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How Puberty Aggravates ADHD Symptoms

The hormonal and physical riptides of puberty add layers of strife for teens with ADHD. In this video, learn what that means for ADD symptoms.

In one way or another, hormonal changes directly impact most adolescents’ ADHD symptoms. But the shift can look different for males and females.

In this video, learn how to navigate the currents of puberty and ADHD  — what to watch out for, and how you can help your child navigate these changes.

How Puberty Aggravates ADHD Symptoms

The hormonal and physical riptides of puberty add layers of strife for teens with ADHD.

“When you add hormones to an ADHD brain’s impulsivity and emotional intensity, you get kaboom.”  – Elaine Taylor Klaus, CPCC, PCC

Surging testosterone may promote risky behavior in boys.

“Testosterone interacts in complex ways with dopamine and other hormones that are relevant to ADHD. This may be related to greater risk for substance abuse among youth with ADHD.” — Joel Nigg, Ph.D.

The drive to fit in may undermine treatment.

“Many kids who cooperatively took medication in elementary school begin to protest and rebel when they hit puberty: They simply want to be more like their peers.” — Dr. Larry Silver

Elevated estrogen and progesterone create mood swings.

“Girls with ADHD in their early teens have more academic problems, more aggressive behavior, earlier signs of substance-related problems, and higher rates of mood disorders than girls who don’t have the condition.” — Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D.

Girls with ADHD often internalize their problems. This makes their struggles easier to overlook.” — Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D.

Changing hormones can alter medication’s efficacy.

“Studies have shown that estrogen may enhance a woman’s response to amphetamine medications, but this effect may be diminished in the presence of progesterone.” — Patricia Quinn, M.D.

Most hormonal changes associated with puberty are outside your child’s control. Remember that as you compassionately work to understand your teen’s experience.

“Adolescence is a critical period for children with ADHD. It’s the period when the most serious risks for negative outcomes occur — for example, drug use, delinquent behavior, problems with internet use, or serious traffic accidents.” — Joel Nigg, Ph.D.

Learn more about navigating puberty with ADHD here:  http://additu.de/tween

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