetative activity  profoundly. For example, the fall in oestrogen leads to a reduction in serotonin levels, the main hormone in regulating the 'tone' of mood, i.e. the colour of the psychic 'lenses' with which each of us reads our lives. This is why many women suffer from depression when their oestrogen levels drop. However, serotonin is also a powerful regulator of gastrointestinal organs and neurovegetative functions. During PMS, not only irritability, aggression and depression appear, but also abdominal bloating, worsening of the 'irritable bowel syndrome', digestive difficulties, water retention, weight gain and bloating.

My task, in the first instance, is to help women understand how much of their condition depends on hormones and how much on the psyche. Women as well as men are complex systems, and it is necessary to have a 360° global reading. Obviously we cannot separate but we can make an integrated reading in terms of P.N.E.I. (Psycho-neuro-immune endocrinology).

In addition to the symptoms described above, which can also be regulated with a T.O.S., perhaps the strongest impact is on the psyche! The physical symptoms are quite common to all women, but there are different psychological ways of perceiving this event. Some women see menopause as the end of their cycle, which they may have always experienced with discomfort or pain, and therefore feel freer. They also feel more relieved sexually because they abandon the risk of unexpected pregnancies. In other cases, on the other hand, the fact of losing one's fertility is experienced as a loss of femininity since the changes that occur on the physical and mental level coincide for many with the onset of senescence.

Other women consider the menopause a completely natural and physiological moment and accept it with extreme normality as a new phase in their lives.

But who suffers the most? From my clinical experience, I see that those who have difficulty in accepting this transition are women who have had a difficult relationship with their bodies and with food during their 'fertile' years. And I am not only referring to those who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. I am not referring only to those who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but also to those who have made their personal value revolve around a number, their weight and their body. But also to those who struggle to change their lifestyle, who tend to keep it down.

It is very difficult to accept a changing body, because the body image also changes. And this gradual change approaches old age. And it frightens. This happens because people often tend to associate old age with negative aspects such as illness, loss of mobility, a different appearance and the appearance of wrinkles on the face, as well as a general deterioration in health. I don't want to give recipes, each of us will face this transition with our own resources and tools. I like to leave you with this sentence:

"The greatest salvation that is, is to know oneself."

-Galileo Galilei-

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