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How perimenopause affects your mental health

Forget hot flashes and period changes. This one overarching issue is the real menace when dealing with perimenopause. Photo: Pexels

(Krissy Brady/ Huffington Post) — If your mood fluctuations feel less like your usual stress and anxiety and more like the beginnings of a villain origin story (and you’re also experiencing symptoms like insomnia and feeling warmer than usual), it could be the beginning stages of perimenopause.

This is what doctors call the transition to menopause, which is the end of a person’s reproductive years and technically marked by 12 consecutive months without a period, with the full transition taking anywhere from two to eight years, according to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH).

Perimenopause usually begins after the age of 40 (though it can start earlier), the variabilities of which — both in ovarian function and hormone levels — can leave you feeling out of sorts.

“It’s generally a confusing time that catches many of us by surprise, in large part because of how wildly unpredictable symptoms of perimenopause can be,” Dr. Anna Barbieri, New York-based OB-GYN and founding physician at Elektra Health, told HuffPost. “Hormonal changes, and the way symptoms show up, are anything but linear.” (…)