Can ADHD Get Worse During Menopause?
ADHD is often thought of as a children’s condition, but research indicates that around 4.4 percent of American adults have ADHD. Adults with ADHD may see their symptoms fluctuate over time. Some people find that their symptoms get worse during the menopausal transition.
Changing hormones have effects on the brain. These changes can cause symptoms similar to the one found in people with attention deficit disorder. It is not uncommon for people to experience difficulty focusing, being upset, and having a low mood during menopause.
You may be wondering what is causing these symptoms. There are differences between symptoms of menopause and symptoms of ADHD. Learn what you can do to find relief.
Perimenopause is the time period leading up to menopause, when your hormone levels are still fluctuating. Menopause doesn’t officially begin until you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period.
It can be as short as a few months or a decade, but perimenopause lasts around 4 years. The body stops releasing eggs during perimenopause when the levels of estrogen drop.
When estrogen levels drop, it affects the levels of other chemicals in your body too. Dopamine and serotonin, two brain chemicals that are known to play a role in ADHD, are often affected.
This can lead to worsening of ADHD symptoms.
The anecdotal experiences of people with attention deficit disorder are reflected in this study. People who had mild symptoms throughout their 20s and 30s are more likely to report worsening symptoms around 45.
People with attention deficit disorder may experience new symptoms or have trouble controlling their symptoms.
When your body experiences dramatic fluctuations in hormone levels, such as during perimenopause and menopause, it can significantly impact your brain chemicals. These changes can worsen mood disorders, such as Depression. and anxiety.
These disorders can impact one another and can be related to the condition of ADHD. Your other symptoms may increase when you become depressed and anxious. The effect on your life can be severe.
There is some crossover between the mental health and cognitive symptoms of ADHD and menopause. For instance, during menopause, you might experience:
- There is a lack of focus.
- There is a lack of motivation.
- “Is it possible that I’m Irrisponsible?”
Symptoms such as lack of focus can look like ADHD on the surface. However, ADHD also includes symptoms such as:
- Being easily distracted.
- Failing to complete tasks frequently.
- Making mistakes.
- Having difficulty with organization
- Losing items is easy.
- avoiding tasks that require long term attention
- forgetting to do things
- During conversations, it appeared to be “zone out”.
- Difficult to make plans.
- feeling overwhelmed by work
- “It’s not possible to commit to a decision.”
- emotional instability
- Difficult with time management.
“Many people with the condition are unaware of it. Adults with attention deficit disorder don’t know that they have the disease, so they don’t get treatment. Many people who were not diagnosed in childhood are never diagnosed at all.”
The worsening of symptoms during perimenopause can prompt a diagnosis. Symptoms in this stage can interfere with work and can cause people to talk to a medical professional.
If you are not sure if your symptoms are caused by menopause, or if they are caused by the fact that you are more prone to Adderall use, it is a good idea to talk to a medical professional. They can help you figure out what is causing your symptoms and find the most appropriate treatment.
There is no cure for ADHD. However, there are many treatment approaches that can help manage symptoms. The right treatment for you depends on your symptoms, preferences, other medical treatments you receive, and how you’ve responded to any previous ADHD treatments. Options include:
- Stimulant medications: Stimulant medications are the traditional treatment for ADHD. For some people, these medications are the best option, but not everyone with ADHD tolerates stimulant medications well. Additionally, they can have harmful interactions with other prescription medications.
- Non-stimulant medications: Non-stimulant medications are also an option for treating ADHD. This includes some antidepressants as well as non-stimulants specifically made for ADHD. Like stimulants, these medications aren’t the right choice for everyone with ADHD.
- Hormone therapy: Estrogen therapy is sometimes prescribed to treat the symptoms of menopause. In some cases, it can also help manage some newly worsened ADHD symptoms.
- Therapy: Therapy can help people with ADHD learn new ways to control and manage their symptoms. It can also address the low self-esteem and shame that many people with ADHD struggle with.
- Alternative treatments: Some people with ADHD choose treatments such as supplements, chiropractic care, vision therapy, or sensory therapy. There is not enough research to support these treatments as effective or safe ways to manage ADHD. Talk to your doctor before trying any alternative treatments.
Changing hormones can make symptoms worse. If your symptoms become overwhelming, it is a good idea to talk to a medical professional. It is a good idea to make time for self-care and new habits.
You can take some of the Stress. out of managing your ADHD by:
- Getting enough sleep: Your brain needs sleep for you to recharge and function at your best.
- Staying active: Exercise can reduce Stress. and boost your mood.
- Managing your mental health: It’s common for people with ADHD to also have Depression., anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. Managing those conditions can help you manage your ADHD symptoms, too.
- Trying a relaxation-based exercise: Developing a yoga or meditation habit can be rewarding for people with ADHD.
- Eating healthy: People with ADHD don’t always stick to meal schedules, and many ADHD medications can affect appetite. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of healthy eating. Try eating small healthy snacks throughout the day or incorporating healthy smoothies and protein shakes into your diet.
- Staying social: Keeping in touch with friends and family keeps you connected and has a positive impact on brain function.
- Using apps and tools: There are a variety of apps, calendars, alarms, planners, and other tools that can help you stay on track. There’s no perfect solution for everyone with ADHD, so don’t be afraid to experiment with available options until you find something that’s useful for you.
There is evidence that hormones have an effect on symptoms of attention deficit disorder. The body makes less estrogen during perimenopause and menopause. The levels of hormones can go down, which can lead to more symptoms of attention deficit disorder.
This can mean a new plan is needed. It can lead to someone being diagnosed with a mental illness for the first time. There are treatment options for the condition. Hormonal therapy can help manage symptoms during menopause.