35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Good Grief

by Magnolia on December 11, 2011

Post image for 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause: Good Grief

Okay, technically, grief is not usually mentioned as a symptom of perimenopause. But, it should be. Because, believe it or not, good old fashioned mourning and an overwhelming sense of loss (aka, grief) is something that many women experience when they enter perimenopause.

It usually comes out of left field too.  I mean, most of us are expecting hot flashes.  And we’re usually prepared for a few good rounds of night sweats and mood swings too. But, who is prepared for grief?  Yet, grief and the process of grieving, is as much a part of perimenopause as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings.

We Should be Talking About This

Unfortunately, very little is said about grieving during perimenopause.  Why that is, I do not know.  Maybe we lump it in under the broader heading of mood swings and depression and don’t identify it as grief.

But, we shouldn’t, because grief is not like irritability, weepiness, hormonally induced depression or even those dreaded rages. It is about mourning a loss and coming to terms with a new life on the other side of that loss.

The Life You Once Lived Has Passed

Usually when we speak of grief, it is in the context of death.  We understand that grief is based in loss and death is certainly a loss. But, in many ways, perimenopause is a death too.  No, it is not a physical death, but it is a biological death, and most definitely a loss.

It is the loss of your life as you once knew it.  It is the loss of a personal identity that many of us defined by our fertility and sexuality. Not to mention the roles in our life that grew out of fertility and sexuality, like marriage and family.

So, it only stands to reason that when fertility ceases, menstrual cycles end, sexuality changes, children leave home, and we get older, that a sense of loss is experienced.

And speaking of getting older – grief during perimenopause is often compounded by the fact that many of us fear getting older. Yeah, we all pay lip service to the notion that we are aging and that one day we will die.

But, which one of us is running forward to meet old age and death, much less embracing it?

Unfortunately, life doesn’t give us a choice about aging or dying, and neither does perimenopause.

There is only one ending to this story and that is, life as you once knew it is over – hence, the grief.

Allow the Change to Occur

If you know anything about grief and loss, then you probably know that denial is one of the primary coping mechanisms.

Denial is like psychological blinders and ear plugs.  It cushions you from the full psychological and emotional impact of loss, which enables us to cope. In the appropriate context, a certain amount of denial can be healthy.

But, chronic denial which is rooted in fear can be not only crippling and paralyzing, but it can keep us stuck in place, spinning our wheels and creating a rut which is just short of the grave.

In her book The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing During the Change, Dr. Christiane Northrup addresses the transition and transformation of perimenopause and says that we need to allow ourselves to feel the “pain of loss and grieve for those parts of our lives that we are leaving behind.”

“We should allow ourselves to feel the pain of loss and grieve for those parts of our lives that we are leaving behind.”

The grief process requires that we move through the change.  We don’t avoid it.  We don’t fight against it or push it to the side for a rainy day.

We have to allow ourselves to fully experience the emotions and pain of loss in order to heal and come out whole on the other side.

Otherwise, we may find ourselves stuck in the pain and wounds of emotional baggage that only serves to weigh us down.

Ah…..Menopause

For all that is said about the perimenopause, there should be equally as much said about actual menopause. But, unfortunately, we just don’t talk about how great life can be once we transition through perimenopause.

While there is definitely a sadness associated with leaving behind the years that brought us to the pivotal point of menopause, it seems to me, that life no longer punctuated by a period doesn’t sound half bad.

Can I hear an amen?

Magnolia

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

jane June 7, 2011 at 5:46 am

This is the very worst part of the perimenopausal depression. i grieve and cry from grief at all the things i am losing. Most especially my children leaving home and going to the otherside of the world. Some days are just iunmanageable.

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Magnolia June 7, 2011 at 6:43 am

Hello Jane,

Yes, I grieved too. As do many women. It is a time of change and loss. So, it is only natural that we would grieve. My two older children are of the age that they will be moving on in life. One has already moved out, the other one is not far behind. I thought I would be more sad than I am. But, surprisingly, I’m able to accept it.

Letting go is a process. Besides, we were letting go from the first day they were born, remember? I can assure you that in time you will be able to accept and cope with the changes that menopause brings. With it you will also find yourself much more self-assured, less harried and worried about what tomorrow will bring.

Hang in there, sister. It really does get better.

Magnolia

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Lydia July 28, 2014 at 3:43 am

Hi I found this tonight while searching for another possible symptom of perimenopause. I am 55 and into month 6 of no period but sweats, flushes, aches in the muscles like I cannot believe. But the icing on the cake, and what made me so happy to find your blog, is that my ‘baby’ left home last week and while a part of me is excited for him and for me getting a guest room at last, the other part remembers him going to kindergarten and the sadness I felt that day is as strong this week. However, I tell myself that it could be a lot worse the packing up and cleaning up of the many things he has left behind, because he is not too far away and we can email and call on the phone.

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Gerri July 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

It is good to hear that it does get better. I feel like a shadow of myself. Once very out going and bubbly, liked to hear people’s stories and share in their lives. Now I feel sad and loss my joy. My children too are grown and I am so proud of the adults they have become that I thought that would cover up any grief or saddness I felt. How can you be sad when your kids are so great. I don’t want to be that bitchy 40 something women, I remember looking at them and thinking wow …………they are miserable.

Although I have a better understanding why I still dont want to be that. I want to be happy.

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Alexandra June 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Hi Magnolia,
A very dear friend recommended your website, and I will be eternally grateful that she did. The last 2 years have been excruciating to say the least. It was due not only from not knowing what I was going through but because I was in such a dysfunctional non-supportive relationship. Up until January of this year I had been under a psychiatrist’s care who had tried over 4 different anti depressants to help with my depression & panic attacks. The side effects were worse than the depression so I discontinued them, and here I am having almost daily panic attacks and being totally shut in my bedroom because of the deep depression. Like so many in this country I am unemployed and have no health insurance. My grief is compounded by realizing I may not be able to have children of my own now that i have reached perimenopause. That is a very hard pill to swallow, but I pray that God will give me the strength to realize kids were not in her/his plan for me in this lifetime. Thank you so much for keeping this website and providing a kind voice to this nightmare.

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Magnolia June 8, 2011 at 7:31 am

Hello Alexandra,

Menopause is hell for so many women. But, the great thing is that it really does pass. Just 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I suffered with horribly depression during the worst of my symptoms and they were also compounded by the fact that I had zero marital support. In fact, I had heaps upon heaps of guilt shoved my way for making it “difficult” for my husband to be around me.

Yeah. That helped. That might have something to do with why we are separated….huh? :)

I am completely menopausal now. The depression? Gone. Mood swing? Gone. Anxiety and panic attacks? Gone.

I feel 100% better and “normal”. Speaking of kids…..I have three. After the birth of my first child, I remember distinctly when he was about 9 months old that I was doing some housework and I stopped very quickly and said outloud….”Wow. I feel “normal” again!” Clearly, it was hormones that had sent me off into “weirdville” and that’s what is happening to you now.

I hope you will read my blog and find some resources to help. The depression is probably the worst for most women because it makes you feel like you’re carrying cinder blocks around your ankles. I would highly recommend that you push yourself out of the door everyday and get a brisk half hour walk. In the sunshine. It WILL make you feel better.

I would also suggest that you find some way to break your routine. Monotonous routine can make depression feel like the grave. Talk about a rut. Instead of having your morning coffee or tea in your favorite chair, go out on the porch or patio and take in the morning. The point is, you have SHAKE yourself out of depression.

Walking and aerobic exercise will help with anxiety too. As will deep breathing and visualizing yourself calm and peaceful. I realize when you’re in the middle of a panic attack you can’t exactly do that. But, you must try. To break these cycles you have to push past the “feelings” and become willful. And push is the key word. PUSH yourself through it.

If you continue to do that, you can establish new mental and physical habits which will in turn affect your emotional and mental state.

Trust me. It really works.

Then you have to focus on healthy wholesome, healthy food. You can find some good books with recipes in them on my blog if you’re looking for some ideas.

As far as children, Alexandra, you can adopt. Remember that. And as a mom of three, I can tell you with a certainty, children won’t fix your life. They complicate it. :) So, before you fall into a deeper depression because you do not have children, remember, when you DO get them, you’ll wonder why you ever wanted them. ;)

Magnolia

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Claudia June 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

Magnolia,
I know you wrote this reply in 2011, but I want you to know that it is still helping those who are fortunate enough to find your website. I cannot tell you how much relief and piece of mind your words and this site have given me. Perimenopause and the ever changing and sometimes weird symptoms I’ve experienced have quite often thrown me into a tailspin. Worst of all, going through it is a very very lonely experience which only intensifies the depression and anxiety. Thank you so much for this site.

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Magnolia June 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

You are very welcome, Claudia.

I write these articles for women just like you. It’s important to me that women know they are not alone in their suffering. There is nothing worse, in my view, than to suffer and then feel completely isolated on top of it all.

Magnolia

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anonymous July 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Magnolia,
Thank you for your interest, research and most importantly, your time. Your blog is an answer to my prayer of desperation. Coming from a long line of women who “went off the deep end” some never to recover, during the peri and menopausal transition, I am terrified. I have been desperately researching, seeing practitioners, trying to talk with other women only to be left feeling defeated and often, more confused and frightened. I have always struggled with hormonal issues. In fact, puberty was so disturbing and, I had no way of understanding what was going on with me; all I knew was that I felt like I wanted to come out of my skin. This new stage in my life; perimenopause, is like a flash back, only this time its tubo charged!! I am seriously concerned that I am going to end up fired, alienating my family and friends and “losing myself”. The worst part is that I have no control over any of this. I feel like “Cybil” at times and I.HATE.IT!!!! Reading through your posts and resources has given me a bit of hope and, I will certainly be discussing progesterone cream with my doctor! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Annabanana October 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I work in a hospital, and while I’ve always had a tender heart, I find myself lately crying and mourning for the hurting people I see a lot more lately, in the past several perimenopausal months :). I also think of my elderly folks and their friends, and feel a grief for the struggles and realities that they face. And, I grieve for my own life, the passing of my youth. I’ve never married nor have any children, and lately I think: will I grow old alone? These are hard emotions for me! Thankfully, I have some good friends on whom I can unburden, and my faith helps, too. Life is very sad right now! But that is a stage, another stage of life. I take great comfort from your encouragement that we’ll pass through this stage, and continue forward!

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Magnolia October 10, 2011 at 12:46 am

Anna,

I too have gotten much more sensitive and tenderhearted toward people as I’ve gotten older. Sometimes I think it has to do with the fact that I’m realizing how brief life really is. We are all going to die one day, but I don’t think we really grasp the reality of it until we start getting older.

Working in a hospital will certainly remind one of death. Plus, with all of the hormone changes that are occurring in your life, it’s having an affect on your point of view.

Life will not always be sad though. It is just a time we have to pass through – this perimenopause – then we can be happy and content again.

Magnolia

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Gerri July 28, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I can also relate to this, I feel the pain of every person I pass. I work in the city and when you pass street people I feel everything it makes it very sad and difficult.
I find that as I pass I say a pray for them and it helps.

I was really surprised by this sympton of almost uncontrolled empathy. Thanks for sharing and now I know it is just not me.

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Karen January 3, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I had my first appt with a new gynecologist, who said , ” it isn’t’t perimenopause.” she is sending me for tests and if they come back normal, then I will see an endocrinologist. I have many symptoms of perimenopause, but because I am only 35 (nearly 36), everyone says it must be something else. This is so frustrating. I am feeling so torn, my gut says this is what I am going through, but how to get someone to listen?

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Magnolia January 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Hi Karen,

36 is on the younger side of perimenopause, but it is NOT unheard of. Many women begin to notice a change in their cycles, along with symptoms that signal perimenopause, so it’s certainly possible.

If you think in your gut that it is and you do not get someone to listen to you, keep looking for someone who WILL listen to you.

I would love to hear how things turn out for you.

Magnolia

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Sarah April 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Karen, I think a naturopathic doctor can help you. I have been going to one for 3 years. I really noticed a big change between age 37-38. I’m 39 now and the perimenopause symptoms are full blown! I had an older friend who completely dismissed what I was going through because she said I was too young for this. Needless to say, we are no longer friends. She is 45 and doesn’t have symptoms as severe as myself. It is different for everyone I think.

I take a maca supplement specifically designed for perimenopause and take other vitamins that help, and I use a bio identical progesterone cream among other things. The symptoms are still there but they are significantly milder.

A naturopath can help ease your symptoms naturally!

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Valarie January 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

I am 46, and have recently started experiencing occasional “sweats”- no flushed face just a wave of sweating/feeling hot. None of the women in my family had natural menopause, so I am at a loss to see what to expect. I read about flashes and night sweats -is that what these are? I had also recently changed meds and thought that might be the cause, but it should have settled by now. I am diabetic-controlled -some issues with feeling hypoglycemic-which is what the sweats sortof feel like-but not the problem in these cases. I also am hypothyroid. my labs are good, but this is happening 5 or 6 times a day. LOL never had a great memory-worse now. -family trait…:) and tired a lot-Vit D def and B12 deficiency- we are working on that. I would appreciate any feedback. no one else to ask-even my Dr is in the same boat. lol Thanks for you thoughts on this.

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Patti February 29, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Hi Magnolia,
For the past month I have been having really BAD mood swings with my face feeling flush at times and me waking up really hot during the night. The problem I am having is my sudden depression that sets in. I had my period for the first time 2 weeks ago (its been about a yr prior to that.) The beginning of last month was AWFUL…. I swear if I had a bridge to jump from I would of, and this time I am having thoughts of “I am worth more dead than alive”. I hate those thoughts that pass through my brain because I am such a HAPPY person when I am not having a melt down. I do go and see my GYNO tomorrow… so hopefully she can help me somehow. Thank you for taking time out to listen to all of us women spill our guts to you.

Thanks again,
Patti =)

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Magnolia March 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Hi Patti,

I hope your appointment went okay with your doctor. I understand those feelings of depression that just seem to come out of nowhere and knock you right off your feet. The good thing is, you know that it is hormones (or least, I do) and I’m able to get through it.

I hate the paralyzing nature of it, but at least I know it will pass if I just hang in there. Sometimes going out and taking a walk is very helpful for me. Just getting sunshine on my face and oxygen to my brain can be very helpful.

That’s crappy that you got a period after a year without one. You were basically about to cross the finish line into menopause and then you get another one? That totally sucks. :)

You are always welcome to come by and dump your misery. What are girlfriends for, even if we are cyber-girlfriends?

Magnolia

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Sue stark underwood May 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

AMEN! I loved this article. It is so true. I don’t feel so idiotic anymore since reading it. I couldn’t understand why I feel so mournful all the time. I never feared growing old but now I do have a fear and I do grieve my youth. I know now what I need to do, let myself feel it! Thank you!!!!!!

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Dzeilana June 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

Dear Magnolia,

I have been suffering for about 6 years now ( I am 51). I still have my periods, but , only God know when I will get the next one: in 50 or 15 days? They are erratic.

I have been on Lexapro, sedatives (Xanax and Clonopin), and now in addition, on Abilify. Constant, unbearable fear of illness. I deeply believe this fear comes from the fact that I do not think my husband loves our son enough, or knows how to properly take care of him. So, the thought of me getting ill and dying, throws me into horrible fear, anxiety and panic.

I keep on going to the all kinds of doctors. The moment a certain doctor do not find anything wrong with certain part of my body, I find something else, and I get ABSOLUTELY convinced I have cancer of this or that kind. I am so unbearably tired of being scared. I can not take this any more. Plus, I have marital problems, and my husband can not comprehend how come my libido is zero. Dear God, help.

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Magnolia June 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Hi Dzeilana,

I’m sorry you are having such a difficult time in your marriage. Perimenopause symptoms will surely make it much, much worse. I know that from personal experience.

Have you seen a physician to help with the perimenopause symptoms? I can’t imagine that Lexapro or Xanex will be helpful for perimenopause symptoms.

Have you considered getting some aerobic exercise? I find that when I am anxious and uptight, that walking for about an hour at high intensity really helps me. I also work in my garden which is good for my moods as well.

And I would definitely recommend that you find a good counselor to talk about your emotions and feelings. Sometimes just having someone listen to us can be so helpful.

Magnolia

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Amy June 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hi Magnolia
I just today stumbled across your blog while Google searching “perimenopause”.
I have just turned 38 in the last couple of months and it seems like everything has gone to pot since then. I have gained about 10lbs for no apparent reason, sleeping has been a disaster for the last few years (I was blaming on my 4 year old daughter but am now wondering otherwise), general overall sluggishness and always tired (blaming on the overtiredness), some night sweats and just general complacency with everything. My husband and I had decided to start trying for another baby, so I’ve been really keeping an eye on my cycle (which was completely regular until the end of March) and now seems to be completely out of whack, which also includes that I don’t see to be ovulating (which I may not have been for a while but symptoms had been present before).

So, with all that said, I really don’t know if I am perimenopausal or not, if it’s a possible thyroid issue (had bloodwork done last Friday to see where that all stands). In my heart, I kind of feel it’s the perimenopausal, but for now I sit back and wait. Baby #2 may now not be in the cards for us at all, and I guess I have to be ok with that, which is hard since I was the one who put it off for so long and now I’m feeling guilty about that as well. :(

Thank you for starting this blog…if I am there or not right now, I find it a great source of information, love reading the stories and inspirational comments from other ladies in the same boat.

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Magnolia June 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

Hi Amy,

Yes, my first thoughts were when I read your comment is that your symptoms *could* be thyroid related. If you are beginning to have unpredictable cycles, you could also be beginning perimenopause. I was 41 when it started for me.

But, that is no reason that you cannot still have a baby. I conceived my last child at nearly 42 and gave birth to hear at nearly 43. So, you’re still able to have kids, I’m sure!

And don’t feel guilty about your age! I was 34 when I gave birth to my first child, 36 when I gave birth to my second, and nearly 43 with my third. It’s not over yet, so don’t give up.

thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you get some definitive answers from your blood work.

Magnolia

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Amy June 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Hi Magnolia,
Thanks for the comment. I got my bloodwork back. TSH was 3.65 which my GP’s office says is “normal” but I think in the fertility world it is probably on the high side. I am not sure she can provide the further testing etc that I may need her, so next step is the gynecologist with the expecation of seeing an endocrinologist as well at some point. I did’t think to ask the nurse if they had tested FSH (which I think has something to do with testing for menopause, but I could be wrong) so I’ll need to call back to see if they did or not.

In the meantime, hubby and I will jeep “practicing”, hopfully we will g et a surprise like we did last time! :)

Thanks again for your kind words!

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colette June 25, 2012 at 3:58 pm

hi there just been reading other womens experience with perimenopause and its good to no im not going crazy! i had been on the mini pill or pop as its known for the last 6 years as i as having heavy periods. my periods stopped while taking the pill. came off it 4 months ago and havent had a period since though have all the symptons mentioned! im 52 so take it im going through the menopause.

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SAH July 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I relate to Karen with people saying 35/36 years old is ‘too young’ for perimenopause. If I am not mistaken, menopause is a ‘point you get to’ – definable as no longer ovulating/menstruating. I’m 35 and clearly feel perimenopause… Which I understand as the whole long process of reaching menopause. Fertility is peak between 15-30. The averages are: By age 35 you are 1/2 as fertile as age you were at age 30, and by age 40 you are 1/4 as fertile as you were at age 30. So… Isn’t that perimenopause, that whole approximately decade of your life where you ‘lose fertility’?

If you are 35 and go to a fertility MD, they will say you are already ‘less fertile’ at that age, but if you tell your primary care MD that you feel slightly perimenopausal at age 35 you are ‘too young’? I don’t understand the difference, I think they are the same thing. I feel ‘mild’ versions of many perimenopause symptoms (occasional night sweats, emotional) and my periods are now at age 35 becoming ‘irregular’ — they are still coming monthly, but alternating between heavy, scant, or normal flow. During my ‘ovulation’ phase each month, im just not that excited. In other words, I’m 35 and like clockwork I am noticing signs of my reducing fertility.

I feel my hormones shifting! I know in a few more years as these symptoms intensify I’ll eventually reach a sanctioned age (37? 39? 41?) to be acknowledged and classified as being “perimenopausal”. But I still don’t understand how women in their
30s who are taking a hormonally driven fertility nose-dive for a straight decade are considered ‘too young’ to be perimenopausal or feeling hormonal symptoms from it?

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Linda July 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

My last period was 2/12 It has been 5 mths since my last period. I am 55yrs old. I had labs done by my gyno and all #’s low. My question is I just started about a month ago feeling really bloated, sore breast and nipples and I feel pregnant. I haven taken 5 test in the last 3 months and all are neg., does this sound normal?

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Magnolia July 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Hi Linda,

Yes, it does sound normal. Except the bloating, sore breast and nipples is very likely due to high estrogen levels. I am also 55. In the past year or so, I had a couple of episodes where I felt sore breasts, nipples, and acne. I knew it wasn’t pregnancy, but I did end up getting a period. But, I haven’t had one in over a year now.

In all honesty, pregnancy is highly unlikely because your progesterone levels are too low. Which reminds me, you can use a bioidentical progesterone which will help with the symptoms you are experiencing now.

Magnolia

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Gillian July 28, 2013 at 7:13 am

HI Magnolia,

I’m so glad I found this site as I’m experiencing what feels like grief at the moment. I’m 50 years old and definitely perimenopausal; but, even though I can rationalise about the feelings, I’m still surprised at how strong they are and how overwhelmed I sometimes feel. I guess this is all compounded by the fact that I’m a counsellor in a hospice, so I’m surrounded by death and grief in a professional capacity. In some ways, my own grieving allows me to be more empathic to my clients; however, sometimes it’s tricky to work out where the overlap might be and whether what I’m feeling is my client’s pain or my own (or both!) However, it’s still a great comfort to hear other women say that they’ve experienced similar feelings – it feels horrendous but not quite so lonely.

Many thanks, Gillian.

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Magnolia July 28, 2013 at 10:09 am

Hello Gillian,

I think you are in a unique position to understand the grief that occurs for many women in perimenopause. It is a loss. It is a life transition. It definitely causes sadness for a lot of women.

So glad you found my blog too. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Magnolia

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Susan January 19, 2014 at 7:44 am

I’m thrilled to find this blog and know I’m not alone. The dizziness has been happening now for years and the doctors have ruled out everything else but do not attribute it to perimenopause.

I started taking anxiety medication to travel on flights and by a fluke found it alleviated the dizziness episodes.

I’m going to be sure my daughters are aware of this blog and hope that by the time they enter this stage of their lives there will be a much clearer understanding and treatment for this symptom.
-Susan

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Julie January 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I’m at the time in my life (early 50s) when I should be with a husband who tells me I’m just as beautiful now as I was when he met me. Instead, I’m divorced and finding myself in the same dating pool with women half my age and sexually viable. Without functioning female parts or cooperating hormones, I feel pretty lacking in value when sexual identity once made me who I was. How do I date when most men any age still want a woman who is still sexual vibrant and I can’t deliver? At first it was my body failing me. Then, it became my mind not feeling sexy beCAUSE my body failed me.

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Magnolia January 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Those are good questions, Julie……my answer is to simply not date. Perhaps you might take the time to find value in your life that is not defined by your looks and sexuality?

Magnolia

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Gail March 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Hello Magnolia,
I agree totally about your comment on grief during perimenopause. Grief is one of the strongest negative effects of perimenopause I have been experiencing. I am divorced after 31 years of marriage. My children have grown up and moved on with their lives. I live hundreds of miles away from my siblings. All this combined with perimenopause is making life very difficult. All I want is peace.
Gail

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Magnolia March 10, 2014 at 10:23 am

Gail,

It takes time working through the changes of perimenopause. And when you are going it alone (as I was) it can be particularly difficult because you are so isolated.

I have to push myself out of my tendency to hibernate (it’s an easy thing for me to do) and to get out of my comfort zone. Which means, I deliberately seek out the fellowship of others in some capacity.

I am divorced too, and the grief of losing your marriage, especially a long one, can make it all seem unbearable.

Have you sought out grief counseling by any chance? I’ve done that too, and it really, really helps.

Magnolia

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Janet March 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I’m 56 – in perimenopause but experiencing horrible periods – usually every 2 to 3 weeks. Lots of flooding, clots, sometimes lasting 10 days – I’m on progestin (was on a bioidentical cream but my doc thought I needed more progesterone) but it’s not making any difference. I have acne, some cramping, PMS, etc and I’m TIRED of this. No hot flashes, nothing that makes me think menopause might be near. What more can I do? My doc moved away so I can’t get her help any more – I’m looking for a new doc. This old doc actually thought with 2 months on the progestin I would have my periods cease but no such luck. What can I read? What can I do? (Pap smears and uterine biopsy perfectly normal.) I don’t want that ablation or hysterectomy… there must be another way, but I’m too old for this to go on much longer!

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Janet March 10, 2014 at 9:50 am

PS. It’s NOT progestin. My brain isn’t functioning either. I’m on Prometrium, which I was told is a bioidentical hormone. 200mg. This current period is the worst one ever. I’ve been on Prometrium for 8 months.

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Wendy Hill March 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Hang in there. I am 52 and haven’t had my period for 6 years. I’ve been going through menopause since I was 38 yrs old. I’m also on bio identical hormones and they aren’t balancing me quite yet. But hang in there. I would strongly recommend seeing a ‘naturalpath’, one that’s been around for awhile and knows more than someone just out of school. Get on some natural organic food, don’t eat breads or sugar or caffeine. We all need to watch what we eat.

Big hugs.

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Magnolia March 10, 2014 at 10:20 am

Janet,

It is possible for you to up your Prometrium dose safely. From what I’ve read, women can take up to 300 mgs safely. When I was having my heavy periods with blood clots, I took a very high dose of bioidentical progesterone.

It really helped and eased the periods and the clots. Then I was able to transition into menopause with relative ease. I would definitely find another doctor who is open to you increasing your dosage and trying that.

Yes, Prometrium is bioidentical and it is not a progestin.

Magnolia

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Wendy Hill March 10, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I go to a really good doctor who only works with bio identical hormones and testosterone for men. I can recommend his name to you if you’d like. He’s in Oshawa and NOT expensive. He isn’t a natural path but is a Physician who ONLY specializes in hormone treatment for men and woman. He comes highly recommended and people come from all over to see him.

Just saying if you’d like :)

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faith March 20, 2014 at 11:07 pm

I am happy to find this site,I am 47 n started peri at 45,it has been a ride for me,I have become very fearful,I used to get hot flashes and lot of increased heart. Race,had to b test for heart conditions,thyroid plus others n all was ok,I developed a bad case of acid reflux,I became very fearful I no longer go out alone bec I feel unbalanced,like I am falling down ,my headaches has increased,I developed carpel tunnel syndrome,my joints ache like crazy ,I worry a lot about everything,always thinking I have some deadly deseas,my comfort is from my prayer life n my kids,just a few week I was diagnosed with Vertigo n my sinus drives me crazy,my doc say s peri is unkind to me

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Sue April 24, 2014 at 9:33 pm

HI Faith, you sound like me when I turned 45. I am now 50 it does get better, trust me. I’ve been light headed, off balance, feeling dingy, vertigo, you name it, an the racing heart, I KNOW THAT ALL TOO WELL> first time it happened I had turned 45 and 4 months later wham, I was waken at 2:30 AM with a very fast heart rate, which lasted at least 30-40 minutes, I think it would have been less BUT, anxiety kicked in due to such a rush and never having this happen ever in my life. ITS TERRIFYING! I exercise 4-5 times a week always have, even running on my treadmill never made my heart race like that. If I were to guess I would say it was going over 200 BPM, thats fast! It happened several times after, whats strange I was always in bed, it woke me from a sleep. I’ve never had a Hot Flash but I have had a Hot Flush “face turns bright red and feels really hot but no sweat as a hot flash. You don’t have a serious disease, I made an appointment with a natural path doctor he sent me to the lab had all blood work done, he thought it was “graves disease” which it wasn’t labs were great EXCEPT my Progesterone, VERY LOW, the racing heart was probably due to estrogen dominance. I can’t believe how many sites I searched and never found anyone complaining of a racing heart, when I would speak to others about it, they looked at me like I was crazy, I wasn’t. If you good Oprah Winfrey and her being woken with a racing heart sounds the same. At this point I knew it was perimenopause. Not to worry, it will pass. I do feel off balanced a here and there, which feels scary cause we have NO control. It does pass. I still have my period every month have never skipped. I hope my post makes YOU feel better. Drink LOTS of water, exercise take a Good Woman’s Mulitvitamin like I do, it helps alot. Eat right, always eat organic fruit and vegetables, if you don’t you’re only putting MORE estrogen in your body….
Good luck!

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Claudia May 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Sue and Faith,
So good to read your posts. I’m 48 and the last two years have been difficult with some depression, high anxiety, worrying about everything but especially about my health (all tested and fine), moods, fatigue, crampiness, IBS type symptoms, racing heart, you name it. It’s so good to read your postings and know that I’m not alone because that it usually how I feel. It’s a very lonely journey. I just feel like my body is out of control and I don’t like it. I try not to fight it, but I don’t do well with letting go and letting it be. This is certainly a test of my patience and resilience. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to the day when my good days outnumber my not-so-good days. Thanks ladies for the reassurance.

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Cassie July 17, 2014 at 12:57 am

Sue, I have the same symptoms as you. I am 41, and it just started 4 months ago for me. However, my periods are not irregular, so I was doubting that this could be perimenopause. It is reassuring to hear that irregular periods are not necessarily a symptom for all. I’m doing lots of tests and bloodwork and hoping that this is perimenopause and not something worse.
Thanks for sharing. :)

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Jan Spencer May 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I’m sitting here at work, and all of a sudden this feeling of dread (that I’d been experiencing these past few days) just skyrocketed through the stratosphere of my brain. Tears welling up, etc. you know the feeling… And for a minute, I stop, pause and say to myself ‘what in the world am I upset about?’ Finally it hit me, after doing minimal research, I realize that these symptoms are the result of perimenopause. I’m 45 years old. As I search the web, I find this blog, and I’m relieved that there is evidence of my symptoms. I have to say, that after reading about the ‘grieving’ process, I understand what that means to others, but for the past six months, no cycle has come to pass and in all honesty I’m shouting ‘hallelujah!’ The reasons include the following:

1) Endometriosis–was a literal pain in my ***. The pain and suffering I endured since the age of 13 has subsided due to the elimination of my cycle these past few months.

2) Surgery–I had six surgeries to try to ‘keep my defective parts’ in tact. With each surgery, my chances of having children subsided, and after a while I was resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to grow anything productive ‘in there.’ I’m good, no worries, I lead a FABulous life!

3) Saving $$$–the price of pads and such is ASTRONOMICAL! Seriously? You want me to pay HOW much for a box of Tampax? Ugh.

4) Clothes/Undergarments–need I say more?

Yes, endometriosis, cysts, and benign tumors that I’ve named due to their size (Edgar was the biggest at 12 cm) caused me heartache and pain. LOTS of pain. Right now, even with the mood swings, I’m still keeping my sense of humor and shouting from the rooftops “good riddance” to the days of counting every four weeks til pain. Am I grieving? Physically, no. Mentally? I guess so due to the mood swings, but its purely due to the hormones.

I could do a whole comedy routine on this, but I’ll spare everyone and keep my day job.

Thanks for the awesome blog and for convincing me that I’m ‘not that crazy!’

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Dawn May 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm

What a godsend Magnolia! Thank you for creating this site. I stumbled upon it because my scalp has been itching and I wondered if it might be related to perimenopause which I’ve been in for about a year and a half (I’m 47). I had made peace with the hot flashes but forgot about the mood swings and kept thinking something was seriously wrong with me. I’m a pretty laid back, happy person nearly all the time and I sometimes have these feelings of rage that scare me they are so strong. And the grief. I did not know b4 reading your blog that was related to perimenopause but it totally makes sense. And dread and doom too (although I’ve struggled with that my whole life). Reading these other ladies’ comments just made me feel so much better. I seriously thought I was losing my mind. And I love your sense of humor.

Best,

Dawn

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Magnolia May 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

You’re welcome, Dawn….you’re definitely not going crazy. I’m glad you found my blog too.

Magnolia

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Christine June 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

All I can say..is THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! I am so happy I found this site.
I am going to be 51 in a couple days and have been going through the worst hot flashes and grieving thoughts I have ever known!! I am a very medium tempered gal and just cannot get over this whole way of feeling. I went to my Doctor yesterday and he had me do some blood work to check my levels, (and everything else), and mentioned anti-depressants. After my results, we are going to talk about what I should take.
I now feel like I am not crazy!!!! I have not had a period since Sept./Oct. of last year. I did spot very little though about 4 months ago. I hope that doesn’t mean I have to start all over!! Anyway, I was just surfing the web trying to find solutions and reasons of my hellish feelings and found you!

Again, THANK YOU!! I will be checking in and keeping up to date with your blog!

Christine

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Magnolia June 5, 2014 at 6:55 am

Hi Christine,

I’m glad you found this blog too. I’ve been blogging about perimenopause for several years now. Though I’m no longer perimenopausal myself, it is a subject I feel very passionately about and will continue to address it.

Thanks for commenting,

Magnolia

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EGoff June 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm

THANK YOU!!! I cried as I read your article…

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dmaster July 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

I just turned 47 and this started for me in January of this year. What a journey this has started to be. I was just getting used to things, hot flashes, short temper. Then I woke up one morning this week my breasts were bigger, nipples killing me and I had gained ten pounds, what seemed to be over night! This just made the moodiness worse. I did not realize the other feelings I was experiencing was of grief until reading this blog.
Thanks for all of the great posts. We will all get through this!!!!

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Lynn Means July 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

Thank you for sharing, It helps to know you are not alone,. It’s hard to get even the doctors to understand what you are going thru. I have severe panic attacks when driving and was sent to see a behavioral health doctor and was prescribes drugs. I asked the doctor if my problem could be due to menopause and he said no. in additional to the brain fog and hot flashes I go thru panic. Do you have info on panic disorder during menopause?

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Cyntraw July 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm

I will try and make a long past with this stuff a short, relevant concern. I had to have a complete hysterectomy at age 32 because of an 8 year bout with cysts, surgeries and many types of hormones. I went on HRT until about 6 years ago, where I got disturbing results from a mammogram; they found a few lumps. Under the advise of my Dr, I went off HRT, to see if they would reduce. They actually went away, so I stopped all HRT. Needless to say, I have had a rough 6 years! Somehow finding the strength to continue kicking ass as an officer in a multi-M$ Corp. Well in the last year, things have changed for me. I was recently remarried (to an amazing man), who was raised around a lot of women, which seemed to help him with understanding. With all the symptoms I am suffering with, I finally found a Dr in my area who deals strictly with bio-identical hormones. I got my test results back yesterday. My hormone levels were so low, they barely registered a number; one was a negative (however that works). Even my DHEA was very low. Well here is where the stress level increases. My husband and I have had situations arise in the past, where I believe a lot of it was stemmed from my inability to even function, much less my ability to participate in a good ole’ fight. Somehow we got through it, but we had another doozy a couple days ago, and have barely said 2 words since then… it usually helps when we walk away for awhile and cool down. Yesterday when I got the results, I felt very confident in the fact that this had a LOT to do with our struggles in the past, and I proceeded to share that with him. He was not having it. My super understanding nearly-female-in-his-thinking husband decided to tell me basically he felt it was an excuse. I believe he said “really, you’re going to blame that? Who doesn’t have problems?”. He actually told me I was a liar; if I was able to tell him how amazingly wonderful he was one day, and tell him he got it wrong the next… then I am a liar, and everything I have said to him is a lie. Ugh… Needless to say, I shut the door on him and told him to get out.
I guess I said all that to say this… I am thankful to read your blog, to see that I am NOT crazy, or a psycho… and not alone! I am a very private person who does not share personal stuff with other people easily. I sent him a link to your blog and asked him to read it, all of it, down to each comment. I don’t know if he has, but I’m hoping he does, and learns what a HUGE mistake he has made.
Can you recommend any other reading for him? I don’t know what its going to take for him to grip the severity of peri and menopause. He is usually so easy to talk to, and listens, but he has had a BAD experience with a cruel ex-wife; he may just think we are all insane at this point.
Thanks for listening, and I look forward to your remarks.
CT

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Magnolia July 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Hello Cyntraw,

Unless your husband is willing to consider that hormone imbalance can and does cause a lot of issues for women (and men), there is not much I can recommend for him to read to change his mind.

Many men (in my experience, frankly, the majority of them) are not to sympathetic to a woman’s hormones issues. They seem to be unable or unwilling, or maybe both, to get outside of their own experience to try and understand what perimenopause is like for women. No, you’re not crazy or psycho, and unfortunately, that is also a big part of what we are told when we start struggling with hormone imbalance.

“You’re crazy” “You’re unstable” “You could control it if you tried” “I don’t why you just get a grip” and etc., etc. As if we get up everyday and make a conscious decision to have mood swings. If that were the case, and we COULD control it, then we could also control the hot flashes and night sweats. We could control the bloating, the erratic menstrual cycles, the heavy periods, the blood clots, the heart palpitations and vertigo and dizziness.

Heck, if we could control it, none of us would go through it!!

I do hope your husband finds it in himself to try and understand. But, of course, there are no guarantees.

Magnolia

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Cyntraw July 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I’m sorry, I was referring to asking him to read your blog called “How Can I Help My Wife in Perimenopause?”. I got carried away reading your other blogs. Thx

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Cyntraw August 14, 2014 at 10:05 am

Magnolia,
I had to come back and tell you the “rest of the story”, as they say. Well, I found the book you recommended, “The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine, and asked my husband to read it, and… he read it. His eyes were truly opened to what goes on in my brain, and my body. He doesn’t always completely know what to say or do lol, but he is open, caring, concerned and supportive. I cant say THANK YOU enough; it changed the perspective in my home! The bio identical hormones, I am on day 16, seem to be helping in small but very helpful ways; I am almost sleeping through the night, sometimes I wake once, and I am feeling much more rested. I even wake before my alarm, instead of dragging myself to the shower each day. The hot flashes have slowed to a very slow roar, to maybe 1-2 in the last 10 days! I still have some of the other aggravating symptoms, but it sure helps to have someone ON your side at those times, other than the opposing!
Just thought I would stop in and say THANK YOU for what you do; I know it is a sacrifice of your time and effort to keep this blog going… but trust me, your advise changed this lady’s life, and help me open the door to changing my home! There is truly peace and rest now!
DONT STOP… please, there are ladies, and men, out there who need your help! You are informative, yes, but you also put your heart and soul into every comment/blog on here.
Thanks again, and I pray that a great harvest comes your way, for all the good seed you sow into so many peoples life!
Have a GREAT day!

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Magnolia August 14, 2014 at 10:44 am

Wow, Cyntraw, thank you so much for coming back to share that with me. I’m SO GLAD to hear that your husband was open to reading the book and giving it consideration.

That makes my day.

Yes, this blog takes a lot of time, but it’s not going away. I’ve dedicated my life to this topic and will be writing and blogging about it until the Lord returns or they put me in the ground.

I do appreciate your sharing how much it helps you. That is why I get up everyday and power up the computer. I want to help women just like you. I would have given anything had I been able to find somebody like me 17 years ago when I began going through perimenopause.

But, I’m gratified to know the work and effort put forth is not in vain.

Thank you again for sharing your story.

Magnolia

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Lisa September 5, 2014 at 10:13 am

Hi Magnolia. I just wanted to add my voice to the many women who’ve thanked you for sharing your experience and wisdom on this blog. I’m 43 and perimenopausal (at least, I think I am but I had a hysterectomy six years ago and only kept one ovary so I don’t have periods). After a few crippling bouts of anxiety and depression to the point where I was housebound, my doctor had some blood work done and explained I was in peri. She put me on bioidentical estrogen and progesterone. After several months of no improvement I got myself a saliva test that indicated I was estrogen dominant. So I’ve cut out the estrogen and have had my progesterone increased from 100 mg to 200 mg. It’s only been a month on that regimen, so I think I have a long way to go. She also thinks I may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. I guess the stress of feeling like crap all the time and the fact that I don’t sleep well anymore has compromised my system even worse.

The hardest part is, I think, the grief. I go through bouts of anxiety and depression, but the grief is just constant. It’s this sadness that just follows me everywhere. It’s in every thought and everything I do. I have such a hard time explaining how I feel to people who’ve never been there. My kids are still fairly young (11 and 8) but all I can do is cry over the fact that they’re not babies anymore. I feel so old and useless. I used to take great pride in keeping a good house and being a good cook. Now, all I do is look around and think how I’m only good for cleaning toilets and frankly, who gives a crap about dinner?

Anyway, I just had to thank you. You’ve helped me keep what’s left of my sanity. And even though I’m not convinced this will ever end, it helps to hear from other women who’ve survived and are enjoying life on the other side.

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Tina Skellett October 11, 2014 at 3:40 am

I am 58. Am on day 65 without any sign of a period. Went through a week or two of what must have been hot flushes/night sweats but mild ones, but now have sore nipples/breasts. I feel bloated and moody. Am wondering if i am going to get a period soon, but will have to wait and see i guess. I guess i’d be one of the oldest still having periods at 58? I started at 12 yrs of age, had 5 kids. Great blog!

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Tina Skellett October 11, 2014 at 3:43 am

I also have facial hair happening, but at present have a few spots in the last week. I suppose this is normal?

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