Gabrielle Union Shares Unspoken, Deadly Effect of Perimenopause on 'The View'
In an appearance on "The View" on Tuesday, September 14, Gabrielle Union, 48, openly and generously spoke about some of the negative thoughts she had while going through perimenopause. Her ordeal can be described as eye-opening, especially because women tend to shy away from discussing these.
The "Bring It On" actress revealed that she began to have suicidal thoughts, which drove her to talk to her therapist about it.
The actress appeared on the show to discuss her new book, "You Got Anything Stronger?."
Mary Katharine Ham, a guest co-host, questioned Gabrielle about her experiences with perimenopause, which the Mayo Clinic defines as "the time when your body makes the normal transition to menopause."
Gabrielle revealed 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 materializing until later, so she was caught off-guard.
"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 (via the Hollywood Life).
Aside from physical problems, Gabrielle revealed that perimenopause-related hormonal imbalances led to negative thoughts following an altercation 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."
Gabrielle sought treatment, and her therapist assisted her in realizing that the changes in her body were the cause of these ideas.
"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 actor from L.A.'s Finest went on to say that she had never heard that suicidal thoughts might be a perimenopause symptom.
"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.
Hearing what Union shared, "The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg encouraged women going through menopause or perimenopause to communicate about their experiences. Gabrielle advised ladies to be checked out if they had any weird emotions just before the commercial break.
"If there's ever anyone who feels off, go ask your doctor for a full-blood panel and get those hormone levels," she said.