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ADHD in Women

what about ADHD and menopause?

I am scared because my symptoms have become worse a lot.
Some days I have memory problems like to find the right word,to find a road,to remember names, even remembering faces (rarely)!
is this ADHD, or menopause or alzheimer?


Hi Basiliki,

I’m having the same issues, so I’ll be interested in any responses from others. Words are a big thing with me, too, and at times names even of neighbors. The walking-into-a-room-or running-upstairs-and-forgetting-why thing is a big one for me.

I recently turned 50 and am on short-acting Adderall which I take when needed plus Wellbutrin daily. I haven’t gone through the actual end of menstruation yet but can tell it’s coming on.

Please share your experiences, if you wouldn’t mind! smile

Posted by leelee2 on Jan 30, 2017 at 6:09pm

There is a definitive correlation between menopause and ADHD symptoms (hormones, in general). Here’s more:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 30, 2017 at 9:26pm

Girls are often diagnosed once puberty hits and their bodies are starting to produce estrogen. I’ve also read that many women have issues every month with worsening of symptoms as they approach menstruation, and that perimenopause will very much exacerbate issues with a woman’s working memory. Unfortunately, my understanding that this phase of life requires, perhaps more than ever, the externalization of information and other prosthetic modifications to one’s environment. Good luck.

Posted by dmossey on Feb 19, 2017 at 8:58pm

This question really hits home for me. I’m 52 now and just discovering that I have ADHD. Menopause, for me was from age 41 - 46 and was so bad that I could have been one of those ladies on Oprah telling horror stories.

First thing I have to tell you is that the Prempro returned me back to my normal self for the one year that I was taking it. Ever see the movie “Awakenings?” That was me on Prempro.

Exercise was my most effective treatment, however I had/have a seriously difficult time keeping up with any routine and I think that could be the ADHD.

Good nutrition is no longer an option. My body and brain react in the extreme to poor nutrition since menopause.

I didn’t know about my ADHD until now. I can imagine that the awareness would have helped me through menopause - and especially to get on the right track as I was coming out of it.

I so new to understanding the ADHD, but I hope those tips on menopause (and my own mistakes) will help some.

Mostly I just wanted to say “hang in there.” What you’re going through is so real, and yet many people either won’t believe it or won’t want you to talk about it.

Know that at the other end lies a freedom that you’ve never before experienced, making it worth the journey.

Posted by rbr on Mar 07, 2017 at 8:37am

I was diagnosed with ADHD yesterday.  I suspected I had it years ago but it was the onset of the perimenopause that drove me to seek a diagnosis.  I found increasingly, especially the week before my period, I was finding coping with normal everyday house/parenting stuff overwhelming and unmanageable.  I get migraines during the run up to my period and weirdly once the migraine has gone, I feel much more clear headed and calm.  I’m all new to this - I have literally just taken my first tablet today.  It’s nice to read other women’s stories and know I’m not alone! smile

Posted by AliD on Mar 23, 2017 at 12:52pm

While you may think what you are going through is atypical based on all the same ol’ “what to expect” stuff out there, based on my own experience and accounts from other ADHD women going through menopause, what you are experiencing is pretty textbook for us.  Not, mind you, any textbook written by a man without ADHD!!  I’m not a doctor, but upping your water intake, and reducing sugar while increasing the healty omga-3 fats in your diet, may help a lot with the migraines and tons of other menopause and ADHD symptoms.  At my worst, I had hot flashes that gave me tunnel vision and caused me to literally keel over, and my brain was so non-functional I was convinced it was disintegrating!  I also found Vitex to be immensely helpful after trying every remedy under the sun.  Now for the good news!!  You will emerge from the fires of menopause tempered to some degree into a stronger, more powerful woman with more energy than you had in your 30’s, the convictions to choose what is important to you and the ability to weed out the BS as you take on the renewed, 2nd half of your life.  Women, and our bodies, are miraculous!  Good health and remember to love yourself every day!

Posted by wimowo on Apr 07, 2017 at 10:34pm

My menopause was a nightmare. Time we received public health funding and a proper clinical pathway for treatment accessible to all. Sadly if we don’t advocate for change no-one else will! New Zealand contributes much to the international research on ADHD and yet provides no adult funded public health treatment. Sorry for being political! To end on a positive note…at 57 years of age now I’m content with myself and my self-management of PTSD and ADHD. Self care sucks but I’ve learned to live with it. So time, for me, has afforded me some internal peace. I wish that for you all too. Kia Kaha kai kiti. Be strong and goodbye.( for now)

Posted by Meri on Apr 08, 2017 at 1:26am

Menopause for me was sudden, as it coincided with a hysterectomy and diagnosis and treatment for estrogen positive breast cancer. So hormone replacement therapy is out. ADD/LD and anxiety were already a battle. Now it’s a nightmare. Vyvanse no longer works. Lots of exercise before really helped, but now I’m always tired, sleep deprived, developed pre-diabetes, high blood pressure,and high cholesterol. My brain is always in chaos. My vyvanse shrink doesn’t believe adults have ADD, probably because she doesn’t have the expertise. I don’t have the option to change my doctor, due to insurance limitations. Can anyone suggest a med that has been helpful when stimulants no longer work? Found any other good strategies that have worked?

Posted by bunnymom on Apr 09, 2017 at 9:41pm

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