ADHD in Women


Both men and women can have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But only one woman is diagnosed with ADHD for every two men diagnosed. Why? For starters, ADHD research has focused on males and hyperactive, impulsive symptoms. ADHD in women often presents with different symptoms than it does in men. These symptoms don’t match ADHD stereotypes and are often confused for other conditions. It is important to note that ADHD can affect a person no matter where they fall on the gender spectrum. Given the current research on ADHD in women, this article refers to gender in the binary sense. Read on to learn more about ADHD in women.

WOMEN OFTEN DO NOT FIT ADHD STEREOTYPES

Don’t be fooled by the common misconception that ADHD only affects young boys. ADHD is about 4 times more common in males than in females, but many girls and women still grapple with ADHD. Unfortunately, many of the criteria used today to diagnose ADHD are still based on observations of young boys. The studies that test these criteria have historically included more boys and men than girls and women. Fortunately, research on ADHD in women is expanding. Instead of bouncing off the walls, ADHD in girls and women often involves daydreaming. Distractions can lead to her not finishing her work. A parent, teacher, or provider may miss these signs of ADHD in females. A woman with ADHD may seem like a chatterbox. Many will assume that’s simply her personality. But for some women, talking nonstop is a symptom of ADHD. These differences can lead to women not receiving the specialist referrals or diagnosis they need. There are 3 types of ADHD: hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, and combined. Young boys with ADHD are often diagnosed with the hyperactive-impulsive type. But, girls and women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. Up to 65% of children diagnosed with ADHD have symptoms well into adulthood. For women and men alike, these symptoms can be debilitating.

SYMPTOMS OF ADHD IN WOMEN

Symptoms of ADHD in women are usually more subtle than the symptoms in men. Women can show symptoms of hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive, or combined ADHD. ADHD symptoms are defined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Providers use this manual to help diagnose ADHD and other conditions. The signs and symptoms of ADHD in women generally include:

  • Being easily distracted while doing school or work tasks

  • Being quiet or withdrawn in social situations

  • Being extremely talkative or interruptive during conversations

  • Having difficulty remembering important information or peoples’ names

  • Having trouble paying attention during conversations with friends, family, or coworkers

  • Having trouble relaxing

  • Having a cluttered home and/or personal workspace

  • Missing work deadlines

  • Having difficulty organizing materials for school or work

  • Having trouble working in an office environment because of noise or other distractions

  • Staying late at work to finish projects that piled up throughout the day

  • Having sudden urges to spend money or go on shopping sprees in order to cope with stress

  • Feeling frustrated with not being able to make important decisions or reach certain goals

It’s no surprise that ... READ MORE HERE: https://blog.helloahead.com/adhd-in-women/


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