ADHD in girls and women

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition with abnormalities in brain development and brain activity that affect attention and self-control. ADHD is one of the foremost common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood that lasts into adulthood, affecting school, work, and relationships. Children with ADHD can be overly active, have trouble listening, and controlling impulsive behaviors.

ADHD in girls and women is usually challenging to detect. For several years, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was thought to be a condition experienced mostly by boys. While boys are more likely to develop ADHD diagnosis, it’s not because girls are necessarily at lower risk for the disorder. They only sometimes exhibit symptoms that don’t adhere to the standard ideas and pictures people historically have about ADHD.

ADHD in girls can manifest as inattention and hyperactivity
ADHD in girls can manifest as inattention and hyperactivity

Girls with ADHD

When thinking of ADHD, many of us imagine a toddler who can’t sit still and acts impulsively, blurting out answers in school or interrupting their parents. But many girls and women with ADHD could also be sitting quietly, seemingly daydreaming, and struggling to end a task or organize their lives. These subtler symptoms of ADHD in girls make the disorder often go unnoticed, with many females not receiving a proper diagnosis until they reach adulthood.

Other common signs of ADHD in women and girls:

  • Wandering thoughts

  • Trouble finishing projects and schoolwork

  • Being late often

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • A disorganized room or workspace

  • Getting easily upset

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Girls and ladies also can exhibit symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity. Girls with ADHD are often highly physically active, taking risks as they play, or they could be extremely talkative, excitable, and emotional. 40% of women can outgrow symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity by the time they reach adulthood.

The risk for Co-occurring Disorders

The inward focus of labeling themselves as incapable of doing well puts girls and women at higher risk for major depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders than girls who don’t have ADHD. One study found that girls with combined-type ADHD (having symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity) are at high risk for suicide and self-harm.

Women with ADHD

Many women are first diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood, and that they may seek treatment because they struggle to manage the stress of work, home, and lifestyle. They struggle with executive functioning and to finish tasks that need organization, planning, and time management. Struggling to stay up, they put themselves in danger of depression, decreased self-esteem, drug abuse, sleep problems, and overeating.

In addition to medication, females with ADHD can also undergo therapeutic interventions like building self-esteem, promoting healthy habits, learning time management, and practicing stress-management techniques. Group therapy can help educate relations about the diagnosis and teach them to problem-solve together and communicate better. Peer support groups also can help women feel less shame about their symptoms and feel empowered to realize control over their daily lives and futures.

Steps to manage ADHD symptoms

  • Ask for Help – ADHD is treatable in both men and ladies of all ages, with medication, behavioral therapy, or a mixture of the two often combatting symptoms very effectively. Don’t be discouraged if the primary drug or intervention isn’t a particular fit (for you or your daughter), and keep your appointments with your doctors about concerns and successes. Make sure to inform the doctor about other medical conditions and psychological state history to assist guide medication and therapy recommendations.

  • Praise Progress – Take the time to note progress and improvement in your lifestyle, regardless of how small. Having the ability to ascertain setbacks as functions of the condition instead of a private failing and to require pride in successes can lower the danger of depression and help you gain a stronger sense of control over your health and future. Starting treatment in childhood can have an enormous impact on future outcomes and functioning, so practice optimism about the condition.

  • Know Your Rights – If ADHD severely impacts your school, you can qualify for an Individualized Education Program (IEP), a 504 Plan, or Additional educational supports. Albeit a toddler doesn’t qualify, ask school staff about how teachers, school counselors, and other staff can support as you prepare to thrive in a tutorial environment. School personnel can also subscribe to stereotypes about ADHD and wish education about what symptoms they ought to monitor in your daily performance.

  • Find Mentors – All folks, and particularly children, can study samples of people that have overcome challenges or adversity. If you recognize a woman or teenager who has successfully managed the symptoms of her ADHD, consider communicating with them. Having the ability to see success can encourage your progress and reduce the danger of low self-esteem or negative labeling.


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