At some point, women do go through menopause and perimenopause. It is a natural phase in women’s lives and our bodies go through.
Women with ADHD will go through these phases as well. Their experience with them might differ a bit from neurotypical women.
Menopause & Perimenopause
Let’s start by taking a look at what menopause and perimenopause are. I’m sure you are familiar with what they are, but it is a good place to start nonetheless.
Menopause happens when a woman hasn’t had her period for a full year and is no longer able to get pregnant. Typically, women will go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. However, it can happen before or after this age range.
Perimenopause is the phase leading up to menopause. During this phase, hormone levels are still fluctuating and menstruation begins to become irregular. Perimenopause generally lasts about four years. However, it also varies. Some may experience it for a few months, while it can last almost a decade for others.
Women may experience a variety of symptoms, such as lack of energy, changes in mood, struggles with focus, hot flashes, soreness in joints, back stiffness, just to name a few.
When ADHD Women Go Through It
Women with ADHD go through these changes as well. It’s how women’s bodies work.
Some symptoms of menopause and ADHD do overlap. Symptoms of both include lack of focus, fatigue, forgetfulness, and mood changes, for instance. Despite overlapping symptoms, ADHD affects so many aspects of a woman’s life. It also impacts a woman’s life, long before menopause, whether they were diagnosed or not.
As women with ADHD find themselves at this stage of life, they may find that their ADHD symptoms have gotten worse. During perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels drop, which also means a drop in dopamine levels. Dopamine is also low in the ADHD brain. Two common symptoms for ADHD women during this time are mood changes and increased inattention, although they may experience others as well.
Although perimenopause and menopause can be a challenge for any woman, those with ADHD may be affected in different ways from their neurotypical counterparts.
What Can Be Done about ADHD & Menopause
There are certainly things that women can do to help manage both their ADHD and menopause.
Here are some tips and treatment to look at and keep in mind.
- Educate yourself. Learn about ADHD and what’s going on in your body. Keep track of your symptoms. Educating yourself can be beneficial to finding how your brain works, and finding what works for you.
- Work with some professionals. It can be helpful to regularly see a medical professional. In order to manage our ADHD and overall health, it can be beneficial to see your doctor, psychologist, gynecologist, or any doctor that can help you with what you’re going through.
- Staying active. Exercise and physical activity can help us manage our stress and improve our mood.
- Stay social. Staying in touch and regularly talking with family and friends can have a positive impact on our brain and our moods. It helps to stay connected with the people you care about.
These are just some of the things women can do to manage both their ADHD and menopause. Although, many people can benefit from these things, whether they’re dealing with ADHD and/or menopause or not.
The important thing is to find what works for you and your life.