Perimenopausal and Angry

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker


I am a 48 year old woman, still menstruating and always feel angry. It seems the minute I get home, I start feeling the anxiety and angry. I am a very organized and hard working person, I expect everyone at home to be the same, unfortunately they are not, but even when they try that’s not good enough for me, it seems I am always looking for something to snap at. I need help, I do suffer from hypothyroidism and have been on medication for quite some time. I have no sexual desire. I love hate my husband. I blame him for everything. He tries hard to please me but it’s never enough. My husband is always the one on the receiving end of my worst moments. My worst moments are on a daily basis. We have a good life, own our own business, live in a beautiful country, but I can not seem to get out of this angry stage I am in and have been in for quite some time. When I am menstruating it gets five times worst. Please help!

A: This sounds really miserable. I’m so sorry you’ve suffered for so long. You are probably perimenopausal (which is a term for the symptoms that happen “around menopause”). Many women during this period of life experience irritability, fatigue, a lowered sex drive, depression and mood swings that seem to come out of the blue. In addition, many women have difficulty sleeping due to hot flashes. The sleep deprivation makes them even more on edge. In your case, these symptoms may be further aggravated by hypothyroidism, which can also cause fatigue and depression.

Fortunately there is treatment for these conditions. It’s long past time for you to see an endocrinologist to adjust your thyroid medications and to consult regarding possible medications to relieve the symptoms of perimenopause. You might be prescribed an antidepressant as well as hormone medications. In addition, this is a time in life when you should be especially careful to eat well, to get extra sleep and to get in some exercise every day if you can.

I hope you and your husband will also consider seeing a couples therapist. You have a life together that is worth saving. You need to learn ways to manage this period of your life. Your husband needs to learn ways he can support you. You could both use some help reclaiming the intimacy you have been lacking for some time.

Fortunately for all of us women, these symptoms eventually do come to an end. You could just wait it out. But it could take years and the way you are feeling and behaving could destroy a perfectly reasonable marriage. I encourage you to get the help you need to make these next few years more comfortable for you and your family.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Perimenopausal and Angry. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/27/perimenopausal-and-angry/