Menopause has destroyed my life

‘I’m trapped in the body of a 90-year-old’: Woman, 50, says the menopause has left her in such pain she can’t leave the house and with a memory so bad she feels like she has dementia

  • Claire Ferris said she has a permanent brain fog as a result of the menopause
  • She said she has also suffered debilitating joint pain that prevents her from work 

A 50-year-old woman says the menopause has ‘destroyed’ her life – leaving her with ‘dementia’ and the body of a 90-year-old.

Claire Ferris first started suffering symptoms earlier this year.

Her short-term memory then became ‘non-existent’ – forcing her to look at her phone calendar daily to remember which date it is.

She sought medical help in June this year – and was prescribed HRT by her GP.

Ms Ferris, who is from Studley, West Midlands, has also been been left unable to leave the house due to excruciating joint pain.

Claire Ferris, pictured, said developing the menopause aged 50 has ‘destroyed her life’ (Pictured: During the menopause) 

Ms Ferris, pictured, said she gained weight after developing the menopause (Pictured before the menopause) 

She said before the menopause she was able to lose six stone and two pounds in weight (Pictured: Before the menopause) 

She said: ‘The menopause has destroyed my entire life – I feel like I’m trapped in the body of a 90-year-old with dementia.

‘I don’t mean to be the way I am – it’s not me. I’ve totally lost myself.

‘I’ve got such bad brain fog – I get the sweats and unbelievable joint and back pain. It’s heartbreaking.’

Ms Ferris first began noticing the symptoms of menopause in November 2022.

After a dramatic 6st 2lb weight loss transformation, she began piling on the pounds again for no apparent reason.

Despite a vigorous exercise and diet regime including 5am swims, daily 12 mile walks and carb-cutting, doctors said her metabolism had naturally slowed – and in the last 13 months, has put all the weight back on.

She said: ‘It took a year for me to lose weight – it used to drop off me, people wouldn’t be able to recognise me!

‘I went from 18st 7lb to 12st 2lb – I felt like a million dollars. I was able to wear form-fitting clothes and finally show my body off.

‘Now – I reckon I’m back in the 18st region. I won’t weigh myself to know for sure.’

She said she has since put back on much of that weight (Pictured: Before the menopause) 

Ms Ferris, pictured, said she has been unable to find a job because of the level of pain she is in (Pictured: Before the menopause) 

As well as her lower metabolism, her joint pain has been progressively worse – and short walks to the corner shop now leave her in agony.

She feels confined to her sofa – and as a former factory worker, it has affected her ability to find a job.

‘I feel like I’m 90, I just hobble along now,’ Ms Ferris added. ‘A simple walk down the village is too much now, the body aches are excruciating.

‘My back aches, my joints ache – I want to get some exercise, but if I walk to the corner shop and back, I end up crying because my feet are throbbing and pounding.’

Ms Ferris believes she has been affected most by the psychological side-effects of the menopause – and reckons it’s given her dementia-like symptoms.

Ms Ferris believes she has been affected most by the psychological side-effects of the menopause – and reckons it’s given her dementia-like symptoms (Pictured: Before the menopause) 

She now uses her phone calendar to track the days – and her extreme mood swings are unpredictable.

She said: ‘My memory is getting worse and worse – I have complete forgetfulness, I forget the days of the week, and I’m always having to look at my phone. The brain fog is awful.

‘I get so angry – I’m constantly dropping and breaking things, and I lose my temper.

‘I was quite a laid back sort of person* Now I just shout, and I haven’t got any patience.

‘There was one instance – I couldn’t get the batteries out of the remote, I’d put them in the wrong way around. I just ended up chucking them across the room – it riled me!’

Ms Ferris says she’s yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And even seeing her weight on the scales may be enough to ‘tip her over the edge’.

She said: ‘I can’t see any good coming out of it yet. I haven’t even weighed myself in a year, seeing the number might tip me over the edge.’

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