Perimenopause Rage: Why Am I So Angry All The Time?

Perimenopause is a very real and hard-to-deal-with side effect of this stage in a woman’s life. The hormonal changes you are experiencing in perimenopause, combined with the frustrating symptoms of perimenopause, can lead to anger. It is common to have perimenopause mood swings, anger, and sadness during this phase. Women in perimenopause may also develop mental health conditions including depression and anxiety.

One of the most common symptoms in perimenopause is irritability. Yet, we rarely talk about irritability in perimenopause and menopause because there is not a great definition as to what irritability really is and what causes it. One study found that irritability correlated with changes in FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) associated with menopause. Estrogen is also linked to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for your mood and feelings of happiness. Therefore, fluctuating estrogen levels can cause perimenopause mood swings and make you feel off-balance.

When you combine irritability with sleep issues, hot flashes, mood swings, low libido, and brain fog (just to name a few), it can create the perfect cocktail for perimenopause rage.

Identifying perimenopause rage

Women who experience perimenopause rage report that one moment they feel stable and then all of a sudden they feel incredibly irritated, resentful, or angry in a matter of seconds. Sometimes, something can trigger this transition. Many women find that whatever triggered them to feel an outburst of anger did not necessarily warrant that type of response in the aftermath. This can lead to a feeling of sadness or even depression following an episode of perimenopause rage.

When you combine irritability with sleep issues, hot flashes, mood swings, low libido, and brain fog ... it can create the perfect cocktail for perimenopause rage.

If you are feeling irritable and easily angered, it’s likely that your loved ones are also aware that you are struggling. You may have family members or friends that notice that you lose your patience quickly or that you seem down. Whether you are perimenopause or not, if you are experiencing rage, it is important to meet with your doctor to identify the cause and help you manage this symptom.

Perimenopause rage how to control it

The average length a woman is in perimenopause is 8-10 years. However, symptoms ebb and flow during this time. Indeed, there will be times when your symptoms are more pronounced and harder to deal with compared to other times. Women who are struggling with mood instability should explore options for perimenopause rage treatment.

Natural remedies for perimenopause mood swings

  • Acceptance - One of the first, and best, things you can do if you have perimenopause anger is to accept that you are angry. Acknowledging that you have anger within you can help ward off depression and actually help you better manage episodes of perimenopause rage.

  • Triggers - Figure out what throws you over the edge. If it’s something that involves someone else in your household, talk to them about what you’re experiencing and make a plan to avoid this trigger. Similarly, there are certain habits that can throw you into a rage. High caffeine and nicotine intake can cause anxiety, which in turn may aggravate perimenopause anger. Not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep (which is hard to do in perimenopause) can also be triggers. Try to journal your symptoms and experiences or record them in an app for a few weeks to identify any patterns.

  • Have an outlet for your anger - It is important to have something that calms you or helps you funnel your anger in a different way. Some women find exercising is a great way to channel their anger and keep their emotions in check. Other women lean into creative outlets such as artwork. If your not the creative type, consider trying adult coloring books as part of your therapy.

  • Daily Meditation - People are becoming more aware of the power of meditation. Starting and ending your day with mindfulness and deep breathing practices yield physical and mental health benefits. If you don’t know where to begin, try a simple internet search on meditation or join a beginner’s yoga class to learn the basics of mind and body breathwork.

  • Single or group therapy - Talking about your anger is a wonderful way to explore the sources of your mood swings and control your rage. Even just saying “I have anger” to someone else can be the first step to reducing your anger. Meeting with a therapist or joining group therapy can help you find strategies for controlling your emotions.

Treating perimenopause rage with medication

Medication should not be considered a last resort. In fact, it can be very beneficial for many women in perimenopause. Your doctor may recommend birth control pills or antidepressants to help you get your emotions under control. Birth control pills may also help relieve other perimenopause symptoms. If you are struggling with perimenopause rage, talk with your doctor. Together, you can explore options for managing your anger and improving your mood during perimenopause.

Want to connect with other women who are managing perimenopause rage? Join our Perry Community!

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.

Meet the Author

Perry Babe Julia ( RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations.

Much of her education and clinical experience are related to educating women on women’s health topics ranging from lifestyle improvements, disease management, and general health education.

Find Julia's Perry community profile right here.

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