You know as hot flash is coming in about 20 seconds because you just felt a feeling of doom and depression sweep through your body.

Suddenly, existence feels like an arduous chore that can barely be tolerated.

Though physically you feel fine, you also feel a strong sensation of BLAH about life.

The sensation typically lifts just at the hot flash starts coming on, and for sure this blah feeling is gone by the time the hot flash has run its course.

Though some menopausal and postmenopausal women report that the pre-hot flash “aura” comes with a panic attack or racing heart, sometimes the aura comes only as a sudden sinking feeling of hopelessness.

When hot flashes are new to a menopausal or postmenopausal woman – though they can also start in perimenopause – it shouldn’t be long before she makes the association:

Every time this sudden feeling of dreariness hits – the aura or whatever you with to call it – a hot flash will be coming in about 20 or so seconds, sometimes up to 45 seconds.

Though not every hot flash is preceded by this very bleak feeling towards existence, the other way around is true: Every time the aura of desolation strikes, the hot flash follows.

The feeling of doom can strike at any time, because a hot flash can occur at any time.

However, perception of this bleakness will be more pronounced if physically you’re inert, such as while using a computer.

Menopause, Auras and Hot Flashes

What causes the pre-hot flash feeling of depression and despair?

Doctors don’t really know, but there are a few interesting ideas to explain it.

“In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a pattern of disharmony responsible for hot flashes called yin deficiency fire,” Mylaine Riobe, MD, founder of Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Riobe, board certified in OB/GYN and integrative medicine, is the author of “The Answer to Cancer.”

The Riobe Method focuses on the prevention of diseases, not the prevention of death from diseases.

“This is an imbalance caused by low ‘cooling’ energy called yin,” continues Dr. Riobe. “It usually results from overwork, chronic stress or chronic illnesses.

“Women may also report insomnia, feeling of heat in the chest, palms of the hands and soles of the feet, palpitations, low back pain and thirst. The tongue body is usually red in these women.

“Because the imbalance is low energy, this can leave women feeling ‘low’ in their moods, too.

“The treatment is to ‘nourish yin’ with the appropriate herbs, reduce stress and rest.

“Persistent feelings of hopelessness may require medical attention and should not be confused with major depression.”

Pharmaceutical Management

So I myself have had this experience. My OBGYN recommended either gabapentin or Effexor.

After reading that in a small percentage of cases, gabapentin could cause some hair loss, I chose the Effexor (no data on a hair loss association).

Well crikey, the Effexor worked like a charm. There was a very noticeable improvement in that these God-awful auras of bleakness were virtually eliminated.

I still get them from time to time, but the frequency has been slashed, and their intensity has been quite blunted.

Dr. Riobe has helped thousands of patients overcome difficult illnesses by addressing root causes, not just masking symptoms. She has over 15 years’ experience using integrative techniques to treat diverse patients.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


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