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“What Years of Debilitating Migraines Taught Me About ADHD in Women”

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Before I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 33, my body felt like a mystery, an experience I assume is nearly universal for women with a late diagnosis.

Yes, there was forgetfulness, distractibility, “careless” errors, internal restlessness, and emotional dysregulation. Yes, there were incredibly painful menstrual cycles with mood changes so drastic they should have their own amusement park rides named after them.

But there were also migraine headaches so severe that they’d often lead me to hide in the bathroom and vomit while working a retail job at age 20.Despite the unbearable pain and nausea associated with migraines, I attended regular work and school hours.

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Atypical Brain Connectivity Linked to ADHD: NIH Study
March 27, 2024ADHD symptoms in children are associated with unusual interactions between the frontal cortex and deep centers of the brain where information is processed, according to a recent report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.1 These findings may help inform additional research into the ADHD brain that leads to more effective treatments and interventions.A research team from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Human Genome Research found children with ADHD demonstrated heightened connectivity between brain structures involved in learning, movement, and reward, and frontal areas of the brain that regulate emotion, attention, and behavior.“The present findings suggest that these brain alterations are specifically associated with ADHD and are not indicative of general features of childhood psychopathology or influenced by comorbid symptoms,” the study’s authors wrote.Researchers have long suspected that ADHD symptoms result from atypical interactions between the frontal cortex and these deep information-processing brain structures. However, the study’s authors noted that prior studies testing this model returned mixed results, possibly due to the small size of the studies they suggested.The present study examined more than 10,000 functional brain images of 1,696 youth with ADHD and 6,737 without ADHD aged 6 to 18.