Do you often feel like you forget something? Do you misplace your keys and anxiously look for them while being late for an important meeting? Do you feel like you can’t get your life in order, and there are always problems that arise that you cannot control?
If you feel this way, then you probably suffer just like many women with ADHD.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common mental disorder that typically affects children. However, adults are not an exemption. ADHD in adults is also present.
What Are The Three Main ADHD Symptoms in Women?
The three main ADHD symptoms in women include:
- Hyperactivity (constantly moving, unable to calm down).
- Impulsivity (swift actions that happen out of nowhere and without thinking).
- Lack of focus.
What Can Trigger ADHD in Adults?
ADHD can be caused by a number of triggers; however, the most common are:
1. Stress – Stress is the most common trigger for ADHD in adults. On the other hand, ADHD is a common cause of stress. For example, a person who suffers from ADHD cannot focus most of the time, and so their stress level increases. Or, if the person is going through a stressful period, they can experience ADHD symptoms such as becoming hyperactive and having trouble concentrating.
2. Lack of sleep – Not getting enough sleep can result in mental tiredness, which worsens ADHD symptoms, thus causing drowsiness, inattention, and careless mistakes due to the lack of focus. As a result, our productivity levels drop significantly, because we are unable to concentrate and perform like when we are fully rested.
3. Overstimulation – Crowded places and loud noises may trigger ADHD symptoms in some people. So, try avoiding busy and crowded places to prevent or diminish the ADHD symptoms you are experiencing.
4. Technology – Constant stimulation from our smartphones, computers, and TVs is also a significant trigger for ADHD in adults. Plus, if you already have trouble focusing and concentrating, the flashing screen from your laptop or cellphone will certainly not help you with your condition. So, try to limit your access to the internet and technology as much as you can for your brain to rest.
Adult ADHD Signs
Adult ADHD, or adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a mental health disorder that leads to low self-esteem, problems with relationships resulting in instability, lowered work abilities, and other difficulties.
The symptoms of ADHD in adults may not be apparent as that in children. They vary from mild to severe, and some people may not be aware that they have ADHD. They just feel that they always have to experience problems and have difficulties with their everyday tasks.
However, some common symptoms of ADHD in adults include:
1. Lack of Focus
Adults experiencing ADHD have problems with focusing. Their lack of focus includes being easily distracted, overlooking some important details, having difficulties listening to other people during a conversation, and not completing projects or tasks.
The flip side of lacking focus is hyperfocus, and there are people with ADHD who experience this condition. This means they can get so engaged and focused on something that they could become totally oblivious to anything happening around them.
A person with ADHD can feel disorganized and off-balance. Therefore, their life may seem a lot more problematic and challenging compared to others. As a result, they may find it compelling to organize their life and keep everything in check.
People with ADHD tend to forget things. Their ‘forgetfulness’ varies from forgetting where they have put something to forgetting important meetings and dates.
5. Problems with Time Management
Adults with ADHD may also have difficulties managing their time. Therefore, they often show up late to meetings and important events, procrastinate, or ignore tasks they find boring.
People with ADHD are oftentimes impulsive. They can be socially inappropriate, constantly interrupting other people during conversation, acting without thinking first, rushing through their tasks, etc.
7. Negative Self Image
Adults with ADHD often think very low of themselves. And this is all because they tend to struggle with their work, relationships, and life in general. Due to their failures, they tend to view themselves in a negative light.
8. Anxiety and Restlessness
Anxiety and restlessness are prevalent symptoms of ADHD in adults because adults struggling with ADHD tend to replay bad memories and events, which puts them in a state of worry and frustration that leads to anxiety. They also tend to move around constantly, shift in their seat because they can’t sit still, or tap their feet or hands.
Tiredness may seem contradictory given the fact that adults struggling with ADHD are often restless. However, tiredness and fatigue are also symptoms of many adults with ADHD. Their exhaustion comes from their hyperactivity and constant effort to focus and get things done.
10. Dysfunctional Relationships
Adults with ADHD have difficulties maintaining healthy relationships, whether romantic or professional. This is because adults with ADHD are often inattentive, easily bored, or bad communicators. So, they usually come across as uncaring, insensitive, and irresponsible.
11. Health Problems
ADHD can cause a person to be neglectful about their health because of their lack of motivation and organizational skills. As a result, they may start compulsively eating, forgetting to take their medication, or stopping exercising, leading to possible health problems in the future.
ADHD In Adult Women
Even though research suggests that ADHD is more common in men than women, there is also research that shows that ADHD is not diagnosed or diagnosed later in women.
Women tend to be more inattentive than impulsive or hyperactive. Also, they are more likely to internalize their symptoms, and that is why they are often not diagnosed with ADHD. Women tend to mask their symptoms and develop new coping strategies to deal with their difficulties. As a result, they are often diagnosed with anxiety and depression rather than ADHD.
Women who have ADHD have more internalized and inattentive symptoms that include:
– Difficulty focusing on long projects or engaging in tasks that require constant mental focus;
– Difficulty following instructions or completing work responsibilities;
– Troubles with paying attention to details, thus making “careless” mistakes;
– Trouble listening attentively when a person is speaking;
– Difficulty making decisions;
– Difficulties with time management, keeping home and workspace clean and organized, or organizing daily activities;
– Difficulty making realistic plans;
– Having trouble with regulating emotions, especially when under stress;
– Easily distracted by unimportant things;
– Forgetfulness, such as forgetting to pay bills, meet deadlines, return calls, or go to scheduled appointments;
– Often misplacing keys, wallet, cellphone, etc.
Impulsive or hyperactive symptoms are less common than inattentive ones. They become more internalized, and they include:
– Having trouble waiting in lines, waiting for turns, etc.;
– Difficulty sitting still. Instead, tapping feet or hands, fidgeting, squirming in their seat, and walking around are common things adult women with ADHD do;
– Interrupting conversations, answering questions before the other person has finished asking them, and so on;
– Having difficulty being quiet during leisure activities/talking excessively.
What Does Adult ADHD Look Like In Females?
Women with ADHD may feel like every day is a struggle. They feel that their life is at a halt, and they cannot move forward. There is sadness and frustration in their eyes because they can’t manage to meet their goals.
These women often feel that they forgot something, that they failed to pay their bills, or forgot about some important meeting. They are also unorganized with money, so they tend to get behind their bills.
They may spend a lot of money to buy themselves products to keep them more organized; however, they end up not using them. So, they often find themselves embarrassed when they forget about something. They also avoid having guests because they are ashamed of their messy and cluttered home.
When they are in a grocery store, they may feel overwhelmed and anxious because they can’t decide what to buy. Also, they don’t keep a list, so they always forget to buy the thing that they need to buy the most.
Women with ADHD are usually overspenders. They do that to compensate for their lack of focus. For instance, when they forget a friend’s birthday, they buy them an expensive gift to make up for their forgetfulness. Or, when they don’t have a clean outfit, they buy a new one. And they always feel regret and guilt when their credit card bill arrives.
Here are 8 Things People Don’t Realize You’re Doing Because You Have ADHD:
1. Interrupting others without noticing it
People who have ADHD have the habit of obstructing others while talking. They are not doing this willingly or because they are not interested in what you are saying. This is simply a result of the disorder. They are doing this quite often, and they can’t help it. They are often unaware of doing this until it is too late, and then they feel ashamed.
2. Easily frustrated
People living with ADHD want things to go fast and smooth. When something takes longer to get done than usual, they get frustrated. This is because of their lack of patience. This could result in difficulties when learning new things and completing new tasks.
3. Low self-esteem
Living with this disorder is more difficult than you might think. It might look like a slight drop of concentration but is much more than that. Having difficulties through life every day can severely impact one’s self-esteem, especially at young school age. This is because you get frustrated when comparing with others, seeing how much more energy and time you need to complete a task.
4. Feeling misunderstood
Having ADHD can make you feel like nobody understands what you are going through. This is because nobody takes ADHD seriously. Even doctors sometimes take it for granted. Sometimes when you do your best to finish your obligations, people might be impatient with you because they are unaware that you suffer from ADHD. All this can make a person feel awful.
5. Weak short term memory
People with ADHD have difficulty memorizing things in their short-term memory. This is a result of too much activity and tension in their brain. When forgetting stuff, a person often gets frustrated easily, thinking that he is not careful and committed.
6. Hard to get motivated
People suffering from this condition have a hard time completing daily tasks alone. Therefore, school or work can be too much for them. They require much more energy and attention to complete tasks at school or work. Thus, their motivation can drop down to a very low level.
7. Don’t want to slow down
People who have ADHD want to go through things fast. They can feel restless and hyperactive. They tend to complete tasks fast and easily, not paying attention to things that matter, like school and work. Therefore they can feel traumatized when they have to complete a task that requires more time. This isn’t because they are lazy or tired; it is simply a symptom of ADHD.
8. Having insomnia
Having trouble sleeping is part of life with ADHD. This is because of the hyperactivity in your brain. Turning the lights off won’t slow down your brain. Often, overthinking things when going to bed will keep you awake.
You might feel restless for no reason. Even when you haven’t slept for days, you might have trouble sleeping. On top of that, when you do finally get to sleep, you might often find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty getting back to sleep.
Going through everyday tasks and responsibilities is much more difficult when living with ADHD. It is more complex than it can be described. If you or someone in your surroundings is suffering from this condition, it is crucial to be patient. Give yourself or that person time to complete a task. Try to be supportive and stay organized.
What Is It Like To Have Inattentive ADHD As A Grown Woman?
When you are a grown woman diagnosed with ADHD with inattentive symptoms prevailing, you probably have learned to deal with your condition in your own unique way.
Some women choose to be with a partner who can help them with their management skills and help them with organizing their life, and getting it in order. Others isolate themselves in order to put all their energy into succeeding at work. Sadly, many women with inattentive ADHD never live up to their potential because they usually tend to choose stress-free, low-demand, and low-pay jobs in order to deal with their anxiety.
Women with inattentive ADHD tend to lose the sense of time. Meaning, that they need constant reminders to meet all the deadlines and important dates. These women often don’t have a sense of the passage of time because, for them, time is a vague notion. They may wake up, then lie in bed scrolling through social media, and when they think only 30 minutes have passed, they panic to see how much time has actually passed and that they have spent almost half a day in bed.
Many women with inattentive ADHD tend to forget deadlines and make too many mistakes at their work that they end up getting fired. Some of them are only interested in the creative aspects of their job while forgetting everything about email lists, budgets, and keeping schedules. They may keep their home clean and in order, but their workplace is often chaotic.
These women also spend a lot of money on clothes and make-up because they tend to put their best face when they are out with other people. They think that by taking care of their appearance, they can mask the mess that is inside them. By looking well put together, they shield themselves from other people judging them and further destroying their self-esteem.
Finally, when it comes to their parenting, women with ADHD tend to have children with ADHD. So, an inattentive mother with ADHD who has trouble getting her life in order can be further challenged to get a safe structure for their children. So, she may find herself anxious, often yelling at them, because she can’t keep with the everyday tasks and keep her children’s lives in order.
How do you check for ADHD in adults?
Adults can be diagnosed with ADHD only by a licensed mental health professional or a physician. So the important thing is to be trained and have experience with people with ADHD.
The most important thing to do is to get help from an expert. ADHD can be treated carefully, and you can drastically improve your life for the better. You just need to follow the medical advice and be patient.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.