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  • Writer's pictureJo Leccacorvi

Anger During Perimenopause

Have you ever experienced the ‘Peri Rage’? One moment you feel completely fine and in the blink of an eye you feel full of rage or maybe you are busy with a task and your brain will remind you of a bad experience from your past that triggers your rage. You can feel a physical reaction, a racing heart, shallow breathing and a knot in your stomach. After it has passed you are left wondering where on earth that came from. Thanks to your fluctuating hormones during perimenopause, rage can be a common perimenopause symptoms. Feeling so angry can be confusing as it is often seen as a negative emotion, especially in women.




 

Normalising Feeling Angry

As women go through perimenopause, it's common to experience a whirlwind of emotions, including anger. It's essential to understand that feeling angry during this phase of life is normal and valid and it can actually be a helpful emotion.

 

How Anger is Helpful

Anger can serve as a powerful signal that something isn't right. It can motivate us to set boundaries, advocate for ourselves, and address underlying issues in our lives. If you feel anger is ruling your life and feels overwhelming, this may be an indication that there is a deeper issue that requires attention.

 

How it Feels to be Angry

Anger can manifest in various ways, from mild irritation to intense rage. It might feel like a surge of energy coursing through your body, accompanied by racing thoughts and a desire to react impulsively. Physiologically, anger triggers the body's stress response, leading to increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, muscle tension, and other physical symptoms. Mentally, anger may make you feel tense, nervous or unable to relax, guilty, resentful towards other people or situations, easily irritated, humiliated, like you can't control yourself or like a 'red mist' is coming over you or you're 'seeing red'.

 

How You Might Act When Angry

When experiencing anger, you may find yourself raising your voice, clenching your fists, or engaging in confrontational behaviour. You may internalise your anger and trigger your internal critic and tell yourself you aren’t good enough, not doing enough, tell yourself that you hate yourself or you may isolate yourself from other people.

 

Stigma Around Anger

Despite its prevalence, anger is often stigmatised, particularly when expressed by women. It's essential to challenge societal norms that dismiss or shame women for expressing their anger. Often women feel like they need to supress their feelings to avoid being judged. This can be counterproductive as you are not addressing your feelings or what caused you to feel angry. In the longer term this can actually make your anger worse.

 

Why You Get Angry

Several factors can contribute to feelings of anger, including upbringing, past experiences, current circumstances, and health and wellbeing issues such as hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause. Many women feel anger and frustration over not being heard by GPs when it comes to their perimenopause symptoms, they often feel gas lit by the medical profession, especially when their symptoms are dismissed and told they are ‘too young’ or because they still have their periods.

 

How to Manage Your Anger

When feeling overwhelmed by anger, it's crucial to practice techniques for managing it in the moment. This might include deep breathing, counting to ten, or removing yourself from the situation temporarily. Finding healthy distractions and self-soothing activities can help calm intense emotions. This might involve listening to music, going for a walk, or practicing mindfulness techniques.

 

In addition to addressing anger in the moment, it's essential to develop long-term strategies for managing anger. This might involve therapy, stress management techniques, and lifestyle changes.

 

Long-term strategies


Warning signs: Recognising warning signs of escalating anger, such as increased agitation or physical tension, can help prevent outbursts and promote self-awareness. Exploring the underlying triggers of your anger, whether they're related to specific situations, people, or internal stressors, can help you develop healthier coping mechanisms.

 

Examining and challenging negative thought patterns that contribute to anger can empower you to respond more constructively to triggering situations.

 

Communication: Improving communication skills, such as assertiveness and active listening, can enhance your ability to express your feelings effectively and resolve conflicts peacefully. **Lifestyle Changes

 

Lifestyle changes: Making positive lifestyle changes, such as prioritising self-care, maintaining a healthy routine, and seeking social support, can contribute to overall emotional wellbeing and resilience.

 

Support Groups: Joining support groups or seeking guidance from peers who understand your experiences can provide validation, encouragement, and practical coping strategies.

 

Treatment: For some women, professional treatment or therapy may be necessary to address underlying issues contributing to anger and develop effective coping mechanisms. It looks at the underlying causes and you get support in helping you to manage your feelings.

 

Anger is a natural and valid emotion that alerts us that something isn’t right, and we need to take action to protect ourselves. By normalising feelings of anger, understanding its origins, and implementing healthy coping strategies.

 

If you anger is triggered by your GP not listening to you when you discuss your perimenopause symptoms, download my free eBook, How to Talk to Your GP About Your Perimenopause Symptoms So They Will Take You Seriously.

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