Common Symptoms of ADD and ADHD in Women
Eileen Bailey Nov 7, 2012 (updated Nov 15, 2013)
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Feeling low self-worth
Women may feel they should be able to "do it all" and feel defeated when they can't keep up. Juggling parenting and work responsibilities can simply be overwhelming.
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Hypersensitivity to criticism
High expectations since childhood to be a "good girl" can make women with ADHD more vulnerable to these sensitivities.
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Poor sense of time
Time management is often an issue for women with ADHD. They are often running late.
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Being emotionally charged and easily upset
Easily upset or frustrated? Emotions are exacerbated during hormonal changes. Emotional issues, including depression and anxiety, are also related to ADHD. It is estimated that one in four adults with ADHD also has symptoms of depression.
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Starting projects but unable to finish them
Do you have piles of empty photo books? Heaps of unfinished sewing projects? Focusing and following through on a project is difficult with ADHD.
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Taking on too much
On top of work and parenting, there is often the need for women to take on even more tasks like volunteering, helping out with school-related functions, cooking, etc. This symptom goes hand-in-hand with time management and difficulty finishing projects.
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Difficulty remembering names
Difficulty remembering names often gets worse before, during and after menopause. This is also a sign of inattention, a common symptom in ADHD.
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Saying things without thinking
Many social issues follow aduts with ADHD. Prone to "foot-in-mouthmouth" moments? Saying things without thinking often leads to hurting others' feelings.
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Do your friends get upset with you for interrupting them in conversation or bailing out on plans at the last moment? Appearing selfish is a sign of ADD/ADHD.
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Poor math or writing skills
Not a numbers person? Some women with ADHD exhibit poor math and reading skills. This could be a product of difficulty during schooling, possibly due to ADHD.
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Seeming to not want to hear what others are saying
Appearing aloof is especially difficult for women, who often want to connect socially but have difficulty doing so. Impulsivity (in one's own statements) and inattention (while others may be conversing) can emphasize this issue.
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Engaging in addictive behaviors
Shopping, TV (reality shows!), and eating are common types of addictive behaviors. Impulsivity is a key symptom to ADHD, including in adults, and an addiction to shopping - often irrational in practice - is a sign of this symptom.
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Problems with word retrieval
Difficulty remembering words often gets worse during menopause. And when the problem is not cognitive-based, it could just be an issue of inattention of spinning too many thoughts at one time.
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In addition to poor math or writing skills, poor handwriting can be an embarrassing symptom of ADHD.
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Difficulty with boring, repetitive tasks
Is your house a mess because you hate and avoid doing chores? Completing repetitive tasks like laundry is hard for women with ADD/ADHD.
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Spending too much time ruminating
Getting lost in your thoughts or daydreaming are common among women with ADD/ADHD. This ties in with distractability.
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Difficulty making decisions
Skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk? Regular or soy? Grocery shopping is often painful with all the choices available in stores today. Seemingly simple tasks require too much thought or commitment to a singular idea, leading to distraction.
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Difficulty sitting still
Easily burnt out? Or do you often fidget? Tiredness and restlessness both are signs of ADD and ADHD. Though not so much an issue of a "running motor" as it is in children, fidgety and hyperactive behavior are still prevalent in adults.
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Difficulty falling asleep and waking up
Many women with ADD/ADHD experience sleep disorders. Insomnia gets worse during menopause.