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Dr. Oz Show Shares 4 Warning Signs of Perimenopausal Rage

Tim Boyer's picture
menopause anger

A recent episode of the Dr. Oz Show alerts viewers that women may suffer from uncontrollable surges of rage at their family members due to what he calls ‘Perimenopausal Rage.” In a companion article on The Dr. Oz Show website, Menopause Clinician Marcy Holmes writes about conquering perimenopause and lists the 4 warning signs of perimenopausal rage, also known as menopause anger.


Perimenopause is the time period shortly before a woman begins to experience full menopause. Typically it occurs between the ages of 35 to 55 when a woman is still having her period, although perhaps not as frequently or as long as previously. In fact, this is a time when a woman may first begin to feel that something is not “quite right” about her body as she begins to sense hormonal changes coursing through her veins.

These hormonal changes coursing through their veins can elicit sudden and strong emotional outbursts like anger not unlike watching the typically mild-mannered Bruce Banner transform into the Incredible Hulk. These outbursts manifest as anger to the worst degree where “rage” is the most accurate descriptor of the condition. To a family member caught in the wake of the rage, it can be confusing and hurtful as the rage is often perceived as a “way out of proportion” irrational reaction to whatever slight may have triggered the response.

However, it is not just the family members who are hurt by the rage, but the woman herself who often feels guilt and shame afterward wondering what had just happened. Essentially, what she may or not realize is that what she is experiencing is similar to normal PMS - if she were on angel dust at the same time - because it occurs just before a major hormonal change in her body.

To help women and their family members recognize that a serious health condition is afoot in their home, Menopause Clinician Marcy Holmes offer these four warning signs of perimenopausal rage so that families can recognize a problem exists that can be solved.

Warning Signs of Perimenopausal Rage and Anger

1. Mood Swings Within Minutes: Are you fine one minute, and sad, overwhelmed or crying the next – does this sound familiar? Your moods are changing like the flip of a light switch with no warning. This moment-to-moment flip-flop of emotions is often a sign of hormonal imbalance.

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2. Out-of-Proportion Anger: Totally overreacting to even little things is part of this anger. These responses are over-the-top in regard to what is usually considered “small stuff.” Agitation and irritability surface in response to minor events.

3. A Long History of PMS: If you already have had a tendency to experience premenstrual symptoms, the more extreme hormone fluctuations of perimenopause can exaggerate your symptoms tenfold, and can lead to perimenopausal rage. I almost always find that PMS is worse in women who don’t support their systems adequately using healthy nutrition and lifestyle measures.

4. Previous Postpartum Depression: I am always interested to hear what pregnancy was like for the women I meet in my practice. I have found that women with postpartum depression have brains that are wired to be very sensitive to hormone changes. From my experience, I consider women who report having postpartum depression in the past at greater risk for developing more difficult perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, including this type of perimenopausal rage.

4 Solutions for perimenopausal rage treatment

Marcy Holmes says that the key to conquering perimenopausal rage is to promote a return toward achieving hormonal balance in your body. She offers examples of suggestions that include medications, progesterone creams, eliminating or reducing your intake of caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and therapy options with a mental health counselor to address the can of worms a hormonal imbalance can open for a woman and her family.

For more information about the 4 warning signs of perimenopausal rage, watch the episode on the Dr. Oz Show and read Marcy Holmes’ companion article “Conquering Perimenopause.”



What is the earliest age you can experience perimenopausal rage?
Hi, according to the National Institute of Aging, menopause on average occurs at age 51; however, it can also occur sooner--even during the early 40's for some women. Since perimenopausal rage occurs just before menopause, then it could happen while a woman is still fairly young. Health, as in all things, have exceptions, so the ealiest age is undefined from what I've searched through. If you believe that this is happening to you, go to your physician and see if you can get a referral to an endocrinologist who should be able to address your questions and your health concerns. Good luck!
My mom had to have suffered from this! I remember her pulling a steak knife on my 5 year old sister! She had years of hot flashes and profuse sweating. I am hoping that this is not hereditary!
Hi, as the recognition of perimenopaual rage is a relatively recent condition I have not seen any studies looking at the inheritance of this. However, what is good about this is that you are knowledgable about the condition and therefore will be prepared in case you should go through perimenopausal rage too. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and stay informed about health and what you can do to keep yourself healthy. Good luck and thank you for sharing.
Sounds more like mental illness than perimenopausal rage.
The hormones are affecting the brain causing occasional outburts of emotion but it is not a mental illness.
Sounds like either your to young or your a male and don't understand what a wonan goes through.
I don't have mental illness and your comment made me want puke! Idiot!
Show was right track for me. I can relate to the fits of anger or rage the women on the show spoke about. I also have concerns that I never had children and its only myself and husband. In my rage I don't see anything, but as it passes I have regrets and embarrassed of the outburst. My concern is I haven't had a period in over 10 years I was infact had early menopause started in my early 40's. Would you recommend the same prescriptions and the suggestions for a woman of my age 53. I need help my husband thinks I'm crazy and I wouldn't want this to damage our marriage. HELP
Hi, thank you for reading the article, for sharing your story and and for your question. First, let me be clear that I am not Dr. Oz, but a health and science writer who reported on a topic covered by the Dr. Oz show. My apologies if there was some confusion. However, I can sympathize with your problem and agree that you have concerns that need to be addressed. Forget about regrets, emabarrasments and any fears of being crazy--what you described is on par with what many other women have reported. Go to your primary care physician and tell him how you feel. He will have the knowledge, understanding and medical care that you are in need of and deserve. Good luck and thank you again for sharing.
Dr. Oz I am a 51 year old very active woman that is going through perimenopause. I have just finished watching your program on perimenopausal rage. I would like to add that I feel it would be very beneficial to woman to request a hormone blood test, I requested one from my naturopath and the results were not as my naturopath expected, she would have given me progesterone but the results showed that it was my estrogen that was so incredibly low was causing all my symptoms. I have been on estradol creme for about 1 month now and cannot believe how incredible I feel, I don't ever recall feeling this great. I did request from my family physician to send me to a hormone specialist, if they exsisted...but to no avail they just wouldn't. I have shared this info. with my family Dr. and believe this could be a very important step to finding a much quicker solution.
Hi, thank you for reading the article and for your comments. First, let me be clear that I am not Dr. Oz, but a health and science writer who reported on a topic covered by the Dr. Oz show. My apologies if there was some confusion. I believe that you are making some very good points that will help others with what you experienced.Sometimes it is hard to get our primary care physician to listen to us and consider what we have learned through other channels. Kudos to you for taking a proactive role in your health--good luck and good health!
Dr Oz , I think men have menopause problems as well. We do have mood swings. I have not had a period for 23 years. So why am i having mood swings?
Hi, thank you for reading the article and for your question. First, let me be clear that I am not Dr. Oz, but a health and science writer who reported on a topic covered by the Dr. Oz show. My apologies if there was some confusion. Mood swings can occur due to a large number of reasons. The good news is that this is a treatable condition. My advice is that you talk with your primary care physician about your mood swings and see if he can help you identify the cause. Good luck on your health and I hope that everything works out for you.
Dr. Oz, I am wondering what perimenopause is like in someone with PCOS? I am 37 and have just not felt "right" for the past 3 or 4 years. I feel unusually short with people, but more so with my poor children. I definitely have mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere, anger out of proportion to the situation, easily irritated and definitely feel guilty about my behavior. I feel like this occurs pretty much all the time for me rather than being cyclical. But, since I have PCOS, I have never had a regular cycle. Would someone with PCOS and baseline hormones already out of wack have constant perimenopausal rage?
Dr. Oz, I am wondering if perimenopausal rage is different in someone with PCOS? I am 37 and have felt that something isn't "right" for the past 3 or 4 years. I am short with people, but particularly my children. I have anger that is very out of proportion for the situation, am easily irritated by nothing at all, and definitely feel awful about my behavior. Because of the PCOS, I have never had a regular cycle in my entire life. I also feel that my bad behavior is not cyclical, but nearly constant...maybe because my hormones have always been out of whack, but as of late have gotten worse? Any advice you have for my situation would be very much appreciated.
Hi, thank you for reading the article and for your comments. First, let me be clear that I am not Dr. Oz, but a health and science writer who reported on a topic covered by the Dr. Oz show. My apologies if there was some confusion. What you are describing to me sounds like a need for help from a medical professional. Please see your primary care physician as soon as you can and let him or her know what you are experiencing. Being proactive toward your health is a good first step toward good health and going to your physician is the best way to start. Good luck on your health--I hope that you will be feeling better soon.
Why do you keep saying to go to your primary physician? Haven't you learned by now that they just want to give you drugs and mmake money? This is a no brainer, hormone balancing belongs in the hands of natural docs. Errrrrrrr
Please stop referring to doctors as "he". Particular when speaking to females about female issues.
This was a very sad episode of Dr. Oz for me to watch. My wife moved out 2 years ago this Thanksgiving, after suffering from perimenopause. There were several stress triggers in our lives: medications, money, health, family, deaths - and she just kept getting more and more secretive and dark. Trying to talk to her was navigating a maze of hidden agendas, loopholes, and outright lies. Finally it got so I couldn't be near her without her trying to start a fight. Once, she took a position on a subject, and I agreed with her, so she then took the opposite position and wanted to argue. I was helpless in the face of that mental instability. She bought a condo, refuses counseling, and we haven't spoken in several months. So like I said: this was a sad episode for me to watch.
Wow this is happening to me this minute !! What finally happened ?? It's a roller coaster ride !! Ya secretive ! Mind gig a condo also ?? Help
Sounds more like bipolar or other mental health issue v. Perimenopause (though that could make things worse). I'm no doc, but only offer my opinion based on what you describe.
I was suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) since my 19 years of age. Ever since i got married i have not been able to get pregnant, so i was completely barren due to this genetic disorder. I was prescribed several Clomid Meds but couldn't see any improvement. I would basically go from one outbreak to the next. Finally, on my best friend's recommendation, i decided to try the rescue herbal remedy which are made in liquid form with natural root and herbs from Dr Molemen.Within a few weeks, I could see improvements in the symptoms. My Menstrual Period has been maintained to normal,I used this medicine for two weeks and after some months later i began to have some early symptoms of pregnancy, its been over a year and some months now since i used that medicine and i have successfully given birth to a child,after been childless for many years due to this PCOS Syndrome. I would recommend this medicine to my other friends out there who are suffering from PCOS to give this medicine a try. contact : [email protected]) or ([email protected]) or call him +2347036013351.
I experienced rage, in a different scenario, but definitely hormonally induced. I had never had PMS when I was younger, but began experiencing it after the birth of my first child. It got worse with each following two pregnancies. When my periods returned after the last pregnancy, it was all-out rage. It would come on rather quickly, over the course of a couple of hours, would last for about 2 days, and would go away when my period started. I would actually feel a flush over my body as it disappeared, and it would be gone in less than a minute! Then all of the regret would start. (With 3 young children in the house, there was a lot of regret.) I felt like Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with absolutely no way to control it. My husband was no help. My doctor thought I was crazy and would not believe it had anything to do with hormones. She wanted to put me on full time antidepressants, so I just walked away and suffered. It was horrendous for about 5 years, then kind of started becoming more and more intermittent, and eventually less intense. It didn’t completely disappear until perimenopause began just last year at age 53. After 14 years of suffering, it is finally gone!!!! My mom had Perimenopausal Rage in the more traditional sense, as its onset was at about age 47 and it would come throughout the month with no discernable pattern. Hers stayed around long after menopause. Thank goodness we are starting to talk about it so women can start thinking they’re not crazy and maybe start finding real help!
Thank you for posting your experience. I just today had a huge rageful outburst on my poor mother. Although I do harbor light hurt due to her being in denial she's alcoholic and I &I my siblings had been in numerous foster homes because she refused to get help or even believes in psychotherapy. I've lost two sisters older, one suicide one cancer, she blamed us for her drinking. I learned (or so I thought )to forgive her &I we got along in small bits however since I've gotten perimenapausal symptoms I cannot control my anger towards her &I end up feeling like a bad person &I pray allay for god to help me understand what just happened to make me say &I act so upset. Im hopeful she will hear my apology but more hopeful to have her understand I feel I cannot control my anger towards her and I do love her very much. Its a terrible guilt & worse to not know what or why its happening. Look forward to more posts from women 40-whatever age it ends for they are incredibly supporting and give me such hope.
I really need HELP quick! I'm almost 41 and I've had extreme moodswings (rage, cries, happy) since I had my first child 19 months ago and it gets worse every month. I talked to my doctor last week because I was scared I'll get more aggressive towards my daughter. ( it's worse with the lack of sleep and PMS)... we live alone, so nobody to calm me down, just her being worse when I get mad. So my doctor sent me to a psychiatrist to see if I was bipolar.... The only time I was this way before was when I was drinking but I can't remember anything, people told me about about it and also when I had my PMS (but not as strong). I desperately need help, I don't want my baby to be scared of me. I put her in full time daycare last month because of that but I wish I could keep her at home with me. :(
I also remember the 3 things to avoid: Alcohol, Caffeine and Sugar. Therapy will also help, being able to talk with someone about the rage. I was very lucky to be able to take hormone therapy for 10 years (age 50 to 60). I am off of it now, but it made me feel like a "normal" person at a time when I was having a difficult time.
I watched this show an I feel the same way these women do but the only thing is Im 29 and have 3 kids. Can this happen to someone who is younger?
Hi, thank you for reading the article and sharing your experience. Although the average age of menopause and related conditions is 50, there are always exceptions both younger and older. See your primary care physician and discuss your health concerns--that's what he or she is there for. Good luck on good health!
Yes it can I think if im not mistaken 33 for me and even worse today and im 35