Conquering Perimenopause

By Marcy Holmes, NP, Menopause Clinician Women to WomenThe perimenopausal years bring on hormonal fluctuations that may cause emotional outbursts and feelings of rage. Learn what you can do to achieve balance and get back to being your old self again.

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During perimenopause you may notice that something is different – you may not know what, but you know it. Perimenopause refers to the years before menopause; hormone fluctuations can occur anywhere from the 2 to 10 years before a woman stops having her period. If you are aged 35-55, and you are still having periods but something is different about them, you are probably in perimenopause. The first sign of perimenopause is often a change to your periods in some way: the time between periods, or the number of days your period lasts, or how much you menstruate – any or all of these could be altered.

Women in the 35-55 age group are vulnerable to the type of anger discussed on the show as “perimenopausal rage.” Women usually say this is different than what they have experienced before – it’s totally new for them and very unsettling. This type of rage seems to pop up with no warning and feels totally out of place. Overall, it is often very different from the way they’ve reacted to stressors in previous years, before perimenopause. This is not just getting upset or angry in response to the little bumps in the road day to day – these are very obvious outbursts that involve overreacting above and beyond your normal anger level, way out of proportion to the situation at hand. It is extreme, emotional and hurts others. And it often triggers regret.  

It’s critically important to understand that these situations are very real for the thousands of modern women who experience them, especially the supermoms trying to “do it all” at work and at home! The rage we are talking about is one extreme example of what is essentially a heightened PMS experience that surfaces for the first time ever in many perimenopausal women. These types of emotional outbursts are usually more common in the PMS portion of a woman’s cycle – the two weeks before her period. 

If you think this sounds like you or someone you love, please read on! 

Warning Signs for Perimenopausal Rage

 

1. Mood Swings Within Minutes

Are you fine one minute, and sad, overwhelmed or crying the next – does this sound familiar? Your moods are changing like the flip of a light switch with no warning. This moment-to-moment flip-flop of emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance. 

Marcy Holmes

Article written by Marcy Holmes
NP, Menopause Clinician Women to Women