Fiona Phillips, 61, says menopause has left her ‘worrying for her sanity’

Fiona Phillips has shared her experience with the menopause as she admitted she has been left fearing it would spell the end of her career.

The TV presenter, 61, explained how it had left her ‘worrying for her sanity and wracked with anxiety’, as she struggles to do things she used to do with ease.

Opening up about her experience in a new Mirror interview, Fiona shared: ‘I’ve cried a thousand rivers in the past few weeks and I’ve got nothing to be sad about.

Honest: Fiona Phillips has shared her experience with the menopause as she admitted she has been left fearing it would spell the end of her career (pictured 2017)

‘I’ve been fearing for my sanity and am scared to do things I’ve been doing with ease for years. They call it brain fog, I don’t know what I’m talking about half the time.’

Fiona, who presented GMTV live between 1997 and 2005, said that she now fears for her ‘whole life’ and recently ran out of a supermarket after feeling overwhelmed. 

She explains: ‘God, it’s horrible, I haven’t worked for the first time in my life, I can’t do television work because I’m so anxious and just scared of everything and I’m not that kind of person at all. I have the intent to do everything I used to do, but then your body, your brain, doesn’t let you.

Heyday: Fiona, who presented GMTV live between 1997 and 2005, said that she now fears for her 'whole life' and recently ran out of a supermarket after feeling overwhelmed

Heyday: Fiona, who presented GMTV live between 1997 and 2005, said that she now fears for her ‘whole life’ and recently ran out of a supermarket after feeling overwhelmed

‘The fear takes over. I hope to God this isn’t the end of my career.’

Fiona told how she feels stresed worrying about what she will cook for her her eldest son, 21, when he returns home from the Army at the weekends.

She also revealed she now avoids driving or has to force herself to do it, despite the fact she has been driving for more than 40 years.

Strong: The TV presenter, 61, explained how it had left her 'worrying for her sanity and wracked with anxiety', as she struggles to do things she used to do with ease (pictured 2021)

Strong: The TV presenter, 61, explained how it had left her ‘worrying for her sanity and wracked with anxiety’, as she struggles to do things she used to do with ease (pictured 2021)

Fiona explained how she hit the menopause later than most and believed she had escaped some of the debilitating symptoms that some women describe.

The TV personality joins a host of other celebrities including Davina McCall, 54, who have openly spoken about their experience with the menopause.

Fiona is married to This Morning producer Martin Frizell and they share two sons  Mackenzie, 18, and Nathanial, 21.

Fiona previously admitted during an interview in 2017 that she underestimated the impact having the menopause would have on her body, despite her mum going through a similar ordeal.

Marriage: Fiona is married to This Morning producer Martin Frizell and they share two sons Mackenzie, 18, and Nathanial, 21

Marriage: Fiona is married to This Morning producer Martin Frizell and they share two sons Mackenzie, 18, and Nathanial, 21

She explained that once felt ‘overwhelmed’ by depression as she juggled her TV presenting duties with motherhood and caring for her ailing parents.

The former GMTV presenter told Lorraine Kelly that she struggled with mental health as she cared for her two children and her mum and dad, who had both been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 

Fiona told Lorraine she felt she ‘had to’ get on with juggling her work as a breakfast TV presenter alongside raising two children and taking care of parents Phillip and Amy who passed away in 2012 and 2006 respectively after battling Alzheimer’s.

She said: ‘You have to don’t you? Otherwise I would have had two parents with Alzheimer’s and be homeless because we wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage.

‘All the time my emotions were torn – I should be with my kids, I should be with my parents… you know what it’s like. You have to have a house for your kids and food on the table.’

Fiona also admitted that her mum suffered with depression while she was growing up, and confessed that she was also unprepared for the effect the menopause would have on her body.

She said: ‘My poor mum, when we were little, she used to lock herself in the room for a day in the dark because she was just so, so depressed. I think it can run in families as well.

‘Things happen to you… and the menopause, that is a horrible thing! I remember my mum in a real state with her menopause and I just thought, ‘It can’t be that bad surely’ – and yes, it can.

‘Anxiety in all sorts of things that you might never had had before. Suddenly you’re overwhelmed by things.’

Lorraine: Fiona previously admitted during an interview in 2017 that she underestimated the impact having the menopause would have on her body, despite her mum going through a similar ordeal

Lorraine: Fiona previously admitted during an interview in 2017 that she underestimated the impact having the menopause would have on her body, despite her mum going through a similar ordeal

MENOPAUSE EXPLAINED

The menopause occurs when a woman stops having periods and can no longer fall pregnant naturally.

It is a natural part of ageing, which occurs in women between 45 and 55 years old. 

However 1 in 100 women can experience menopause before the age of 40, which is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency.

Symptoms often include hot flushes, night sweats, low mood, reduced sex drive, vaginal dryness, an increase in facial hair and difficulty sleeping.

According to NHS advice, symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around four years after your last period. 

Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases, there’s no clear cause. 

Source: NHS 


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