Ulrika Jonsson has revealed that she thought she was developing early onset Alzheimer's due to memory loss and anxiety linked to the menopause. The TV presenter opened up about her experiences with the menopause during an interview with Lorraine Kelly on Friday, as part of her 'The 'M' Word' campaign.
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The 50-year-old said she started experiencing symptoms four years ago, and that some left her feeling like she had during previous bouts of depression. "Depression has been a regular feature of my life, and when I first started feeling…I thought I was going into a very dark episode and I had no warning of it beforehand, there was nothing that would've given me any signs towards it," Ulrika said. "And then came the most unimaginable anxiety that I’ve not known before. Anxiety, like, proper panic - at one stage I thought my head was going to explode, just anxiety over the tiniest thing, and then you become even more scared because you're anxious."
Ulrika Jonsson spoke to Lorraine Kelly about her experience of the menopause
Ulrika added: "So that was the sort of start of it, but I wasn't putting all the things together, of sort of a little bit of weight gain…because I was still exercising, swimming six kilometres a week, and eating healthily…so I just wasn't putting these things together, and then my GP just said, 'I think you’re probably peri-menopausal, it's probably starting,' and I was like, 'No,' because at that stage I was 46, and I thought that this was my time to have my body back after having four children, this is going to be my time. No, god had other plans."
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The mother-of-four also experienced memory loss, which she described as "really scary". Opening up about the experience, Ulrika said: "That was really scary…being mid-sentence and forgetting the noun or the word, and I actually took a friend of mine aside and said to her, and she’s a few years older than me, and I said, 'I'm really worried that I might be getting early onset Alzheimer's,' and she said, 'Honestly, it's just the menopause.' And I went, 'What, that [the memory loss] as well? How long is this list of things!'"
Ulrika said she suffered with memory loss and anxiety
Luckily Ulrika's husband, Brian Monet, has been supportive throughout. "My husband is very understanding, very patient, and I think there were moments where he would just look at me as if to go, 'Woah', like 'Where did that come from?'" Ulrika explained. "And then I'd say, 'I'm going through all these big changes.' And I told the kids too. I thought, 'You need to understand why I'm being a little bit strange.'"
Lorraine has also spoken candidly about her own struggle with the menopause on her breakfast TV show, saying "there was no joy in my life" until she was prescribed with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
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