Experts often love to announce a “new discovery” that the general population has known for decades. Chocolate makes you feel good (ya think?). Red wine is good for you (duh). And menopause can make you crazy (this study took how many years??).
While researching another post, I was doing a quick scan through my MD stepdad’s DSM-IV, and found myself laughing out loud at the striking similarities between the names of certain disorders and menopause symptoms.
1. Adjustment Disorder: Bursting into tears at every morning weigh-in because you’ve inexplicably gained 10 pounds in 5 days, and it’s clinging to your belly with the tenacity of barnacles on a cruise liner.
2. Acute Stress Disorder: You valiantly battle hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, weight gain, and mood swings, but dissolve into a sobbing meltdown upon discovering your first chin hair.
3. Adverse Effect of Prescriptions: Cankles from retaining water like a two-humped dromedary.
4. Age-Related Cognitive Decline: That’s…You…Oh crap, what was the question?
5. Antisocial Personality Disorder: When you’re out with friends who are all having a raucous, great time, and all you want to do is crawl into bed and take a nap. Naps are good. Naps are better than people.
6. Anxiety Disorder: Constant worry about whether or not you’ll ever feel sexy or desirable again. Or whether you’ll even care.
7. Alcohol-Related Disorder: At my house, we call this therapy.
8. Binge-Eating Disorder: Because you shouldn’t drink on an empty stomach.
9. Bipolar Disorder: When you’re apologizing to Hubs for being such a bitch to live with during this time and how lucky you are to be married to him, at which point he confesses that he forgot to pick up wine on the way home and you go all postal on his loser ass.
10. Borderline Intellectual Functioning: The way you see everybody else on most days.
11. Brief Psychotic Disorder: When the 12-year-old, porcelain-skinned sales clerk at Nordstrom sweetly suggests a $150 moisturizer for “mature skin,” to target “all those lines around your eyes.”
12. Catatonic Disorder: The result of seeing your back fat for the first time.
13. Cannibis-Related Disorder: Discovering that marijuana actually helps with your menopause symptoms, but feeling awkward about firing up a doobie in front of your grandchildren.
14. Cognitive Disorder: When you call a friend to complain that you can’t find your phone. Yeah. The one you’re using right now to tell her you can’t find your phone.
15. Communication Disorder: Difficulty remembering the right words to express how you’re feeling, so resorting to indicative behaviors, like hanging out the car window with your Shiatsu to cool down, sobbing in your shower because you ran out of your favorite shampoo, or eating the entire bag of Oreo’s that you “bought for the grandkids.”
16. Delusional Disorder: Paying $35 for an anti-cellulite cream for your thighs, and actually believing it will work.
17. Dependent Personality Disorder: Limiting your social circle to other menopausal women who understand that you weren’t always a crazy, sweaty, moody bitch. You have a new tribe, because other people are just so annoying.
18. Disruptive Behavior Disorder: Seismic mood swings that regularly send your family and your Chihuahua scrambling for cover to any room you’re not in.
19. Exhibitionism: The total willingness to pull your shirt up to cool your boobs whenever you pass a fan. Even when it’s not in your house.
20. Expressive Language Disorder: Bursting out “Will somebody turn the heat down? Anybody? Aren’t you all hot?? It’s TOO F***ING HOT IN HERE,” while out for a romantic dinner with your hubs.
21. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder: Regularly fantasizing about Charlie Hunaan, even though you know you could be his mother. So what if your fantasies always include alcohol and dimmer switches.
22. Hygiene Disorder: When you stop changing the sheets after every bout of night sweats, and just throw a towel over the whole mess and go back to bed.
23. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: When Hubs starts to look like your brother. You haven’t had sex in six months, and you’re good with that.
24. Hallucingen-Related Behaviour: The inability to see your midlife muffin top and exposed butt crack while wearing your favorite low-rise jeans.
25. Identity Problem: When you find yourself begging the universe to give you a sign that this manic-depressive, irritable, sweaty woman, with a Buddha belly, saggy boobs, and runaway nose hair is not the “real you.”
26. Impulse Control Disorder: The inability to refrain from eating everything that can’t outrun you, even with a body that now gains weight on one Fruit Loop and a Diet Coke.
27. Major Depressive Episode: When you realize that you’ve exchanged periods for monthly bloating, during which even your full-butt granny panties have muffin top.
28. Motor Skills Disorder: Uncontrollable head-smacking of everyone within 10 feet of your bathroom scale.
29. Narcissistic Personality Disorder: When it really is all about you. Your brain is continually consumed with “Will this ever end?? I don’t deserve this. Why me, why now? Nobody understands me. Nobody knows how I feel. God, it’s hot in here. Is it just me? I can’t breathe. Somebody turn on the friggin’ air conditioner! I’M HOT!”
30. Nightmare Disorder: Spending 30 minutes breaking a sweat wiggling into your Spanx, then realizing you need to pee. Right. Freaking. Now.
31. Oppositional Defiant Disorder: When your boobs persist in heading south like migrating geese, no matter how many isometric chest exercises you do to get them “back up there.”
32. Partner Relational Problems: He’s breathing. “I can hear you.” Seriously?? Does he have to be so loud? He’s breathes all. the. time. Maybe I’m being hormonal. Nope. He’s obviously just trying to piss me off.
33. Phase of Life Problem: You know you need a magnifying mirror to pluck the stray hairs from your upper lip, but the first time you saw your menopausal skin magnified by 5, you locked yourself in the bathroom for three days.
So go ahead, get a little crazy if you feel like it. The good news? This, too, shall pass.