With this week being National Women’s Health week, renowned psychologist Dr. Vivian Diller joined me for an interview to discuss how we as women can approach life’s changes and age with confidence!
Candace Rose: What is National Women’s Health Week and why should we celebrate it?
Dr. Vivian Diller: “National Women’s Health week is an initiative to remind women that they need to look after their health, even if it’s not their natural instinct. Women tend to be the caretakers- they take care of their children, they take care of their parents, they even take care of their mates. And it’s very important especially as we’re living longer lives, longer than we’ve lived before, well into our 80s and 90s. Women all along the way look after their well being, they have to have their annual checkup, they have to have their mammograms, their bone density tests. It’s a critically important thing for women, much the way they say on a plane, you’re supposed to take the oxygen mask before you help somebody else. That’s what National Women’s Health week is about.”
Candace Rose: Why don’t women make discussing their health a priority?
Dr. Vivian Diller: “I think it’s probably rooted in the fact that for hundreds of thousands of years women’s primary role was to attract a mate, create and then take care of others. We’re probably a little hardwired to do that. And even though women have changed their roles so much in the last 50 years and do so many other things, probably it’s a very hard instinct to battle against to put ones self first as a woman, and that’s what we have to do now that we’re living longer.”
Candace Rose: Can you talk to us about menopause?
Dr. Vivian Diller: “Menopause is a natural transitional phase of life. It is not a one size fits all experience, it can start as early as ones thirties in perimenopause that leads to menopause, which happens most often somewhere in ones fifties. And it’s the marker of the end of fertility, it’s when menstruation ceases. The problem with what we have done with the phase of menopause is we’ve stigmatized it. We’ve viewed it as if it’s an illness rather than a change in ones hormonal life. And just like during puberty when adolescence go through a change and they come out of it, so do women. So it’s really important that women are out there talking to one another. Going to a website like Poise.com which I have joined as one of their experts where women talk to other women about their experience so we take the stigma out of a natural phase of life.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Dr. Vivian Diller: “I think what we really need to think about as women take care of their health during menopause is instead of feeling as if menopause takes over your life, that the symptoms have to take over you, to feel as if you’re all alone and that your moods are out of control, that you can be proactive. You can do things to ease the symptoms of menopause. Go take a look at Poise.com, they have products that have nonirritating ingredients that are specifically designed to be helpful to alleviate the symptoms. And if we are more proactive, we’ll feel better because we’re not feeling like victims of a disease, and that’s what’s the most important message.”