I am quite annoyed - though it's pointless.
My mother was menopausal when she was ~44 yrs old.
Perimenopause can last for ten years, with gradual increase in symptoms or increase/decrease randomly occurring.
*I* fell apart, collapsed, broke down, take your pick and walked off the planet for six months. I was ~45 yrs old. My period was still as regular as ever.
NOW I look back and realize that I was experiencing perimenopause symptoms! Shoot, I even read a book on the topic back then. Never did I connect the dots - even though I wondered.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia while off the planet. I tried many anti-depressants; they're known to help fibro pain. A combination finally worked.
Come April, 12 months without a period, I will be menopausal. My symptoms are tolerable and rare these days. My migraines have even stopped - they're supposed to do so, but they're supposed to stop during pregnancy too and mine got worse.
I am JUST beginning to understand the stories I've read about menopausal women becoming bolder, empowered, and often quite creative and adventurous at this time. Until a few weeks ago, I thought the claims were true for the minority. But I'm starting to feel long-dormant thoughts waking and stretching after a long hibernation.