Hormones can wreck havoc on woman’s life monthly, as you all know.
It is not what I would call a good time, not for me or anyone around me.
So many of you are young, but some of you are approaching middle years so I thought I would give you a bit of information about Menopause and how it affects your ADD/ADHD.
Menopause, rather, the onset of approching menopause, is ALL about hormones. Those suckers fluctuate like nobody’s business! Up and down, all day and all night, hormones are busy making your body go crazy!
Night sweats, day sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, crying, laughing, depression, exhilaration, memory lapses; it just goes on and on and on. Being the unique women we all are, no two women experience the same pre-menopausal symptoms. A lot of women think they are just going crazy when these symptoms start.
Now, just for fun, let’s add in a healthy dose of ADD/ADHD!
Coping is a new challenge. Suddenly, all the tricks you’ve developed over the years to control your most annoying ADD/ADHD issues NO LONGER WORK! Like a newborn babe, you have no earthly clue what to do now.
Are we having fun yet?
I started symptoms way back when I was 43 years old, 14 years ago already! OMG! Where did the time go?!
All the stoic control over my emotions completely disappeared at that time. Bursting into tears for no reason in public became commonplace.
The funniest incident I can remember is in the mall, Christmas shopping with Hubby. We were browsing through the ladies bathrobes, trying to pick one to buy for my mother, when suddenly I started to cry. Not silent tears, not even a buildup to crying. Just Suddenly SobbingUncontrollably Loudly and Messily. Hubby’s facial expression was priceless, surprise coupled with cluelessness add in a dose of concern and wonder:)
Now this look on his face while he rapid-fired questions at me was so comical I could not stop laughing.
Picture this: uncontrollable sobbing/crying with hysterical laughter, bent over holding my stomach type of laughter. Crying so much the tears were getting the front of my shirt wet, the snot running out of my nose was gushing and I could barely breath.
Add to this picture NO KLEENEX.
We left the store, walking as fast as we could towards the food court to grab some napkins or find a washroom, Hubby holding my elbow bewildered and a little bit scared now and me, wet, snotty, noisily laughing and crying at the same time.
All my sista-friends ladies in the mall gave hubby a lot of dirty looks and nasty comments for making me cry as we hastily made our way through the crowds of shoppers in the mall.
Finally we encountered the washrooms before the food court, a little fact I was grateful for. I did not have any desire to gross out any of the people sitting in the food court enjoying their fast food. Ducking into the washroom, blowing my nose ENDLESSLY, washing my face repeatedly all while trying to hold myself up on the sink because now the hot flashes (power surges was what I called them at the time) were coming fast and furious now.
This whole incident lasted a good 30 minutes. 30 minutes is a really, really long time to be making a spectacle of yourself. 30 minutes of crying and laughing at the same time without control is a lifetime. Every fear of humiliation I ever had came true for me. Yes, it made me feel bad…worse than I ever imagined.
When I finally came out of the washroom Hubby was waiting, still concerned but a little bit relieved to see I was done crying. ”What happened?” he asked.
“I have no freakin’ idea!” was my reply. I’m sure the bewilderment on my face equalled his. Then…we cracked up. Laughing like a couple of loons.
Cause really, think about it, it was pretty darn funny. We laughed all the way back to the store we were in when it all started. We headed to the aisle that had the Kleenex, grabbed a box “just in case” and finished our shopping.
The first night sweat I had made me think I was having a heart attack or something. The first “energy surge” I had threw me into a panic that lasted WAY too long, since I was at work and couldn’t function for the rest of the day. My ADD/ADHD mind went wild with all the outlandish scenarios it could conjure up, taking me to far off galaxies I was sure I’d never return from.
Boy, talk about messed up. My mind pretty near exploded with fear.
Thankfully there was a medical reason for what was happening. Hormone replacement therapy helped lessen those numerous daily moments of feeling like my body was going to spontaneously combust and HRTall but made the night sweats disappear. HRT did not make those two disturbances disappear, but it made them more endurable for me. Along with the knowledge of what was going on.
Women are considered menopausal when they have not had their period for one full year. Then begins the post-menopausal phase.
I have been post-menopausal since I was 47…10 years now.
Unbelievable. Where does the time go?
Not only did menopause change me physically, it changed my ADD/ADHD as well. Where once I was considered very “energetic” I became more restless instead. Hyperactivity was hardly a factor in my life anymore. All that energy I had all but disappeared. No longer able to get through my household chores, procrastination became my predominant symptom. Actually, frozen in place was more the speed at which I approached all projects and daily jobs. It was at this time I began to forget to shower, comb my hair and change out of my pajamas. I cannot claim to have organized at any time in my life, but I was usually able to shower every day, comb my hair and make myself presentable to the world at large.
Not anymore. Those days are pretty much over.
Now, I consider it a job well done when I shower twice a week. Good thing I don’t sweat:)
I think my hair is easier to disguise as combed now that it is long. Only the bed fluffies give me away. I always wondered why I had to brush my hair every day. Now I know. It removes the fluffies from my hair so I don’t look like I rolled around in cotton balls.
I have to stop and literally consult my list of preparing myself for the day which reads like this:
Go to bathroom. Brush teeth. Wash face. Brush hair. Go to bedroom. Change clothes. Put on socks. Go downstairs. Find shoes and put them on.
Etc. etc. etc.
I even have a type of list of how I shower: Take off glasses. Remove any items from hair. Turn on water, test water temperature and remove all clothing. Get in shower and soak hair. Apply shampoo. Rinse. Apply conditioner. RINSE! Put shower gel on the pouffy and wash neck, arms, legs and so on. Wash face. Rinse well. TURN OFF SHOWER before getting out. Wrap hair in towel. Dry all body parts. Get dressed. Remove towel from hair. DETANGLE hair. Apply anti-frizz product to hair.
This is the only way I can be relatively successful getting myself clean and ready.
Isn’t ADD/ADHD funny?
I think so.
I laugh a lot.
There are a few sites that address ADD/ADHD specializing in how it affects women and girls. The one I find the most helpful is
There are a few more, but this is relatively newer than ADHD studies, and the experts are scarce. Dr. Patricia Quinn, Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, Sari Solden are a few of the experts in this field.