Yep, it’s a menopausal ‘thing’ and usually occurs during perimenopause.
Or, maybe you’re suffering from anger?
That’s also a peri/menopausal ‘thing’.
This is one of the thornier aspects of perimenopause and menopause and one that’s not always acknowledged.
Many women don’t realise this is even happening (it’s everyone else falling out with them – they haven’t done anything!). Alternatively, they’re aware they’re acting out, they don’t know why and they’re embarrassed about their behaviour.
Either way, it’s a very real sign and an important one to talk about as it can impact our greater life and relationships.
But don’t worry you’re not going crazy.
There are plenty of memes online depicting meno women threatening to kill and while they’re amusing they’re also based on fact. I found this one on Pinterest. 😁
Let me say before we go further, there is a scientific reason for it.
It’s not you; it’s your hormones.
I hope that makes you feel immediately better!
Now, let’s dive in.
How does menopausal rage/anger feel?
If you’re one of us lucky (not!) ladies who experienced the intensity of PMS or mood swings during your period/pregnancy it feels similar to that. However, in some cases, it can feel far more elevated depending on how much your hormones fluctuate.
Menopausal rage goes a bit farther than anger – it boils up and reaches a fever pitch before exploding. That’s rage.
Anger is slightly milder and something we’ve all experienced at least at some stage in our lives.
If you’re more fortunate your short fuse may never get quite as far as rage on your meno journey. Indeed, you might just get moody, intolerant or irritable. One study found that irritability is a common sign for 70 percent of women.
How menopausal rage rolls
You may find yourself shouting at other drivers, nitpicking at your husband or worse throwing things at him. Or perhaps saying things you never normally would to your friends and offending them hugely.
Real life example
I have a friend who has a history of throwing her toys out of the cot and storming off. But recently I notice it’s gotten worse. You can literally see her fuming and on the point of imploding and it’s always someone else’s ‘fault’. So many women don’t actually realise this is happening, that their mood has changed and they’re being offensive to their closest friends and family.
What causes menopausal rage & anger?
If you’re a regular reader here you’ll probably guess it’s to do with your fluctuating hormone levels. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol.
When they’re doing their menopause dance they can bring on body temperature surges, sleep issues and all of those other pesky signs. Additionally, they affect your brain chemistry and make you feel more angry and irritable than you usually would.
The female hormone estrogen – or rather the decline of it in our ovaries – is a major player during the menopause transition. Indeed, it affects many of our physiological activities one of which is the production of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is often called the happy chemical and it’s an important neurotransmitter because it regulates our mood and acts like a happy pill.
Fluctuating estrogen can unbalance serotonin’s production and every time the level of estrogen shifts it throws serotonin levels off-kilter. That’s why you may go through periods of calm between the rage.
How to deal with menopause-fueled rage
1. Admit it
The first step is to admit you’re suffering from it.
Yes, it can be embarrassing. Especially if you fall into the camp where you didn’t realise this is where you’re at.
But it’s super important not to beat yourself up over it. Quite frankly your self-esteem probably doesn’t need that. Instead take a strategic approach and move to take control over it. And give yourself permission to be honest and to be vulnerable.
2. Check your lifestyle
There is a massive correlation between how we live our lives and our biochemistry. Consequently, some lifestyle habits can trigger mood changes. This includes imbibing things like caffeine, alcohol or sugar intake.
a. As a result, that extra coffee or cupcake could be creating havoc in your nervous system. Just when you need to be calm.
b. Hydration is another biggie in keeping you balanced. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we’re such proponents of getting lots of H2O into you daily.
d. Keep a food/mood journal and track how it rolls for you.
3. Introduce some mind-body therapies
I promise you these techniques will give you the tools to be less reactive in life. Although they may sound a bit woo woo to some people, if you take them on you’ll be in good company. Many extraordinarily successful and educated folk swear by them. Think Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra for two.
There’s no denying that moving your body will greatly impact your wellness. Bonus? It will also help you burn off your rage and boost serotonin levels.
For your interest
Experts have suggested there may be a link between having strong PMS signs during menstruation and experiencing intense menopausal mood swings.
Menopausal rage in a nutshell
As women we’re conditioned to believe that it’s ‘bad’ to get angry, to be assertive and to speak out. What’s more, we tend to be ashamed of it and it’s deeply upsetting to us if we feel like we’ve lost control.
You’ve heard of unresolved grief? We may hold unresolved anger. Therefore, when we reach perimenopause/menopause this suppression may need to find an outlet.
Any holistic doctor will tell you we can’t bury strong emotions.
‘Stuffing down’, particularly if you’ve done it for a lifetime can lead to depression.
Some experts and researchers call it self-silencing and their research has shown this to be so.
You’re not alone
We talk about many difficult signs of the menopausal journey and this one’s a tricky one. Please know that if you find it challenging, there are many others experiencing this too.
You’re not alone. I’d love to hear from you if you need a helping hand. I’ll reply to every single email so feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can join our closed Facebook group.
Stay strong, you’re amazing 😀 😀 .