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ADHD and Menopause

ADHD AND MENOPAUSE

I’ve tried to vocalise and explain how my brain feels right now a few times this week, but I’m finding it difficult. I’ve been back at work for a couple of weeks now and I feel okay, I think. The workload is fine and everyone has been great. And whilst no one individual task is too much, or something I cannot do. Trying to deal with possible ADHD on top of menopause is proving tough. The more I go on, the more I realise that it’s trying to do everything that I struggle with. The simplest decision becomes too much.

Overwhelm

I’ve been really good. I’m not taking on too much, I’m not trying to do it all. I’m literally just doing what needs doing daily to get through the day. But I’m finding each and every one of those tasks is taking me so much longer, and leaves me exhausted.

It’s like my brain is on go slow. I find myself sitting with my hands on the keyboard, willing myself to type that email. Listening to people talking and completely zoning out, or trying hard to concentrate. Even S noticed this morning and said, ‘you keep going into your own world mummy’. Or standing in a room trying to remember why I went there and having no idea how to move forward. Whereas I used to be able to retrace my steps and it would come back to me, now I rarely remember, no matter what. Where I used to be able to write a blog post in an hour or less, now it takes me at least a day if not more. Constantly daydreaming, getting distracted, forgetting what I was writing and overthinking it all.

Motivation

Moreover, I have no motivation, feel overwhelmed by everything and want to spend my time on the sofa binging TV. But I have the boys, a dog, a hubby and I have a house to keep tidy (except it never is). PE kits, Squash kits and school uniforms to wash. Motivation is something I’m really struggling with, I have to work really hard to make the beds, change the sheets, do the laundry, and empty the dishwasher. We won’t even get started on washing my hair!

The thought of actually making plans with people is just too much. ADHD and menopause together feel like the effort that my brain requires to just get through a day at work, means I can’t even begin to think about doing anything else that day. Especially as my brain is already on what to cook for tea, where S is, does F have squash training, what do I need to get ready for the next day…

Intrusive Thoughts

Another thing that has increased again is intrusive thoughts, catastrophising everything. If any of the boys are out, then my brain is always imagining the worst. Or if I’m in the car then thoughts pop into my head about driving. While I don’t want to go into those thoughts as they can be quite disturbing, please understand they are just that, thoughts. But it’s way more than your normal worry, believe me.

I always wondered why I liked listening to music so loudly. I do it when I drive, I do it when I’m really down. It always got me through studying (I say studying, not sure highlighting the occasional word counts). It stops my brain from all the thoughts that are rushing around there. Again I think a lot of you will feel that you have times like this, but that’s the difference. In my head it is constant, it never stops. It’s either going at 100 miles an hour and I’m trying to keep up. Or it’s on go slow and I struggle to maintain focus or motivation on anything.

Planning

Whilst S needs to know exactly what we are doing and when, down to the last detail and for days, weeks, and months in advance. I struggle to think past today, to be able to plan anything, including tea that night.

And it’s like a never-ending cycle. I need my house to be tidy to be able to feel in control and know what needs to be done. But I lack the ability or motivation to keep the house tidy, as there is so much to do. I need to plan teas so that I’m not wasting food, so that I don’t have to ‘think’ about what to cook after a day at work. But I lack the ability and motivation to plan, and end up cooking different meals for everyone. It’s why I eat the same thing for lunch, day in, day out.

To-Do List

  • Finish S’s EHCP application
  • Apply for boy’s bank accounts – forms to fill out
  • Take both boys into the bank to prove their identity – organisation
  • Claim free Galaxy bud earphones (worth £300) – form to fill out
  • Sort H’s NS&I account now he’s 16 – form to fill out
  • Clear out downstairs coat cupboard – organisation
  • Clear out playroom – organisation
  • Get skip ordered to clear a load of stuff from the house – organisation
  • and the list goes on…

Please don’t tell me to get organised, or to get a meal planner, a wall planner, a desk planner, a bullet journal, whatever. It just doesn’t work with my brain anymore, I’ve tried everything. I used to be the most organised person going (ADHD coping strategies), but it’s just not how my brain functions anymore.

Menopause and ADHD

Losing the ability to mask how my brain works with ADHD and menopause has given me the opportunity to re-look at everything. To re-evaluate and figure out what works best for me. So I’m not being rude if I don’t reply to your text, or can’t make plans. I’m just trying to figure out how to get through each day, one day at a time, and I’m really bloody tired…

Fay x

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If you like this post, then please read more here:

Menopause – How Felicity Finds

Neurodiversity – How Felicity Finds

Balance – Menopause App

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women and adhd - hyperactive & impulsive