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Symptoms of WHM Syndrome
Menopause Oasis
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The WHM Syndrome: Warga's Hormonal Misconnection Syndrome         by Claire Warga, Ph.D.

In her book "Menopause And The Mind" Claire Warga, Ph.D. explains the whys of how we suffer from confusion, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.  She calls this phenomenon "the WHM Syndrome".  On our board we have often referred to this as MBF - Menopausal Brain Fog!

Symptoms of Warga's Hormonal Misconnection Syndrome

THINKING CHANGES
  • Losing your train of thought more often than in the past
  • Forgetting what you came into a room to get more than in the past
  • Not being able to concentrate as well upon demand
  • Feeling foggy, hazy, and cotton-headed and not being able to clear it up at will
  • Experiencing a thought blockade: an inability to pull ideas out at will
  • Fluctuating agility in prioritizing as well as in the past
SPEECH CHANGES
  • Naming difficulties for long-known names: children, best friends, things, places
  • Finding yourself at a loss for words in how to express something while speaking
  • Experiencing "It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't get it out" sensation
  • Making malapropisms: saying wrong words that are related some how to the intended one
  • Reversing whole words while speaking
  • Reversing the first letters of words while speaking
  • Experiencing "echo" words as unintentional intrusions into present speech
  • Relying on "filler" words more often: "whatchamacallit," "that thing," "you know what I mean"
  • Organizing sentences and ideas less efficiently while speaking
CHANGES IN THE "BEAM" OF ATTENTION
  • Blinking social attention when interested and interacting: listening but not always attending
  • Blanking-out amnesia for what you just did
  • Experiencing increased distractability
MEMORY CHANGES: SHORT- AND LONG-TERM
  • Forgetting what you just did, or past occurrences, with no threads of associationto getting back to what's missing: missing links
  • Changing certainty in how words should be spelled in once good or great spellers
  • Fluctuating agility in calculating and in "counting with a quick scanning look"
  • Experiencing changes in the speed and accuracy of memory retrieval
  • Forgetting the content of a movie right after seeing it but remembering your emotional reaction to it
BEHAVIORAL CHANGES
  • Making behavioral "malapropisms": unintended slips in behavior that are related to the intended behavior somehow, such as putting shampoo inthe refrigerator
  • Forgetting briefly how to do things long known, such as where to turn on the computer
  • Feeling that automatic skills such as driving for a few moments are not "automatic" in the same way as usual
  • Dropping things more often that require fine finger/hand coordination
  • Absentmindedly, leaving out or reversing letters in words while writing
  • Forgetting how to write a word in the middle of writing and having to leave blanks
  • Experiencing "translating" hesitations in converting what's heard into writing
  • Not handling the same amount of stress in the same way
SPATIAL SKILLS CHANGES
  • Changing skill in remembering and/or recognizing faces (not well-known faces)
  • "Looking at but not seeing" what you are looking for when it's right there ultimately, more than in the past
  • Changing reading skill in visually "seeing" and comprehending reading material
  • Spending less time reading, without difficulties above (for formerly heavy-duty readers)
  • Forgetting briefly how to get to long-known landmarks in your life
  • Experiencing familiar locales in one's experience as momentarily unfamiliar
ALTERED SENSE OF TIME
  • Forgetting appointments more or not anticipating events of personal importance with the same accuracy as in the past
  • Forgetting important events in your personal history timeline, i.e., which breast you had biopsied
  • "Living more in the moment" out of necessity: a "spliced-film-frames" sense of personal time