What about ADHD and menopause?

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    • #40298
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user leelee2 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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! 🙂

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Allison Russo.
      • #74938

        OMG I have been an Emotional Train Wreck! I drive others batty I’m clumsy I’m forget full and yes questioned my mntal state to be early signs of demtia… I’m so emotionally exhausted and can’t fall asleep but when I do u barely can wake up and NEVER hear an alarm. It doesn’t stop the symptoms but knowing I’m not alone gives me hope

    • #40300
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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

    • #39979
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user basiliki in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      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?

    • #40303
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user dmossey in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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.

    • #40304
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user rbr in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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.

    • #40305
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user AliD in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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! 🙂

    • #40306
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user wimowo in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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!

    • #40307
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Meri in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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)

    • #40308
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user bunnymom in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      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?

    • #46877

      I am in my 70’s and have had sleep problems and problems with word recall — mostly names — ever since I stopped taking low-dose prempro. For me that was a “miracle drug”. I am reluctant to use that particular product at this point, but am interested in bioidentical hormones. Does anyone have any experience with these?

      Along with my ADHD “spinning brain” has come a sense of depression and anxiety as I try to accomplish what seems like I “should” be able to accomplish. A variety of medication attemps over probably ten years hasn’t substantially changed anything.

      I did hear a podcast from Dr. William Dodson where he said that in many cases stimulants don’t work after menopause. I don’t remember his source for that, but I do think that information about women and ADD; and in particular women, menopause and ADD; is not widely known. Or maybe not widely studied. It’s hard to find a knowledgeable practitioner.

    • #48095

      I’ll be 65 in August, and I think I probably went through menopause when I was around 50. I never had problems with hot flashes, but waking up at night and having trouble getting back to sleep was really an issue. Of course, I’d lie there with every possible negative thought popping into my head! Sometimes I’d try to read a book and doze off every few pages (and reread them because I couldn’t remember anything). Then I got an iPod and started listening to podcasts. At first I tried meditation music, but I could easily keep thinking about other things. Now I listen to something that like “Welcome to Nightvale,” which is this weird, somewhat nonsensical story. It’s just funny enough to keep my attention, but it also lulls me to sleep!

      Stimulants have not been very helpful. Lately I’ve been feeling tired and depressed (they always seem to go together). I don’t have as much energy in general, and that’s frustrating because I was probably more ADHD when I was younger, and frankly I miss that energy. But I exercise almost daily, and I’m in pretty good shape so I sometimes wonder if it’s something else. I’ve had a health checkup, and I use a low dose hormone cream. I just can’t get going. Sorry if I’m not being helpful, but I sure appreciate the topic!

    • #48993

      Hi everyone. This topic is a little scary for me. I am 45 and not sure if I’m starting menopause or ehanot but am moodier than before. I have fewer papatience with my students and my own children. I ha. Taking care of myself us more important than ever ever and I think that is every woman – not just those of us who have adhd.
      My spiritual life is my hope and life line. Helping others makes me happy. Being in nature, breathing fresh air and watching the birds, slows my mind down and makes me feel alive. Some days and times I have to work to block negativity which is my brains default setting.

    • #106481
      tanya Harding

      Can we get this discussion started again? It is so hard to find info on ADD and peri/menopause. My story, very briefly: I’m 43 about a year ago I realized that my vyvance wasn’t working as well, and that i was waking up at night, and that my hair was getting thinner….Eventually my period suddenly got all wonky and I could tell something was off. I went to my primary care doctor and she did some tests to rule out other conditions and we both figured out that I was in there very early stages of perimenopause. I started taking birth control pills (the generic form of Yaz) and my brain is working SO MUCH BETTER now. I didn’t realize how much my fluctuating hormone levels impacted my cognitive function and ADD symptoms. My Vyvance works so much better now. I suddenly have my verbal skills again. My brain is back. I missed it! I now consider hormone therapy to be an adjunct therapy for ADD (at least for me).

      I think women with ADD my experience the menopausal transition differently from other more neurotypical women. I wish there was more published on the topic. In the last two years, the treatment standards for menopausal hormone therapy have changed and we have more options now.

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