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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.”



Dr. Oz I think I am going throuh premenopause I do have mood swings, panic attaches foggy in the head, emotional, aswell as sometimes I feel so awfull that I don't want to go through this and just want a way out and maybe take a sleeping pill just so it would pass what would be good vitamins or any type of help so I could feel better. thankyou
Hi, thank you for reading the article; however, 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 should be brought to the attention of your primary care physician. Please call his office and make an appointment immediately and let him know about how you are feeling and about your health concerns. Never take any medication without a doctor's diagnosis and recommendation for treatment. Take heart, have courage, see your doctor and good health will follow. I hope that you will feel better soon.
i have all these symptoms but im only 20 years old any suggestions... i thought it could of been the beginning stages of pregnancy... its starting to tear my family apart(me and my husband) dr. oz please i need your help desperately!!!!!!!
Hi, thank you for reading the article; however, 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 should be brought to the attention of your primary care physician. Please call his office and make an appointment immediately and let him know about how you are feeling and about your health concerns. I hope that you will feel better soon.
See a counsel you maybe bipolar
At 34 I was diagnosed with PMDD. At the age of 39 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. At 44 my Dr added Wellbutrin XL 150 to my Lexapro 20mg. I am still having episodes of rage.. At first is was just getting mad at really nothing. But now I am having feelings of absolute rage. It really concerns me because I've never really been a cryer but now I cant seem to find a tear anywhere because of my anger. I am very worried about this matter. I have always been a loving tender-hearted person with alot of patience, but now I'm just VERY concerned. Ive made an appt with my Gyno but I wanted to know if you had any suggestions on medications for me to explore with my Dr? I have been on Zoloft, Sarafem, Effexor and now the combination of Lexapro 20mg and Wellbutrin XL 150. I've tried meditation but with me being (un-diagnoised ) ADHD I cant focus long enough for it to make a difference.. Please give me some suggestions to talk with my Dr about. Thank you, Joyce Alabama
I am definitely suffering from perimenopause. I am 36, a stay at home mother of three and I have been suffering for the past few years. When I am PMSing, I try and let my husband know. He has always been the type of person who likes to trigger my episodes. Then he tells me that I'm crazy. I tell him that I can't help the way i'm feeling. I really wish I could. Then I get these massive headaches. It's horrible. I cry so much i'm surprised that I have any tears left. My OBGYN wanted to put me on meds, but I really don't like meds. I really wish my husband could have seen this episode so he could understand a bit of what I am going through. It could be really depressing also. What we women have to go through. Blah!
Order it from dr.Oz. Or go online and look for the episode .
I cant read the article, it is covered by the advertising...dumb move
Or, maybe around the time perimenopause hits, many women realize what a raw deal they've gotten from their families simply because they are female. That would be enough to make almost any women fly into a rage.
I feel like I'm going through all the symptoms yet I'm only 27 I don't know if maybe ITs because of previous abortions I've had, or am I just genetically going to go through menopause early???? Pleas help
Keisha, you can go through perimenopause in your 20s. The best thing to do is have a talk with your doctor.
I still think menopausal rage sounds a lot like the 19th century diagnosis of hysteria, which was basically what male doctors called it when women were angry, sexually eager, depressed, or not interested in obeying men. in other words, I think it's horse poop for the most part. A lot of women realize as they get older that they've given up their hopes and dreams and are stuck with an unfulfilling life, a boring husband, and ungrateful children. society no longer values them because they don't look young; in our society men get distinguished as they get older, and women simply grow old. Then their bodies start changing just around the time they hit their sexual peak, but few men want to satisfy them. No wonder they want to throw spoons at people's heads and have moods that turn on a dime. Men in that situation would be angry too. That's not 'menopausal rage'; that's the oppressed finally waking up and wanting to punch somebody. A pill isn't going to cure that. Getting sexytime from a man who's interested, taking some course, getting into something like kickboxing or mountain climbing, taking some trips, or getting a long-needed divorce - all of those things might just make that rage go away. In other words, rage is God's way of tlling you that you're ticked off and need to change your life.
Bitter much? All of those things that you say may be true, but that's not what the author is discussing. Menopausal rage differs from the "I'm approaching 50, I've made bad choices and chose to stick with them, I'm angry at you all but not really I'm angry at myself and blaming you" to which you refer.
I went crazy virtually overnight and I can assure it has nothing to do with me being angry at the choices I have made in my life. Unfortunately a lot of the problem I have at the moment is finding someone who will actually help me and who doesn't have the same attitude that you do - it's all in my head - it's something else. I know there is something going on in my body, it occurs to me as a hormonal feeling. It's not like a normal bad temper. It's sudden, it's ferocious and it's ruining my life. I'm only 41 and it started when I was 40. Please don't be so quick to put down something you haven't lived with yourself so obviously don't know anything about. Walk a mile ..
I feel the same way! I absolutely hate the way I'm acting but can't control myself. With in a hour of waking up I could scream cry and tell someone off scare you little boy you name it ! Makes me thinking of running away or becoming a drunk!
I am 44 years old and the above comments said it all. I do feel like described and only change in my life can alter my dead end.
Really? Women are suffering at CERTAIN TIMES OF THE MONTH , and you say, it's because our lives suck. Ignorance. There is no one who made all the right choices, but that doesn't mean we are miserable. This is about a real issue. Please go elsewhere with your foolishness. We need real answers. Believe it or not, everyone peri menopausal woman IS NOT PISSED OFF WITH LIFE. This isn't desperate housewives the Reunion.
Let me guess, you often trip over your own self righteousness and you are most definitely single.
OMG.....I have said unspeakable things to my fiancé and father and mother. UNSPEAKABLE !!! I have unleashed vile, crude language in a heartbeat. I am always so sorry afterward and swear it will never happen again but in a week or so it is the same unruly behavior. It is rage unleashed and I can't control it. I am so sorry for the things I have said and the feelings I have hurt. I AM sorry
Hi Lee, If it's any consolation I'm 42 now and things have calmed some what. I have to be vigilant and be very careful to get enough sleep and not take too much on. Whilst I feel that I am a shadow of my former self - it does get better. I can now recognise when it's about to happen although not always and remove myself or give clear verbal warnings when it's about to happen. Try and notice the sensations in your body when it happens and look out for them as a pre cursor and warning that you're about to rage. Walk away, tell the person you're with that you're on red light and about to explode. Take vitamin b, sleep and don't take on too much. Try and find a naturopath that is experienced in woman's health - I find normal drs pretty useless with this kind of thing. Give yourself some love. I wish you all the best - it's a tough road, but time will lesson the rage - just hold on and take every moment as it comes.
I'm 53 and fully menopausal, but I've just started having these rage attacks in the past few months. I've seen lots of changes in my habitat -- my dad passed away, my son is in rehab for prescription drug use, I started a new job, and I spent my first Christmas alone. Today I broke the vertical blinds at my sliding door because I got mad at the cat. I think I'm going insane. I'm wondering if going back on my anti-depressant might help. Suggestions?
I am 45, I sure wish I would have went to a health care provider, instead my husband thought an appt..to see a psychiatrist would help. That was about 1yr ago. I was handed a diagnosis of BPD. No physical, no blood work, no talk about my period either since I've been on the depo shot for a few years now. I do get bloated, breast tender & all the other PMS symptoms. But now I have a husband that sends me excerpts from BPD Articles & how they are relating to my emotional roller coaster!! And with 18 yrs under our belt and our diminished communication skills, I am truly worse off now then before my diagnosis... SO What tests "EXACTLY " do ask my Primary health Dr.to perform in or to show & prove my sanity! Sincerely, missed diagnosed ( I hope)
Hi. This sounds just like me. Is there any way to balance it out naturally without the use of pharmaceutical creams or pills?
My wife is 48 and she recently has become very angry and aggressive at the drop of a hat. We have 3 children and the 4 of us are forever walking on eggshells, and in truth, genuinely frightened. I think that she may be showing signs of premenopausal rage, but I don't know what to do! The vaguest mention that perhaps there is more to it than the fact that we are all useless f***ing t**ts! Merely brings on another rage. Help?!
I am 34, and I'm not quite sure this is what I have. I have emotional outbursts and get very sad and sensitive to my feelings about a week or two before my period starts. I know that its pretty normal, but mine is VERY BAD. I cry almost every day for one reason or another until I get my period then I'm normal again for 2-3 weeks. It's causing major strain on my relationship. My mother had a full hysterectomy at 34 so idk when I should expect my menopause to start effecting me. Please help. Is this normal or am I going insane?! Lol
I'm 40 and been going through perimenopause since I was 35. I'm in a rage a lot and I can feel the blood just surge through me. I have no energy and will face off to anyone. By the time that I realize what I've done or said it's to late. My cramps and periods are worse. Had a daughter at 19 I had terrible postpartum depression. Second daughter at 26 no problem. I feel bipolar and out of control. I am considering removing my uterus. :( anyone had this done and helped? This is a lonely disorder bc it's never taken seriously by doctors or loved ones.
I am so glad that I found this information. After a year of thinking I was crazy, turning my family and friends against me, thoughts of suicide, anxiety and depression medications that did not help, and feelings of total hopelessness, I think I finally know what's wrong with me and have an appointment with my doctor. I wish there was more education for the public on this subject. I know it was on Dr. Oz's show several times, but I and probably many others did not see it there. I was just lucky enough to stumble upon this on the internet yesterday. Public awareness and education would be most beneficial for all affected by this. I don't know if I can ever repair the relationships with family and friends who gave up on me because they thought I had mental illness and just got tired of my uncontrollable and unexplained rage. Thank you.
i having been losing my mind for the last six months or more and i have been like a raging bull with my family, my husband in particular where i could actually and psyically hurt him. i have started to smash things up as i just cant seem to calm myself down until i smash things or hurt myself which i have actually ripped my face, legs and arms to pieces. i have thought of so many things to do even down to suicide until my friend read up on menopause and everything she said it sounded like me, so now i can get help to stop this as i have been so scared that i will really hurt someone. when i am raging, i have no remorse but as soon as i calm down, i am so sorry. i cant wait to tell my husband he will be so relieved as he probably thought i was going off my head. so thank you for sharing your rage with everyone
I have been suffering with low labido since just after my daughter was born and mood swings. Just lately rages. My doctor has taken bloods, and says I'm peri- menopausal. Frustrating as it is they are doing nothing sale!