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How does ADHD typically present in women and girls?

Written by Kit Norman

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    Jan 19, 2023, 1 min read

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) typically can present itself differently in women than in men.

    Women with ADHD can have inattentive symptoms, such as difficulty organising and completing tasks, forgetfulness, and difficulty following through on instructions. They may also have difficulty with time management and procrastination. However, these symptoms may be less noticeable and are often overlooked, as they don't involve hyperactivity or impulsivity, which are more commonly associated with ADHD.

    Women with ADHD also may have more internalised symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, which can make it harder to diagnose the condition. Additionally, because of the social stigma that is still associated with ADHD, many women may be hesitant to seek help or may blame themselves for their difficulties.

    Furthermore, ADHD may manifest differently at different stages in a woman's life. For example, during adolescence, girls with ADHD may experience difficulties with peer relationships and schoolwork, while adult women may have problems with time management, organisation, and follow-through on tasks.

    It's important to note that the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) is the same for both men and women. However, since the presentation and symptomatology may be different, a thorough evaluation is important to correctly diagnose and treat the condition.

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