Menopause is a universal experience for women (eventually), but no two women go through menopause the same way. If you’d like to tell us about your menopause experience, please answer eight questions here and include a photo of yourself. If you’d rather tell your story anonymously, let us know.
Our goal is to make menopause more mainstream, something we can talk about without whispering. Read about our menopause mission here.
Here we feature the story of Maggie Lambert of Fort Wayne, IN.
When did you go into menopause?
What did you know about menopause before you hit it?
I knew my period would stop, I’d have hot flashes and I might gain some weight.
What you wish you had known?
No one, not even my 5 older sisters, talked about the insomnia, mood swings, or the anxiety. I started having panic attacks and I was angry a lot for no reason. I went from being a very positive, optimistic person, to thinking I was going crazy.
Most vexing aspect of menopause?
The anxiety and panic attacks.
Obviously the best part is no more periods.
How did you treat the uncomfortable parts of menopause?
I didn’t want to use hormone therapy. I mostly tried various OTC supplements to deal with the hot flashes. My doctor suggested an anti-depressant, but I didn’t want to go that route.
Most memorable menopause story?
After several panic attacks, and extended bouts of insomnia, I finally went to my doctor because I really felt like I was losing my mind. I was not an anxious, depressed person, but that’s who I turned into. My gynecologist recommended I see an endocrinologist. After the endocrinologist ran all kinds of blood work, he came back and said, “I have great news, everything came back completely normal.” I burst into tears, yelled at him that he had to run some more tests because I KNEW something was wrong. He said, with a little chuckle, “Well, you are going through menopause, maybe you need an anti-depressant.” I just got up and walked out.
Three words to describe your menopause experience?
Depressing. Anxious. Over.