One of the challenges with diagnosing, ADHD and women over 40 is figuring out if the symptoms are actually ADHD or pre-premenopausal hormonal imbalances.
Some ADHD Symptoms in Women Over 40
Common symptoms of ADHD in women over 40 may include, but :
Trouble remembering or focusing
Poor organizational skills
Poor impulse control, including speaking out of turn
Difficulty sitting for long periods of time
Impulsively blurting out thoughts and ideas
Difficulty finishing tasks
Fidgeting and restlessness
Difficulty with multi-tasking
What are pre-menopausal symptoms?
Common premenopausal symptoms in women over 40 include:
- Irregular periods and erratic fluctuations in hormones
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Depression and anxiety
- Low libido
- Vaginal dryness
Do pre-menopausal women experience cognitive difficulties?
Yes, premenopausal women can experience cognitive difficulties due to fluctuations in hormones. This is often referred to as “brain fog”, and can cause difficulties in focus and concentration. As well as a feeling of confusion and difficulty thinking clearly. It can also lead to memory problems and trouble multitasking.
How does a drop in estrogen affect cognition during menopause?
The drop in estrogen during menopause can cause a number of cognitive difficulties, such as memory problems, difficulty concentrating and focusing, confusion, and difficulty multitasking. Hormone therapy can be used to mitigate these symptoms.
How do you know the difference between ADHD and menopause?
ADHD is a complex condition, and there is no known single cause. Research suggests that genetic, neurological, environmental, and psychological factors can all play a role in the development of ADHD. This condition is likely to be inherited. With some studies suggesting that up to 70% of people with ADHD have a relative that also has the condition.
When does menopause start?
Menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, though it can also occur earlier or later in life. Symptoms of menopause are caused by fluctuating hormones. Thus, it can include irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, weight gain, depression and anxiety, low libido, vaginal dryness, and insomnia.
How to better manage menopause?
There are two ways to better manage menopause: lifestyle changes and treatments.
Lifestyle changes may include Stress management techniques to reduce anxiety, such as deep breathing, yoga, and regular exercise; Getting enough sleep; Eating a nutrient-dense and balanced diet; Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption; Practicing mindfulness; and Quitting smoking.
Treatments for menopause include hormone therapy, non-hormonal prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications.
How to best manage ADHD?
ADHD is usually managed through a combination of medications. Including behavior therapy, lifestyle changes, and coping strategies. Common medications used to manage ADHD are stimulants, non-stimulants, and antidepressants
Behavior therapy typically involves working with a mental health professional to develop strategies to manage symptoms and address difficult behaviors, such as rewards and punishments, creating schedules, setting achievable goals, and cognitive-behavioral therapy
Lifestyle changes may include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and establishing routines and schedules.
The best way to figure out the difference between ADHD and premenopausal symptoms is to seek professional help. A qualified mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist can evaluate you and determine whether you have ADHD or if the symptoms are due to age or hormonal shifts.