Recent research has highlighted how ADHD interacts and affects women during perimenopause.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way people behave, think, and interact with others. It is often diagnosed in childhood and can persist into adulthood.
However, more and more adult women are being diagnosed with ADHD. The condition doesn’t present the same way it does in boys so the condition has been historically overlooked in childhood.
In this blog post, we will take a look at the effects of ADHD on perimenopause, its diagnosis, and treatment options.
Symptoms of Perimenopause and ADHD
The effects of perimenopause on women with ADHD can be far-reaching and often require careful monitoring and proactive management. While the physical and hormonal changes associated with perimenopause can affect all women, those with ADHD may be particularly vulnerable since they may already be dealing with significant levels of anxiety and fatigue.
Perimenopause is associated with a variety of symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. People with ADHD may experience an increase in these symptoms due to their condition. It is important to recognize that these symptoms can be exacerbated by the changes in hormones and lifestyle during perimenopause.
Interestingly, many women doesn’t realise they have ADHD or other neurodivergent issues until changes in hormone levels bring the symptoms to light.
ADHD can also affect cognitive functioning and lead to an increase in impulsivity and difficulty focusing. This can make it difficult for women to manage their day-to-day tasks and coping with the changes associated with perimenopause.
What’s The Science Behind Late Diagnosis?
There is a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with ADHA, particularly in later life. Some of this is due to more information and research and a broader, less taboo conversation around mental health and neurodivergence. A large proportion of women being diagnosed seems to be linked to perimenopause.
The effect of oestrogen on the brain sees to be involved. Oestrogen acts as a protective hormone during early adulthood and often symptoms are milder and ADHD is not detected. As soon as the oestrogen levels decline, there’s no protection and the symptoms come back – that’s when women get diagnosed.
This Sounds Like Me, What Should I Do?
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ADHD in order to properly diagnose the condition. A thorough evaluation of your medical history, family history, and lifestyle should be conducted to determine if ADHD is present. It is also important to note that ADHD is often comorbid with other conditions, such as depression and anxiety, so it is important to rule out these other conditions before making a diagnosis. Due to the complexity of this, you need to start by speaking to your GP and having a frank conversation about why you think you have ADHD. This ADHD diagnosis pathway might be useful.
Treatment for ADHD during perimenopause will depend on the individual’s symptoms and needs.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often recommended to help manage symptoms and improve functioning. Medication may also be prescribed to help improve concentration and reduce impulsivity.
In addition, CBT can be a helpful tool for managing the symptoms of perimenopause so by working with a therapist, women with ADHD can learn to identify and change patterns of thought or behaviour that can worsen their symptoms while developing coping mechanisms for ADHD and the challenges of perimenopause.
It is important to note that lifestyle changes can also be helpful in managing the symptoms of ADHD during perimenopause. Adopting healthy habits such as exercise, relaxation, and proper nutrition can help to reduce symptoms and improve overall functioning.
If you are just getting started with a new exercise regime, try these tips on how to make and keep your new year’s fitness goals. And make sure you avoid these three perimenopause exercise mistakes.
By committing to managing your diet and exercise and combining this with good stress and mindset management you can really make a difference to symptoms of perimenopause and ADHD.
You Can Relieve Symptoms of ADHD and Perimenopause
But you need to take the steps to do so!
ADHD can have a significant impact on perimenopause, so it is important to be aware of the potential effects of this condition. With proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve functioning. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as exercise, relaxation, and proper nutrition can help to reduce the symptoms.
It is essential for women with ADHD to seek advice from their physicians about how to manage the symptoms of perimenopause, as well as the appropriate treatment for their ADHD. There are several medications, lifestyle changes, and other treatments that can help to alleviate the symptoms of both conditions, and a combination of these may be necessary for optimal symptom management.
By taking an active role in managing the symptoms of both perimenopause and ADHD, women can take control of their health and well-being and ensure that they are able to live their lives to the fullest.