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  • Writer's pictureAVHD Podcast

Women with ADHD

In honor of Women's History Month, we're talking about ADHD in women. If you haven't listened to our episode "ADHD in Women Discussed by Two Women With ADHD", here's the link to listen.

Why is ADHD "uncommon" for women?

Women with ADHD have a harder time getting diagnosed than their male counterparts. Oftentimes, women don't don't get an accurate diagnosis until their late 30s and 40s. There are several reasons for this, like misdiagnoses for different mood disorders - commonly Bipolar Disorder due to the restlessness and Rejection Sensitivity associated with ADHD. New studies also suggest that women may develop ADHD symptoms as they age, but additional research has yet to be done.

ADHD is more commonly recognized in young boys because their symptoms present with more hyperactivity. This is partially because boys aren't socially restricted in the same way girls are, especially at a young age. Thus, it's more socially acceptable for young boys to display their hyperactivity than young girls.

Women often realize at a young age that because of social norms, they have to mask their symptoms to fit in. This is why it's more common for women to have inattentive ADHD as opposed to hyperactive ADHD - formerly known as ADD.

Symptoms in Adult Women with ADHD

Some symptoms of ADHD in adult women can include:

  • Difficulty with time management

  • Disorganization

  • Feeling overwhelmed

  • Anxious or Depressive symptoms

  • Difficulty with finances

  • Restlessness or a need to constantly fidget

Another common problem for those with undiagnosed ADHD to go through is compulsive overeating, chronic lack of sleep, and insomnia. It's also not uncommon for people undiagnosed with ADHD to attempt to self-medicate by consuming too much alcohol, caffeine, or other substances.

Also, ADHD in women, when left untreated or diagnosed can cause an additional level of stress in one's daily life. It can make it difficult to keep up with work, school, finances, relationships, and basic housework like cleaning. (Listen to our episode on ADHD and Cleaning Hacks for some tips and tricks.)

ADHD causes huge gaps in attention, listening, and organizing. It can also make basic tasks like making appointments, paying close attention to details, and thinking before speaking more difficult to accomplish. Essentially, it can make life much more difficult for those with untreated ADHD.

Other common symptoms of untreated ADHD in women are constant daydreaming, your brain running a million miles a minute, poorly maintaining friendships despite easily making new friends, and even self-harm due to the stress and depression that can result from a lack of treatment or coping strategies.

So how do we combat this issue?

  • Talking about ADHD in Women

  • Education on ADHD in Women and how it's presented differently than in young boys

  • Paying more attention to young children's symptoms

  • Getting help through medication, therapy, coping strategies, or a combination.

ADHD is a tricky disorder to have, for it presents itself differently for everyone. Figuring out what helps each individual is a part of learning, helping, and coping. We recommend seeking a professional for personalized help throughout your life, for it's hard to deal with on your own.

We hope our podcast, as well as this blog post, can help shed some light on ADHD in women and help someone out there get the help they need.

Additional Research and Articles to Read:

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