Periods are annoying for everyone, but they can be particularly challenging for girls with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to manage. Girls with ADHD frequently lack the attentional bandwidth necessary to deal with cramps, control mood swings, remember to pack tampons at all, or replace pads or tampons on a regular basis.
Even while your daughter’s menstruation could come on schedule, you shouldn’t assume she’ll be ready for it. Parents can assist in this way.
One of the main challenges of having ADHD is forgetting things, and it seems that the more significant the item, the more likely it is to be forgotten. Make sure your daughter has all she needs for her period whenever and wherever it arrives to help her avoid needless worry.
· Purchase in advance: Don’t hold off on purchasing sanitary items till that point in the month. Invest in a supply of pads or tampons in bulk, and urge her to let you know if she runs out.
· Stock bags and locker: It won’t matter if she has the supplies at home if she forgets them before practice or school. Urge your daughter to stash additional tampons or pads in her locker and to carry some with her everywhere she goes, not only in her backpack. That way, wherever she goes, she’ll be ready (and she won’t have to use those mattress-sized pads the school nurse gives out).
· Make a note of it: For females with ADHD, remembering to replace her tampon or pad can be rather difficult. Vibrating alarm phones are an excellent method to prevent mishaps. Having a daily reminder will assist her in staying organized throughout the day.
· At night, double up: She won’t be as likely to wake up to a mess if there is an additional layer of protection, which reduces stress, reduces laundry, and generally provides for a more peaceful morning.
Premenstrual Symptom (PMS)
The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can be even more difficult for girls with ADHD to manage than the actual period because they frequently find it difficult to control their emotions even in the best of circumstances. Clinical psychologist Mandi Silverman, PsyD, says that “the ups and downs of PMS sometimes hit harder for girls with ADHD.”
“It’s overwhelming and distracting, especially for girls who already struggle with emotional regulation.” Regrettably, PMS is a reality for many girls. That does not, however, imply that it must be a monthly phobia.
Everybody has a different premenstrual syndrome. Some females may experience monthly fluctuations in their hormone levels, while others may consistently experience the same symptoms each month.
According to Dr. Silverman, “the best way to help your daughter deal with the unwanted feelings caused by PMS is to help her be prepared.” It may be possible to rule out extraneous variables by monitoring her symptoms for a few months. For some females, the symptoms can be lessened by increasing their sleep, changing their diet, or exercising more. Dr. Silverman advises “having her chart how her period impacts her over three cycles.” “Your daughter will be able to make helpful adjustments where she can be more prepared for things — like lack of concentration or moodiness — that consistently cause problems once she starts to understand how her cycle affects her.”
As an illustration:
· If her menstruation makes it even harder for her to focus in class, you could decide that she will record the lectures for that week and watch them again when she feels more composed.
· If she experiences improved health during the months she spends exercising, consider incorporating additional physical activities into her routine. Try setting an earlier bedtime for a week and see if she becomes less grumpy.
· She will feel less stressed and be more likely to turn in assignments on time if she starts working on papers or projects that have deadlines during or shortly after her period.
· If she has excessive emotional or physical exhaustion during her menstrual cycle, advise her to skip those few days of planning social events with friends. In this manner, she’ll be able to relax and stay out of potentially uncomfortable social situations until she recovers.
Some girls discover that when they are menstruating, their ADHD drugs don’t function as well. Make an appointment for your daughter and yourself to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of medication adjustments with her doctor if you observe that your daughter’s PMS and menstrual symptoms are making it more difficult for her to manage her ADHD.
Although women’s menstruation is a normal and essential aspect of life, the stigma associated with periods persists. Girls frequently receive the message that having a period is something to be ashamed of, from boys who wince at the mention of the term “tampon” to advertisements that appear embarrassed to display the product they are promoting.
Furthermore, girls with ADHD may be particularly sensitive to possible shame because they frequently struggle to fit in socially. Having an open and comfortable conversation with your daughter about her period will help her grow up to have a better, more self-assured attitude about her body.
Determine what works for you and stick with it
Helping your daughter establish a schedule that makes controlling her period seem second nature should be the ultimate goal. While girls with ADHD may experience difficulties, they don’t have to be one of them with the correct preparation and practice.