Now you know that as you near menopause, your body would start undergoing a sea of physical and emotional changes. However, have you ever wondered why you seem to experience a lot of menopause like symptoms early on in your life (way before menopause actually sets in)? If ‘yes’, then you are not alone out there!
What Is Perimenopause?
In sharp contrast to premenopause which involves the few days (or weeks) before a woman stops menstruating for life, perimenopause accounts for a much longer period of hormonal transitions. Accordingly, the condition can be defined as the extended period wherein a woman starts experiencing menopausal like symptoms which occur due to hormonal changes in the body.
The thing about perimenopause is that it can even span over many years (more than 10 years in fact) and could relatively be silent until the last few weeks before menopause sets in. For instance, the hormonal levels in your body could start changing even in your mid twenties. And you may not notice the same until several years later.
Again, many women experience these symptoms even though their menstrual cycles are regular. This in turn would lead them to believe that they are not experiencing perimenopause but something else.
Confusing Perimenopause With Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
With both conditions having similar symptoms, it is easy for women to generally mistake perimenopause for premenstrual syndrome and vice versa. Even though both conditions are caused by elevated estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, in the case of PMS, the symptoms vanish right after the completion of the menstrual cycle. Not so with the case of perimenopause, the symptoms of which seem to persist irrespective of whether a woman has had her monthly cycle or not.
The symptoms of perimenopause are considered to be more intense than those experienced during PMS. They are uncontrollable and can seriously disrupt a woman’s physical and emotional well being. To the point that the woman in question would actually think that she is crazy.
Emotional Symptoms Of Perimenopause You Need To Be Aware Of
More than the physical symptoms of perimenopause (including night sweats, hot flashes, profuse sweating, heavy menstrual bleeding, shorter menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, joint stiffness, muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia, decrease in libido, and frequent urination etc.), it is the emotional side of the condition that needs to be dealt with carefully.
The emotional symptoms of perimenopause are erratic enough to disrupt an otherwise normal life. Worse, they bring about a feeling of guilt wherein the woman in question does not recognize the condition and ends up thinking that something else is mentally wrong with her.
So what are the emotional symptoms of perimenopause that you need to be aware of? Here’s a list that can help you out. Remember that these symptoms may arise all at once or individually at different time gaps. And each woman going through perimenopause may experience symptoms that are unique to her body condition.
However, the more common symptoms of perimenopause include:-
You are perfectly normal one second and then just start crying uncontrollably the next. There would be no specific reason for your outburst and you would find it pretty odd that you suddenly started crying out of the blue! Again, you would find yourself crying out your heart for the smallest of issues.
Extreme Mood Changes
As mentioned earlier, you would cry for no reason at all. There are also instances wherein you will fluctuate between opposite ends of the emotional meter. At one point of time you will feel euphoric and on top of the world. And the very next instant, you will feel depressed, lonely and totally washed out.
Another extremity involves your anger which you would find very hard to control at this stage. One second you are as calm as a cucumber and the next second, you flip your lid and become so angry that you would find it hard to control your rage without resorting to some kind of physical outburst (like breaking something in the house or hurting yourself).
And then we have the two extremes that relate to your physical well being. While you feel all geared up and ready to go at one instant, you would tend to become so exhausted the next. Along with all these symptoms, some of the other mood changes you may experience would include anxiety, irritability, low self esteem and an overwhelming feeling that refuses to go away no matter what you do.
Concentration Woes and Disorientation
Of course with all the perimenopausal symptoms wreaking havoc in your brain, there is no way you would be able to concentrate on your work or even the simplest of things around the house. You would continuously feel disoriented, disillusioned and distressed for the most part. This in turn would cause other issues like headaches, stress, body pain, migraines and disturbances in your sleep patterns.
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