Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Menopause and the Mind: Brain Fog

Do you ever think you are losing your mind? A number of women going through the change aren't quite sure that their lids are screwed on tight. On one Internet forum, there are women who have walked out of the house without any clothes on, put ointment on their toothbrushes, or look for their reading glasses that were sitting on top of their heads. I can relate. I have done my share of truly idiotic things. After which I look at myself in complete horror. I used to have a complete meltdown. If I could go back to being three years old and have a tantrum, there are days I certainly would.

Women are complaining that they can't remember things, they can't multitask, they can't concentrate. Women in PhD programs who are doing great are saying their minds have gone to mush. These women want their brain back.

I used to be the kind of person that could have 10 things on my plate, schedule them and get them all done completely and efficiently. I worked (still do), cleaned, cooked..etc..PLUS...wrote a children's novel, took an online college course, tutored English, and had time for relaxation....NOW....

I don't know where the hours go...I have a list of things I want to do and ...don't do any of takes me for EVER to finish one simple task. I feel so inadequate! I can't think very well anymore....I feel mentally and physically tired often, I exercise on a regular basis for...a week or two and then...I dunno what happens....I've been editing the same novel for 2 years and I'm still not done because I sit down to do it and mind wanders....I feel uninterested in things in general-but they are things that are really on my priority list and need to get done! Most times I'd rather sleep! I was never ever like this before and gradually ...after age 43 or so I began to change- I'll be 48 this month and to tell you the truth if all I had to do all day was sit home I'd probably be just fine with that. But I can't do that..I have to work and I really
have a lot of great things I have planned...but..can't seem to do..I feel like I have no energy, no zest, no get up and go....
For more views from women, see comments on cognition and memory

A study as part of the large Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), sponsored by the National Institute of Aging, which was designed to track the natural history of the menopausal transition had mixed test results:
Women were divided into four categories: premenopausal, early perimenopausal, late perimenopausal and postmenopausal.
  • Working memory tests improved by an average of about 3 percent among premenopausal and early perimenopausal women. There was no significant change in test scores for postmenopausal women.
  • Perceptual speed test results show a significant improvement in scores until after menopause when there was a significant decrease in scores of one item per year.

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