Menopause making autism more intense

Hi

Any older women going through or been through the peri-menopause/menopause? Did it make your autism more intense?  ...for the whole time of going through the menopause or just the weeks when your period would have been due?

I'm 50 and really struggling with severe mood swings, complete change of personality, left social media and isolated. go from feeling lonely to feeling resentful if someone texts me and I feel they're going to want to visit. Have become severely agoraphobic and hate crowds though can cope with going on quiet walks with the dog if I go when no-one else (or as few people as humanly possible) will be there.  so will set off in the dark very early am to reach the field/park for just as its turning to daylight so we have the place to ourselves etc.

What are other women's experiences of going through the menopause? Did it change your behaviour and/or personality completely?  go from calm to extremely anxious or rage within a few seconds?

I live very isolated and its up to a month wait for a GP appointment though none of them have experience of autism anyway so just wanted to know if my symptoms were 'normal' for an autistic woman, even if they were more intense than what a non-autistic woman would go through?

Thanks

Kit

Parents
  • Hi

    I'm in a state of confusion with hormones, menopasue, ASD - I just don't know who I am anymore and what my true personality is.

    (I am pre, formal ASD diagnosis - should be assessed by Summer next year).

    I am 48. Had children by assisted conception aged 39 (I didn't ever get a reason why I could not conceive naturally but now suspect it was because my hormones plummeted in my mid 30s when I started trying). I had a very stressful pregnancy as my organisation made me fight for maternity pay which I was entitled to - this happened before I had seriously considered myself as being ASD but looking back I can link my reaction to high anxiety levels because of suspected ASD.

    Basically, I don't feel like I have ever been normal since getting pregnant. I kept telling people my brain wasn't the same and everyone brushed it off as me having baby brain. Well if that's right I went from pregnancy-brain to baby-brain into peri-menopause and have never come out of it and all of those states were cocooned in me probably being ASD.

    Because it's only in recent years I have seriously suspected I am ASD, it's hard for me to separate out what behaviour/symptoms are hormone related, what's age related and what's ASD related - I have no sense of normality to compare myself to.

    What I have picked up on at my age now is:

    • I seem to have lost chunks of my history e.g. I used to design databases when I was younger, now I look back on my work and wonder how I ever did it - like it was a different person
    • I have reduced ability to mask
    • increased likelihood of burn-outs after shorter periods of time
    • deteriorating short term memory
    • decreased executive functioning (I picked this up from a thread by Invisiblewoman about her 'inner secretary' having gone on strike)
    • increasing need to withdraw
    • seriously high anxiety levels
    • reduced ability to multi task - I get overwhelmed by multiple priorities
    • I now understand the true meaning of mood swings
    • I suspect I have PDA and that it's got worse in recent years

    There are probably more issues too.

    I really understand when you talk about the rage. Currently I would say that my rage is bound up in my latest burn out (I'm on sick leave for 'stress' although to my mind it's been another Aspie burn-out) but I never used to have rage like this. Rage because of my intolerance to something because I just have nothing left to mask my intolerance.

    Occasionally I joke to people about giving myself a DIY lobotomy at home with a screw driver - actually I'm testing to see whether people take what I say as a joke or a cry for help - sometimes I'm just so desperate to unplug and feel nothing. [To the moderators - I have no intention of actually doing that!! But if you feel the need to remove that part of my post, I understand]

    All in all I think menopause messes with your mind whoever you are and whatever conditions your are living with. I don't know if it's age or hormones which make my situation worse but I know at my age I definitely feel worse, as in, I feel very much more Aspie. 

Reply
  • Hi

    I'm in a state of confusion with hormones, menopasue, ASD - I just don't know who I am anymore and what my true personality is.

    (I am pre, formal ASD diagnosis - should be assessed by Summer next year).

    I am 48. Had children by assisted conception aged 39 (I didn't ever get a reason why I could not conceive naturally but now suspect it was because my hormones plummeted in my mid 30s when I started trying). I had a very stressful pregnancy as my organisation made me fight for maternity pay which I was entitled to - this happened before I had seriously considered myself as being ASD but looking back I can link my reaction to high anxiety levels because of suspected ASD.

    Basically, I don't feel like I have ever been normal since getting pregnant. I kept telling people my brain wasn't the same and everyone brushed it off as me having baby brain. Well if that's right I went from pregnancy-brain to baby-brain into peri-menopause and have never come out of it and all of those states were cocooned in me probably being ASD.

    Because it's only in recent years I have seriously suspected I am ASD, it's hard for me to separate out what behaviour/symptoms are hormone related, what's age related and what's ASD related - I have no sense of normality to compare myself to.

    What I have picked up on at my age now is:

    • I seem to have lost chunks of my history e.g. I used to design databases when I was younger, now I look back on my work and wonder how I ever did it - like it was a different person
    • I have reduced ability to mask
    • increased likelihood of burn-outs after shorter periods of time
    • deteriorating short term memory
    • decreased executive functioning (I picked this up from a thread by Invisiblewoman about her 'inner secretary' having gone on strike)
    • increasing need to withdraw
    • seriously high anxiety levels
    • reduced ability to multi task - I get overwhelmed by multiple priorities
    • I now understand the true meaning of mood swings
    • I suspect I have PDA and that it's got worse in recent years

    There are probably more issues too.

    I really understand when you talk about the rage. Currently I would say that my rage is bound up in my latest burn out (I'm on sick leave for 'stress' although to my mind it's been another Aspie burn-out) but I never used to have rage like this. Rage because of my intolerance to something because I just have nothing left to mask my intolerance.

    Occasionally I joke to people about giving myself a DIY lobotomy at home with a screw driver - actually I'm testing to see whether people take what I say as a joke or a cry for help - sometimes I'm just so desperate to unplug and feel nothing. [To the moderators - I have no intention of actually doing that!! But if you feel the need to remove that part of my post, I understand]

    All in all I think menopause messes with your mind whoever you are and whatever conditions your are living with. I don't know if it's age or hormones which make my situation worse but I know at my age I definitely feel worse, as in, I feel very much more Aspie. 

Children