Ulrika Jonsson has given a candid interview to ITV host Lorraine, detailing the physical and mental impact that the menopause had on her health.
Speaking during an appearance on the ITV show, Ulrika opened up about suffering with depression in the past, and explained she had started to be affected by ‘unimaginable’ anxiety around the time her menopause symptoms began.
‘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,’ she 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.’
‘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’.’
The former Gladiators host, now 50, admitted that at first she didn’t think that is could be possible that she was going through the menopause, recalling: ‘I was 46, and I thought that this was my time to have my body back after having four children.’
However, when she realised that the diagnosis was correct, the changes started having another unexpected effect – memory loss, a development which she described as ‘really scary’.
‘I actually took a friend of mine aside and said to her, and she’s a few years older than me,’ she continued. ‘I said, “I’m really worried that I might be getting early onset Alzheimer’s,” and she said, “Honestly, it’s just the menopause.”‘
Ulrika added that she’d explained the process to her husband, Brian Monet, and her four children, and had received their full support.
‘I thought, “you need to understand why I’m being a little bit strange”,’ she said of telling her kids.
Daytime TV presenter Lorraine was sympathetic to Ulrika’s plight, having spoken out about her own difficult experience with the menopause earlier this year.
‘I wouldn’t say I was depressed at all but I wasn’t seeing much joy in things,’ she revealed at the time. ‘My hormones were all over the place.’