A woman has revealed how she suffered menopause symptoms so severe she quit her director job – and executive salary – and nearly divorced her husband.

Kathryn Colas, 64, of East Sussex, earned an “executive salary with benefits” as a sales and management director for a country house hotel in Surrey.

But she quit her job early fearing she was going mad. Actually she was suffering from the menopause.

“I thought I was suffering from bipolar disorder,” Mrs Colas revealed. “I thought I was going mad. I didn’t realise it was actually the menopause.”

'Mental breakdown'

She told how she was the sales and marketing director of a country house hotel in Surrey in 2006 when she resigned suddenly fearing she was suffering a mental breakdown.

“I was only 55 and I intended to work for longer,” she said. “I had worked hard for that job.

“I started as a typist in my 20s and went into secretarial work. I became a PA and moved into sales and marketing. I was good at it.

"I worked hard. It was long hours but I suddenly started to struggle.”

She said she had to resign because she thought she was “going mad”.

“I started not enjoying it,” she said. “I couldn’t make a decision at work and began to believe I was a waste of space.

“My leaving was really quick. Other members of staff had to take on my duties. It was a problem to deal with.”

She said at this stage she knew she was going through menopause, but did not realise the severity of it.

Nearly divorced

Her relationship with her husband Tony, now 68, was also affected.

“We’d been married for more than 30 years and had three children together,” she said. “We had a good relationship. There were some problems but nothing that would have suggested divorce.

“That’s until I started the menopause. Then we nearly got divorced.”

She said the decline of her marriage was quick. “I thought my marriage was disappearing,” she recalled. “We screamed at each other non-stop.

“I can remember yelling, ‘We’ll see our solicitors – this isn’t working’.

“We had a lovely life together but my menopause nearly ended it.”

She said their previously healthy sex life also suffered.

“We didn’t have sex,” she said. “Tony said he felt rejected but I just couldn’t do it.”

She said in the end they did not divorce. “I liked my house and my things,” she admitted. “I didn’t want to give it up and live in a poky flat.

“I didn’t want my life to disappear because of the menopause.”

The Colas started cognitive behavioural therapy where they discussed their problems.

But it was not until she started taking a natural dietary supplement called Promensil that she started feeling better.

"Too common a problem"

Now she is sharing her story to warn other women not to ignore the menopause an dismiss as something else.

“Who could think hormones could have such a destructive impact on people?” she said. “Woman do not want to say, ‘I’ve got this problem’.

“But they should. I had an important job. I was an executive of the company. But I gave up too early because I was scared – I didn’t know what was going on.

“My story is not uncommon. Unfortunately it is all too common.

“Now I call myself The Menopause Lady and let other people know there is a place to go.

“I’ve even written books about it including a guide for men called Menopause is Like a Hurricane.

“I wouldn’t want other people to be affected like I was.”

For help email support@themenopauselady.co.uk