Gabrielle Union, 48, bravely spoke about some of the dark thoughts that she faced while she went through perimenopause in an interview on The View on Tuesday September 14. The Bring It On actress explained that she began facing suicidal thoughts, which prompted her to discuss what she was going through with her therapist. Throughout her interview, Gabrielle touched on a number of topics, including miscarriages, IVF and having her daughter Kaavia via a surrogate.
The actress was on the show to talk about her newly released book You Got Anything Stronger? Guest co-host Mary Katharine Ham asked Gabrielle about what she went through during perimenopause, which the Mayo Clinic describes as “the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause.” Gabrielle explained that her doctor told her she was perimenopausal after getting her full-blood panel in her late 30s. She explained that symptoms didn’t start cropping up until later. “Last September during the pandemic, I gained like 20-some odd pounds — what felt like — overnight, broke out, hair starts falling out in clumps,” she said.
Aside from physical symptoms, Gabrielle explained that the hormonal levels, caused by perimenopause led to dark thoughts after an argument with her husband Dwyane Wade. “By December, I had a stupid argument with D, and that little voice in my head, which normally feels like your intuition — that I have not ever disregarded since I was 19,” she said. “That voice was like, ‘He’ll understand when you’re dead, just kill yourself.” She said that the voice was “relentless,” and she had the thoughts “morning, noon, night, all day long, everyday for two weeks.”
Thankfully, Gabrielle sought help, and her therapist helped her realize that the changes her body was making led to these thoughts. “Luckily, I was like, ‘This isn’t right.’ Something’s not right. So I immediately call my therapist, and she’s like, ‘You don’t want to kill yourself. This is probably passive suicidal ideation.’ After a lot more therapy,[perimenopause was] exactly what it was,” she said.
The L.A.’s Finest actress continued and said she hadn’t heard that suicidal thoughts could be a symptom of perimenopause. “I realized the number one group of women who commit suicide: 45 to 54, in that range. When you hear about the more well-known women who commit suicide, it’s always framed like some sort of character defect: her husband left, the kids were gone, she started getting pushed out at work, she became invisible, she wasn’t sexually desirable. ‘It’s your fault, and she couldn’t hack it;’ not that there’s something physiologically happening,” she said.
View co-host Whoopi Goldberg chimed in to encourage women to talk about their symptoms when going through menopause or perimenopause, because of the variations in reactions. Shortly before cutting to a commercial break, Gabrielle encouraged women to get checked out if they experience any strange feelings. “If there’s ever anyone who feels off, go ask your doctor for a full-blood panel and get those hormone levels,” she said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
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