Carol Vorderman has reflected on the time she became almost suicidal after suffering "severe" depression during the menopause.
Speaking to the Postcards from Midlife podcast, hosted by Lorraine Candy and Trish Halpin, the former Countdown host admitted she would have "really, really black" thoughts despite there being "nothing wrong" in her life.
"When I went through it, I had severe depression for about six months. I think it was 2015," she said. "There was nothing wrong in my life, I had made a lot of money, my kids were fine, my mum was fine.
"There was no problem. And yet I would wake up in this huge bed in this huge house, I've got a swimming pool outside and all of that, and I just thought, 'What's the point?'"
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She continued: "I understand much more now clinical depression, where you go, 'I can't go through this again, how can I make this stop', and those thoughts of 'well, there is obviously one way to make this stop.'"
The former Loose Women panellist confessed she's pleased to see how attitudes towards the menopause had been taken more seriously in recent years.
"Even when I was hosting Loose Women, which was ten years ago, it was only acceptable to say, 'Ooh, I'm having a bit of a moment,' and make light of yourself when you're going through this," she added. "It's not always horrific for people, but you can have horrific days.
What is menopause?
Menopause is when someone stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally, according to the NHS.
Menopause impacts everyone in different ways, but there are said to be around 34 symptoms, with some of the most common side effects including hot flushes, mood changes, anxiety and brain fog.
Other common symptoms include night sweats, difficulty sleeping, vaginal dryness, difficulty having sex as well as skin and hair changes.
Symptoms normally last three to four years and begin in perimenopause – the time before your periods have stopped, but you're already experiencing symptoms. Perimenopause can be difficult to spot, with the condition often misdiagnosed.
The taboo has thankfully been lifted around menopause, with people in the media now talking freely about the subject, eliminating misinformation and normalising the impact menopause can have on all areas of our lives, including our careers and relationships.
Menopause can be treated with HRT, which comes in gels, pills, patches and more. Though HRT is not suitable for everyone, many find it helps with managing their symptoms.
"Now, thank God, women are going, 'No, stuff that, this is what's happening, I need help in the workplace, I need to be able to hear from people who are doing this.' Because it was patriarchy - you know, 'women, they just go crazy and they say crazy things' - we're driving a horse and cart through that old-fashioned society attitude to women going through the menopause."
It's not the first time Carol has opened up about her struggle with the menopause. Speaking on This Morning last year, she explained: "I started probably in my early 50s. I didn't have night sweats or anything like that.
"I started feeling anxious, I’ve never felt anxious in my life, I run companies, I do all sorts of different things, and I started feeling anxious even about what trousers I was going to wear, was I going to have a tea or a coffee, and that developed into a deep depression.
"And I mean a deep depression, I felt suicidal at times, for many months. But I kept a note of when my periods started in my electronic calendar, and it helped me analyse that. I started on a bespoke HRT and within 48 hours, literally within two days, I felt back to normal and I’ve never had a symptom since."
For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.