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ADHD and Menopausal Madness

2022 03 23 14011510 suggestions to help women with ADHD thrive in mid-life.

A timely article in Psychology Today addresses menopause and how it sometimes appears as ADHD. 

"Ladies, please don’t shoot the messenger when I say that menopause affects everything. E-v-er-y-thing. After we undergo “the change,” our estrogen levels plummet by about 65 percent, which then affects the uptake of dopamine from our already dopamine-deprived brains. These plummeting levels of estrogen also lead to decreased levels of serotonin, another key player in mood regulation and focus. This can lead to the appearance of ADHD-like symptoms for our neurotypical mid-life comrades (Hallowell, 2020).

"Women who have already been tagged with the label of ADHD may become increasingly concerned about their symptoms getting worse rather than better. Those women who do not have this label and go through menopause may question whether they have been walking around with undiagnosed ADHD or if this is the foreshadowing of their future with dementia.

"This is because estrogen-abandonment causes these neurotransmitters to drop like a hot rock, which in turn can lead to increased difficulty concentrating, additional cognitive dysfunction, more memory problems (if that’s possible), and a decrease in mental clarity. Seriously?

"For those of us who are already active (very active) members of the Fast Mind Club, this amps up the already existent challenges with our executive functioning systems. Basically, we may have gotten a grip on the kids, the checkbook, adulting in general, even a pandemic, and then wham. This menopause-induced hormonal cocktail knocks us over like a tropical storm gone hurricane. Category 5.”

"Some key points from the article:

  • "Menopause causes estrogen to plummet by about 65 percent, affecting dopamine uptake from our already dopamine-deprived brains.
  • "Menopause mimics ADHD symptoms. Neurotypical mid-life women may experience some of the cognitive challenges faced by women with ADHD.
  • "Female fast-minders may be more vulnerable to exacerbated symptoms due to plummeting levels of estrogen.
  • "Enhanced creativity is a superpower of ADHD, and mid-life is a great time to embrace this by starting something new and exciting.”

The article provides tips and strategies. However, it’s necessary to understand that tips and strategies are limited if we can’t get our executive function performing. Play Attention can customize an executive function training course for you, so you can develop the foundational skills required to truly benefit from these tips and strategies.  

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