Finding emotional support for postmenopausal osteoporosis
If you’ve just been diagnosed with postmenopausal osteoporosis, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The condition, which affects approximately 8 million women in the United States, can make bones brittle and prone to fractures.
But despite the severity of this common disease, osteoporosis doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
In fact, a small
However, postmenopausal osteoporosis can affect you deeply, potentially leading to pain and discomfort.
You may also need to stop doing activities you enjoy, such as high-impact exercises, to reduce your risk of fracture. Mobility issues that arise from osteoporosis fractures can also compromise your independence and also lead to social isolation.
If you’re struggling to cope with the impact of this condition, you’re not alone. A
But there are many places to turn for emotional support for postmenopausal osteoporosis – and asking for help can make all the difference.
Read on for some options to consider.
If you’re under stress or experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression related to osteoporosis (or any other issue), a mental health professional can be an incredibly powerful source of support.
Your doctor or other members of your healthcare team can refer you to a therapist, counselor or other mental health professional in your area.
However, nowadays it is not always necessary to see a therapist in person. So, if mobility issues or other issues make it difficult to meet in person, you can see a therapist from the comfort of your own home through telehealth services.
Here are some searchable databases that can help you get in touch with a virtual therapist:
Joining an osteoporosis support group can be comforting. There is a special exchange that happens when you connect with others who are going through something similar. Plus, it can be a helpful reminder that you’re not alone.
The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) maintains a list of osteoporosis support groups by state.
Although support groups focus specifically on postmenopausal osteoporosis can be hard to find, the disease often affects women after menopause, so you are likely to meet people at this stage of life in many osteoporosis support groups. BHOF also offers information on how to start your own group.
If you are comfortable with online forums, visit the Online Osteoporosis Support Community, created by BHOF in partnership with Inspire. Join the discussion on a host of specific topics, including postmenopausal osteoporosis.
You can also check out the US Bone Health Forums, where over 2,400 members ask questions and share advice.
Osteoporosis organizations offer several sources of support for people with the disease.
They can provide you with reliable information on the latest treatments, tips for adjusting your lifestyle, guides for navigating conversations with your doctor, and more.
Some also provide ways for people to connect with other people with osteoporosis, for example through online events and forums.
Here are some osteoporosis organizations to consult:
- American Bone Health: It is a national non-profit organization focused on education and advocacy. It offers a helpful resource guide for those newly diagnosed and a helpline at 855-365-2663.
- FRO: BHOF is a non-profit organization formerly known as the National Osteoporosis Foundation. You can visit its resource library for publications and videos on osteoporosis. Don’t miss her Upcoming Events page, which provides information on exercise programs, charity walks and workshops across the country.
- International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF): The IOF is a worldwide organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. You can visit its educational center and download the brochure “Bone Care for the Postmenopausal Woman”.
- NIH National Resource Center for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases: This organization is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It provides authoritative information on osteoporosis and related bone diseases.
Newsletters, podcasts and videos keep you up to date with the latest osteoporosis information, which can give you peace of mind that you have the disease under control.
They also pass on personal stories of people with osteoporosis. Here are some options:
- BHOF Newsletter: Sign up to receive this free quarterly newsletter by email.
- Bone Talk: BHOF’s podcast and blog feature inspiring conversations, insights from people with osteoporosis and their caregivers, and more. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
- IOF Videos: Informational videos and personal stories from people around the world with osteoporosis.
- Healthtalk.org: Watch videos or read transcripts as people talk about their feelings and what it’s like to live with osteoporosis.
You can often get emotional support closer to home from loved ones, but you may need to give them some information about your condition first.
Many people don’t understand how serious the disease can be and how it can affect your life. Sharing the facts with your partner and family can help them understand how you might need emotional support, as well as practical assistance that could be helpful at home.
It is also important to maintain friendships. According to the BHOF, people with large social networks seem to manage osteoporosis more effectively than people with smaller networks.
However, having a few people in your life who provide consistent, high-quality support can also go a long way.
If mobility issues prevent you from attending social events, you may want to invite your close friends over. You might also consider setting up a weekly phone call to catch up on life and share what you’re going through.
Osteoporosis is common in older women. In fact, it affects
If your group of friends includes other people your age, chances are one of them also has postmenopausal osteoporosis (or knows someone who does) and would be willing to share his ideas.
Postmenopausal osteoporosis is common, but it can have a profound impact on your lifestyle and emotional well-being.
Asking for emotional support can be a helpful part of coping with illness. This may include:
- connection with a mental health professional
- join a support group or online forum
- tap into osteoporosis organizations
- subscribe to newsletters, podcasts and other media
- ask for help from loved ones
Finding out that you have osteoporosis can stir up a lot of emotions. But remember: you don’t have to do it alone.
Millions of people live with osteoporosis, and connecting with others with the disease can be the first step to coming to terms with the diagnosis and learning ways to manage it in your daily life.