Is It Menopause or Am I Just Crazy?

Menopause or CrazyIf you want a scientific article telling you all the physiological details of menopause, keep looking. I am not going to bore you with science.

Instead I am going to tell you my story that is also the story of many women as they go through menopause. First, of all the term MENOPAUSE means the 13th month after you stop ovulating and having monthly periods. We have heard our periods called the curse, the visitor, being on the rag and numerous other even less positive things. Most of us never really made friends with our menses or periods. It was just a sign we were not pregnant, and we had to make sure we did not embarrass ourselves with light clothing, or by not having the right sanitary pads or tampons when she decided to roll in.

In my late 30’s and early 40’s I began to have hot flashes and sudden mood swings. Those sudden mood swings turned me into someone no one really wanted to be around. I found myself consuming large amounts of chocolate, developed broken sleep habits and would lie there night after night listening to my husband snore. I began to take estrogen replacements, black cohosh and evening primrose herbs, and whatever promised to reduce my Godzilletta behavioral habits. Larry, my hubby, ran to the hills when “she” came and he knew instinctively when it was not a good time to have an intelligent conversation. This was called “perimenopausal symptoms.”

I’m 40 and I’m Okay – Well, Maybe

At the end of my 40’s the hot flashes stopped and I thought God had granted me a reprieve from all my past perimenopausal trauma. I had many quiet years with the exception of sleep difficulties due to my changing chemistry. I did not have the mood swings and thought I was ok. Boy, I was really wrong.

I’m 50 and Blissful – What Fat Deposits?

I entered my 50s and was told that this was a blissful time for me. I felt I had truly found my voice and was not going to be taken lightly by anyone ever again. I felt I had found my life purpose and passion along with my blooming waist and hips. I knew I would have to do more to stop the fat deposits that often accompany estrogen loss. I began working out more and had a personal trainer to help me build muscle.

I really thought I was FINE. But then I suddenly developed hot flashes again and my urge for sex increased and I was becoming a big bully again. Larry knew once again the other Nancy had come back. I felt at times I was losing my mind. I forgot things, I flew into rages when silly stuff happened. I lost things and became confused and really wanted to JUST RUN AWAY. During that time from 50 till around 54, each month around my period I planned my escape, and where I would go when I ran away. In fact I did run off a few times only to find the next day I felt even dumber and more embarrassed to return home and try to explain my odd desires and behavior. Larry learned to just brush it off and when my tears flowed he would comfort me. I really thought I was going to go crazy and had to find a way to get out of my own skin.

My Periods Came Back and Left and Came Back and Left – This is CRAZY

Nature and God only gives you so much to endure. I found that after a visit to my physician I had stopped ovulating and periods were about to stop….they did stop for a few months, but then they would come back….however, I did not feel as strange or crazy as I had in past months. At last, I began to feel normal again –– whatever that was.

Is Menopause an Out of Body Experience?

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I have since had conversations with many women who report similar experiences. One woman reported having what she called an out-of-body experience. She thought she was dying and going crazy at the same time. Why women have to go through this is anyone’s guess.

I just want to tell you it will pass and you will feel normal again or least feel more comfortable in your skin and where you are. Be sure to talk to other women about what you are experiencing. You will find such valuable support and understanding. It is real and you will come out on the other side feeling wonderful and even more powerful than before. I have been there and won and you will too. I am OK now and you will be fine too.

~Dr. Nancy