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My Lack of Ability to Concentrate
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scmom61 posted:
I went through menopause over 3 years ago, and have finally finished all the "yucky" stuff that goes along with it: no more hot flashes (almost), no periods for 3 years, and my emotions are finally really level. I love myself again!

However, I cannot for the life of me sit and concentrate on anything anymore! I have such a need to go do something else! I hate watching tv and cannot read for more than a few minutes, or do just about anything that requires me to sit and concentrate for a long period of time. The only place I can actually do that is at work because I have to! I never had this problem before, even as a kid.

I have read that an adult cannot develop ADHD; that it has to be there from a young age. As a child I could sit for hours and concentrate.

Is anyone else dealing with this problem, and if so, can it be caused by hormones or dementia (eeekk!) or something else? I seem like a busybody to my family because I am constantly cleaning or doing yardwork or walking around. It doesn't really bother me, but it does bother them! At least I am staying fit burning all my energy!
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Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear scmom61,
You are asking a very good question, without a very good answer. There is great controversy about whether the lack of estrogen causes concentration and cognitive issues. There are also neuropsychiatric folks who do believe that peri and menopausal women can develop concentration issues, and there are folks who prescribe drugs like Ritalin and Adderall in this time frame for these problems. I would doubt this is dementia. A few options: one is to seek an opinion with a neurologist who deals with these issues. Another possibility is to speak with your gynecologist, and discuss whether, if you are a good candidate, a trial of estrogen therapy would be a choice. Within three months or so, you would have a very good read on whether the estrogen would make a difference.
Sorry there is no absolute answer; but there are certainly options that you could consider.
Good luck,
Mary Jane


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