Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the brain’s executive functioning, which includes the ability to pay attention, control impulses, and regulate behaviour. The disorder is often diagnosed in childhood and can continue into adulthood.
But did you know that women with ADHD often experience unique symptoms that are different from men? If you’re a woman struggling with ADHD or know someone who is, it’s essential to understand the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options to live a happier life. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about ADHD in women and how HelloDoc Telepsychiatry can help.
ADHD in Women: Symptoms and Presentation
While ADHD affects both men and women, women with ADHD often experience unique symptoms that are different from men. These symptoms can make it challenging to diagnose ADHD in women, and many are not diagnosed until adulthood.
The symptoms of ADHD in adult women can include:
- Inattention: Women with ADHD may have difficulty staying focused on tasks, completing projects, and organizing their thoughts. They may also have a hard time listening to others and may get easily distracted.
- Hyperactivity: While hyperactivity is typically associated with boys and men with ADHD, women can also experience restlessness and fidgeting. They may also struggle with sitting still and may talk excessively.
- Impulsivity: Women with ADHD may struggle with impulsive behaviour, such as interrupting others during conversations or making impulsive decisions.
- Emotional dysregulation: Women with ADHD may experience intense emotions and have difficulty regulating their emotions. They may be quick to anger or have outbursts of emotion. They may also struggle with anxiety and depression.
- Disorganization: Women with ADHD may struggle with keeping their surroundings organized and may have a messy living or work space. They may also struggle with time management and may have difficulty prioritizing tasks.
Women with ADHD may struggle with organization, time management, and multitasking, leading to difficulties in completing tasks and meeting deadlines. They may also have trouble regulating their emotions, leading to frequent mood swings, impulsivity, and even depression or anxiety.
The symptoms of ADHD in women can have a significant impact on their personal and professional lives. Women with ADHD may struggle to maintain relationships or hold down jobs, leading to financial and emotional strain. The lack of recognition and understanding of ADHD in adult women can also lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation.
In Australia, ADHD is often underdiagnosed and undertreated in adult women. This can be attributed to several factors, including a lack of awareness and understanding of ADHD in women, as well as a shortage of healthcare professionals trained to diagnose and treat the condition. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health can make it difficult for women to seek help and receive a proper diagnosis.
Diagnosing ADHD in Women
Diagnosing ADHD in women can be challenging, as many women are not diagnosed until adulthood. This is because women with ADHD often experience more internalizing symptoms that may not be as noticeable as the externalizing symptoms seen in men. It is essential to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of ADHD.
To diagnose ADHD, a comprehensive assessment is required, which includes a clinical interview, questionnaires, and rating scales. The assessment should be conducted by a qualified clinician, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating ADHD.
Treatment Options for Women with ADHD
The good news is that ADHD is a highly treatable condition. There are several evidence-based treatments available, including medication and therapy. For women with ADHD, a combination of medication and therapy may be the most effective treatment.
Medication: Medications, such as stimulants and non-stimulants, can be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms. Stimulants work by increasing the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, which can improve attention and focus. Non-stimulant medications work by increasing norepinephrine levels in the brain
Therapy: Therapy can be helpful in managing the symptoms of ADHD. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapy that can help individuals with ADHD develop coping skills to manage their symptoms. CBT can be effective in reducing impulsivity, improving time management skills, and increasing organizational skills. Other therapies, such as mindfulness-based therapy and coaching, can also be helpful.
HelloDoc Telepsychiatry: How We Can Help
If you’re struggling with ADHD or think you may have ADHD, HelloDoc Telepsychiatry can help. We offer a range of services to diagnose and treat ADHD, including medication management and therapy. Our team of over 22 highly experienced psychiatrists and two psychologists is experienced in diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults, including women. We offer the assessments in the shortest wait possible, with convenient and quick appointments available nationwide in Australia. Our telepsychiatry services are safe, convenient and confidential, making it easy to get the help you need from the comfort of your home.
In conclusion, ADHD is a condition that can significantly impact a person’s life, but it is highly treatable. Women with ADHD often experience unique symptoms that can make it challenging to diagnose, but with the right treatment, it is possible to live a happier life. If you’re struggling with ADHD, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact HelloDoc Telepsychiatry today to schedule an appointment and get the support you need.
HelloDoc is NOT an emergency service. All appointments are booked in advance. If you or someone you know is at risk or facing serious mental health issues, or requires emergency services, please call the following national numbers in Australia:
Lifeline: 13 11 14 Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978 Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service: 1800 011 046