Struggling During Pandemic and Possibly Going Through Perimenopause

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    • #172625
      triciajoyarthur
      Participant

      Hi all,

      I always come to ADDitude when I am in need of a reminder that I am not alone. I started going through an ADHD fog/ Anxiety spiral back in January and by March, when life turned upside down with COVID-19, I was in full swing: memory gone, tough time organizing thoughts, all daily tasks overwhelming, and the kids home all the time meant my self-care took a major hit.

      I’m doing all the right things (therapy, medication, exercise, meditation), but I’m still struggling pretty big time.

      Any other mamas out there feeling the same way?

      Separately, I’m pretty convinced I may be going through perimenopause. I’m almost 41 years old and my periods are getting closer together. I’ve read a lot about the effects of hormone drops associated with “the change” on cognitive function, so I’ve decided to go on BC to see if combined hormones will help. Let me know if there are any other ladies in their early 40s experimenting with this!

    • #172629
      grammareina
      Participant

      I hear you. The pandemic wasn’t hard at first on me because I pulled for structure I knew. But then when it kept dragging out and becoming more uncertain with the way it was being handled, I started to spiral.
      I I don’t know about getting on bc. I am about your age and I just got off of them because they can make you more depressed. I got off of them because I wasn’t sure about how they affect menopause. I figure they might have other hormone treatments for that.
      Have you talked to your doctor?

    • #172635
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      This article on perimenopause and ADHD may have some of the information you’re looking for and validation of what you’re experiencing:

      Perimenopause Problems: How Changing Hormones Exacerbate ADHD Symptoms

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #178724
      lroggli
      Participant

      ADHD and hormones are a potent combination. Estrogen in particular impacts our ADHD even while we are still having regular (irregular?) periods. The rule of thumb is: when estrogen goes down, ADHD symptoms go up.

      That means right before your period (bleeding) your ADHD symptoms go crazy. A few days later, you’re back to your normal self.

      At perimenopause, estrogen begins its flirty flamingo dance — skyrocketing for a while, then hiding itself for a while. These estrogen swings can start 10 years before “real menopause” — the complete cessation of menses. For some of us that can mean mid to late 30s and certainly in our 40s. So many women are diagnosed at perimenopause because their ADHD symptoms get worse. Thank you Ms. Estrogen!

      You may have little flushes – warm, pink cheeks (facial cheeks – come on now!), you may be more irritable than usual and your ADHD symptoms may increase. Less focus, memory lapses and foggy brain are typical. Nothing to worry about because it will eventually settle down (but it sure is annoying!).

      Know that perimenopause can last a long, long time…years. It’s good that you are checking in about it now since you will likely have to adjust your current ADHD strategies to accommodate that darned estrogen decline.

      The good news is that you are not alone and that permimenopause is time limited. Your periods WILL cease eventually. Then you can adjust for ADHD post menopause! Life is so much fun, eh? LOL

    • #179478
      aaguirre81
      Participant

      I am 38 and going through full menopause due to a partial hysterectomy at 31. I was just diagnosed with ADHD. The fatigue is brutal and so is lack of motivation. I started on Hormone Replacement Therapy via pellets in January. By April the effects were wearing away and it was almost debilitating until May was over. The summer allowed for plenty of self care and that has been helpful. This is the 1st time I feel I am sabotoging myself as an adult. I am trying my best to get a good schedule locked down before school commences in August. I know how to get back on routines but I am really struggling to get anything done. I am buckling down as hard as possible but it is all very hard.

    • #179589
      Amy Jo
      Participant

      You’re not imagining this! Like many women, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD at age 45 – the same time my hormones were secretly conspiring against me. Two doctors had tested my hormone levels and told me they were normal so I asked my psychiatrist to adjust my meds, but nothing helped. Then I saw a sexual health specialist, she tested my sex-hormone-binding-globulin(SHBG) and it was extremely high. She explained that the standard testing protocol done by most doctors (even Ob/Gyns and endocrinologists) would show my estrogen as “normal” when in reality 100% of it was actually bound to the SHBG. So as far as my brain and body were concerned it was if I had no estrogen at all. My periods had also become intolerable, to help both issues she put me on a BC pill with the lowest dose of progesterone available (progesterone makes me bat$#!t crazy/depressed). I felt better but I had to stop taking them after 3 years because my SHBG became too high again. All my previous symptoms returned and I was miserable. When I couldn’t take it anymore she started me on an estrogen (specifically Estradiol) patch (different than the birth control patch and I won’t affect my SHBG level). The estrogen patch definitely helps my brain and my periods are normal.
      I really wish you all the best! I know we’ll eventually come out on the other side of this.

      Here a few links that helped me get a better understanding of the variables-
      note: I’m not affiliated with anyone/thing or selling/promoting anything or giving medical advice

      Do a Google search for the PRISM Calendar (Prospective Record of the Impact and Severity of Menstrual symptoms), I just found it and I’m using to help me learn patterns, symptoms, and mood-swing brain-fog warnings.

      https://www.straighthealthcare.com/oral-contraceptive-chart.html

      Learning about PMS and PMDD helped me understand hormones overall-

      Premenstrual Syndrome and Menstrual-Related Disorders

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279045/?report=printable

      Patricia Quinn, M.D. is a great source for women’s ADHD/hormones info. There are several links within this article:

      Changing Estrogen Levels Affect Women’s ADHD Symptoms—Part Three

      sidenote: SSRIs are always the default when doctors don’t really know what to do, but SSRIs make life much worse for me.

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