Femininity © lynette sheppard

A few weeks, ago I was contacted by a producer from a new television show scheduled to air this fall and specifically geared to women. They’re planning to do a full hour on menopause (Yes, I know, we could use a full week or a year but who has the time?)

At any rate, the producer wanted recommendations for specific topics. I called and emailed but somehow we never connected. So it’s a mystery what might be those topics.

Here’s my hope, though. I hope that this program will break new ground – and cover some of the menopausal symptoms, problems, and heartaches that we never discuss in articles or interviews.

The Big Five topics that we always seem to hear about are these:

1. Hot flashes and night sweats.
2. Loss of sex drive
3. Depression and anger
4. Hormone replacement therapy: pros and cons; bioidentical vs synthetic
5. Natural remedies.

These are important issues and it’s wonderful that they have been addressed. Still, the topics about which Menopause Goddess Blog gets the most correspondence consist of another Five: the Forgotten Five. And there is more angst and desperation about each of these life altering manifestations than we hear about the aforementioned Big Five combined. It’s time to bring them out into the open.

The Forgotten Five: The Worst Menopause Symptoms You Never Heard About

1. Brain Fog This isn’t simply a memory problem. Our very ability to think, problem solve, and process information is compromised. It feels like we are literally losing our minds. And we don’t know if we will ever get them back. It is quite literally terrifying. Which brings us to:

2. Anxiety
Whether we suddenly suffer from the night terrors, generalized anxiousness, or a sense of impending doom, anxiety can pervade our everyday life during perimenopause and menopause. Worse, those of us who have rarely been scared or jittery may suddenly worry about almost everything. Again, causing us to doubt our very sanity.

3. Hair Loss Women often associate hair with femininity. I know I did. So when my hair began thinning and falling out, I was panicked. And so many of our Menopause Goddess sisters have suffered the same condition. Dermatologists and hairdressers often tell us “It’s just hormonal.” Which is about as helpful as saying that Hurricane Katrina was “just a weather phenomenon.”

4. Fatigue A bone crushing fatigue can overtake you during perimenopause and menopause. I don’t know why – perhaps Changing on a molecular level (that’s how it feels) takes a lot out of us. Whatever the reason, it is a normal, common, miserable part of the menopause experience for many women.

5. Immune Dysfunction While menopause is a normal transition for a woman, it seems to take a toll. This may be the time that a woman has her first outbreak of Shingles (a herpes infection related to chicken pox). Or an illness comes out of nowhere like Rheumatoid Arthritis or a serious infection. (Half of our Menopause Goddess Group, a very healthy, active subset had this happen to them.)

So perhaps this new TV show will cover more than the Big Five when they air the menopause hour. Ideally, they’ll address some or all of the Forgotten Five. I certainly hope so. Now that would be a show worth watching!

So yes, I’ll e-mail a link to this blog entry to the producer and maybe, just maybe, we won’t cover the same ground again and again that’s already been covered.

(Even if the show doesn’t expand on these topics, we will. Right here. Stay tuned for ideas and help – women sharing wisdom, that’s what we are about.)