Last week I talked about anxiety during the menopause and this week in A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays I take a look at another unsettling emotional symptom which many women experience and that’s… anger! From angry outbursts and irritability to uncontrollable rage, I explain why the menopause can make you feel this way and what you can do to control this emotion better.
Hello, and welcome to another edition of A.Vogel’s Menopause Mondays. And today, I’m going to talk about anger and anger outbursts in the menopause. Now this is actually a really interesting one. Most women will experience a little bit of anger at some point in the menopause. I think half the time, it’s life, we’re stressed, we’re overworked, we’re not resting enough, and we can get very irritated and angry. But for some women, this can actually be a really serious problem.
So why does this happen?
As far as we’re aware, it’s not a direct link of falling oestrogen, but it’s what oestrogen actually does to our control of our emotions. I remember a few weeks ago, I was talking about the hormone oxytocin and how that lowers in the menopause and it releases our hold on caring for other people. And it is thought that as our oestrogen levels fall, it actually interferes with our emotional control. And when that happens, we can then get a lot angrier. We are less in control. We’re more likely to actually let our anger out, rather than actually holding it in.
What can happen?
And it’s quite interesting because as women, even today in society, we’re still brought up that anger isn’t proper for women and that we need to keep everything in check and we’re not allowed to speak out, we’re not allowed to complain to other people or about other things. And what can happen is that anger we have experienced whilst younger can be totally suppressed. And when we start this journey in the menopause and our control eases off, it’s very often unresolved anger from maybe a long time ago that’s actually released, rather than just feeling angry or upset in the present moment.
How can this show itself?
So if you find that you are getting extremely angry with a particular person or in certain circumstances and this is happening regularly, then try and just take a minute out and see exactly what the anger is. Are you just hitting out at anybody just for the sake of it, or is there some old resentment that’s actually starting to bubble through? And this is the point where it is really important that you try and resolve this in some way. We’ve actually had instances where women have contacted us and the anger has got so out of control. One woman actually got so annoyed with her boss that she stamped her foot and gave in her notice straightaway and just walked out the door. And we’ve had other women who are beginning to feel that they could almost be physical in their anger, and it can be a very, very frightening thing when you realise that you’re no longer able to control these particular emotions.
What can you do?
So what can you do about this particular situation? If it’s just general anger and irritability and it happens now and again, then very often, just check your diet. High-sugar intake, an extra cup of coffee, an extra sticky bun can give you enough sugar that just revs up your nervous system and you can end up hitting out. Also, your nervous system gets very stressed at this time, anyway, and there can be a fine line between being able to control your anger and actually jumping over the edge, if you like, as well. What you can do, you can look at herbs, such as valerian and passiflora. These can very often take the edge off the anger and the irritability. Dehydration can do it as well, so if you’re getting hot flushes and anger, then, maybe just up your water intake a little bit. Low blood sugar levels can do it too. We tend to be more irritable and angry when we’re actually hungry, so eat little and often if you can. Remember the magnesium, too. It’s your happy mineral. It keeps your mood much more level, so that’s a really important one to keep going in the menopause, and maybe add in a vitamin B complex as well.
If you find that you’re getting, a lot of women find that rather than anger, they get impatient with people. They get very irritated very, very quickly. Then remember the deep, slow breathing, that can really bring things under control very, very quickly. You can look at Flower Essences. They are wonderful for dealing with the emotions. They can actually take you back and help you to find out exactly where this anger is actually coming from. And Female Essence during the menopause is a really, really lovely one.
Anger out of control?
Now, the one thing here that’s really important, if you find that your anger is getting out of control or you find that other people are actually pointing it out to you, because in the menopause, a lot of women don’t actually realise that their mood has changed, and it’s other people who are actually ending up telling us what’s going on. So if you feel that you’re getting frightened by your anger, by your outbursts, and you’ve no idea what’s going on, it’s really important just to double check with your doctor. For some women, the falling hormones can be really dramatic, and that can cause a quick change in mood.
What else can you do?
You can also look at therapies, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), because these actually teach you how to learn control and they can be very, very useful. And all you need to do here is, if you just Google these, you’ll be able to find a local practitioner who can take you through all the steps.
Remember to let your loved ones know
So this is quite an important symptom in the menopause. It’s not one that’s very often looked into, and I know a lot of women are quite embarrassed because they feel that they can’t control their emotions anymore. But just remember that this is, it’s not you. This is very often the hormones that are causing this. And also, let the people around you, let your loved ones and your friends, let them know what’s going on. Because if they realise that you getting irritated or impatient or short with them is actually to do with the menopause and it’s not that you don’t love them anymore or you don’t care for them anymore, then that can make a huge difference and you’re more likely to get people’s support at this particular time, rather than everything turning into maybe an argument or a lot of upset as well.
So I hope this has helped. If any of you are in this situation, any questions on anything, please do get in touch. I’d love to get your emails. I’m really happy when people get in touch. And I will look forward to talking to you next week on A. Vogel’s Menopause Mondays.