View Full Version : ADHD and aging


non-ADD
05-19-11, 04:59 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the worsening or bettering of ADHD symptoms from adulthood to old age? And how it effects relationships between spouses?

Amtram
05-19-11, 09:44 PM
We've had a lot of discussions here about how our ADD symptoms have changed as we've gotten older (I think most of us complain that they've gotten worse. . .) but I don't recall any discussion of how it affected relationships from either partner's point of view. This is an interesting question. . .

anonymouslyadd
05-19-11, 09:51 PM
Gosh, I think it would be good to discuss having physical issues and coping with ADD. As we get older, our bodies don't recover as easy and we are more prone to injury. Sometimes, I think having ADD makes us more prone to becoming injured. It adds another layer to the struggle of ADD. However, I guess that should be another thread?

hollywood
05-20-11, 08:19 AM
how glibb and grimm. I'd say if your setting goals and reaching them then aging is fine. If your not and have been daydreaming for 30 years maybe not. Good thing I'm just 30. No more procrastinating and daydreaming , the right meds should help you get on track.

RedHairedWitch
05-20-11, 12:19 PM
Menopause does a real number... magnifying the symptoms of adhd... and the adhd magnifies the menopause. My poor mother, no one wanted to be around her for 8 years. I am looking forward to it myself... not.

non-ADD
05-21-11, 04:54 AM
Thanks for the replies...

From the sounds of what y'all sayin'...

ADHD gets worse, menopause exacerbates the ADHD and ADHD makes menopause more unpleasant...

It's harder to be around someone with ADHD when it gets worse so it's harder to be around them as they age...

And if they aren't doing something about managing their symptoms and goals (which many ADHDers have a hard time doing something about already) then it'll definitely get worse...

And maybe they're more prone to accidents...

I was hoping for something more positive, but I'd rather hear honesty right now...

RedHairedWitch
05-21-11, 09:03 AM
Of course with age comes experience as well. Which goes a long way towards helping with management of ADHD

Lunacie
05-21-11, 10:22 AM
I kicked my hubby out of the house about a year before hitting full-out menopause. He was there for the peri-menopause which lasted nearly 10 years. There were several reasons for the break up of the marriage, and that probably contributed. Of course, we didn't know what ADHD was or that I had it until after we divorced.

Menopause was wonderful for me in most ways. I've always had crazy PMS and a very short cycle so I was PMSing half my life from the time I was 9 until I was 49. I was so glad to be done with that. And I was so shocked to learn that I would still have PMS cycles but that they only came about 4 times a year instead of 16 times a year.

So hormonally, menopause and aging was great. But it did make the ADHD worse for about a year until I discovered Omega 3 (fish oil). I seriously thought I was getting early-onset Alzheimer's. I'd be talking to my daughter and she'd get this strange look on her face - I'd used a strange word instead of the one I meant to and the meaning I was trying to convey was all scrambled. I was getting lost while driving in places I was familiar with.

Anyway, not much help with what effects aging may have on ADHD relationships.

ADDapting
05-21-11, 01:07 PM
From the sounds of what y'all sayin'...

ADHD gets worse, menopause exacerbates the ADHD and ADHD makes menopause more unpleasant...



I think you'd have to get a lot more responses to even begin to generalize. Menopause has been pretty much a non-event for me. The only thing I've had is a few hot flashes. No big deal at all. I don't think it has affected my ADD one way or the other. Not having to deal with menstrual periods is a big plus for the ADDer. Now there is one less annoying detail to keep track of.:)

theburr
05-21-11, 01:11 PM
Good thing I'm just 30. No more procrastinating and daydreaming , the right meds should help you get on track.

When I was 30, I had no idea how much worse my symptoms would get in a decades' time. It's not grim, it's just reality.

theburr
05-21-11, 01:18 PM
I think you'd have to get a lot more responses to even begin to generalize.

There's a big connection between ADHD and fluctuations in estrogen -- we don't need for anecdotal evidence here in order to make generalizations. Of course everyone is different, so if you didn't have an issue with it that's great. It doesn't mean it's not a big concern for many.

My symptoms become so much worse before my period that I am worried about menopause in a big way. Even as approach perimenopause I can tell things are ramping up. Batten down the hatches! :rolleyes:

PS I do look forward to period-free life, though. That is going to rock!

jaybee03
05-21-11, 01:26 PM
I was JUST watching some videos by Dr. Russell Barkley last night that addressed this very well.

You can find the videos here: http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html

Dr. Barkley's videos are in the second and third folder entitled: "Executive Functioning" and "Impairments and Treatments". The last video in the third folder (the video is entitled: Q&A Session with Dr. Barkley, is the one in which he addresses menopause specifically. That question is asked at 3:48 and his answer lasts about 2 minutes.

Note that if you watch all of the videos one after the other, it's SEVERAL hours worth of video. But, they're INCREDIBLY informative and helpful to understand the impact of ADHD on the individual, their friends and family, the workplace, and society as well.

There are other videos there as well, but I haven't had the chance to watch them yet so I don't know who the presenters or topics are. I don't even know if Dr. Barkley is the presenter in those videos or not.

If you don't want to watch the gist is:

Both NT men and women will experience reductions in the executive functioning of the brain like forgetfulness, inattention, etc., starting on average, around the late 50's-early 60's. So, if you have ADHD, it's obviously going to just get worse.

Also, another video informed me that ADHD is the primary cause for teen pregnancies - in fact on average they start families 8 years sooner than NT's. ADHD'ers also have more medical and dental problems because they don't proactively seek treatment as often, they don't care for themselves as well, they don't make as much money to be able to treat problems, and they also rely on fast food for nutrition rather than planning a meal and cooking.

They're also MUCH more likely to die in car crashes.

They also have major financial issues compared to NT's.

Honestly, the videos are a bit depressing. But, he makes one point abundantly clear and it's that ADHD is THE MOST DEBILITATING and IMPACTFUL out-patient psychiatric impairment there is. But, it's also the MOST TREATABLE.

Watch the videos!

Hope that helps.

Lunacie
05-21-11, 01:28 PM
There's a big connection between ADHD and fluctuations in estrogen -- we don't need for anecdotal evidence here in order to make generalizations. Of course everyone is different, so if you didn't have an issue with it that's great. It doesn't mean it's not a big concern for many.

My symptoms become so much worse before my period that I am worried about menopause in a big way. Even as approach perimenopause I can tell things are ramping up. Batten down the hatches! :rolleyes:

PS I do look forward to period-free life, though. That is going to rock!

Once you reach menopause, your hormones level out at a much lower level. It's actually peri-menopause when things get rocky. Hopefully you'll get through it quicker than I did. Thinner women generally do. I'm heavy and I'm still having hot flashes 12 years after reaching full menopause.

theburr
05-21-11, 01:30 PM
Honestly, the videos are a bit depressing. But, he makes one point abundantly clear and it's that ADHD is THE MOST DEBILITATING and IMPACTFUL out-patient psychiatric impairment there is. But, it's also the MOST TREATABLE.

You're right, it's depressing and dismaying, but they only way to make the most of your life is to have as much information as possible, and to know yourself absolutely. The only thing more depressing than the facts are the havoc they can wreak on your life when you don't know what you're up against.

(Cue the "more you know" rainbow here.)

theburr
05-21-11, 01:36 PM
Once you reach menopause, your hormones level out at a much lower level. It's actually peri-menopause when things get rocky. Hopefully you'll get through it quicker than I did. Thinner women generally do. I'm heavy and I'm still having hot flashes 12 years after reaching full menopause.

Thanks! That is a good reminder to get into good shape going into it. I've been working on diet and exercise, and having an lifestyle that supports treatment so my baseline symptoms are manageable.

Also, I am glad I'm not the only one who thought it was early-onset Alzheimers -- it runs in my family so it was scary to think it was starting already. :eek:

non-ADD
05-22-11, 02:47 PM
This info is helpful. Would love to find out as many ways as possible to help manage the symptoms of ADHD with menopause and aging.

Anyone have more on the impact on relationship? From ADD and NT perspectives?

ADDfor2
05-22-11, 02:58 PM
Heading into menapause here and it can make a real lunatic of me at times but I try to track it and know when the times are that my hormones change so I can warn my family that Mom will be nutz for a few days, LOL.

TheChemicals
05-22-11, 03:07 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the worsening or bettering of ADHD symptoms from adulthood to old age? And how it effects relationships between spouses?

I am always worried that i will appear as if i have dementia when im older. My Adhd has worsened from my youth to my mid 30s. I know im not old just yet, but i get this overwhelming feeling that im getting worse and worse by the year.
Relationships are just too difficult for me to keep too now that im older. I feel that women are very demanding and im very irresponsible and without direction. I feel things will be worse when im much older. My best and only defense to these problems has always been humor....i truly make myself laugh out of depression, overwhelming feelings, and impending doom.