Gillian Anderson felt like ''somebody else had taken over her brain'' when she went through the menopause.

The 48-year-old actress - who has Piper, 22, with her ex-husband Clyde Klotz and Oscar, 10, and Felix, eight, with her former partner Mark Griffiths - has recalled how she felt like she ''could handle nothing'' when she went through the natural change in hormones and hopes opening up around it will reduce the stigma surrounding it.

She said: ''I was used to being able to balance a lot of things, and all of a sudden I felt like I could handle nothing. I felt completely overwhelmed.

''When I talked to the menopause specialist, she said that she often gets phone calls from female CEOs screaming down the phone, 'I need help now! I am losing my mind!' And that's completely right. I felt like somebody else had taken over my brain.''

And the 'X-Files' star revealed how it was two decades on until she realised she was going through the menopause.

Writing for Lenny Letter, she added: ''I remember, in California, I think, in my late 20s or early 30s, a naturopath I'd just started seeing looked at my blood work and said, 'You're showing signs of early menopause.' And I completely ignored her! I didn't know what it was. It certainly wasn't something my doctor had picked up on, and I didn't look into it further.

''And then two years ago - that's twenty years later! - it was eight in the morning and I remember throwing my coat down on the floor in front of at least two of my children, and saying out loud, 'This day sucks!' The day hadn't even started, but there was something about my inability to handle anything that morning that alerted me to the fact that something was up. And as the day went on, I kept having to excuse myself from meetings and go into the bathroom to cry.

''It was at the point that I felt like my life was falling apart around me that I started to ask what could be going on internally, and friends suggested it might be hormonal.''