Too Busy or ADD?
When you were pregnant, did you find that you felt, paradoxically, more focused, attentive, emotionally rational and organized than usual?
Women's hormones have some surprising impacts on ADHD, says Kathleen Nadeau, PhD, co-founder of the National Center for Gender Issues in ADHD. Estrogen appears to influence the sensitivity receptors in the brain, blunting the severity of some of the symptoms.
Why it might be ADHD: When estrogen levels are consistently high, as when one is pregnant or breastfeeding, women who have been diagnosed with ADHD tend to report fewer symptoms, says Nadeau. This can be a welcome change...while it lasts. Once the hormones return to their monthly fluctuation schedule, those symptoms can surge like crazy. Never been pregnant? Try charting your feelings and behavior throughout your menstrual cycle. Women with ADHD often notice that their symptoms ebb and flow: The first two weeks of their cycle are fine and everything seems to be going smoothly, but then, right before their period, symptoms—hyperactivity, restlessness, distractibility—come crashing back full-force.