Carol Vorderman has spoken of her struggle with “major depression” during menopause.
In a new interview, the Countdown icon, 62, recalled feeling suicidal around the time in her life when she stopped having periods, a natural part of aging for women.
Carol admitted that in 2015, her thoughts were “very, very black” for a couple of weeks each month, even though there was “nothing wrong” in her life.
She confessed to wondering: ‘What is the point?’ and thinking, “there’s obviously a way to stop this,” as she describes how devastating depression during menopause can be.
The presenter claimed that this can be really “horrible” for women and expressed her joy that society’s “outdated attitude” towards menopause is changing.
Candid: Carol Vorderman, 62, recalled feeling suicidal while talking about her struggle with ‘severe depression’ during menopause.
Real talk: In a new interview, the Countdown icon admitted that in 2015, her thoughts would be “very, very black” for a couple of weeks each month.
Open: She confessed to wondering: ‘what’s the point?’ and thinking, “there’s obviously a way to stop this,” as she describes how devastating menopausal depression can be
Talking about the Postcards from middle age On the podcast, Carol said: ‘When I went through this, I had severe depression for about six months. I think it was 2015.
‘There was nothing bad in my life, I had earned a lot of money, my children were well, my mother was well. There was no problem.
“And yet, I’d wake up in this huge bed in this huge house, I’ve got a pool outside and everything, and I’d just think, ‘What’s the point?'”
“I understand clinical depression a lot better now, when you say, ‘I can’t go through this again, how can I make this stop?’ and those thoughts of, ‘Well, obviously there’s a way to make this stop.'” .”
WHAT IS MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is when a woman stops having periods and can no longer get pregnant naturally.
It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age.
It is a normal part of aging and is caused by falling levels of the sex hormone estrogen.
Some women go through this time with few, if any, symptoms.
Others experience hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, and brain fog, which can last for months or years and may change over time.
HRT replaces hormones and is the main treatment used to treat symptoms, which can be severe and disrupt daily life.
Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone estrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
‘Even when I was presenting Loose Women, which was ten years ago, it was just acceptable to say ‘ooh, I’m having a moment’ and make light of it when you’re going through this.
‘It’s not always horrible for people, but you can have horrible days.
“Now, thank God, women are saying, ‘No, stuff like that, this is what’s going on, I need help in the workplace, I need to be able to listen to the people who are doing this.’
“Because it was a patriarchy, you know, ‘women just go crazy and say crazy things.’
“We’re riding a horse-drawn cart through that outdated social attitude toward women going through menopause.”
Last year, Carol opened up about her depressive episode for the first time, admitting: “I’ve gone through years of being shamed into thinking we were crazy because we had menopause symptoms.”
‘Well, I started when I was in my early 50s, I didn’t have night sweats or hot flashes or anything like that. I started to feel anxious, I had never felt anxious in my life.
‘I started to feel anxious about what pants I was going to wear, whether I was going to have tea or coffee, you know, all sorts of things.
“That turned into a deep depression, sometimes I felt suicidal. What saved me was that I wrote down when my period was coming via an electronic calendar and that helped.
“I started personalized hormone replacement therapy and within 48 hours I felt normal again and I haven’t had any symptoms since. It’s wonderful.”
Carol encouraged women to come saying they are not alone and insisted: ‘We all go through this, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
“There’s nothing to feel like you’re going crazy about, you’re not going crazy, it’s just a hormonal change.”