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The Emotional Effects of Osteoporosis: Put Away Your Super Woman Cape!

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Osteoporosis  related image Photo: Getty Images

As women, we tend to do everything ourselves, tending to the needs of everyone around us, and frequently, if not always, putting our needs, wants, and feelings on the back burner. Even when we are saddled with illness or disease, we put on our Super Woman cape and parade around as if nothing or no one can harm us or debilitate us. However, it is important to realize that you can release the cape and recognize that you are only human. Are you a woman? Yes. Are you super? Most certainly. Must you always be Super Woman? No way. You are human, and that is what is most important.

When struggling with osteoporosis, we are all probably familiar with the physical effects of the disease, but what about the emotional toll it takes on people? Those are rarely seen by others, yet they weigh most heavily on the patient, sometimes becoming more difficult than the disease itself.

While the emotional effects of osteoporosis will vary among individuals, what is most important is for one to realize she is never alone in this battle, this journey, and this challenge. As with any situation in life, emotions play a pivotal role, and it is vitally important that you feel open to express how you are feeling, or, at the very least, to record your thoughts and emotions into a journal.

One of the most paralyzing aspects of osteoporosis is the realization that if you do sustain a fall, you can easily fracture a bone. That sense of insecurity alone can be debilitating. You may feel scared to even leave your own home. When you begin to feel this way, it is important to recognize that you do not have to abandon your daily routine and set of activities. While your doctor may suggest that you curtail some of your activities, you do not have to completely isolate yourself. However, just make sure that you follow the guidelines set forth by your physician, ensuring that your best interests are in mind.

My 106-year-old grandmother has been dealing with osteoporosis for over a decade, but she has rarely let it interfere with her life. In recent years, she has used a walker with wheels and a folding bench seat on it to get about the house, but, being the stubborn and independent gal that she is, she has been known to use it for other purposes, such as a towel rack, side table, and scooter for her two-year-old great-granddaughter whom she most recently pushed around her home on that walker! I swear! Grandma was air-born at one point!

Another prominent emotion that typically rears its head when dealing with osteoporosis is depression. I believe that, as women, we tend to expect so much of ourselves, and we can easily get discouraged or frustrated. The best tools you have in your mental arsenal are optimism and positive thoughts. Just remember that at the end of each day, you are still alive, and that is an accomplishment continually worth celebrating! In fact, my grandma recently indicated that if she could participate in the Olympics now, she would do just as well as, if not better than, those other athletes! How is that for eternal optimism? It is those strong and dominant thoughts in her mind that keep her motivated and driven to awaken each day and to remain the conqueror of her disease, not its victim.

Anger and frustration are prevalent feelings, as well. Women with osteoporosis may feel bitterness towards themselves for not having taken better care of their bodies or for not having their bone density checked earlier. Now is not the time to focus on the “what ifs” in life. Put your efforts towards living a healthy lifestyle and thinking positive thoughts. It is amazing what those two things alone will do, not only for your state of mind, but for your overall physical health, as well.

Of course, osteoporosis also takes its toll on one’s physical appearance. Just ask Grandma. Over the last decade, she has shrunk by over four inches. Not one to let it get her down, however, she just confidently notes, “Now I can ride those kiddie rides at the amusement park!”

The important thing to remember is that you are still a beautiful person, inside and out. If you are like most women I know, you are probably way harder one yourself than anyone else is. You may look in the mirror and see the imperfections without realizing the beauty those around you see.

(Information for this article was found at http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-health-articles/the-emotional-effects-of-osteoporosis-944690.html)

Add a Comment1 Comments

Hi Ann,
Thank you for your article. So true! Most women and doctors don't realize that two of the major contributors to osteoporosis in women (along with Vitamin D deficiency) are estrogen and progesterone deficiencies that start during perimenopause/menopause and continue during postmenopause.
Estrogen and progesterone deficiencies also lead to depression, anxiety, insomnia, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, heart palpitations, urinary incontinence, and/or hot flashes in many women. The best treatment is always prevention, so I recommend using bioidentical hormone replacement therapy as soon as a problem is detected. That means women should be regularly checking their hormone levels with a doctor who knows how to interpret the results.
Estrogen, as opposed to osteoporosis medications, preserves the intervertebral discs in the spine and so can also help women maintain their height. Click on link below for reference:

February 22, 2011 - 5:28pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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