For years, I thought that something must be wrong with me. Why can’t I seem to stay focused? Why must I always wait until the last minute to complete a project? Missing deadlines, losing jobs, and being overwhelmed by simple tasks – never knowing why.
That is until my youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD. They explained that it shows up differently in boys than in girls. He was the “typical boy” always on the move. I had a feeling he would have ADHD based on that criterion. What I didn’t know was that I, too, have ADHD.
Women with ADHD face the same feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted as men with ADHD commonly feel. In addition, psychological distress, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and chronic stress are common. Often, women with ADHD feel that their lives are out of control or in chaos, and daily tasks may seem impossible.
Adults with ADHD may find it challenging to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. In addition, the inability to control impulses can range from impatience in waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.
It has become so noticeable in my life that I am seriously considering asking my physician about what ADHD medication they might recommend for me. First, I’ll need an official diagnosis, of course. Symptoms may include:
- Disorganization and problems prioritizing
- Poor time management skills
- Problems focusing and staying on task
- Trouble multitasking.
- Excessive activity or restlessness
- Poor planning
- Low frustration tolerance (Hot temper)
- Frequent mood swings
- Problems following through and completing tasks
- Trouble coping with stress
Although I do not relate to all of these symptoms, I relate most convincingly to others. For example, I am extremely organized but have a problem prioritizing what I have organized! And I do well under pressure, but my procrastination prevents me from making deadlines. Yep, I need to go see my general practitioner!
How does ADHD look different in females?
Females with ADHD typically daydream more, have difficulty staying focused and remembering things, and often look like they’re not paying attention. Unfortunately, because this doesn’t resemble the ‘normal’ depiction of ADHD — which includes hyperactivity — it frequently goes undiagnosed.
Which is what happened to me as a little girl. I was also told that some girls with ADHD also seem to be very “helpful.” They want and need to be helpful, to be of use. Plus, we cannot sit still for very long doing nothing (at least for me)!
All of these things were true for me, and it wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally realized I had ADHD. Once I learned more about the condition and how it can differ between females and males, everything started to make sense. If you think you may have ADHD, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for help.
Why does ADHD go undiagnosed in females?
Girls are also less likely to be diagnosed earlier because they often display more symptoms of anxiety. As a result, medical providers may only treat a female patient’s anxiety or depression without evaluating for ADHD. Hormones, which affect the symptoms of both ADHD and anxiety, can complicate things. Here are the facts:
ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects both men and women. However, women with ADHD often face unique challenges that can make the condition more difficult to manage.
Women with ADHD may have difficulty with time management and organization, which can lead to problems at work or school. Additionally, women with ADHD may have trouble maintaining healthy relationships due to impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Women with ADHD may also suffer from anxiety or depression due to the condition. This can make it difficult to cope with the symptoms of ADHD and can further impact work, school, and personal relationships.
What to do if you suspect you have ADHD?
If you think you might have ADHD, the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor. They can ask you questions about your symptoms and how they’ve affected your life and then make a decision about whether or not to give you a diagnosis.
They may also refer you to a mental health professional who can provide you with counseling and other support.
If they do diagnose you with ADHD, there are a few different options for treatment. First, they may recommend that you start taking medication, which can help to reduce the symptoms of ADHD and make it easier for you to focus and concentrate.
Personally, I have been working with a therapist, learning new tools for how to cope with my ADHD, and it is helping immensely. However, as I mentioned earlier in the article, I am considering adding medication to my treatment plan because I see the difference now. I need chemical assistance as well, and, you know what? It’s ok.
Whatever the treatment plan, it’s important to remember that there is help available and that with treatment, most people with ADHD are able to lead happy and successful lives.
What can happen if ADHD is left untreated?
If you or someone you love has ADHD, seeking treatment is essential. ADHD can profoundly impact every aspect of life and, if left untreated, can lead to a host of negative consequences.
Relationships may suffer, as ADHD can make it difficult to communicate effectively and relate to others. You may also experience anxiety and depression due to the challenges posed by ADHD.
In addition, you may struggle to succeed in school or hold down a job. Untreated ADHD can even lead to problems with substance abuse. In fact, a lot of times, that is precisely what happens, unfortunately.
Thankfully, there are effective treatments available for ADHD that can help you address the symptoms and live a full and happy life. Don’t wait to get the help you need — seek professional treatment for ADHD immediately.
What does ADHD look like in women?
In conclusion, if you are a woman who thinks she might have ADHD, the best course of action is to seek professional help. With the proper support and treatment, you can manage your symptoms and live a successful life. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help — there are resources available that can make all the difference!