Friday, April 6, 2018

Does menopause cause jealousy?

In relationships, it is well known than men are mostly jealous about sex, while women are mostly concerned about emotional attachments.

Dr David Whitehouse, BBC News Online science editor

What Happens when you become Jealous?

It might not be a "jealousy center," but scientists suspect the brain's left frontal cortex, which deals in emotions like shame, is involved.

Another key player is your noggin's dopamine system; it regulates the chemical associated with happiness or reward.

Spurred by the above are the three types of jealousy:
* Reactive jealousy happens after your mate has actually deceived you. You know he strayed and feel PO'ed, anxious, or sad. (Ditto if, for example, you caught your BFF out with a fun new friend.)
* Suspicious jealousy rears its head when you see him flirting with someone else or if you start to doubt his commitment. Cue feelings of insecurity and distrust.
* Delusional jealousy takes over when either of the above swell to the point of obsession, a la Fatal Attraction. You might act irrationally (freaking if he ogles an actress) or fanatically (creepily checking up on him).

Once you're green-eyed, you might have trouble seeing anything else—quite literally. A study found that women in the throes of jealousy had trouble spotting obvious objects. The greater their jealousy, the harder time they had. (Note to self: No driving while jealous!)

Jealousy might also kick-start the body's stress response. Enter an overflow of stress hormones, spiked blood pressure, and an increased heart rate.

Scientific Reasons of Jealousy

When it comes to women and jealousy, most will agree that a little bit of the “devil’s juice”, is healthy. However, one may wonder what separates women with hormonal related jealousy and insecurity-driven jealousy. Or, if there is even a difference between the two.

When you think about jealousy and women being in the same room, most think it’s driven by insecurities. It can be the downfall to a lot of relationships. A common gripe in relationships is that you hear men venting about how they love their girlfriend, they appreciate and cherish her entire being, but her jealousy is out of control. He can’t go out with his buddies, can’t have friends of the opposite gender, etc. Although insecurities may play a part in it, studies show hormones may be to blame. Let’s face it ladies, it isn’t so bad having another scientifically proven study to explain our “crazy” antics.

A study was conducted by Psychologist, Dr. Craig Roberts from Stirling University. The study took place over the course of three months. A total of 275 women between the ages of 17-35, took various versions of birth control containing synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone. Both hormones bring out what is referred to as the “green-eyed monster”, which heightens a woman’s suspicion of her man’s fidelity. It was found that the women who had been taking contraceptives with higher levels of estrogen were more likely to experience jealousy. On the other end of the spectrum, subjects who were taking progesterone-only versions of birth control experienced minimal to no increase in jealousy.

With this information now fresh in mind, when looking at which birth control brand is suited best for you, take a look at the packet. If you happen to see the word, “ethinylestradiol”, that is a key sign that particular birth control contains a high amount of estrogen. The study shows that women taking these types of contraceptives will find it less likely to form and maintain relationships, especially healthy ones. Dr. Roberts suggests that women and pharmaceutical providers are not fully aware of the impact and severity high levels of estrogen have on women.

Another study conducted at the University of Haifa, located in Israel found similar findings. In this study, there were 56 participants who completed two separate sessions. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of Oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”. During the first session, half were given Oxytocin while the other half were provided with placebos. During the second session the groups switched. Oxytocin has been proven to have positive effects on positive feelings. For those not aware, Oxytocin is released into the body during childbirth and during love-making.

On the flip end of this, Oxytocin is also known to increase levels of aggression. To test this out, after the participants were administered the drug they were asked to play a game of luck with a competitor. These people were given three doors to pick from, and behind which door they chose they were awarded a sum of money they were allowed to keep. Their competitor was playing next to them and could see the amount they won. If they happened to win more than their competitor the study had shown they were experiencing negative feelings such as envy.

Jealousy and Menopause

There is one of the good things for women at Menopause that you do not care about birth control, however, the hormonal changes are more critical during the transition and post-menopausal period. With hormones playing games inside your body, you may experience the same unpredictable and unaccountable changes in emotional wellbeing, mood, and intimate relations perception. You may be a nice sweet girl in the morning, and furious bitch around the afternoon hours, just to end up the day as completely tired and indifferent creature.

Jealousy outbursts may also follow up the hormonal changes in the body, but is there a general pattern that jealousy level gets worse at menopause? Nope. Older women earn life wisdom and frequently able to distinguish between the real reasons for being enraged from the reasons, made up by hormonal hide-and-seek games.

If hormones are the problem source, the general practice of balancing the hormones, and engaging in the healthy lifestyle activities might significantly improve the situation and smooth the negative effects. There are also psychological recommendations to assess the relationship and establish the healthy and reasonable reactions map to the triggers, perceived as a threat for the intimate relationship.

Here are some recommendations…

Understand the Consequences: It Is Insulting

Ladies, it is understandable that this emotion cannot be controlled most of the time. Surely the actions that ensue from this emotion are able to be controlled, but the feeling tends to overcome all other internal feelings. However, one of the most effective ways to subdue this emotion to abolish it, is to realize just how insulting it is for your partner. Chances are, your partner did not provide you with a reason to feel insecure nor jealous, so it is best to understand the emotional toll this is taking on them. When you feel a sense of compassion and empathy, other issues seem to vanish.

Embrace Your Originality: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

When you compare yourself to others in terms of physical looks, humor, affluence, and success, you are detracting from all of the wonderful things that you are.  Being original is the greatest thing that you can be and though you might not believe this, there are people who desire to be just like you as well.

Fear Is Okay– You Will Survive

Being afraid to lose the person you are with is inevitable. However, and though it may not be what you desire to do, creating an understanding that every action has a reason and that every outcome has a happy ending will allow you to simply live for the day rather than a future you are apprehensive about. Additionally, this jealousy might prematurely end the relationship, so it is best to be mindful of that.

Distinguish Between Fiction and Reality

The human mind is very convincing and endlessly tricky. Often, you are able to believe the things that you are the most fearful of. Essentially, if you imagine that your partner is unfaithful, your brain’s natural reaction is to make sense of the overproduction of the fear and stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, by creating scenarios in your mind that are untrue. Understand that what you imagine is not reality and remain aware of that fact each day.

Love Yourself by Understanding What You Offer

Once you realize the positive attributes about yourself, an understanding will be created that you are special and worthy enough for anyone, let alone your partner. Compile a list of what you enjoy about yourself and even enlist the help of your family or friends. Doing this will allow you to realize your worth and you will be surprised about how many qualities there are to appreciate about you.

Assess the Relationship: Why Did It Start?

Much like determining the positive characteristics of yourself, you should repeat the same process with your relationship. Answer the questions:
·         Why did the relationship start?
·         What makes it so special?
·         Why did you and your partner choose one another over anyone else?

Answering these questions will strengthen both of you as a couple while concurrently abolishing your jealousy that has stemmed from uncertainty.

Talk About It to Determine the Cause of Jealousy

Hiding your jealousy will only weaken the relationship and put you in a dangerous spiral of self-dislike, sadness, and continual envy. The best route to take is to share your feelings with your partner. From there, assess where your jealousy could be coming from:
·         Does your partner have a lot of female friends?
·         Did they once give you a reason to feel protective?
·         Are you battling low self-esteem?

All of these questions should be answered together and solutions should be proposed that will abate this problem.

Shift Your Focus to Something More Positive

Despite your efforts, jealousy sometimes continues to linger in your mind. This natural reaction is nothing to be ashamed of, but shifting your focus is of the utmost importance for when you feel as if you are in a losing battle. Consider taking up a hobby or really concentrating on being happy with your partner. Do more activities together, talk more together, and just share an honest policy in all that you do. Changing your environment is often the best way to form these life-changing habits.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, relationships are difficult. Women are creatures of habit, but few understand that negative habits result in irregular brain patterns that will only further contribute to an unfavorable lifestyle. Being mindful of yourself is always of the utmost importance while being open with your partner is crucial in abolishing certain mindsets entirely. Welcoming your individuality and what you have to offer is the most advantageous action, and altering your concentration to be more positive will lift the concerns if all else fails. Jealousy is natural and often inevitable, but it does not need to be a life sentence if you make necessary changes and accept it for what it simply is. You are not a green-eyed monster but are instead a woman in tune with her feelings, a factor that is more admirable than unfavorable.

Sources and Additional Information:

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