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Does Menopause Make You Feel Crazy

Brain Fog Memory Lapses And Loss Of Concentration

Can menopause make you feel crazy?

It sounds funny, but its a little frightening: you suddenly cant remember the simplest things. You walk into another room to get something and stand there wondering just what it was you were supposed to get. You forget appointments, phone numbers, names. You generally feel out of it.

Its easy to think something is drastically wrong with you when this happens. Youre in your twenties or thirties, and you feel as though youre suffering from memory loss already. Again, though, what youre experiencing is often a sign of menopause.

Your Experiences

I buy Post-it notes by the case, and now every room in my house and my car has them stuck everywhere, but then I forget what they all mean if I dont write down every little detail!

Marianne, age 40

Some women blame this brain fog on their premature menopause but high-quality studies are sadly lacking in this area. The good news? First, early menopause appears to have no effect on long-term memory. Second, any short-term memory loss tends to disappear after menopause even without HRT, and in the meantime treatment can often help.

Brain fog and memory loss can also be related to insufficient or poor quality sleep, so if youre having night sweats and suffering from insomnia, chances are youll also periodically suffers from bouts of them.

My Periods Came Back And Left And Came Back And Left This Is Crazy

Nature and God only gives you so much to endure. I found that after a visit to my physician I had stopped ovulating and periods were about to stop.they did stop for a few months, but then they would come back.however, I did not feel as strange or crazy as I had in past months. At last, I began to feel normal again whatever that was.

The Stages Of Perimenopause

There are two perimenopausal stages early stage and late stage.

Early stage perimenopause can begin as early as a womans 30s. Signs of early stage perimenopause include changes in menstrual flow, cycle length, and other period characteristics.

Late stage perimenopause is likely to occur in the 40s or early 50s. In late stage perimenopause and before menopause, estrogen hormone levels take a major drop which triggers the classic symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, insomnia, and vaginal dryness.

What Can Cause You To Feel Crazy During Menopause

So why does this happen? The main cause is falling oestrogen. It affects you physically, emotionally, and it can make you feel as if you’re losing yourself.It can also be a combination of mood swings and low moods. One minute you’re up, the next minute, you’re down. You can start to feel angry, and you can get to the point where you feel that you literally can’t control anything that you’re thinking, or feeling, or saying.

It can be due to feelings of anxiety, and panic, and fear, especially at the moment with everything that’s going on. We don’t know where we are in the world anymore or what the future’s going to bring for all of us, and that’s scary enough at the best of times.

It can be the fact that you’re feeling forgetful, you’ve got a fuzzy head, you’re losing concentration. It can be to do with losing confidence. Added to this is things like hot flushes and night sweats, so you are being bombarded with all these things often at the same time, and you can just feel overwhelmed with it all.

And it can just get to the point where you think, “Oh, I must be going crazy because I can’t help how I feel and how I’m seeing things at this particular moment.” But honesty, this is okay. This is part and parcel of the menopause and it’s a normal phase. And most women will, at some point, feel like this.

I Wasnt Expecting This

What is perimenopause?

For instance, the hot flushes and night sweats didnt really bother me. The development of severe migraine that disabled me for 24 hours at least once a fortnight did. I was expecting irregular, heavier periods. I wasnt expecting to bleed three weeks out of four, or to have such excruciating period pain that I was given IM Pethidine by a sympathetic GP. I wasnt expecting bouts of dizziness and nausea requiring me to lie down for an hour at random times of the day. I was expecting to feel a bit tearful, a bit snappy. I wasnt expecting to be completely out of control of my emotions. Crying at criticism, at imagined slights, at the television for Gods sake. Or being angry and sharp, irrationally boiling with rage over really small things. Being within a hairs breadth of walking out of work, of leaving home and twelve hours later thinking What on earth, was that all about? It was about peri-menopause. No One Told Me it could be like that. No one warned me that these symptoms might be severe and intense so that I could recognize and work through those times to minimize the disruption to me, my colleagues, my family, my work. And then there were the myriad other relatively minor things forgetfulness, poor concentration, weight gain , forgetting what I wanted to say mid-sentence, aches and pains, fatigue. There really is a seemingly endless list.

What Is A Hot Flash

It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.

Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women have a rapid heart rate or chills, too.

When they happen while you sleep, they’re called night sweats. They can wake you up and may make it hard to get enough rest.

A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.

Its Not All About Hot Flashes And Mood Swings

I found my misconceptions about menopause were pretty common: its something that only happens to old women. Shell stop having her menstrual period for twelve months, then maybe have a few hot flashes, become grumpy and irritable, then eventually move on into old age, taking up knitting and drinking copious amounts of tea with her friends

This oversimplification and disregard for the immense impact menopause has on a woman is thankfully becoming discussed more regularly and with it, women are becoming more aware of other seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause and is when women are most symptomatic. Perimenopause can range from three to ten years, for some being an easy transition but for the majority of women, around 85 percent, a challenging time of symptoms both physically and mentally that cause a shift in quality of life.

I was thirty-eight when I had my last child and pretty much from that time onwards, started to feel generally shitty for a week or so each month. I know now that this was the start of my perimenopause.

I had never had PMS, but each month before my period, which had shortened to twenty-one days, I was slammed with crushing fatigue and allergies. The allergies, I have since learned, are directly related to our histamine response in perimenopause .

The Search For Reliable Information

The problem for me was that I couldnt find anything that helped me to decide on what might help. I thought HRT wasnt an option for me because of the migraines and looking for alternatives was fraught with marketing claim and counter claim, hearsay and opinion.

I scoured bookshop shelves for information that was sensible, informed and accessible. There were books on womens health that included it as a section usually a short and not very detailed section. One had a bibliography, there were rarely any references. In magazines and on web forums there were people enthusing about wild yams, black cohosh and red clover. In health food shops I felt like I was a marketing persons dream slightly desperate, willing to try anything and unable to discriminate.

Cochrane is a source of reliable, evidence-based information

Am I Crazy Or Is It Perimenopause

Can Perimenopause Make You Feel Crazy

Perimenopause signs? Isnt it too soon for that? Well, If youre in your 30s or 40s and have recently noticed moodiness, night sweats, irregular periods and other strange symptoms cropping up, perimenopause might be to blame. 

If its too early for menopause, your signs and symptoms could be indicative of perimenopause or premenopause as it is sometimes called. This could be the answer to why youre experiencing hot flashes and headaches out of nowhere. 

Well first, no need to get stressed or anxious. Were going to break all the perimenopause signs and symptoms down. 

Whats in this article

Perimenopause Mental Health Support

Perimenopausal depression is also common and its one of the most difficult parts of menopause to live with because there are no visible signs that anything is wrong- yet youre suffering from mood swings, crying spells, and lack of pleasure in activities you used to love.

Absolutely speak with your doctor. Thats the first thing to do with any mental health or physical health issue. We also recommend working on stress relief, mental wellbeing, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Adrenal Fatigue & Thyroid Dysfunction

Let me tell you something: I had no earthly idea that women going through perimenopause could also suffer from adrenal fatigue and thyroid dysfunction.  But we can.  In fact, these two secondary issues are often the culprit in causing and intensifying many of the symptoms of perimenopause.

Such as: crashing fatigue, heart palpitations, panic attacks, vertigo and dizziness, bolting awake from a sound sleep hyperventilating, and a racing heart.

You know, maybe crashing fatigue is not a symptom which most women would associate with feeling like Im going crazy. But heart palpitations?  Panic attacks? Vertigo and dizziness?  Bolting awake in the middle of the night with your heart racing and hyperventilating?

I should say so.

Night Sweats And/or Hot Flashes

If you frequently experience those tropical holidays at night, this is most likely due to a hormonal imbalance. Night sweats and hot flashes are usually due to high estrogen levels and too little progesterone. Women are more prone to these temperature fluctuations as they go through menopause. Many women find relief from these annoying symptoms by taking black cohosh, evening primrose oil, or alfalfa tablets.

Why Does Perimenopause Rage Happen

Reader Question: Can Perimenopause Give You the Crazies ...

Your perimenopause rage doesnt mean that youre going crazy. You wont feel this way forever. Theres a chemical reason for what youre experiencing.

Estrogen affects the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a mood regulator and happiness booster. When your body produces less estrogen, your emotions may feel off-balance. Your emotions should stabilize after your body adjusts to the decrease in estrogen.

You may find that your feelings of rage are touch and go. It may be more prominent for a week or two, then disappear for the next month or so. This is because your estrogen levels are declining over time. Your estrogen-serotonin balance will be thrown off with each period of decline.

Health Changes And Mood Disturbances

Changes in your physical health at the time of menopause may also drive mood changes. For example, anxiety may be triggered by an overactive thyroid gland, which becomes more common with age. In addition, anxiety and depression may be triggered by a lack of sleep, which also becomes more common at the time of menopause, as hormone shifts cause nighttime hot flashes or other sleep disruptions that make it more difficult for women to get the rest they need.

So, what can you do to protect your mental health as you go through menopause?

Be aware that mood changes may accompany other menopausal symptoms.

Monitor your mood and make note of patterns in other factors such as sleep and stress levels. Seek professional help if symptoms become severe and interfere with daily life.

Make lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, getting adequate sleep, and controlling stress to reduce potential symptoms.

Reach out to others. Don’t struggle alone.

Ways To Even Out Menopause Mood Swings

Feeling up one minute and down the next? It’s just another day of cycling through menopause symptoms. Here are some treatments that may help.

As you go through menopause, your moods can change rapidly. One minute youre up, the next youre down. Doctors dont know for certain why so many women experience mood swings as a menopause symptom, but most believe that fluctuating hormones play a big role. How you treat mood swings will depend on how severe they are, so start by talking with your doctor.

Sometimes you need to see someone who is knowledgeable to sort it out and determine what course of treatment you need, says Lauren F. Streicher, MD, a gynecologist in Chicago. You might ask your physician, for example, to evaluate you to confirm that your mood swings are related to menopause and not the result of depression, anxiety, or panic attacks. If they are just normal change-of-life emotions, these nine tips may help you take control of both your hormones and your happiness.

Menopause Mood Swings And Depression

When Pamela Kragen* was going through menopause, she remembers a woman who became so enraged that she ripped the phone out of the wall.

The woman happened to be Kragen herself.

At times, menopause transformed Kragen into another persona entirely — one that reminded her of a woman whose multiple personalities could not be controlled.

“Normally, I may fly off the handle once or twice a year. But once I started going through menopause, it was like every day,” Kragen recalls. “Somebody had taken over my body. I’d be fine and then suddenly I’d go crazy.”

Mood swings may not be a daily occurrence for all women going through a menopausal shift, but if you do experience mood swings, rest assured that you’re not alone. Women can also suffer depression, anger, and anxiety during menopause. In either case, there are steps you can take to get your moods under control.

What causes mood swings during menopause?

It’s not clear what causes mood swings. However, women who have mood swings related to premenstrual syndrome can attest to the connection between hormone levels and emotions. Changing hormone levels during the menstrual cycle are the way parts of the brain — the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland — communicate with a woman’s reproductive system.

How can I minimize mood swings?

Making some lifestyle changes could go far in resolving moodiness. If sleep problems are the culprit, following some basic principles of what experts call “sleep hygiene” can help:

References

Why Do I Feel Like Im Going Crazy In Perimenopause

Is it normal to feel like this during menopause?

July 1, 2013

It is the most common thing I hear from women regarding perimenopause.

I feel like Im going crazy! What is wrong with me?

And there are a variety of reasons why women might feel this way too.

Personally, I think the primary reason is the simple craziness of perimenopause in general.

The wacky mood swings, depression, rages, inability to sleep, laughing one minute, crying the next, and all at an intensity that is too hard to explain to anyone who hasnt been through it.

Never mind trying to get your spouse to understand.

Physically, however, there are a few symptoms of perimenopause which probably scare women more than others, leading us to believe weve finally fallen off the turnip wagon.

So Yes In A Sense Going Through Menopause Can Cause Fevers But Just Remember That Its An Inflammatory Reaction

Menopause can also aggravate autoimmune conditions, as well as suppress your immune system because your estrogen levels are so low. This can cause stealth viruses or intracellular bacteria to actually surface and cause you to have recurrences, which may lead to fevers. In that case, its the microbes that are causing the fevers. However, its menopause that makes you vulnerable to the resurgence of these infections. 

Remember, it may be easy to confuse a hot flash with a fever. You may feel like youre burning up, but you dont actually have a fever when youre taking your core temperature. Because menopausal women tend to have a lower metabolism, they usually have lower core temperatures. 

Are My Perimenopausal Symptoms Normal Or Something To Be Concerned About

Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause. But other conditions can cause changes in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes:

  • Your periods are very heavy, or they have blood clots.
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual.
  • You spot between periods.
  • You have spotting after sex.
  • Your periods happen closer together.

Causes of abnormal bleeding include hormone problems, birth control pills, pregnancy, fibroids, blood clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.

Less Patience And Increased Irritability

It’s also common to have less patience, increased irritability, and even rage. 

I have so many students who either have kids or work with kids and notice when their hormones are out of balance they’re yelling at the kids.

I had one client who said, “whatever was in those pills you gave me, my family thanks you!

And another who said at her work with kids, once she stared on herbs the irritability and spikes in frustration she was feeling got better, which was what she needed to get through the day surrounded by kids!

Coping With Emotional And Mental Symptoms

Can perimenopause make. you feel crazy? In this NEW BLOG ...

The emotional symptoms of premature menopause arent as clear-cut as the physical ones. If you dont know that youre going through menopause prematurely, you may start wondering just what is going on.

Youre crying about nothing and its not the normal time for PMS. Youre moodier than you ever used to be. You snap at your husband or your children about the littlest thing, then cant understand why you blew up. And youre more forgetful than youve ever been.

Well, youre not losing your mind. Youre not necessarily slipping into clinical depression, and youre not becoming a witch. What youre experiencing are common emotional signs of menopause.

Many may be related to the physical symptoms you may also be experiencing, such as hot flashes or insomnia. Others may seem to just spring out of nowhere. But they are all a consequence of the changing hormones in your body.

Your Experiences

I remember going to my GP and breaking down crying. I told him that I was so tired of feeling bad. I told him about not sleeping and the panic attacks that would make my heart race like crazy. He was great. The first thing he said was: You are not going crazy. He told me that all of these things are very real and not just in my head. He assured me that they are normal symptoms.

Karen, age 39

In other words, then, as your estrogen levels drop and MAO levels rise, your brain becomes more prone to depression and moodiness, among other emotional symptoms.

Your Experiences

Bryana, age 38

Talk About How You Feel

Now, I know this is difficult because many women will tell me, “How can I tell people what I feel when I don’t really know what I feel myself?” So sometimes, writing it down can help. You can make a little list or some bullet points about how you feel daily, and then try and go through them with your nearest and dearest.

And then try and explain how you feel with each of these emotional situations when they arise. You can do what’s called offloading. To do this just sit down somewhere for 5 or 10 minutes and writing down exactly how you feel. This is for nobody’s eyes but your own.

But sometimes, just venting how you feel because sometimes, you don’t want to say it verbally or act upon it. But being able to write down exactly how you feel, right from your very heart can sometimes make a huge difference, and that can be really quite liberating.

Emotions And The Menopause: Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression

Womens emotional symptoms during the menopause vary. Some have no symptoms at all, others have mood swings, anxiety and depression. These symptoms can be frightening and surprise many women, adding to the burden of hot flushes and irregular periods. They talked about these symptoms and how they affected their lives.A range of emotionsSome women noticed no emotional changes during the menopause, or found their moods levelling out as their periods declined.

Get Your Symptoms Under Control

If symptoms are overwhelming you, look for remedies and solutions to help get them under control. There are lots of lovely supplements and herbs that you can take to help with symptoms. If you’re being overwhelmed with flushes and sweats, then there’s sage.

There are lovely calming herbs that you can take just to calm down the anxiety and the fear such as Avena sativa, which you can find in our Avenacalm.

Treatment Options For Symptoms Of Menopause

You’re not crazy, it may be perimenopause! Anxiety, tired, bad sleep, night sweats

Fortunately, you dont have to live with frequent hot flashes, wild mood swings, or episodes of major depression. There are many treatment options to help manage your menopausal symptoms. For example, our specialists may recommend hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormone therapy to replace the estrogen youve lost. HRT can come in pills, creams, patches, injections, or pellets. 

If youre going through menopause or perimenopause and experiencing mood swings or other mental health issues, contact The Association for Womens Health Care with offices in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois for help, either by calling or booking an appointment online.

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Effects Of Estrogen Depletion

Studies show that hormonal fluctuations and changes in estrogen levels can interact with chemicals in the brain, affecting mood. Due to depletion in estrogen a woman may experience:

  • Physical symptoms . These symptoms can cause emotional distress.
  • Mood changes, . Much like constant premenstrual syndrome these effects can cause emotional distress.
  • Potential relapses or changes to preexisting symptoms of mental illness.

Address It On The Hormonal Level

Addressing perimenopausal mood changes by balancing hormones is a favorite of mine, because as it kicks in, all the perimenopausal discomforts you’re having can become so much more mild at once. 

Sure you might still have moments of increased stress or anxiety, but they’re so much easier to manage. 

My favorite way to do this is with herbal remedies supported by a hormone-friendly diet.  

Shifts In The Levels Of Female Hormones Can Cause Temporary Mood Changes Including Symptoms Of Depression

The years leading up to menopause and the transition itself can bring changes to your body. But they can also have an effect on your mind, specifically your mental health.

The incidence of depression doubles during this time. Women who have struggled in the past with depression or anxiety might also see a resurgence in symptoms.

Shifts in the levels of female hormones can cause mood changes at other stages of life, so it’s not necessarily surprising that they can have some effect on mood during the menopausal transition as well, says Dr. Hadine Joffe, the Paula A. Johnson Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and postpartum depression are other examples of conditions that are driven by hormonal changes inside the body in these cases, before menstruation or after childbirth.

“These disorders aren’t 100% hormone-based,” says Dr. Joffe, but female hormones play a major role.

Risk Factors For Early Perimenopause

Can menopause make you feel crazy?

Some evidence suggests that certain factors may make it more likely to start perimenopause and menopause at an earlier age, including:

  • Smoking. Women who smoke are more likely to go through menopause at age 50 or younger, a study found.
  • Women with a family history of early perimenopause may experience early menopause themselves.
  • Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy may result in early perimenopause.
  • When a woman has their uterus removed but not their ovaries, they may experience early-onset perimenopause and menopause.. Even though you will no longer have periods and your ovaries are still producing estrogen, the surgery may cause menopause to occur earlier than expected.

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