When people think of ADHD/ADD, I think it’s easy to think of it as boy/man/male thing and to think of hyperactivity. For a long time, we’ve thought of ADHD/ADD as something only boys and men had. It can also be really easy to notice a hyperactive kid. However, there is quite a bit that we may forget, but need to remember. And that is that women and girls can also have ADHD/ADD. It is just as possible for girls and women to have it, as it is for their male counterparts.
The things to remember about ADHD/ADD can make for a long list and we may be here for a while, but here are two to start with:
1. Women and girls are just as likely to have ADHD/ADD as men and boys are.
2. Women are more likely to go undiagnosed than men.
When it comes to women/girls with ADHD, these are two important facts. ADHD/ADD is not just something that boys and men have. I am a good example. And there are a lot of women out there, who struggle with ADHD/ADD, just like I do. It’s really not uncommon for women and girls to have it. So, if someone comes up and says that it’s just something boys have, well I would disagree with that.
Here’s the thing though. ADHD/ADD presents itself differently in girls/women and boys/men. Generally speaking, girls/women tend to have the inattentive type, while their male counterparts tend to have the hyperactivity type. So, while the ADHD boy will have a difficult time sitting still or may cause trouble in class, the girl may be simply daydreaming, while looking out the window, or taking longer to finish a test, even though everyone else is done and has been for a while. So, in this case, the girl may be overlooked by the teacher and peers. Anyone could easily miss the signs. Especially since most girls and women fall into the inattentive type.
There are even times, when the ADHD is misdiagnosed as something else. The girl/woman might be simply diagnosed as having anxiety or depression. It is possible for these women/girls to have these issues, but there are times when there is more to it than just that. The ADHD/ADD is missed and overlooked.
Women with ADHD simply tend to show their symptoms in different ways as their male counterparts. Women tend to handle it differently.
Women with ADHD will also be affected differently and perhaps negatively. As much as the world is changing and expectations of men and women are changing, there is still some pressure for women to keep things organized and calm. It can be a challenge to do so for anyone with ADHD/ADD to do. Especially for women with ADHD/ADD, who also have a family. So, not only do they have to keep themselves organized and such, but they have the responsibility to do it for the kids and the family.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It is possible to do, especially if the ADHDer/ADDer has been able to develop methods to stay organized, calm, and everything else. It is possible to do for the ADHDer/ADDer herself and for the family. It can help when there is the support from the partner, family and friends. It can all be managed.
However, that being said, it can still be hard and a real struggle. It isn’t easy.
At the end of the day, men and women, girls and boys, with ADHD/ADD do have to deal with their own struggles. There is also the fact that every ADHDer/ADDer is also different from either other. So, my struggles with ADHD/ADD may be different from someone else’s. But these are just some things that women and girls with ADHD/ADD may have in common. Something that we may be able to relate too.
At the end of the day, it is possible for women and girls to have ADHD/ADD. It is not something that just boys and men have. I am a woman with ADHD/ADD and a woman who does struggle with it. It’s just something that we have to keep in mind from now on.
Here are two articles about women/girls with ADHD/ADD, for those who may want too read a bit more about it.
ADHD or ADD in Girls: Why It’s Ignored, Why That’s Dangerous