Women with ADHD face severe challenges. Their symptoms mostly go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed since ADHD symptoms in women can present differently compared to ADHD symptoms in men.
In most women, ADHD presents as inattentiveness instead of hyperactivity. However, in some cases, both the symptoms are present. Unfortunately, people often misjudge women and characterize their inattentiveness as a flaw instead of a treatable condition.
According to a study conducted in 2019, ADHD in adults doubled from 0.43 percent to 0.96 percent. According to a previous study conducted in 2016 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9.4% of children aged between 2 to 17 years old in the United States have ADHD at some time. These statistics include more boys than girls.
The results led to a mistaken belief that ADHD is a boys’ disorder that rarely appears in girls. Child Mind Institute states that girls remain without a diagnosis because their symptoms are different and do not show apparent changes that can alert people around them.
What is Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is a prevalent mental disorder affecting millions of children across the globe. Mainly the diagnosis of the condition occurs in childhood; however, the symptoms often last in later life. People with ADHD are unable to pay attention or control their hyperactive and impulsive behaviors.
Types of ADHD
Following are the three types of ADHD.
People who face difficulty in paying attention but do not disrupt their surroundings.
Hyperactive and impulsive:
People who may focus but their impulsive and hyperactive behavior leads to disruption.
People with the symptoms mentioned above.
What Do Women With ADHD Experience?
Women with ADHD do not show similar symptoms as men. Since their symptoms vary, it isn’t easy to diagnose them. According to academic research, men with ADHD express their symptoms through physical or verbal frustration, whereas women tend to bottle up their pain and anger.
Women experiencing ADHD tend to pile up their problems and avoid telling people about the chaos and anxiety slowly taking over their lives. It may result from not receiving the correct diagnosis and being unable to access appropriate mental health treatment. Women aware of their symptoms also feel guilt when they fail to fulfill their responsibilities.
According to Dr. Stephen Hinshaw’s research, women with combined-type ADHD are more likely to engage in self-harm or commit suicide.
What are the Risk factors for women with ADHD?
Risk factors that may increase the chances of developing ADHD in women include:
- Premature birth
- Inheritance from the family
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Maternal drug use
- Environmental toxins
The Bottom Line
Although women worldwide may show ADHD symptoms differently than men, their symptoms can be just as serious and life-impacting. Women who experience symptoms of ADHD would benefit from being assessed by professionals experienced in evaluating and treating ADHD. At Well Coast, we specialize in assessing and treating ADHD in men, women, and children. Contact us at (833) 931-1716 to find out how we can help.