Menopause: ‘I thought I was developing early onset dementia’

A new event coming to Dublin next month aims to deliver a masterclass in menopause

Listen | 60:25

When Sinead McNamara began to experience debilitating brain fog as a result of perimenopause, she felt her confidence “completely ebbing away”.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast, the events organiser tells presenter Kathy Sheridan, “I started to really struggle with work… and I reached a point where I became incredibly distressed.”

Having experienced hot flushes and some of the more commonly associated symptoms of perimenopause, she says that brain fog however, hit her like a “steam train”.

Struggling to manage her diary and making frequent errors in work she reveals “I really thought at one point that I was developing early onset dementia, it was really upsetting.”


“Your mental health takes an absolute battering because you start to believe the ‘old me’ is just crumbling away,” she continues.

As a seasoned events planner, Sinead’s experience seeking treatment and information on menopausal symptoms is what inspired her to create The National Menopause Summit, which is taking place on the 23rd of March in The Mansion House, Dublin.

This “masterclass in menopause”, as she calls it, will feature a panel of expert speakers, who will be debunking myths and taboos and providing inclusive fact based information. There will also be a keynote address from television presenter Davina McCall.

In this episode, we also hear from Sallyanne Brady, founder of The Irish Menopause Facebook group and Dr Caoimhe Hartley who runs the Menopause Health Clinic in Dublin. Both women will also be speaking at the Summit next month.

You can listen back to this episode in the player above, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan is an audio producer at The Irish Times