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ADHD; period; ADHD medication

woman laying on bed

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Inattentive Type about three years ago—I was a fully functioning adult, married with children before finding out that my brain worked a bit differently. Of course I've known that I functioned a bit differently than my friends since childhood. The signs were there early on, but in the '80s diagnosing a girl with ADHD just wasn’t a thing that happened.

Much of the early criteria for ADHD was written based on how it presented in males, more specifically, white male children, and I was neither. Women like me are being diagnosed more and more lately and it’s likely because social media has connected us in a way that was lacking pre- doom scrolling days.

With the help of social media, women can connect with others who share the same symptoms that were once a source of shame. They can learn what testing to ask for and how to advocate for themselves while having an army of supporters that you’ve never met to encourage you along the way. A lot of women that are diagnosed later in life don’t want medication, they just want an answer. Finally having an answer is what nearly brought me to tears. I wasn’t lazy and forgetful because I didn’t care. I had a neurological disorder that severely impacted my ability to pay attention to detail and organize tasks from most important to least. Just having the answer was a game changer, but hearing that untreated ADHD can cause unchecked anxiety, which I had in spades, I decided to listen to my doctor and give medication a try.


About 30 minutes after my first pill I was actually able to sit still. My brain slowed down and thought one thing at a time. I was suddenly able to finish the tasks that I started in a few minutes instead of hours, or not getting done at all. I remember calling my older brother and crying into the phone telling him that for the first time in my life I was able to not only sit and create a list, but mark stuff off said list. The excitement over my new found executive functioning skills wrapped in a peach colored diamond shaped pill was short lived. For a week out of the month, the pill did nothing. My brain went back to ping ponging from idea to idea, subject to subject. Things for work went unfinished or were messily completed in a last minute hurry. It was beyond frustrating, and no one had an answer as to why my period affected my medication.

My psychiatrist at the time suggested that I was building up a tolerance, but I took “medication vacations” and really only took it during the work week. It wasn’t until I reached out in a group specifically for moms with ADHD out of sheer exasperation that I got answers. Comment after comment were women saying, “my meds don’t work when I’m on my period either.” So many women didn’t have an answer as to why, it was just something that they’ve accepted that comes along with being a woman with ADHD. A week out of the month, your medication that literally helps you function is essentially reduced to being a Tic-Tac. It has no effect, and the symptoms of ADHD are cranked up to 100 that week. It was the most fascinating, bizarre and infuriating revelation. Why isn’t this talked about more?

ADHD; ADHD medication

orange and white pills

Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

It seems that women are left to either struggle with thinking they’ve lost their minds or that their medication needs to be increased, when a lot of the time neither is true. In fact, after doing a bit of research I found a few articles written about the effects of estrogen on ADHD symptoms, but had difficulty finding one that was peer reviewed. Most articles were written by therapists and ADHD coaches that have been doing their own research into the matter to help their clients that menstruate.

One of the few peer reviewed articles found was by Chris Iliades, MD and peer reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH. In the article, Iliades notes that “The hormone estrogen affects receptors in the brain that release the naturally occurring chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. When estrogen levels drop during the weeks before a menstrual period or during the years before menopause, so does the level of these brain chemicals.” He goes on to explain, “because symptoms of ADHD are affected by many of these same brain chemicals, it stands to reason that women with ADHD are more sensitive to estrogen.”

The breakdown of how these chemicals work in conjunction with estrogen, which fluctuates throughout your menstrual cycle, is indeed interesting. But why are articles highlighting this issue outliers? Why aren’t doctors who prescribe these medications more forthcoming with this information? It makes you wonder if doctors are aware at all or if the biological makeup of women and girls taking ADHD medication is an afterthought that medicine has to catch up with. If it is an afterthought, there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of menstruating people who would love more research done on this—taking a weeks long vacation from work and daily life isn’t feasible. Here’s hoping for more research and doctors like Chris Iliades to tell us what to expect when ADHD and periods meet.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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