Rosana’s story: Learning about menopause helps cope with it

I was 45 and was suffering from hot flashes, mood swings, irregular menstrual flow and insomnia. I also started to forget basic things, had brain fog and sudden sadness right after the flashes – it felt like a metaphysical sensation. I was still menstruating, but irregularly.

I’d had terrible anxiety in the past — panic attacks when I felt breathless and thought I would die. Medication and therapy had helped, but this felt very different.

I was confused when the doctor prescribed anxiolytics* for my symptoms. Although she recognized that I might be heading into menopause, the doctor said the anxiolytics would relieve the stress.

After three months, it became clear the treatment wasn’t working and I came off the meds. Rather than just putting up with the symptoms, I decided to be proactive and learn more about menopause. I was able to identify that I had started to experience almost all the perimenopause symptoms, including irregular menstrual flow, from as early as 42 years old!

Educating myself has been very helpful. I just wish I’d known more before my body surprised me.

Rosana,47 – Fortaleza, Brazil | Find her story at page 95

*Medications to treat anxiety.