ADHD Home > Women and Adult ADHD

For many years, ADHD research and treatment has been focused primarily on young boys; thus, many girls with the condition have been overlooked. Now those girls have grown, and the high numbers of adult women with ADHD have surfaced and are gaining more recognition. There are many ways to treat ADHD in women, including medications, therapy, and simple lifestyle changes.

 

Women With Adult ADHD: A Long-Overlooked Group

For decades, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was thought of as a problem common mostly to little boys. Slowly, we learned that this condition doesn't always go away in adolescence and adulthood, and quite often children with ADHD grow to be teens with ADHD, then adults with ADHD.
 
We also learned more about ADHD in girls and found out that it was more common in girls than originally thought. Combine those two factors, and you've got arguably the most overlooked group of people with ADHD -- adult women. 
 

A Missed Diagnosis Turns Into a Midlife Diagnosis

Girls have a higher tendency to have the predominately inattentive type ADHD, with less of the stereotypical hyperactivity and impulsivity, compared to boys. Combine this with the fact that children with predominately inattentive type ADHD tend to be diagnosed later, along with the traditional perception of ADHD as a boys' condition, and it's easy to see why girls with ADHD are typically diagnosed later compared to their male counterparts. Sometimes, the diagnosis is missed entirely, especially with the girls who do well enough, academically to avoid notice.
 
Often, it isn't until a woman has children of her own and one of her children is diagnosed with ADHD that it becomes obvious to her or her healthcare provider that she may have the condition too. These mothers recognize their children's symptoms in themselves, especially as they become more educated about ADHD.
 
Hopefully, as teachers, doctors, and parents become better able to spot ADHD in girls, fewer women will be blindsided by a midlife diagnosis. But for now, midlife ADHD diagnoses are still quite common for women.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
List of references (click here):
Advertisement
Topics & Medications

Quicklinks

Related Channels

eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2018 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.