Say What?!

Is Trevor Noah in Perimenopause?

Is Trevor Noah in Perimenopause? Let me explain.

I was listening to the first episode of Trevor Noah’s podcast last week, What Now? With Trevor Noah. He interviews Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. They talk about a wide range of topics including, parenting, divorce, ‘The Rock’ for president, and depression.

At about the 44 minute mark, Trevor says the following about how he handles feelings of depression: 

“…I know now as Trevor, if I haven’t slept then my motivation isn’t where it needs to be. And if I eat late my sleep isn’t good, and that affects me as well. If I’m not around my people, my community, if I don’t recharge, that’s something that’s always going to affect me. And so I try to check in with myself…”

His words prompted me to text Michelle the following:

“Is Trevor Noah in perimenopause? 😂”

I was kidding of course. But I would argue most perimenopausal women struggle with sleep. And their disrupted sleep impacts their motivation, productivity, mood, resilience, and mental health. Most can also relate to the sad reality that certain foods, particularly consumed at a late hour, will negatively impact sleep. For me, caffeine, wine, or cow dairy after 4 pm will guarantee a horrible night, with little to no rest.

The Importance of Community.

And I can’t imagine navigating perimenopause without my community, particularly my co-founder, Michelle. Not only is she the life of any party, she is my person. Michelle gets it when I talk about strange symptoms. She shares in my frustration. Always ready to celebrate my success, she can also empathize and gently provide perspective when all I can see is rage or sadness. Michelle knows when I need a solution and when I just need to vent. She knows how it feels to have symptoms that have been minimized or dismissed. Whether I need to vent, laugh, solve, or cry, Michelle has been a lifeline.

Co-founders of This Is Perimenopause, Mikelle and Michelle
This Is Perimenopause Co-founders, Mikelle & Michelle

Why we created This Is Perimenopause.

This support and commiseration we share is why we created This Is Perimenopause: a community where you can recharge and feel heard. A place where you can find information to navigate your perimenopausal symptoms and our best tips and tricks to thrive in midlife.

There’s a lot going on in your perimenopausal years: careers, relationships, family, children, aging parents, and wildly fluctuating hormones. And it can be hard to figure out what is going on and why you don’t feel like yourself.

Is stress causing symptoms?

Maybe some of your lifestyle choices need to be changed?

Could an underlying health condition be causing challenges?

Or are your wildly fluctuating hormones to blame?

When you combine these questions with the sad lack of research and understanding about this phase of life, Perimenopause can be tricky to navigate. Especially alone.

Trevor Noah’s experience sounds familiar.

Understanding the root cause of his symptoms was critical for Trevor to move forward. The following excerpt from his conversation with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, also made me think of perimenopause:

“I didn’t understand. Before I was diagnosed with ADHD I didn’t even know what was happening. I thought I struggled with depression. I didn’t know until I read about it and really spent some time with some great people, therapists and experts in the field: Depression is just a symptom, it was a by-product of ADHD.”

How is this experience similar to Perimenopause?

Trevor Noah thought for years that he suffered from depression. He didn’t. He had an undiagnosed medical condition where differences in brain development and brain activity affect attention, ability to sit still, and self control. When untreated it can lead to low self-esteem, oppositional behavior, risk-taking behavior, family conflict, and depression.

Many women suffer from a wide variety of symptoms, including depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, mood changes, hot flashes, low sexual desire, heart palpitations, joint pain, and so much more without realizing that their fluctuating hormones in perimenopause could be the cause. And far too many of us suffer in silence. 

Like Trevor, we need to find ‘some great people, therapists and experts in the field,’ to help us understand our bodies and navigate our symptoms.

We also need to learn to speak up.

Speak up about perimenopause

Trevor’s approach to destigmatizing applies to perimenopause.

Kudos to both Trevor and ‘The Rock’ for their willingness to shed light on a taboo topic and for highlighting the importance of sharing your story. Here’s a sample: 

“I actually don’t suffer from depression. I thought I did. So I speak about it all the time, because 1. You get rid of the stigma. And 2. You start to understand. And there is something cool about understanding things. There’s something really nice in knowing how it works.”

Indeed. Understanding why your symptoms are happening is very empowering. So is knowing that you aren’t the only one having challenges. That’s why it’s so important that each of us do our part to destigmatize menopause and its associated stages. Sharing our experiences is how we will achieve better understanding, better research, and better care for perimenopause and beyond.

Taking a page from Trevor Noah’s book.

Step 1. Get informed. Understand what can happen in perimenopause and what solutions there are to manage your symptoms.

Step 2: Get the right support and care from qualified practitioners.

  • You want to ensure your symptoms aren’t caused by an underlying health condition as there are many that mirror perimenopausal symptoms.
  • Once you have ruled out other potential medical concerns, push for the support you need. Often practitioners aren’t well-versed in perimenopausal symptoms or treatment options, and their care stops after ruling out other potential causes. If your practitioner can’t help you. Find one who can.

Step 3: Take a step back and evaluate your lifestyle. What are you eating? How are you moving your body? Are you sleeping well? Do you have regular practices that help you manage stress?

Step 4. Share your story. Talk about what is going on in your life. It will help you, and countless others.

Step 5. Find, and continue to build, your community. We’d love to have you join ours.

No, Trevor Noah isn’t in perimenopause.

There are just over a billion people on this planet expected to achieve menopause by 2025. And up to 80% of them are, or will be, symptomatic. And they all deserve better care, solutions, and opportunities to thrive in midlife. No, Trevor Noah isn’t in perimenopause. But he does know how to change a narrative:

Understand.

Get help.

Ask questions.

Talk about it.

Build your community.

This is how the paradigm will shift. Help us fuel the change. It’s long overdue.

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