ADHD in women (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), presents various symptoms that can make daily life challenging. All too often, women feel extra pressure from society: looking after the home and children, maintaining a happy relationship, holding down a job. ADHD in females can make integrating these demands extra-stressful and difficult.
Studies show that adult ADHD symptoms are more likely to go undiagnosed in women than in men. This highlights the importance of independent women’s ADHD assessments; to seek a diagnosis, help manage symptoms and obtain the treatment you need.
In childhood ADHD, while boys tend to exhibit the hyperactive/impulsive type of ADHD, girls are more commonly known to have the inattentive type of ADHD. This makes focus, organisation and listening more difficult. It also means boys are, typically, more hyperactive in class, and so ADHD symptoms are more pronounced and likely to lead to a diagnosis.
UK-based surveys with children aged 5-15 showed that 0.85% – almost one in every 100 – girls have ADHD. Strikingly though, girls are diagnosed with ADHD at just under half the rate at which boys are diagnosed. Results such as these lead some to speculate about somewhat biassed medical practices, or wonder how many misdiagnosed females are struggling with their ADHD symptoms.
Five or more symptoms of both criteria – inattention, and hyperactivity and impulsiveness – were present for the past six months.
– Difficulty following instructions
– Seeming not to listen, even when spoken to
– Easily distracted
– Unable to stick to tasks
– Often losing things
Five symptoms of inattention, but not hyperactivity and impulsiveness, were present for the past six months. (Previously called ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder.)
– Short attention span
– ‘Careless’ mistakes
– Difficulty following instructions
– Inability to carry out time-consuming tasks
Five symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, but not inattention, were present for the past six months.
– Unable to sit still
– Frequent fidgeting
– Difficulty concentrating
– Constantly moving, talking, interrupting
– Inability to wait
– Appearing to act without thinking
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ADHD in women can make you more inclined to feeling dysphoria, depression and anxiety. Women with ADHD are more likely to have low self-esteem, and have over time developed coping strategies that focus on compensating unfinished/forgotten tasks rather than actually addressing and treating the underlying problem.
There are a range of other mental health disorders that can also occur along with ADHD in women which also often go undiagnosed. These complications may cause trouble in correctly diagnosing the existence of ADHD, so getting an expert women’s ADHD assessment is essential to help establish the existence and interaction of these common comorbidities.
You may struggle with food regulation, or experience symptoms of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder.
You may have recurring/repetitive thoughts and behaviours that you find it difficult to control.
You might find you often feel sad, discouraged, uninterested, unmotivated, hopeless, ‘washed-out’ or nervous.
You experience an overwhelming fear of everyday social situations, such as public speaking, meeting new people or even making eye contact.
You find yourself constantly battling issues with the quality, timing and amount of sleep you get, resulting in impaired daytime functioning.
You struggle to control your consumption of particular mood altering substances, leading to significant problems in your life.
At The ADHD Centre, our specialists are available to help you and your loved ones understand and manage ADHD symptoms. Whether you’re a woman dealing with adulthood ADHD, or you suspect childhood ADHD in a family member, an individualised women’s ADHD assessment gives you access to proper diagnosis and evidence-based treatments. We tailor our treatments to your specific needs and medical history, so there’s no need to worry about unwelcome side effects – allergies or imbalanced hormones, for instance. ADHD in females presents a range of symptoms that can make life a challenge – but professional and personal help is close at hand.
We offer online or face-to-face appointments for your convenience
Speak to a women’s ADHD specialist with years of experience in the field
Get a structured clinical assessment specifically for women’s ADHD, based on the latest DSM-V criteria
Comprehensive consultation: you’ll have 75-90 minutes for your initial assessment
Receive a full report outlining your diagnosis and ongoing treatment plan details
ADHD in females is a complex and multifaceted condition, and as such, there’s no simple ‘yes/no test’ to diagnose ADHD in women. Diagnosis takes the form of a one-to-one structured clinical assessment with an experienced mental health practitioner. Diagnosis is made based on the internationally recognised DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) criteria to determine the presence of ADHD and give an accurate ADHD diagnosis.
Your doctor will also consider the nature, number and frequency of ADHD symptoms you experience to inform a diagnosis, and to investigate the possibility of any coexisting disorders. Only medically-qualified doctors (accredited psychiatrists) can diagnose ADHD in women and also prescribe medication.
Here at The ADHD Centre, your diagnosis will be carried out by one of our Specialist Consultant Psychiatrists. You’ll complete a questionnaire beforehand, and will also be asked some questions about your medical and developmental history, social, academic and work experiences, history of substance abuse, and other aspects of your life that may help determine the presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ presentation of ADHD in women, and so managing the symptoms can vary. With that said, there are a few at-home strategies to help females manage Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, such as:
With support from professionals at The ADHD Centre, you can manage your symptoms even better by:
ADHD in women doesn’t always look the same: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a nuanced condition, and as such, can present a range of symptoms, depending on the type of ADHD you are dealing with and how it interacts with your specific developmental history.
For instance, if you are dealing with hyperactive and impulsive type ADHD, you might find yourself frequently interrupting friends and family at social events; then again, if you have inattentive type ADHD, it could be that you make puzzling mistakes in your work due to being ‘zoned-out.’
However ADHD is manifested in your thoughts and behaviour, it’s critically important that you obtain a professional assessment. Having a women’s ADHD assessment can help to determine the exact nature of your condition and the best treatment options available to you.