menopause

Best-selling author Ayelet Waldman’s new book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life is her firsthand experience taking microdoses of LSD, the effect it had on her, and the ethical problems it presented.  To be clear: Ayelet did not drop a tab of acid; rather, she took a “microdose” (ten milligrams under her tongue) a few times each week for one month. 

What drove her to using LSD? It was perimenopause (and years of accompanying treatments with psychiatrists and psychologists, meditation, to little or no avail). When her mood storms became intolerable, she did what many of us do: she fell down an internet rabbit hole, eventually receiving a vial in her mailbox. Within a month, Ayelet joined the ranks of scientists and civilians successfully using LSD in therapeutic microdoses. 

    

  In her new memoir, The Madwoman in the Volvo, writer and performer Sandra Tsing Loh tells the story of her personal roller coaster of menopause. It includes an affair with a married man, the explosion of her marriage, and the pressure of keeping her daughters off of Facebook while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her eighty-nine-year-old dad. 
 


Surprisingly, deeper research into the biological science of menopause suggests that this is all normal. Loh deduces that this midlife “madness” is less about menopause than about the madness of the world: trying to maintain appearances during an epic hormonal (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) change.

Sandra Tsing Loh is a contributing editor to The Atlantic and the author of five previous books. She is a regular commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition and PRI’s This American Life and has performed two solo shows off-Broadway.