ADHD manifests differently in women and men. It makes sense when you think about it as there are physical differences between the genders. More importantly, there are hormonal differences. Such small differences can result in big differences, especially when it comes to ADHD and menopause.
ADDiva Linda Roggli educated me on this years ago. As we age, our working memory is more taxed. In women, estrogen levels drop during that change in a woman’s life. Since estrogen impacts a woman’s focus, it can negatively impact the focus of women that already have ADHD. Many OB/GYNs are not aware of the impact that age, menopause, and ADHD have on a woman. Get a quick education on this time of a woman’s life by watching this short video with Linda to learn more.
Jeff Copper Welcome everybody to this edition of Attention Talk video. I’m your host, ADHD and attention coach, Jeff Copper. And we’re here today with the AD diva, Linda Roggli.
Linda Roggli Yes you are, Jeff. Thank you so much for inviting me to be here.
Jeff Copper I’m thrilled. I’ve interviewed you before on a radio show, and one of the things that really hit me is we were talking one time, “Oh, is it ADD, AGG, or menopause?” And you said that and it took me a while to get the AGE part.
Linda Roggli It means age.
Jeff Copper Yeah.
Linda Roggli Stands for age. Got it?
Jeff Copper Yeah, I got it.
Linda Roggli Now you got it.
Jeff Copper But it was interesting to me because you were talking about how ADD an age and the symptoms kind of get meld together and when those three come together, it’s like the trifecta. Can you just talk about that a little bit?
Linda Roggli Yeah. And actually I was just saying this the other day that most of the issues with A-G-E and A-D-D are about memory. And most people when they get to an age, which is going to be probably over 45 or 50, when cognition declines a little bit because our brain cells aren’t working quite as well as they used to. And that’s true for everyone by the way. Everybody races to the doctor, “Oh my gosh, I have dementia. Oh my gosh,” and what happens is a lot of people who believe they have dementia, which they usually don’t, find out they actually have a lifelong history of ADHD. And of course, ADHD is lifelong. We are all born with it for heaven’s sake. And those times are really difficult because we have so many things going on right then, so many changes, and we’re looking at, “Well, I’m 50 or I’m 60, what do I do with the rest of my life?” And now we want to embrace that ADHD and walk down the road with it.
Jeff Copper And so we talked about that in ADD, but also in menopause, estrogen levels start to drop and that has an impact on working memory.
Linda Roggli Yep, it sure does. Thank you for feeding me that. That was a great setup. I love that. You’re right, estrogen actually has a tremendous impact on brain function. Even for normal women, when estrogen drops, cognition drops as well. But for ADHD women, it’s even more critical because neurotransmitters actually don’t work as well when they don’t have estrogen. That’s why in pregnancy ADHD women are just doing great because there’s lots of estrogen on board. At menopause, when estrogen slowly dies down, they freak. “Where’s my brain?” They don’t know where it is anymore. It’s really kind of scary. So a lot of times people will do estrogen replacement or they’ll do some alternative treatments for that, and certainly treating the ADHD in whatever way helps at any age. That’s for sure.
Jeff Copper And one of the reasons why I wanted to do this show is… particularly women out there that are in their 40s or 50s in clinics going through this, I want you to know that you’re not alone. And what’s great about the ADHD community is there’s so much more focus now on women and their particular issues, and there’s so much more information about that particular stuff. You have the ADDiva network; Dr. Quinn’s done a lot of stuff there; Sari Solden has done a bunch of things, and so there’s a lot of resources. So if you’re in that space, go to the internet because you can find lots of things that are very specific and can help you out.
Linda Roggli Yeah, that’s exactly right. But I just want to say that there’s not a lot of information yet about it and there’s not a lot of research about menopause and ADHD, so stick around; we’re getting there. But stick close to us and we’re going to tell you about it first. That’s for sure.
Jeff Copper Great information, Linda. Thanks so much for coming on the show.
Linda Roggli Thank you.
Jeff Copper Take care.
Linda Roggli Bye.