Women, Hormones, and ADHD

December 6th, 2010 - By admin in Information on ADD/ADHD

The severity of ADHD symptoms will change during the course of a woman’s cycle. Here’s what you need to know to manage them.
by Laura Flynn McCarthy

Do your ADD symptoms worsen at certain times of the month?

Is your thinking a little fuzzier the week before your period?

Are you orga­nized and effi­cient at mid-cycle?

Doctors who treat women with ADHD have noted corre­la­tions between ADHD symptoms and hormonal fluc­tu­a­tions, not only monthly but over the lifetime of a woman.

The average age of diag­nosis for women with ADHD, who weren’t diag­nosed as children, is 36 to 38 years old,” says Patricia Quinn, M.D., director of the National Center for Girls and Women with AD/HD, and author of Under­standing Women with ADHD. “Before that time, girls and women are often misdi­ag­nosed as having depression or an anxiety disorder. Even if these are secondary condi­tions, treating them does not get to the root of the problem, which is ADHD.”

When doctors diagnose girls and women with ADD, they rarely consider hormonal fluc­tu­a­tions when devel­oping a treatment plan. But profes­sionals are learning more about the connec­tions between hormones and ADD. Here, we outline four stages in a woman’s life — from puberty to menopause — describe what’s happening hormonally, and offer ways to manage symptoms.

Read the whole article here