Working together to improve care for women
Women with ADHD often suffer from hormonal mood swings/depression or cardiac issues, or all of them. This means treatment by three different specialists, yet each of them will see just one part of the actual problem. Consequently, many women end up on as many as three long waiting lists. This needs to be tackled better and faster.
Watch the webinar again:
Optimum care for 'complex' women
Empowerment van patiënten en professionals
Tijdens dit webinar zullen we het hebben over het stigma rondom de klachten bij vrouwen met ADHD.
Keep me posted...
I would like to be informed of the latest developments surrounding the H3-Network
H3 = Empowerment of patients and professionals
Improving care for women together
Women and men are equally likely to have ADHD, but it is often not detected in women until menopause
Together we have the knowledge for multidisciplinary treatment of women with ADHD, heart and hormonal complaints
Woman with ADHD, women's heart and menopause
I have ADHD, but am also in transition. I have always suffered from forgetfulness and chaos, but am now completely bogged down by increased concentration problems, palpitations, and worse sleep. I have had to call in sick, which bothers me immensely. The GP says 'it's part of it', menopause! Help!!!
I don't understand why some women's mood brightens with hormones and others become gloomy because of it!
I am reluctant to prescribe hormones in menopause; I don't know enough about the current state of cancer risk.
I see many female patients with increased psychological symptoms around menopause, but I don't know enough about hormones to be able to help with this. The GP is usually reluctant to prescribe, now what?
I see many women who develop cardiac symptoms in menopause, but often there is nothing to see on examination of the heart. Then I just reassure them and return GP.
Many women with ADHD in my practice experience an increase in psychological symptoms in the week before menstruation, after childbirth and around menopause. I feel this is hormonal, yet no one prescribes them? Why not, if it can help?
Common misunderstandingsADHD only occurs in menHormones give you cancerIf an examination finds no heart abnormalities, then the menopause must be the causeWomen shouldn’t moan!
AwarenessHormones protect your heart but also your brainHeart problems in women are different to those in menA woman's heart develops disease(s) in a different wayWomen with ADHD experience mood swings more often when going through hormonal fluctuations (oestrogens)Current hormone supplements are safe
Who are we?
Let’s introduce ourselves!
The Head Heart Hormones (H3) Network foundation (Stichting Hoofd Hart Hormonen (H3) Netwerk) was established by Sandra Kooij (psychiatrist), Janneke Wittekoek (cardiologist) and Dorenda van Dijken (gynaecologist) in 2022. The three of us comprise the board of the H3 Network. What motivated us was the discovery that ADHD, heart problems and hormonal mood swings often occur in one and the same patient.
Dorenda van Dijken (gynaecologist)
Janneke Wittekoek (cardiologist)
Sandra Kooij (psychiatrist)
Why have an H3 Network?
There are still many misconceptions about women with ADHD who have heart problems and are going through the menopause, and about hormone supplements. These are preventing women from getting the help they really need. So, that’s want we want to improve. We want as many professionals and experts through personal experience as possible to join the network so that it grows as large as it can to help all concerned. We have started with ADHD as the focal issue, but expect that women with other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, PMDD, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and depression will also be facing similar problems.
Research shows that women with ADHD show an above average frequency of suffering hormonal mood swings/depression and heart problems, and mainly in the period in and around the menopause. These symptoms often go unrecognised by doctors, leaving women facing unnecessarily long waiting lists or not receiving the right help, or both. This needs to change! The objective of the H3 Network is for its members to share knowledge with one another to achieve better and faster recognition of the symptoms, and to achieve better treatment for women though mutual – interdisciplinary – collaboration.
There are still many misconceptions about women with ADHD who experience heart problems and are going through the menopause, and about hormone supplements, which prevent women from getting the help they need. With this in mind, we will be organising webinars and e-learning sessions through the H3 website. We will also be sharing tools, information, questionnaires and links. Participating professionals will be added to the H3 Network list, making it possible for women who need help to find them. Experts through personal experience will be able to use the network to support one another and share their experiences. At present, in-person or online consultation with members of the board of the H3 Network is not possible.
The H3 Network is already involved in research:
- Research carried out by Dutch mental healthcare provider PsyQ has shown that women with ADHD experience pre-menstrual, postpartum and perimenopausal mood problems 2 to 3 times more frequently than the general population (Dorani, 2021).
- At the gynaecology outpatient department of Amsterdam’s OLVG hospital, screenings for ADHD are carried out in complicated menopause cases. The next step will be to add ADHD screening in women with premenstrual and postpartum depression.
- Through screening, the Heartlife clinic (Heartlife Kliniek) established that of 300 women with heart issues, 35 percent had ADHD; that’s 7-10 times higher than in the general population.
We would like to invite all interested professionals and those with personal experience (patients) to join us. All knowledge is welcome and needed so that everyone can benefit.
The H3 Network is a non-profit foundation and is not sponsored.
Contributions towards the launch of the website were provided by the Dutch ADHD Network, the Heartlife Kliniek and Parnassia Groep.