ADHD is a condition that affects both men and women, however, it can manifest differently in each gender. While the diagnostic criteria for ADHD are the same for both sexes, how it presents itself may vary. Let’s explore some of the differences in how ADHD affects women.
Symptoms of ADHD in Women
When diagnosing ADHD in women, healthcare professionals should keep an open mind to the possibility of ADHD manifesting in more subtle ways. Women may be less likely to display hyperactivity and impulsivity as seen in men, but instead, display inattention and organization issues. This could manifest itself through:
- Difficulty focusing on tasks
- Struggling with planning and organization
- Disorganized thinking
- Losing items often
- Feeling overwhelmed
ADHD affects everyone differently, and in some cases, the symptoms listed may be more or less severe. Women with ADHD may also experience difficulty regulating their emotions, which can lead to other mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even substance abuse.
Diagnosing ADHD in Women
Women are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, and if they do receive a diagnosis, it is more likely to occur during adulthood. This is because the symptoms of women with ADHD may look different than those seen in men and girls. As such, healthcare professionals may miss important clues which could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment.
When diagnosing ADHD in women, healthcare professionals should look for both the primary symptoms as well as any comorbidities that may be present such as anxiety or depression. It is important to keep an open mind about different ways it can manifest itself so that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be developed.
Women are often under-represented in clinical ADHD studies, causing a blindspot for some healthcare providers. It’s important to find a mental health provider that understands the nuances of female ADHD and is up to date on more inclusive studies.
Diagnosis often involves taking a Qbtest, which is tailored for adults, as well as interviews and assessments. Commonly used as part of a comprehensive evaluation process, QbTests helps clinicians objectively measure core symptoms associated with ADHD such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The test has been designed to provide quantifiable data which can be immediately analyzed and compared to a normative group of the same age and gender. As such, QbTest provides valuable insights into the behavior of female patients who may not have previously shown signs or reported symptoms that are common in other assessment methods. In addition, CE-marked QbTest devices have been approved by the FDA for use in diagnosing ADHD for individuals aged 6-60 meaning results can be trusted as accurate and reliable.
Treatment for ADHD in Women
When it comes to treating ADHD in women, there are a variety of different options available. This includes medication, psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Treatment should be tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences to ensure the best possible outcome.
Medication can help reduce symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, while psychotherapy can help address issues such as social skills, communication, and emotional regulation. Making lifestyle changes such as eliminating stressors, eating a balanced diet, and getting regular exercise are also beneficial for managing the symptoms of ADHD.
It is important to remember that treatment may not be a one-size-fits-all approach and may require trial and error to find the best treatment plan for you.
Reach out to BestMind
ADHD in women can manifest itself differently than in men, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to effectively manage the symptoms. It is important to recognize that no two cases are alike and that treatment should be tailored to the individual’s needs.
If you think you may have ADHD, reach out to the professionals at BestMind Behavioral Health. We offer Qbtests for diagnosing ADHD in women, as well as medication management and telemedicine services for successful treatment. Contact us today to learn more and start living your best life.