Motherhood Dementia: Hormonal Brain Baths
Has your brain gone down the hopper? Many women wonder if they’ve developed adult onset ADHD at some point during motherhood, but the cause often differs depending on age. Here are the most common reasons that attention can wax and wane before age thirty-five (on average):
1. Multitasking—Forget it. Multitasking divides your attention and makes everyone less focused and therefore, less effective. Women are capable of multitasking thanks to our unique ability to use several different parts of our brain at once.
2. Anxiety—Anxiety makes our thoughts jump around and promotes divided attention. Relaxation techniques, exercise, and meditation are the best, healthy ways to decrease mild anxiety.
3. Sleep deprivation—Research has shown that sleep deprivation can cause lapses in attention and impaired judgment similar to alcohol intoxication. Snooze to improve your higher cognitive functioning skills.
After Age Thirty-Five: Perimenopause/Menopause
Our brains are dipped in varying amounts of hormones during different life stages. Female hormones have obvious roles in reproduction, but many women don’t know that these hormones significantly affect mood and concentration. Here’s how:
Estrogen: This hormone has antidepressant effects and promotes concentration and attention.
Progesterone: This hormone has mood stabilizing, calming effects. It lowers anxiety and irritability. As noted on The Oprah Show yesterday, an excess of progesterone can also cause depression. Too little can promote high anxiety and irritability.
Testosterone: Increases sex drive, motivation, and initiative. Young women who model and are below healthy weight can develop relative testosterone surplus due to decreased estrogen and progesterone levels. This can cause aggressive behavior, a boy lie figure, hirsutism (hair in places you don’t want it), and other health concerns.
Hormonal imbalances should be considered if you feel unusually blue, anxious, or scattered. Consider this possibility if you feel you fit the above descriptions and see a physician.