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Can I please ask your advice on perimenopause? My wife is 44 years old, works a very stressful job with long hours, our two children have recently left home, my son in Sseptember to university, and my daughter in November to set up home with her boyfriend. A week or so after my daughter had moved out my wife came home from work and seemed agitated, she said she could not do this any longer and walked out. She will not go to the doctor as she says she will sort herself out and the doctor will only give her antidepresants. I have not pushed her at all and have told her I will support her no matter what and I will always love her. I think she may be perimenopausal. If this is perimenopause how long will she be like this? What I am trying to ask is, is my wife now permanently changed or is this a mood swing? Is there anything else I can to do to help her?

Unfortunately, this is quite common and a combination of stress, hormonal changes and children leaving home can be a major part of the problem.

In cases such as this it is important for her to see the doctor, severe hormonal swings can cause depression and some kind of hormonal medication such as HRT may be needed (antidepressants rarely work in this case so your wife is right about not wanting them!).

If it is a hormonal problem it is unlikely to resolve itself quickly so why not try and get the help of a female friend or relative who can broach this with her gently and encourage her to see the doctor.

This is not normally a permanent state but could last several years without treatment. I do hope that things sort themselves out for you.

Eileen Durward

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