In Dolly Parton's new video, "Better Get to Livin'" she admonishes a circus tent full of women to "stop pining, whining, get your dreams in line and then just shine." Good advice, maybe, but for women in the throes of menopause it's not quite as easy as a quick attitude adjustment. Leading up to, and just after, menopause women are vulnerable to mood disorders, including depression. When well meaning friends and family suggest that you just "keep your chin up" it implies that you are doing something wrong, and if you just had the right attitude all would be well.
But hormone shifts and life circumstances are not so easily swept aside, so if you find yourself feeling down, sad, overwhelmed or angry most of the time, talk to a professional. If you or your family are noticing that you are "just not yourself," it's possible that you are suffering from depression. This is not a failure on your part, and you might need some support to pull out of it. So if, unlike Dolly, you don't "have a little voice inside that keeps you right on track," give yourself permission to find some help staying on track.
Here is some information on distinguishing between normal sadness and depression. Maybe the secret that Dolly is talking about is that there is indeed life after menopause, and you will be glad you didn't let this temporary hormone storm throw you for a loop. We all need a little help sometimes finding a healthy balance -- so we can get to livin'.