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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.”



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My wife hits all warning signs. She hasn't had a period in over a year but still has mood swings, hot flashes, and rages over tiny things. It's worse the same time every month. She refuses to see a doctor. In fact she goes out of her mind with anger if I mention it. She focuses all her anger on me. The kids get some of it ,but I get the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong in her life. I'm to the point now where I don't even care anymore. I wish she would just leave. I love her but I can't live like this.
I feel like we're living the same nightmare. My girlfriend acts like I'm trying to throw her in an insane asylum when I plead with her to go to a doctor. I hope things are better for you now.
Scott, you couldve been describing my wife. She'll go from zero to full nuclear in a matter of minutes. I've wondered if she has mental problems as she is barely articulate in her rage all the while holding our crying toddler daughter and not letting her sleep. I've learned not to respond as it makes it a lot worse. She'll tend to bring out the worst invectives but not responding is the best. It's not an argument, it's a rage monologue. Later after a few days she'll feel guilty and bewildered what she was talking about. I worry most about our daughter and how will affect her. We visited a doctor but the result was unsatisfactory. It's a bit hard to figure it all out.
I have been to my doctor, I am 50 years old and have all kinds of all over the place mental problems connected with my start of menopause. The problem is, even with my medical I can't afford to have hormone replacement therapy because my paychecks are small and my medical won't cover the hormone replacement therapy and the appointments were expensive. I had to stop after only a couple of months and now I feel worse than ever, I feel like I would like to just go die in a hole, so now, anyone got any suggestions? Anything over the counter I can do?
for linda
What a bunch of poor me whiners here complaining about their wives/partners. Grow the eff up and man up. None of you ever had to live with PMS. You never had the decades of shit that came with that. And now you don't have to live with the rage that hit out of nowhere to the point where you can't even really think clearly and you just want to scream and smash things. Do you have any idea what that is like? No. And you don't even try to understand. You just come here and whine. No wonder your partners are raging at you. The sheer lack of sensitivity and the focus on you and her needing help says a ton about the relationship and what jerks you are in them. You know it's menopausal rage? Then step aside and let her process it. Don't be a jerk or tell her she's got problems or judge her for something that is out of her control especially if you know what it is. If it were you, how would you feel in her position? It's not like a doctor can cure this. If they could we'd be reading all about it. But we are stuck with it and trying to process it and in the end, god knows how long it will go on and when or if it will get better. That is what these women live with and then get not one iota of understanding, compassion or support? If you ask me, the anger you get is the anger you deserve.