Does ADHD Look Different In Women?
There are many mental health conditions that can manifest differently across individuals, age groups, and even gender. This is especially true for conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Children are most commonly diagnosed with ADHD, but adults can certainly struggle with this diagnosis. In fact, groups such as adult women can have symptoms that are quite distinct from the symptoms you would see in adult men or children.
Because of this, some women might be struggling with underlying ADHD, but might not realize it since the condition doesn’t always resemble the classic signs of inattention or frequent hyperactivity.
Let’s consider some of the specific symptoms that can present in women to help highlight the different ways ADHD can show up.
How To Identify Potential ADHD Signs
As previously mentioned, women might not exhibit a lot of hyperactivity or excessive energy, which is usually a main identifier for ADHD. Instead the major symptoms might show up as feeling scattered and disorganized in one’s daily life. Tasks requiring organization and planning such as making appointments on time, grocery shopping, planning for your or your children’s after school schedules, or even getting to sleep at a consistent time might highlight challenges caused by ADHD. You may feel that you should be doing more for your family or in your professional career but just can’t seem to pull everything together well enough to be consistently successful. You might be managing your life well enough to meet many of your daily goals, but feel exhausted afterward because of how hard you have to work to overcome your struggles with disorganization or distractibility. Perhaps the above examples reflect your life experience in some way and you are wondering what to do next.
Treatment Can Help Improve Your Effectiveness
Women’s ADHD can be identified and treated best by working with a mental health therapist. Talking with a therapist can help pinpoint some of the problems you might be experiencing or identify the coping mechanisms/workarounds you’ve developed to combat these problems. Often, adults who have never been formally diagnosed with ADHD have learned a variety of ways to make up for the challenges they faced through their lives, but such methods might not be working any longer. A good therapist can help you identify a path forward to relieve the distress you might be experiencing, improve the way you manage your life, and help develop healthy strategies to compensate for hardships.
Receiving a formal diagnosis for academic or professional purposes might involve various assessments, but many times a therapist can help identify signs of the diagnosis without testing and also offer various interventions such as Neurofeedback, talk therapy, or a referral for a medication evaluation. ADHD doesn’t have to remain a limitation for you. You can enhance your ability to thrive and improve your overall quality of life by talking with a professional who can help guide you toward tools and strategies to make you the best you!