If you just learned you have postmenopausal osteoporosis, you may be feeling overwhelmed. The condition, which affects an estimated 8 million women in the United States, can cause bones to become fragile and prone to fractures.

But despite the seriousness of this common disease, osteoporosis doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

In fact, a small 2016 study from France found that both women with postmenopausal osteoporosis and doctors tend to trivialize the condition. That can leave you feeling as though you have nowhere to turn for support after receiving a diagnosis.

However, postmenopausal osteoporosis can affect you in profound ways, potentially leading to pain and discomfort.

You may also need to stop doing activities you enjoy, such as high-impact exercises, to reduce the risk of fracture. Mobility challenges that arise from osteoporosis fractures can also compromise your independence and lead to social isolation, too.

If you’re having trouble coping with the impact of this condition, you’re not alone. A 2021 study found that women with osteoporosis often express the need for support, such as educational and self-help groups, that can help them manage the psychological effects of this disease.

But there are several places to turn to receive emotional support for postmenopausal osteoporosis — and reaching out for help can make a world of difference.

Read on for some options to consider.

If you’re stressed or experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression related to osteoporosis (or any other issue), a mental health professional can be an incredibly effective source of support.

Your doctor or other members of your care team can provide you with a referral to a therapist, counselor, or other mental health professional in your area.

These days, it’s not always necessary to see a therapist in person, though. So, if mobility challenges or other issues make it difficult to meet in person, you can see a therapist from the comfort of home via telehealth services.

Here are some searchable databases that can help you connect with a virtual therapist:

If you’re in crisis

You can get immediate help 24/7. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741741 to chat with a trained crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line.

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Joining an osteoporosis support group can be comforting. There’s a special give and take that happens when you connect with others 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.

While support groups specifically focused on postmenopausal osteoporosis can be difficult to find, the condition often affects women after menopause, so you’re likely to meet people in this stage of life at many osteoporosis support groups. BHOF also offers information on how to start your own group.

If you’re 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 take a look at American Bone Health Forums, where over 2,400 members ask questions and share advice.

Osteoporosis organizations offer several sources of support to those living with the condition.

They can provide you with trustworthy information on the latest treatments, tips for making lifestyle adjustments, guides for navigating conversations with your doctor, and more.

Some also offer ways for people to connect with others who live with osteoporosis, such as through events and online forums.

Here are some osteoporosis organizations to check out:

  • American Bone Health: This is a national nonprofit focused on education and advocacy. It offers a helpful Resource Guide for the Newly Diagnosed and helpline at 855-365-2663.
  • BHOF: BHOF is a nonprofit formerly known as the National Osteoporosis Foundation. You can visit its resource library for publications and videos on osteoporosis. Don’t miss its Upcoming Events page, which provides information on exercise programs, charity walks, and workshops across the country.
  • International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF): IOF is a worldwide organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. You can visit its educational hub and download the brochure on “Bone Care for the Postmenopausal Woman.”
  • NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center: This organization is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It provides authoritative information about osteoporosis and related bone diseases.

Newsletters, podcasts, and videos keep you in the loop on the latest information about osteoporosis, which can offer peace of mind that you’re on top of the condition.

They also pass along personal stories of people living with osteoporosis. Here are a few options:

  • BHOF Newsletter: Register to receive this free quarterly newsletter by email.
  • Bone Talk: BHOF’s podcast and blog features inspiring conversations, perspectives from people with osteoporosis and their caregivers, and more. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
  • IOF Videos: Informational videos plus personal stories from people around the world who live with osteoporosis.
  • Healthtalk.org: Watch videos or read the transcripts as people open up about their feelings and what it’s like to live with osteoporosis.

You can often get a boost of emotional support closer to home from loved ones, but you may need to give them a bit of information about your condition first.

Many people don’t understand how serious the condition can be and the ways in which it can affect your life. Sharing the facts with your partner and family can help them learn about the ways in which you may need emotional support, as well as practical assistance that could be helpful around the house.

It’s also important to maintain friendships. According to the BHOF, people with large social networks appear to manage osteoporosis more effectively than people with smaller networks.

However, having a few people in your life who offer high-quality and consistent support can also go a long way.

If mobility challenges are making it difficult for you to attend social events, you may want to invite your close friends to your home. You could also consider setting up a weekly phone date to catch up on life and share what you’re going through.

Osteoporosis is common among older women. In fact, it affects 1 in 4 women aged 65 or older.

If your friend group includes other people around your age, chances are that one of them may also have postmenopausal osteoporosis (or know someone who does) and would be willing share their insights.

Postmenopausal osteoporosis is common, but it can have a profound impact on your lifestyle and emotional well-being.

Reaching out for emotional support can be a helpful part of coping with the condition. This may include:

  • connecting with a mental health professional
  • joining a support group or online forum
  • tapping into osteoporosis organizations
  • subscribing to newsletters, podcasts, and other media
  • asking loved ones for help

Learning you have osteoporosis can stir up a lot of emotions. But remember: You don’t have to cope on your own.

Millions of people live with osteoporosis, and connecting with others who have the condition can be the first step in coming to terms with the diagnosis and learning about ways to manage it in your everyday life.